Doctor Who
The Maltese Penguin

Starring: Colin Baker
Big Finish Productions
RRP 9.99
ISBN 1 903654 90 4, BFPDWCDSS3
Available now

It's just another day on the mean streets for Frobisher, private-eye penguin. But then a drop-dead gorgeous dame walks into his office, offering him a case he just can't refuse. Well, he could refuse, but he has his rent to consider...

Frobisher - hooray! Dogbolter - hurrah! This little adventure is a nostalgic treat for fans of the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip during the Sixth Doctor's era, particularly his very first strip, The Shape Shifter. Robert Jezek, who previously portrayed the whifferdill in The Holy Terror, reprises his role here, while Toby Longworth brings the villainous character of Josiah W. Dogbolter to life. Longworth adopts an appropriately seedy and guttural tone of voice as the callous, frog-like industrialist, although he does sometimes end up sounding like Rowley Birkin from The Fast Show!

This is a comic escapade in more ways than one. Robert Shearman's script lampoons the hard-boiled detective genre to perfection, complete with its first-person narration by Frobisher, which is often amusingly at odds with the less poetic events of the main storyline. The atmosphere is accentuated by appropriate-sounding music from David Darlington, while Alistair Lock does a splendid impersonation of Peter Lorre in his role as the corrupt cop Chandler. Add to this a dual role played by Colin Baker, and you have an aural treat.

Previously released only to Big Finish subscribers, The Maltese Penguin is now available in stores, and it's well worth p-p-p-picking up.

Richard McGinlay


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