Every year, Lankester sails from Madagascar to New
Orleans and back again. Every year, without exception, regular
as clockwork. The ship is never behind schedule. Her cargo
is always fresh. This trip, though, she has passengers. The
passengers have baggage. And that baggage might just be enough
to sink her...
Originally issued free to Big Finish subscribers whose subscriptions
Lives, this single-disc drama, like the previous
Maltese Penguin and Her
Final Flight, stars Colin Baker as the Sixth
Doctor. Should Baker be insulted that Big Finish keeps giving
his stories away, or flattered that his incarnation is considered
popular enough to be used for such promotional items (what
my old Economics teacher told me are called loss leaders)?
Cryptobiosis is now available to buy individually,
while stocks last.
Baker is joined by his Final Flight co-star Nicola
Bryant as Peri. According to its production code (as opposed
to Big Finish's web page, which is clearly in error) this
story, by Elliot Thorpe, is supposedly set between The
Two Doctors and Timelash. However, Peri's
repartee with the Doctor feels a little later than that. Sure,
the Doctor is still a bit caustic, but Peri doesn't whine
half as much as she did during Season 22. Personally, I would
have placed this story between Seasons 22 and 23.
production is marred slightly by a rather obvious plot "twist"
involving a poorly passenger, Amy (Naomi Paxton) - but I won't
spoil it for you, just in case - and, more seriously, by some
over-the-top acting from Tony Beck as Chief Mate De Requin.
If you listen to the CD, you'll wonder what I'm blathering
on about to begin with, as Beck's performance starts off very
well, which makes his eventual descent into scenery-chewing
even more of a pity.
is it entirely clear what becomes of De Requin in the end.
I've listened several times, but I'm still not sure.
In other respects, though, this is a decent enough little
voyage. As ever, Baker and Bryant deliver the goods, and they
are always fresh.