Neverland (2003)

The final story in the current series is quite possibly the most complex story that Big Finish have ever produced. Which is saying something. The story starts off with a list of events that have occurred on Earth and then it changes to events that have occurred on Gallifrey. They are events that we are aware of as they happened in Big Finish adventures over the last two years. In fact that is what this story is about, ever since Storm Warning we have been made aware that there are consequences of Charley Pollard’s survival in contradiction of the timeline. After a while of listing events the voice starts stuttering which is a very clear sign that things are not right. Over the course of two 75 minute episodes we will hopefully get a satisfactory conclusion.

I loved how this story saw the return of President Romana. Last heard in The Apocalypse Element, its up to Romana to point out that due to the Doctor’s actions the very future of Gallifrey and possibly the universe is at threat. We also get the impression that the infamous Zagreus that has been mentioned in several stories recently is actually more than a nursery rhyme. There is a revelation that Don Warrington’s mysterious character is actually Rassilon. Its at this point being where I found it to be complicated. There’s a lot of big speeches some of which I felt went on a bit too long but it did help to add the massive feel that this story has.

Paul McGann and India Fisher put in lovely performances. The relationship that these two have had as the Doctor and Charley has grown over the last two series and its in this story that its at it most obvious. Fisher does a great dual job as she also plays Sentris which is quite a grim character who has stolen the form of Charley. Fisher does well making the two characters sound different. Lalla Ward is equally brilliant as President Romana. I have always been a big fan of Romana and thought that her explanation of what’s going on was a big help. It made sense of the whole for me. Don Warrington was also another great piece of casting. His voice works very well on radio. I quite liked the idea of the Never-People, they did a great job of adding another reason why Timelords are horrid people.

Neverland was the story that I was hoping it would be. Alan Barnes has just got the right balance between making it fit into the story arc but also making sense as a stand alone story. It’s hard to believe that its been six months since the dreadful Invaders from Mars but thankfully we have had some very good stories in the meantime. Neverland is a great adventure that is a fine end to the series. The only downside is that the ending leaves the listener wanting more. Goodness know how long it will be before the story is resolved.

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