Saturday 4 May 2013

The Selachian Gambit, by Steve Lyons (Big Finish Companion Chronicle)

Being written by Steve Lyons, one could be pretty confident that The Selachian Gambit would turn out to be good story. It is also about the Selachians, which is a treat. The Selachians are such a brilliant monster. They have a strong visual image, combined with distinctive voices that work very well on audio. They also have an interesting similarity to the Daleks; being fish, they are small pathetic creatures that dress up in armoured suits to make themselves intimidating.

Like so many Second Doctor stories, The Selachian Gambit is a base-under-siege. However, it is an interesting one because the base in question is a bank. This is a story about a bank robbery, with all the tension and drama that goes with that. It must be said that this is a brilliant re-creation of Season 4, with the fun and creativity that went with that season, a creativity that seemed to dry up in the more generic Season 5. This audio combines action and humour very well, as well as a little social critique.

The Selachian Gambit was performed by Frazer Hines, with additional voice acting and extra narration from Anneke Wills. Hines does a wonderful job of re-creating Troughton's voice. He also captures Michael Craze's vocal mannerisms quite well; though I actually enjoyed Anneke Will's impersonation of Ben rather more. I like the fact that Hines, rather than Wills provides the voice for Lady Sylvia. This is appropriate given that Season 4 was the one in which Troughton went in drag (as also seen in Lyons Second Doctor novel The Murder Game).

The Selachian Gambit is blessed with a lively score that captures both the sense of menace and the fun and nostalgia for the early Second Doctor era. I would highly recommend this audio.

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