This 5 disc ‘Doctor Who: UNIT: Dominion Boxset’ is four episodes and a whole disc of extras. Another excellent product of the studios at Big Finish. They like to dream big and this spin-off from the main range follows on from recent productions that wowed including ‘Counter Measures’ and ‘Gallifrey’. This has lively references to the old ‘Doctor Who’ tales and brings UNIT slap bang into the twenty-first century. The Seventh Doctor is accompanied by Raine, his companion who never made it to the TV series but has been in the Big Finish version of the ‘Lost Stories’.
There are four episodes which form a continuing narrative and involve UNIT on Earth and the Doctor with Raine in an alternative dimension. UNIT’s scientific adviser is now Elizabeth Klein, a version of a woman who spent a lot of time with the Seventh Doctor in a now erased reality. This one helps protect the Earth, unlike the other one who worked to restore the German Third Reich to power in the galaxy…keep up people. Klein is haunted by the thought that the umbrella man, the Doctor, is constantly observing her. She’s very surprised to meet another Doctor who has a completely different attitude and quite a positive personality. He’s here to help as the Earth is under threat of a major invasion. Only this Doctor can save the Earth but what will happen when the Seventh makes it through the portal?
With some amazing special effects, including the giant floating Skyheads (got to love those), this is a feast for the ears. Tracey Childs is magnificent as the bemused Elizabeth Klein and Alexander McQueen bestrides the Earth like a Colossus as the alternative Doctor.
I’m not going into detail on the plot, as the stories follow on from each other but they are all entertaining with an over-arcing narrative thread which delivers very satisfactorily at the end.
There is some classic interaction with the main characters and the whole thing is a blast from beginning to end. The introduction of Klein and the alternative Doctor really give the story momentum and, by the end, you want to listen all over again. If you haven’t heard any of Elizabeth Klein previous audios, you won’t be at too much of a loss but they are all worth listening. ‘Colditz’ starts them off with ‘The Architects Of History’, drawing a time-line to a close.
‘UNIT: Dominium’ is written by Nicholas Briggs and Jason Arnopp with direction by Briggs. It’s an interesting diversion from the main ‘Doctor Who’ releases and certainly has legs. After the success of ‘Counter Measures’, it’s good that there is some additional and rather inventive output to keep us going.
(pub: Big Finish. 5 CDs 300 minute story. Price: CD: £40.00 (UK), Download: £35.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-976-9)
cast: Sylvester McCoy, Tracey Childs, Beth Chalmers, Alex Macqueen, Julian Dutton, Bradley Gardner,Miranda Keelin, Ben Porter, Sam Clemens, Alex Mallinson and Sophie Aldred
check out website: www.bigfinish.com