Mask of Tragedy (#190)

Big Finish Main Range

An interesting little adventure, which starts in a place I didn’t expect (Ace playing the part of a chorus in a play) and goes in places I really didn’t think possible. Hector is definitely not the man Hex was. He’s different and has difficulty finding the good in what the Doctor and Ace do with their time traveling. I’m not sure the next adventure after this will be any better for him but I’m not sure having Hex back would improve things much. What would Ace say to him about how close she got to Hector but not Hex? Can o’ worms there for the companions…

Anyway, this story has the Doctor, Ace, and Hex stopping off in Athens the day before the Spartans arrive. There are mysterious flying creatures around and a whole lot of zombified people, unable to do anything but stand around and chant death. Or Dionysis, depending on what you hear. Then there’s the booming trade in alien visitors that dictator Cleon doesn’t approve of and the gadgets they bring to fit in with the earthlings. There’s fighting, insanity, dancing, and even a play. It’s all a bit hectic for Hector and I can’t say much about the plot without just revealing the whole thing, piece by piece.

I enjoyed the majority of it. I do wonder why Hector is such a thug but I suppose that makes him different from Hex the nurse – as far from him as possible. Ace can’t give up on Hex being returned but why? From a sense of guilt from giving up on him the first time? Any why do the people put up with Cleon? The Doctor sure can be loquacious – he gives a marvelous speech in defense of Aristophanes! Really showing off what Sylvester McCoy can do with that one. Fantastic! But the pieces feel a bit scattered, with the focus being on the city of Athens. It’s one crazy town in Greece, that’s for sure! And though I liked the women of Sparta idea, how accurate is that? Not sure but it didn’t seem accurate, though I would LOVE it to be! I can’t say I loved this story but it was quite good.

Sylvester McCoy(The Doctor),Sophie Aldred(Ace),Philip Olivier(Hector),Samuel West(Aristophanes),Alisdair Simpson(Cleon),Russell Bentley(Tyrgius/Slave Trader/Boy),Tim Treloar(Telephus, Cisyphus/Old Man),Emily Tucker(Adonia/Lysistrata)

Writer: James Goss

Director: Ken Bentley

Release: September 2014

Laura Vilensky 2019