Saturday 4 April 2015

Fit for legacy: Big Finish Doctor Who novel adaptations

I'm a bit torn on Big Finish doing adaptations of the New Adventures novels. On the one hand the two they've done so far were good, The Highest Science especially, and its cool that a new generation of fans are being given a chance to experience these hard-to-find stories. On the other hand I'd really like it to be possible for a wide audience to experience these stories as novels, the way they were originally intended, especially as there are so many that can't be adapted because necessary cast members have passed on (Blood Heat, Happy Endings, The Dying Days and Eternity Weeps to name a few). 
Theatre of War
I know its a pretty minor aspect of the novel but I wonder if they'll do something with the Benny and Brax stuff at the beginning that reflects their future together. Aside from that I really don't remember much about this one but its by Justin Richards who was one of the more dependable wilderness years authors.
All-Consuming Fire
I've only listened to a couple of Big Finish's Sherlock Holmes range but I am interested to see how Nicholas Briggs' Holmes works out in this one. Its a cool genre mash-up, though I hope some of the more problematic aspects (there's a hell of a hash-up in the book about the differences between Islam and Hinduism) get ironed out in editing.

Actually, what interests me about these first two choices are they involve New Ace, the older space marine version of the character which Big Finish have historically had a lot of trouble with. This isn't unexpected, after all his version of the character developed without the actress' involvement. That said, the two previous attempts at New Ace on audio were tribute acts and these are the original source material. Not that the source material was always that good where New Ace was concerned.
I have read Nightshade but I don't really remember it that well. I remember enjoying it but that's about it. Its a pre-Bernice book, an interesting choice because that was a sort of developmental phase where the series hadn't really settled on a tone. Not necessarily a bad choice, mind you, I could do without every adaptation being one of the Dark Doctor type stories.
Original Sin
Probably the one I'm looking forward to the most: Chris and Roz's origin story featuring the return of one of the TV series' most interesting villains (no spoilers, though they will have to re-cast). One of the Virgin line's biggest selling points was its detailed and consistent future history and I'm looking forward to seeing how the 30th century mega-cities come across on audio.
untitled fifth novel
Okay, maybe its going to be something completely out of left field since it isn't listed as starring Sylvester McCoy (Vampire Science? A man can dream) but let's assume its a New Adventure for the time being.

Its three discs so either its a long novel or one they didn't want to cut too much. For my money I'd guess either Human Nature (absolutely iconic); The Also People (long and complicated and awesome) or So Vile A Sin (stupidly hard to find and ridiculously expensive if you do). That said, I'm always suspicious when a company asks for pre-order money without revealing the title, so it might be something like bloody Parasite or Falls The Shadow.

Could be Deceit, I suppose, if they want to have another crack at New Ace then doing her origin story might help give Sophie Aldred some context for her performance. 

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