Professor Bernice Summerfield and the Bone of Contention

Starring: Lisa Bowerman
Big Finish Productions
RRP 9.99
ISBN 1 84435 073 8
Available 10 September 2004

It's good to get away from the joys of motherhood once in a while. So when the Perloran government calls upon Bernice to recover a state treasure, she readily obliges. Trouble is, the previous government traded the artefact with the reptilian Galyari - and to the Galyari, a deal is a deal...

Blimey! It was only a few weeks ago that Bernice (Lisa Bowerman) was enjoying another break from her infant son Peter, and indeed from everyone else at the Braxiatel Collection, in Lance Parkin's novel The Big Hunt. It makes you wonder whether she's really cut out for motherhood. But of course she has a great mothering instinct, as is proven when a young Galyari boy latches on to her during the course of this story.

This CD continues the recent trend for uniting Benny with old Doctor Who monsters. This time, however, the monsters aren't that old. They are the nomadic Galyari race from Simon A. Forward's 2002 Sixth Doctor audio drama, The Sandman. The return of these fascinating creatures is very welcome, though sometimes their modulated voices are rather difficult to comprehend.

Another blast from the past, though not a deliberate one this time, is the character of the trader Mordecan (played by Lisa Bowerman's big brother Robin). His unscrupulous free-market ethics are unfortunately similar to those of Arkadian from Big Finish's Gallifrey series.

This is an enjoyable enough little tale, though the revelation surrounding the Galyari child is not really surprising at all, given that he is said to suffer from a bone condition.

Richard McGinlay

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