Kicking off Big Finish’s special releases this month is the very exciting and very epic UNIT: Dominion with not only the return of UNIT but also quite a few familiar faces from different story arcs over the last ten years.
UNIT: Dominion isn’t just a follow up to the UNIT miniseries from nearly a decade ago but also a continuation of the Elizabeth Klein story and the Raine Creevy story – not to mention a small addition to Ace’s time after she left the Seventh Doctor. Sound confusing?
Well don’t worry because the storytelling for this adventure doesn’t leave anyone out in the cold. In fact, it’s a testament to all involved that if you sit down to enjoy this tale, you won’t find anything too continuity heavy as explanations are short and sweet. In fact with so much going on and with Big Finish deciding to merge several different character arcs, it’s surprising that this box set isn’t bigger.
The Doctor and Raine find themselves on Earth helping UNIT with an extra dimensional threat but they’re not alone, as a another Doctor is on hand to help, this one is in the form of Alex Macqueen (The Thick of It, The Inbetweeners) and boy is he good. In fact before the Seventh Doctor can get to Earth, it’s up to this new and unknown incarnation to take hold of the reigns and fend off the initial attacks that Earth suffers, which he does with aplomb. Macqueen’s take on the Doctor is arrogant, smug, self assured, vein, helpful, angry and clever all in a few breaths and he nails exactly what is is to be a Time Lord aeons of years old. There’s weariness to his take on the Doctor that one could actually see coming true, more self-involved, self-aware and self-pitying after centuries of encountering evil. There are moments where he saves the day and moments where he saves himself, all of which lead to several awkward conversations between he and the Seventh Doctor, who ironically did not see this future coming.
Caught in-between two Time Lords, an alien invasion and some rather idiotic UNIT soldiers is poor old Elizabeth Klein, who has been through more than most Doctor Who villains have to endure. She’s now UNIT’s scientific adviser, filling the role that the Doctor left behind, but she’s not doing all that well with her mental health. She’s convinced that the “umbrella man” has been watching her (who could that be we wonder?) and the paranoia that has come from that has the former Nazi from an alternative timeline doubting herself and questioning her reasoning. It makes for great drama and her story arc is given a great push forward in this story.
We also have the TARDIS team from another forgotten timeline, that of the unmade Season 27, containing the Seventh Doctor and Raine. Whilst Raine popped up in several Lost Stories last year, it’s here where we can start to gauge her usefulness to the Doctor and golly if the girl doesn’t do brilliantly! She’s brave, funny, courageous and not afraid to speak her mind, she more than helps to save the day. She also deals effortlessly with two Time Lords, UNIT troops, Elizabeth Klein and a multitude of monsters. Based on Dominion, we’d like more of her in the future please.
UNIT: Dominion is a brilliant follow up to the original spin off series that Big Finish created many years ago. It brings together a multitude of storylines from various adventures and pays off well to repeat listeners while at the same time taking care not to alienate newcomers attracted to this lovingly-crafted and highly affordable box set.
All in all, a great way to dip your toes into the world of Big Finish Doctor Who specials.
UNIT: Dominion is available from www.bigfinish.com now!