Published on January 26th, 2010 | by Brian A Terranova
A Thousand Tiny Wings
Weâ€™ve all seen what would happen if the Doctor traveled through Time and Space with a companion that he got along with, but what if he were to have a companion that didnâ€™t share his ideals? A companion that resented him for their life and their world not happening as it should. A companion who would think nothing about killing him and restoring her life back on itâ€™s natural course just a easily as she would crush a beautiful flower beneath her feet. How would that work out for the Doctor? And would there be hope at all for said companion?
This month marks the start of this exact situation with part one of Big Finishâ€™s latest trilogy of stories, A Thousand Tiny Wings, by Andy Lane.
The Companion in Question? Dr Elizabeth Klein, last seen â€“ or heard â€“ in 2001â€™s Colditz. Played then and now by the very talented and completely engaging, Tracy Child. While the Seventh Doctor had Ace by his side the last time he met Dr Klein in Colditz Castle, this time he is alone. And with no friends by his side, meeting one of your old enemies canâ€™t be easy.
While hearing Colditz before listening to A Thousand Tiny Wings would be beneficial to get the full story, it is not required. The emotions and the details that are needed to understand their relationship is all nicely packaged inside this monthsâ€™ story.
A Thousand Tiny Wings takes place in Kenya in the 1950â€™s during the Mau Mau uprising. A situation that I knew little about to be honest but again no background is needed at all. It is a horrible situation and that is very apparent in the story telling. Add into the mix a past villain, a couple of aliens and a real Mau Mau threat and you have a very suspenseful tale that keeps you on your toes with a very uneasy feeling throughout.
The Doctor comes across a house with a band of women doing all they can to survive under these situations and trying to stay sane and civilized in the face of this threat. Among them is Dr. Klein, a woman who has grown more bitter about her situation over the last 20 or so years and yet, somehow has managed to find a new purpose in life. Her main goals are still in place, but her intentions in Kenya are far from these. When alien intervention and a strange ailment find their way to this house, it becomes a race for survival and real character study as to who your friends really are.
The cast of characters are well-realised and while some of their ideals maybe questionable it really sparks an interesting debate about life and beliefs. Pay attention to the character of Mrs Sylvia O’Donnell, played by Ann Bell, and the interactions between the Doctor, Sylvia and Dr Klein. I dare say that Dr Klein knows how to get under the Doctorâ€™s skin.
Weâ€™ve been seeing Bernice Summerfield actress Lisa Bowermanâ€™s name pop up more often in the director seat these days and I have come to learn that this means one thing – a good production. Her skill in this area is really impressive – Lisa knows how to tell a good story in the audio medium. Give her a script with a writer such as Andy Lane and watch the magic happen.
A Thousand Tiny Wings, is a though provoking tale of human nature and how extreme situations can bring out different facets of anyone, while at the same time it delivers on a science fiction level of threat as well. The best of both worlds wrapped up into one.
And letâ€™s not forget that the ongoing Companion Chronicles story The Three Companions continues this month with the next episode in the bonus episode The Hunter by Marc Platt. If youâ€™ve been following this story, you know you are in for a real treat already, but if you havenâ€™t I suggest you check it out!
Hear the trailer and purchase A Thousand Tiny Wings at www.bigfinish.com!