Doctor Who
The Rapture

Starring: Sylvester McCoy
Big Finish Productions
RRP 13.99
ISBN 1 903654 74 2, BFPDWCD7V
Available now

The Doctor takes Ace to Ibiza, 1997, for some much-needed recreation. However, their holiday plans are disrupted by the presence of a young man who carries a photograph of Ace, and two "angels" who are intent upon "saving the souls" of the island's hedonistic party-goers...

This double CD certainly boasts some inventive gimmicks. For a start, there's the compilation album style sleeve design. And appropriately enough, this dance-club-based adventure features an appealing club-style mix of the Doctor Who theme. In addition, there's the presence of Tony Blackburn (who recently gained extra kudos by winning I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!) in a self-parodying role as both himself and a sinister hallucination. "He's a celebrity," the high-ups at Big Finish (possibly) said, "get him in there!"

You cannot tell a story about rave culture without at least acknowledging the use of recreational drugs. This is an adult theme that would have been difficult, if not impossible, to have tackled on the Doctor Who TV show, even though writer Joseph Lidster ensures that his is a cautionary tale.

Ace (Sophie Aldred), currently going by her real name, Dorothy Gale McShane, also seems more grown-up on this occasion. It's nice to see that Robert Perry and Mike Tucker's suggestion for Dorothy's surname (Gale, which conflicted with the more widely established McShane) has now been assimilated into the continuity. Meanwhile Liam (played by David John, who appeared in the final TV serial Survival in 1989), the young man with Ace's photograph, has a refreshingly down-to-earth motivation. Such maturity of characterisation and subject matter is exactly the sort of thing that Andrew Cartmel was aiming for during his tenure as the TV series' final script editor.

This might not be the most eventful adventure to have come from the Big Finish stable, but it nevertheless marks another effective use of the audio medium. And as a bonus, there are some instrumental tracks at the end of the second disc.

Richard McGinlay

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