Revenge of the Swarm (#189)

Big Finish Main Range

The Doctor, Ace, and Hector land on Titan, a moon of Saturn, at a moon base that they quicky discover had a plague there that wiped out everyone. And Ace is quickly infected while the Doctor is immune. Hector is sleeping so comes to the console room later, sees them outside, and something happens… The Swarm is what happens! Suffice it to say that Hector, once Hex, is now half empty and ripe pickings for a sentient virus to take over. The Swarm ends up taking the team to the day of its creation, where everyone plays a part and things happen as they have always happened.

But then, we go 200 years into the future, at the same place, and part II happens where things get a bit crazy. There’s no way to tell more of the plot without ruining things as they come hurtling at the TARDIS team. Though ultimately, are they a team? Though I understand the ending, I am getting a bit tired of the Doctor being accused of killing people in order to save thousands/millions of other people. I had to just roll my eyes at that. Didn’t we just go through that with the 7th Doctor? Like every episode? Sigh.

I have to admit that I was avoiding this one because I’m very nervous about where the Hector/Hex story is going. I think it’s pretty obvious that the destroyed bottle did NOT contain Hex’s memories as they’re in his crucifix around his neck, which he always wears. This new version of Hex – Hector – is a newbie to the TARDIS and grumpier. And less tolerant of the Doctor and his ways. Ace is now the one defending the Doctor and apparently, Hector and Ace have gotten “close” – oh my. So BF gets to hint at hanky panky in the TARDIS. So if they were to suddenly get Hex back, how would Ace act? Would it change her reaction to him?

Though that’s an interesting sidebar to this story, it’s not the focus. The action is really ramped up in the second half but I’m also glad it was only a half! The first half is at action level 6 of 10 while the second ramps it right up to 10 of 10. I think I would’ve been exhausted listening to the story if both halves were as action packed! I do like the two halves concept though this isn’t like Flip-Flop where the two halves are simultaneous. I am just not sure where the whole Hextor-Hex storyline is going. Oh, if only I could read your mind, Nicholas Briggs! Er, maybe not…

Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Philip Olivier,John Leeson(The Nucleus of the Swarm/Computer),Mandi Symonds(Shafira),Maggie Service(Root/Receptionist),John Heffernan(Vonchef),Phyllida Nash(Professor Oksana Kilbracken),Siobhan Redmond(Talin),John Dorney(Lugerman),Paul Panting(Security Guard Brabbeko)

Writer: Jonathan Morris

Director: Ken Bentley

Release: August 2014

Laura Vilensky 2019