UNIT: Extinction by Andrew Smith and Matt Fitton (CD review).

January 17, 2016 | By | Reply More

‘UNIT: Extinction’ is the first boxed set presented by Big Finish after they got the licence to use the characters in new ‘Doctor Who’. Let’s start with the positives.


It’s great that this is integrated with the TV series and is marvellous to hear the characters of Kate Lethbridge-Stewart (Jemma Redgrave), the scientific officer, daughter of the more famous Brigadier and Osgood, the human pre-Missie intervention one. They come across well on the screen and it’s been fun seeing the new updated UNIT who still manage to be a bit useless. The premise of UNIT is that the task force looks after the Earth whilst the Doctor is not there which is, of course, most of the time. All this predates the later ret-conned ‘Torchwood’ which intertwines in the same ‘verse.

The plot is not revolutionary as, once again, we are treated to a nosy journalist who has no morals, the government trying to keep everything quiet with a dose of amnesia spray and the Nestene Consciousness trying to take over the world. The neat idea is the billionaire with the idea of selling a cheap 3D printer to every home on the planet and. yes. you can sort of see where this is going but it’s fun to join in the ride. It is also genuinely scary, even though it’s an audio and I liked the stress and tension caused by the story.

This is a good adventure about the UNIT with the introduction of several new characters including General Shindi played by Ramon Tickaram and this is a cracking update of the Auton ‘problem’ that crops up every few years well written by Andrew Smith and Matt Fitton, who are getting to be indispensable to the output and quality of Big Finish. I liked the characters and the leads were well supported by the cast who provided a variety of voices and interest. I was disappointed at the fate of certain characters, as it seemed they would be good to carry forward into the next story.

I do have some reservations about the quality of the production where, on some occasions, the acting was not leaving the page and I’m wondering if the scale of the Big Finish productions will see a drop in quality. It is true they are producing a whole lot more than ten years ago when I began reviewing them. I could keep up with the output then and now I need at least three of me.

Sue Davies

January 2016

(pub: Big Finish. 5 CDs 240 minute story. Price: CD: £30.00 (UK). Download: £25.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78178-612-3)

cast: Jemma Redgrave, Ingrid Oliver, Warren Brown, Ramon Tikaram, James Joyce, Steve John Shepherd, Karina Fernandez, Tracy Wiles, Derek Carlyle and Nicholas Briggs

check out website: www.bigfinish.com

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Category: Doctor Who, Music/Audio

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