Doctor WhoMusic/Audio

Dark Season: Legacy Rising by Chris Chapman, James Goss, Russell T Davies and Tim Foley (audio review)

Following the audiobook release of the original series of ‘Dark Season’ in 2021, it has come to pass that that the incredibly overworked Russell T Davies has collaborated with Big Finish on a completely new series of adventures. Not only that but he wrote the closing story of the four. Not sure how he fits everything in unless he’s a sleepless Zygon.

Thirty years on, we have three new investigators. Nina Lewis (Bethany Antonia) and Jack Parton (Jacob Dudman) are already close friends but, when they go to the library, they meet Taylor Sullivan (Aitch Wylie). Taylor knows all about the history of the school. Their mother lived through the worst of it and Taylor is determined that the three of them will become a team; though it might take some time. Their mum, Reet (Kate Winslet), was part of a group of friends who saved the school thirty years ago and she’s always on the alert for weirdness.

Spring by Tim Foley    

When her friend, Daria, ends up in hospital, Nina is determined to visit her and is shocked by what she finds. When she tells Jack, they go to the library to hit the books and happen to meet Taylor, who’s filling in for the librarian, Miss Maitland (Lu Corfield). A new Scooby gang is born and they follow the trail of Daria, who apparently called at house the previous night that just happens to be occupied by a new supply teacher. Except the teacher, Mrs Horrocks (Chandrika Chevil), denies all knowledge.

Summer by Chris Chapman    

Its showtime and everyone wants to be on screen. A reality show has chosen Bishop Grave School as its new star. Everyone gets to audition to see if they can make the A class. Taylor has more sense and they know what this can lead to. Reality shows are intrusive and demanding. The school’s in trouble again.

Autumn by James Goss    

Everybody loves Chance (Jordan Broatch) as he’s a great friend to have. Meanwhile, there are special classes for the super-talented but somehow it doesn’t appeal to Taylor. They are far too tuned to the unnatural vibes in the school to get sucked in. Soon, it seems, she’s in a class of her own.

Winter by Russell T Davies    

Winter is coming and the dark times are on their way. It’s up to friends old and new to beat back the monsters again.

Some very talented writers have produced some jolly good yarns that hit the zeitgeist when it comes to current technological and social worries. The interactions between the young people are clever with all three of them having unique characteristics that play off against each other. I enjoyed the stories and warmed rapidly to the team. The final episode is particularly poignant and will appeal to fans of the original series. The extra hour of cast interviews and chat about reunions is great fun. It was a coup to get the original star, Kate Winslet, to come back and reprise her first TV role, too.

Sue Davies

July 2023

(pub: Big Finish, 2023. 5 CDs 365 minutes. Price: £37.99 (UK).  ISBN: 978-1-80240-074-8. Download: £29.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-80240-075-5) 

cast: Kate Winslet, Victoria Lambert, Bethany Antonia, Ben Chandler, Lu Corfield, Jacob Dudman, Brigit Forsyth, Grant Parsons, Aitch Wylie, Ian Abeysekera, Jordan Broatch, Chandrika Chevli, Saffron Coomber, Carlie Enoch, Lewis Grimshaw, Jason Hogan, Hanna Khogali, Shai Matheson, Charlie Norton, David Sibley, Liz Sutherland-Lim and Ryan Wiggins

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