Something Inside (#83)

Big Finish Main Range

This one is up and down a bit and the whole cube concept parallels the movie The Cube. There’s something inside killing the people but with a psionic power angle to it all instead. There are admittedly some intensely grotesque sound effects with people’s heads turning inside out. Ewwww. Rawden is totally crazy after all. He accuses people of lying and his paranoia takes over. He ends up being a traitor to humans and a coward. The reasoning keeps going back and forth, in circles. They’re all in the cube and sooner or later, someone will break in and see what’s in there. What happens if the prison collapses before the Brainworm dies?

This villain is similar to the non-corporeal entity in Baxendale’s other adventure, The Dark Flame. Very powerful and unstoppable unless the Doctor manages to stop them, of course. The Doctor has the answers once he gets his memories back. But C’Rizz and Charley are just around to ask the questions and keep the story moving along. Tessa has to heal C’Rizz’s injuries, allowing the Doctor access to the Brainworm. The music in this one is a trifle overdone, setting the scene and the emotions of it far more than it should need to. When I notice music in films and audio adventures, it takes me out of the story because I realize that it’s there to manipulate my emotions. The music comes to the forefront far too much in this audio and there seems to be a whole series of them in a row that’s had that problem, starting with Pier Pressure. It’s a bit over the top and distracting for the story and just keeps it from flowing as well as it could.

The story pulled me in right away with the torture of the Doctor starting it all off but the mysterious Brainworm that is revealed to be killing people just isn’t very threatening, honestly. It only kills the people with psionic powers throughout the story, always chasing Charley and C’Rizz but never catching up. And something that kills for thought, shouldn’t it have the speed of thought? It sure moves pretty slowly around the cube after people. Maybe these are minor details but many times, the conversation just goes in strange directions. Sure these people are being hunted and killed but they seem rational enough. Then they don’t seem rational at times, especially the ones in charge who aren’t being hunted! How exactly does Rawden even know about the brain worm since Tessa shut down the internal sensors? Why does the Brainworm bother to teleport C’Rizz outside of the cube and not just the Doctor? If the TARDIS is the way out, it just needs to hide in Charley or C’Rizz’s mind until they leave in the TARDIS and it’ll be free. The logic of how things work out just weaves like a drunken man on holiday. So while the concept has its moments, the story falls down to a three jelloid rating.

Paul McGann, India Fisher, and Conrad Westmaas

Writer: Trevor Baxendale

Director: Nicholas Briggs

Release: June 2006

Laura Vilensky 2019