Forty Five (#115)

Big Finish Main Range

False Gods by Mark Morris

This tale covers some of the tales of ancient Egypt and the gods therein. There’s the archeological team with Howard Carter then there’s the rest of ‘em, Ace, Hex, and the Doctor. They come in, find out the issue, though mostly inadvertently, and leave. I’m not sure I liked this short story format for this tale. It did keep things succinct but it also left out the awe and inspiration that seems to be prevalent in Who stories when a famous person is brought onboard for a story.

Forty five happens to be the number of shabti figures for the pharaoh in this story. Amun and Thoth were the two kids involved but the story has its own twists and turns. Somehow they bring in Time Lord technology and old earth archeology. It’s a decent enough story and I liked it but I didn’t find it to be satisfying at the end. Why couldn’t he save her? Why is that darn green button just so magical? Why is going that close to the sun so detrimental to the TARDIS? Is the Doctor like Ra then? Good but not inspiring and the Doctor (and companions) aren’t really ever in serious danger.

Order of Simplicity by Nick Scovell

In year 3380 it’s good to consider that humans are still having houses, doing advanced science, and even getting in trouble with evil viruses from across the universe. It does get a big confusing in the middle as to the point of the virus. Sure, get everyone to have an IQ of 45 but why would a virus be created to do that? I can’t imagine a virus like that creating itself but perhaps, if there are Orions in this universe or beings of pure thought energy only, what other type of virus could they contract? The story is simply done as well, with only four other actors used for the parts.

Lots of creaky, spooky house type of sound effects, which is supposed to lend to the aura and mood of the tale. However, it just doesn’t really draw me in like I expected it to. The spooky housekeeper, Mrs. Crisp, does have the freaky name and attitude thing down but I don’t feel like anyone’s actually threatened by her or the virus. The Doctor saves the day, of course, but it’s perhaps too simple when all is said and done. Good but not quite spooky enough for me.

Casualties of War by Mark Michalowski

This story does have the advantage of almost letting secrets out, if only Hex would peer around that last verbal corner or Ace let spill that last tidbit of information… But no. The Doctor certainly knew Hex’s “secret” but Hex knows nothing of the forge. This story really sets up a thirst in me to get these three to the Forge and let what happens, happen! I want to know how that whole storyline would be resolved. I can imagine Nimrod ending up telling Hex of Cassie before the Doctor gets a chance to! The emotional carnage and fallout will be interesting to see, to see what Hex is really made of. Will he stay with the Doctor? Will he go home? He’s a great part of the team so hopefully he’d stay.

But back to this story… Joey Carlisle has stolen a leaking psionic bracelet and he makes people tell him the truth. But what is the backlash to him when it finally breaks down? We do find out but it doesn’t make sense to me, the whole resolution. And where does the 45 come into play? I can’t seem to find it. And what truths are better left untold? hmmm. A thief unable to lie at the end of it all. Oh, wait, the year they arrive is 1945. That’s where it comes in. And the best part of this audio is Ace and Audrey interacting. Ace getting to meet her mom as a child is just a side note but it’s the most emotionally effective part of this story. Unfortunately, she is only with her for a short period of time so we only get a small taste of the emotional moments for Ace. I always find it interesting when a tough character has to face something that brings out emotions we don’t normally get to see. But it doesn’t turn the story around for me into the fantastic, I have to say. Good but not amazing.

The Word Lord by Steven Hall

Someone who is no one is killing diplomats at a top secret military bunker. Forty-five seems to be at the root of things so who it is and why is the mystery that the Doctor must solve! Which he does, though a bit too late for some diplomats, to be sure. Plus solving the riddle doesn’t always make the problem go away!

Renners-Fienes bunker. Hmmm. Quite the name! “Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it in-fo’-me.” :) Nice play on word by Ace! Security is top priority but if there are people who travel on sound waves, it’s difficult to catch the bad guys on that case. Forty five is the major number throughout this story so it becomes obvious rather quickly that it’s got to have something to do with the solution. It’s very interesting how the writers can turn the speaking and acting of each person into a story. Perception changing the reality around them. And the Doctor has a mystery on his hands that he can’t quite solve like he expects!

This is the most intriguing and complicated of these stories. I’ve noticed that the more complicated a story is, or stories with a more complicated twist to them, intrigue me more. Perhaps I need to adjust my thinking or my own perceptions? Or is it just that I need more complications to keep me focused on the story. Otherwise I drift off in the midst of the tale, mentally at least. “Don’t you ever feel like there’s something important happening and you can’t quite grasp it?” – Doctor “Welcome to being me.” – Hex

Then the bad guy shows up! And things get really strange. And it’s naturally not resolved. He’s out there to hunt down the Doctor another day! Or is he. An interesting concept, the Word Lord. Speak the words and he can do it. Makes you really self conscious of what you say, that’s for sure! The epilogue seems to be a bit pointless, to be honest. Coffee instead of tea? huh. okay then. The extras are pretty good but don’t sway me to love the audio/CD one way or another. Overall, a good audio but I like more of the manipulation that the 7th Doctor does and that’s not really present here, except in False Gods. Perhaps next time…

Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Phillip Olivier

Writers: Mark Morris, Nick Scovell, Mark Michalowski, Steven Hall

Director: Ken Bentley

Release: November 2009

Laura Vilensky 2019