DIY Sheep versus Doctor Who and everybody else

Not the BBV














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I didn’t quite know where to place the BBV. It is not an official Doctor Who, but knowing just what Doctor Who people can do when deprived of official sanction amazes me (and knowing what horror they can inflict with official sanction also amazes me – I have seen Scream of the Shalka).

 

If Michael hadn’t cancelled it all in 1989 we wouldn’t have this problem. But he did and eventually people stopped sending letters and writing bad songs and got shirty and said ‘well stuff you, if you aren’t going to do it – I will’. And they did – and the fan audio was born. And then even the actors got a bit shirty and said ‘well if you pay me, I’ll do it’ and the BBV was born.

 

I have to ask, what other show would have its own actors coming back to work in fan productions – and fan productions written and produced by people who had or were going to work in a professional capacity. There are stories written by Lawrence Miles and Rob Shearman for god’s sake – and starring Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Colin Baker and Nick Courtney. There may be a bit of gurning, but it is gurning done on a professional level.

 

Sylvester and Sophie: just as you remember them

 

They may only be The Professor and Ace, but their chemistry could blow up the lab. Ace just teeters on NA protective Ace and whining snotty teenager TV Ace. I could practically see her scuffing her Docs and fingering the nitro nine as she scowls at the Doctor’s back. 

 

And Syl: Well I’ve never considered looking at Sylvester as a potential steak or an out of work interior decorator before, but I am glad I did. By gum they get a good performance out of him. There is no over the top gurning and no high pitched screaming that seems to be indicative of the Big Finish audios – even in The Master. He just gives a beautiful even performance that fuses the NA Doc with the TV one in that his performance has gravitas with a dash of ferret stuffing thrown in. 

 

Spooky Manor

 

The story is a groovy ghost story set in a spooky house full of spooky, yet witty people who just happen to be dead. Cicely is brilliant. She is always going on about ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’…. I fully expected her to start sending people to Java at some point. She is complemented by her nasty little brother Howard: popping in to the drawing room a la anyone for tennis and saying witty things like ‘I’m horribly psychic’. There is also an American, but he soon dies horribly, so it is all right.

 

They don’t write them like that any more

 

The script is so good that it makes me want to write things about ‘fine wines’, ‘rich and fruity’ and ‘sheer happy little moments of cleverness’ – but I won’t because that would be wanky and would do a disservice to the story. It has a lovely feel of unpretentiousness about it. Big Finish always seems a bit loud - trying just a bit too hard, but this one is just a little interlude in the life of the Prof and Ace.

 

A lovely gentle, slightly creepy story.

 

And I’ll buy the bloke who did the sound a drink any day.