Paper Cuts (2009)

Following on from Patient Zero we have another story that manages to not answer the question that we all want answered. In this story we have the return of the Draconians who made their only appearance in the 1973 Jon Pertwee story Frontier in Space. This story wasn’t just Frontier in Space 2 but it did help give a bit more insight into Draconians and their beliefs. The Big Finish guys have done well in bringing back monsters that only appeared once in the TV show and justifying it. They did it with the Toymaker (The Magic Mousetrap – 2009), The Eight Legs (The Eight Truths – 2009), Autons (Brave New Town – 2008) and the Wirrn (Wirrn Dawn – 2009). The cliffhanger from Patient Zero was resolved very quickly and then we learn that the TARDIS has e-mail which isn’t something that would have been likely in 1986.

The thing about the Draconians is that they are not far removed from Japanese culture. They all believe in honour and respect. It would have been easy to set this on Draconia and link it to the events of Frontier in Space but Marc Platt doesn’t go for the easy path but sets the characters on a ship which is essentially a tomb for a ruler that died. Except that he hasn’t actually died but is been kept alive for all time, to me that’s slightly creepy. I liked the Origami soldiers that are lethal but are made of paper.

The characters in this story were very interesting. I particularly liked the Queen Mother character who was within a whisker of being a typical evil mother that manipulates people to get what she thinks she’s entitled to. Sara Crowe played the Queen Mother and also the Tomb Keeper which was a weird character and totally fooled me that it was essentially the same character. I also liked the Prince who knew what he was going to get but for some reason was unwilling to wait three days. Anthony Glennon did well with this character and made it along with the Queen Mother characters one of the reasons why this was a good story.

My only issue wit this story was with the final episode. The first three episodes seem to move along at a good pace with a lot of interesting things going on. However for some reason I found the final part to be dragging. Paper Cuts wasn’t a story that I was holding out much hope for. I think because Patient Zero was going to be a good opener and nothing was going to happen until Blue Forgotten Planet so this was a simple story about a familiar character. Marc Platt has been knocking out stories consistently over the last few years with varying levels of success. I think that at the end of this story I would class it on the good side of things.

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