Night’s Black Agents (2010)

May is the month where Big Finish release two Companion Chronicles. Despite numerically this story is the latter I decided to listen to this one first. This is also the first Sixth Doctor Companion Chronicle with only the Eighth Doctor yet to have one. A fact that will be resolved in June 2010. Set immediately after City of Spires but recorded after Legend of the Cybermen, this story tells of the dreaded Kelpie. Night’s Black Agents is written by newcomer Marty Ross. As the Doctor and Jamie head back to the TARDIS they discover that the TARDIS has been taken and soon running from the Kelpie. They are rescued by Reverend Merodach who as it turns out is the Devil.

The story took a while to get going with the setting up the story and the introduction of Reverend Merodach but once all that was sorted the story really got interesting and the moment that the Reverend was revealed it became marvellous. I had an issue with the fact when the Reverend/Devil said he wanted the TARDIS because he had seen the future and wanted to leave to try his luck on another world. Come again? How rubbish is it when the Devil (or even someone pretending to be the Devil) gets scared by the future of Earth and wants to get out before it gets difficult.

Frazer Hines was brilliant in this story. He has a reputation for being able to do an outstanding Patrick Troughton impression but he also did a good impression of Colin Baker. Not on par with Troughton but I did get what he was trying to do. However Hines was out performed by Hugh Ross who’s voice was created for radio. He played the Reverend with an elegant style and before his revelation gave some superb lines aimed at trying to show the Doctor how he was in the wrong. When he became the Devil his voice became even more powerful and part of that was due to Howard Carter who modified the voice to create the right impression. Lisa Bowerman has become effectively the chief director of the Companion Chronicles and has done another great job and moved the story along at quite a steady pace.

Night’s Black Agent is a very good Companion Chronicle story. I wish I had listened to this before Wreck of the Titan because I think that the whole Sixth Doctor/Jamie story arc would have been that bit more special but we learn from our mistakes (hopefully).

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