An auction house is offering the only known artefact to have
survived the destruction of the planet Halstad. Braxiatel
is keen to add this object to his collection, but he and Bernice
find their dealings are interrupted by an attempted murder...
When Big Finish produced Professor Summerfield's first audio
adventure back in 1998, they pulled off a master stroke with
their casting of Lisa Bowerman. Now they've done it again
with the voice of Benny's employer-cum-mentor Irving Braxiatel
being heard for the first time, as performed by Miles Richardson.
The actor, who portrayed a splendid Draconian in Reeltime's
Mindgame videos amongst several other roles in Doctor
Who spin-offs, imbues the character with a degree of solemnity
and aloofness that feels just right. As the plot unfolds and
business negotiations are overshadowed by harsh accusations
both from and about the vendors, Richardson conveys aspects
of acquisitiveness and amorality that give Benny an entirely
convincing reason to take issue with his apparent coldness.
It is certainly not a cosy companionship that these two characters
Parkin's script conjures up some of the auction room intrigue
of Property of a Lady, one of Ian Fleming's short stories
featuring James Bond. He also includes a far from pleasant
alien being whose role is similar to that of Ambassador Arcturus
in the Doctor Who serial The Curse of Peladon.
small cast is optimised by providing Bowerman with a dual
role. This is made into a plot point when a murder suspect
(Daniel Brennan) briefly believes that he recognises Benny
because she sounds uncannily like his deceased lover, who
is heard in the opening moments of the production.
plot runs out of steam shortly before it reaches its resolution,
but the strength of the drama lies in its showcasing of the
relationship between Benny and Braxiatel.