The Settling (2006)

The Settling is a very enjoyable story. Its only the second story in the Big Finish range (that I’m aware of!) that is a purely historical story with no alien force or invasion involved. The first was The Marian Conspiracy (2000) which was a brilliant story. This story is very good but for different reason. It’s the story that shows us what Hex can do. So far Hex has had an easy ride and this is his first real test.

This story is told in the form of a flashback. The story starts off with Hex on top of a mountain in the TARDIS with Ace trying to comfort him. This story sees all three separated and have adventures but it is Hex’s story that is perhaps the most interesting. Hex encounters the historical figure Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658). The Cromwell that we hear in this story is not evil however he just someone who is difficult to talk to.

Unfortunately making Hex’s story the centrepiece of The Settling this means that Ace and the Doctor become effectively redundant. He spends his time looking after a pregnant woman which is noble but irrelevant. The relationship between Ace and Hex continues to venture more towards sexual tension but unfortunately it’s a one sided view. Clive Mantle is the big name guest star in the release. Having starred in Casualty and the Vicar of Dibley. He plays Oliver Cromwell and does a superb job. He makes the historical figure seem real if not likeable. There would be some people who think of Cromwell as a monster who ruled this country like a dictatorship and no doubt this story would horrify them but at the end of the day it was more about Hex and his relationship with Cromwell and not about what Cromwell was like or could have been like.

At the end of the day I thought that The Settling was an enjoyable story that showed how good Hex can be and how you cannot change history. Not One Line!!

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