Zagreus (#50)

Big Finish Main Range

I don’t give “credit” to Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy, and Colin Baker because they’re not playing the Doctor, per se... Though at the end, they kind of are. It’s the Doctor and his companions I list as playing in the audio, with occasional mention of a guest star of note for an audio. Would they qualify? Possibly. But I just don’t feel this whole audio deserves it anyway. It annoyed me—it’s just a way to get more names in there, companions and Doctors. I like that they all get in there but it’s a bit distracting as I’m thinking about identifying who that is speaking instead of just paying attention to the story.

To keep track of the story, I’ll do a quick summary. Charley is hiding from the Doctor in the TARDIS as he’s Zagreus and hunting her. The TARDIS has her go through some scenarios to find out more about the divergents—a science experiment gone wrong where the divergents are trying to get into our universe on earth, a time on Gallifrey where the divergents try to come into our universe, a war in Uncle Winkies fantasy land at the end of the universe when the divergents try to come into our universe. What is she learning? Well, ultimately, how to stop the divergents and how they are the creatures who Rassilon genetically engineered out of our universe/reality. They kind of toss that out without making a big deal of it, that’s for sure!

Rassilon does turn out to be quite the bad guy, the universe’s ultimate deranged creator who hates change. The divergents are certainly the rebirth of the universe as something new. Or are they? The story unravels slowly and bit convolutedly. Zagreus is anti-time and all powerful. Rassilon argues against the dictator ruling the universe and yet, he is the dictator. Their duty is to inevitability of events, says Romana. Rassilon joins the divergents in their universe.

Nice effect with the Zagreus voice. And it’s all based on the adventures of Alice by Lewis Carroll. Zero matter throws all kinds of Alice jibberish at Zagreus. How do the companions forge this link with the Doctor? It’s love yet it isn’t. It’s more continuous and strange and strong. Like love but different. The conclusion is a bit melodramatic. The music, the speeches, the goodbyes. Both the Doctor and Charley alive after not being alive, being a paradox. Ultimately, this tale is good but just spends so much time on the buildup that it makes me glad a 3 CD set is a rare thing! They just had too much leeway to not get there and though the fanciful flights of imagination were interesting, it didn’t make much of a difference to the ending as far as I could see. Thus just 3 jelloids out of 5.

Paul McGann, Lalla Ward, and India Fisher

Writers: Alan Barnes and Gary Russell

Director: G-Russell

Release: November 2003

Laura Vilensky 2019