Sunday, June 22, 2008

Side Trip - U.N.I.T: "Time Heals"

See, I told you I'd put something up one way or the other. I haven't given up hope for a Sapphire and Steel segment, but U.N.I.T's better than nothing. Nothing exotic in the way of food or drink this morning. Just some coffee and waffles. I guess I should be responsible and say it's because it's way too early to drink but really I just didn't go out and buy any beer last night.

As a reminder, Gallifrey 20 is currently taking early registration for the con that happens next February 13th thru the 15th. You might think I'm pointing out the obvious, but some people apparently still didn't know that the paypal link was up and running. No new guest announcements outside of the original release.

Speaking of conventions Chicago TARDIS has added Lis Sladen to its lineup. Or as a generation of male Who fans call her, "Sweet, Sweet Sarah Jane".

The first episode of Benny season 9, "Beyond the Sea", has been released. Also up is the cover for the third audio with guest star David Warner as Mycroft Holmes.

Well, some of you may remember that I did a side trip involing "The Coup" late last year. To bring you up to speed U.N.I.T narrowly avoided getting folded into some new alien fighting deal when The Brig showed the world that indeed aliens are coming to bring peace, love and moist towelettes. You might also remember that I wasn't all that impressed but that I couldn't make up my mind whether it was the writing or the acting. But some guy thought it was neat enough to translate the post into German so it's all good.

"Time Heals" opens with the ever riveting press conference where Colonel Chaudhry is trying to convince the public that the transport of nuclear weapons is actually safe. And of course it all goes pear shaped in a manner of seconds after she's told the public it's safe. Michael Hobbs returns as Francis Currie and I'm sure soon enough U.N.I.T is going to want to rough him up like ISIS did in "The Coup". A quick trip to the scene finds that all the men are knocked out, the CO is missing, and to top it off an alien spaceship has gone missing along with the CO.

Now why the public relations officer for U.N.I.T is second in charge is a bit of a mystery to me. That would be like making CJ Cregg Chief of Staff.... Oh wait, they did that too. Nevermind that rant. U.N.I.T starts to go all CSI for a moment and then Chaudhry complains about having to report to the government and wonders if the day could get any worse. Clearly no one has taught her about Murphy's Law as we then hear a train get attacked.

Ya!!! It's Nick Courtney as The Brigadier as he's trying to enjoy his retirement. No such luck as the phone rings and The Brig has lost some time apparently.

In another story entirely we get some scientists wondering if they've tampered in God's domain. Well, at least the lead scientist is wondering about tampering in God's domain while his assistant is too busy sucking up to him.

It looks like Currie is the only reporter in the whole of the UK. And he's not a very good one as his opening monologue is full of cliches and melodrama. Insert laughter as Chaudhry calls him a responsible journalist. Then insert more cliches as Chaudhry and her underpants gnome complain about journalists being sharks.

Back to the scientists who not only can't believe it's not butter but can't believe they're allowed to play around on a space ship.

U.N.I.T is apparently a bunch of wusses as they need to wear masks as they walk around the numerous corpses. Time has gone all wibbley wobbley as watches stopped after the crash and one of the trains is a good forty miles from where it should've been.

I understand from a budget standpoint the need for small casts, but from a listening standpoint it's a bit of bother as we're stuck listening to numerous one-sided phone conversations or bits with the Brig yelling at the TV. Chaudhry spouts more cliches about government officials and one has to wonder if that's the only way she can talk. Surely one needs a big vocabulary and decent grasp of language to be a press officer. Sadly I haven't seen any of that from Chaudhry yet.

The scientists mess with God's domain again as they use the technology from the stolen space ship to create their own transporter. They create another bit of timey whimey wibbly wobbly this time with all the ATM's spitting out money for no good reason. While rescuing some cops Chaudhry meets up with her new CO, a Colonel Dalton who complains in cliches just like Chaudhry. Apparently they teach British military officers this. Or more likely the writing for this audio is crap.

More bits with the U.N.I.T gang being squemish around the corpses as they've got all bits of stuff welded into their bodies. Man I never see stuff as fun as this at work. We get a odd bit of boy/girl talk as Chaudhry and Hoffman talk about their dating plans or lack thereof. Good to know they're focused on the matter at hand.

Speaking of getting laid the scientists complain about not getting any because they're nerds. Clearly they haven't hung around Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking. Then the young one convinces the old one to continue the experiments.

More disasters, more bits with The Brig talking to himself, and more bits with Chaudhry being bitchy to Dalton before we get more bits with Currie being all melodramatic. You've got Nick Courtney but you can't be bothered to put him into a scene with anyone? Whinge and you shall receive as we get at least a phone conversation between The Brig and Chaudhry.

ISIS is still apparently around as young scientist has been working for them and spying on old scientist. U.N.I.T makes it to their lab while another bit of U.N.I.T gets diverted to where a nuclear sub is about to go tits up. Dalton is clearly not a member of Green Peace as he suggests sending the sub out to sea. Back with old scientist dude and apparently the direction was to play the scene bland on his part as he decides to go up in flames in the remnants of his lab after giving U.N.I.T a parting gift.

A cheap bit of deus ex machina as the sub just happened to have a little research vessel that allowed Dalton to survive sinking the nuclear sub. His tagline quickly becomes how it's easier to get shot in Syria than serve in U.N.I.T.

Sadly a great concept but a bit of a crap script that's supposed to be the beginning of a four part series. Horrible use of the cast, especially Nick Courtney. You've got an icon within the world of Who and you relegate him to acting with himself. Also the knowledge that they had a small cast somehow became a hinderance for the writers, Iain McLaughlin and Claire Bartlett. Way too much usage of phone conversations and soliliquays to get around the lack of people. The Bernice Summerfield series has proven time and again how you can do an expansive story with just four people. Which of course makes this audio all the more sadder to listen to because Big Finish had a proven track record of doing things on a grand scale with a small base.

Powered by ScribeFire.

No comments: