The Rapture (#36)

Big Finish Main Range

Talk about the rapture for everyone in this audio. The ending brings out the monsters in the audio but the character development is really what this thing is all about. McShane finds herself a family and can’t accept it. Everything would’ve been different if she’d’ve had a brother. She wouldn’t’ve become Ace, she wouldn’t’ve have gone off with the Dr. because her life wouldn’t’ve made her the rebellious teen she is. She wouldn’t’ve seen Kurtz destroyed, which is her opening thoughts in this audio. She’s trying to escape that image and find some normality. And instead she finds Liam and can’t accept it.

Katrina is a teenager who isn’t happy being herself. This audio drama is the first and only one that I can recall that has recreational drugs used in it. And used as teenagers do, I presume. Since drugs, from ecstacy to alcohol, are useful in creating the atmosphere and rapture that the angels want to create. Kat uses drugs to escape her unhappiness. Everyone finds something in this episode—Ace finds her brother and Liam his sister. Kat finds her faith in drugs and the Dr. finds his alien menace. Gabriel finds reality and Jude finds his purpose after he loses his brother.

Liam is grounded in religion so he doesn’t buy into Jude’s spiel, though. Without something greater to fight for, we’re nothing. But are they really empty? The angels want to give people a purpose, to fight for a cause. To save them all, fight for the good, save their world and fight for them. Jude and his mad, mad brother, Gabriel.

The story goes along so well, then the ending moves along. The music comes along inappropriately while Jude tells his story—it’s dance music. So it’s confusing—is the music going on in the club outside? But no, apparently. So the angels want to help their world, taking youth from ours who just have no apparently purpose in life. And it seems that he’s talking about generation x and/or y—it’s difficult to tell.

The Doctor: “I can’t allow you to do this, Jude. These children don’t belong to your fight. They’re innocent.”

Jude: “Innocent?! They have no beliefs. They abuse their bodies with drugs and alcohol and each other. Their parents are lenient, their governments democratic. I hear them complaining about no one understanding them, about how they want to rebel against society but know they’ll become part of it. I hear them whinging.

But while their ancestors fought and died in muddy fields, these pathetic innocents wallow in angst and self-pity. What is more important? Their pathetic search for identity or my peoples’ fight for survival?”

Kat is, ultimately, a pathetic soul. She just does what people tell her, looking for a way to escape herself and her life. I can empathize with Kat. I felt that way as a teenager, though I certainly didn’t cope with it through drugs and music. Gustavo is the adult voice but he’s almost a stereotype, though, the generations before the youth and their perception of the youth. It all ends badly, as things tend to for the Doctor, but the focus isn’t about the enemy here, it’s just half on the angels.

The other half is about these new pieces of the puzzle for Ace and the Doctor. How can the Doctor let Ace go to be herself? He IS like the overprotective parent to Ace so how can he balance that with the danger he always seems to find? And Ace, now she has a family. We haven’t seen that family since this audio (as of September 2007, with #98 being out there but then there’s a surrogate brother for her in Hex—or is he brother material?) but that doesn’t mean she can’t go back there. She has something new, a family. And someone who actually wants her to come home. How does she cope with that? All excellent seeds for future development but they haven’t really been looked at in awhile… Here’s hoping Big Finish gets back to them soon!

Yeah, the ending is kinda kooky. Revenge on all of humanity? That’s just crazy. Jude is addicted to helping his brother? Co-dependent aliens. Okay, that’s where this thing just falls flat for me. Blah.

Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred

Writer: Joseph Lidster

Director: Jason Haigh-Ellery

Release: September 2002

Laura Vilensky 2019