The Second Doctor, Jamie, Ben and Polly find themselves the victims of something that many of us have had to deal with in the past: their vehicle has been clamped. Or, more accurately, the TARDIS has.
Heading into the nearest bank, the time travellers seek a loan in order to pay their fine and be on their way but that’s when the Selachians turn up to “rob the joint” and things go from worse to worse…
The last Companion Chronicle was quite a sober story and so, in a big contrast, author Steve Lyons has written a fun, adventure filled romp for all to enjoy. The Selachian Gambit takes monsters that he came up with for the BBC books range and recently used for the Seventh Doctor Big Finish story The Architects of History and does he ever utilise them in the most appropriate fashion. Taking the base-under-siege scenario that quite a few of Patrick Troughton’s television stories used, Lyons cleverly converts this premise to a bank-under-siege tale, which not only gives the story an up to date feel but also gives the Selachians an awful lot to do.
Fraser Hines keeps the pace going, wonderfully impersonating Patrick Troughton and Michal Craze. To say that this actor did not pay attention to his colleagues when he was working with the in the 60’s would be a complete lie. Lines are delivered with impeccable timing and mannerisms are meticulously recreated.
Anneke Wills provides a second voice to give Hines a break, telling her side of the story from inside the bank and then from an outside perspective as she is released in negotiations. Although her storytelling is strong she is definitely a more notably changed narrator than Hines, her voice now carries an authority and depth that it didn’t when she was travelling the Universe with the Doctor.
But small gripes aside The Selachian Gambit is a fun filled romp for all to enjoy, maybe not the most essential Big Finish release to ever make the grade but then that’s not quite what it’s designed to do. Sit back and get lost with this in 50 minutes of nostalgia.
The Selachian Gambit is available now from www.bigfinish.com on CD for £8.99 or via download for £7.99.