the fringes of the Draconian Empire, an entire planet's population
has committed suicide. Bernice is surprised when the Empire
calls upon her services as an archaeologist, because Draconians
don't usually care for humans, and they value females even
with this being Doctor Who's anniversary year, the
Bernice Summerfield series seems to have gone old monster
mad. Benny's previous adventure, The Bellotron Incident,
featured the Rutans. This one showcases the Draconians, while
the next one, The Poison Seas, will have the Sea Devils
in it. Perhaps Big Finish acquired the rights to the Draconians
and the Sea Devils in some sort of reptilian job lot from
the estate of their creator Malcolm Hulke!
they appeared in only one television story, Frontier in
Space, the noble Draconians have remained fan favourites,
and have featured in several comic strips, novels and spin-off
videos. Miles Richardson, alias Irving Braxiatel, portrayed
an excellent Draconian in those very videos, Mindgame
and Mindgame: Trilogy, so Big Finish has missed a bit
of an opportunity by not having the actor play a dual role
in this story! Writer Trevor Baxendale captures the uneasy
cultural differences that exist between the reptilian race
and the human race by means of some witty dialogue and situations.
turn nasty when an adversary from Doctor Who's more
recent past is brought into play (though it is not, as I mistakenly
believed when a skull was mentioned, the Fendahl). Like The
Bellotron Incident, this tale involves elements from both
a TV story and a previous Big Finish audio drama, though sadly
not one of the greatest ones.
CD runs to about ten minutes longer than its stated 65 minutes,
but unfortunately this does not mean that you get more plot
for your money. The conclusion is let down badly by an excess
of discussion, most of which revolves around a single subject,
just when the drama doesn't need a prolonged talky bit.
had my reservations about Baxendale's previous effort for
Big Finish, the Doctor Who audio adventure The Dark
Flame, which also featured Bernice. I'm afraid I'm even
less impressed with this one.