Shadow Planet, World Apart (#226)

Big Finish Main Range

I really enjoyed both of these stories as they were a similar vein – living planet doing its thing and people end up there. Mind you, the planet Nirvana, very oddly named, is not as helpful as Unity. The Doctor’s been to “Unity” before, when it was called >>>. So this is his second adventure on this living planet. He won’t be heading to Nirvana again, though. It took him forever to rescue Ace and Hex because he couldn’t land there or he would kill the planet, which is hunting for people and creatures to eat.

First of all, Hex is back! I like it but it’s also very confusing momentarily. He left! Ummm. Well, they can bring any companion back but they just haven’t. Mind you, the World Apart story goes pretty far to explain why he was so mad at the Doctor. I can’t blame him. He got to spend a long time with Ace alone but he never resolves his amorous issues from what we hear. I’m not sure why they bother to bring that up since he never actually acts on it!

Shadow Planet is the weaker of the two stories as it has some great elements but it’s kind of boring, ultimately. Ace and Hex get to meet their “shadow” selves and they’re not much different from their “regular” selves, just not so motivated. Ace is strangely determined to have an adventure, not be bored in this story. It just was odd. And their shadow selves are into just hanging out. Why don’t they resolve the relationship between the characters? We know it never goes anyway, ultimately, and that Hex survives so that’s the one thing that bringing back Hex does – he won’t be killed. Nor Ace. Sure there could be some temporal anomaly but it’s always resolved. It takes the edge off of the companions dying option, which is good and bad. Though it’s a good blend of these two stories, I could’ve just listened to the second one. First one just got tedious and predictable after awhile.

Sylvester McCoy(The Doctor),Sophie Aldred(Ace),Philip Olivier(Hex),Belinda Lang(Mrs Wheeler),Sarah Thom(Sandy/Captain Karren),Nickolas Grace(Professor Grove),Ben Mansfield(Loglan/Shadow Loglan). Other parts played by members of the cast.

Writer: AK Benedict, Scott Handcock

Director: Ken Bentley

Release: June 2017

Laura Vilensky 2019