Hexagora (2011)

After being impressed with The Elite, I went straight into Hexagora. This was written by Paul Finch who wrote another Lost Story ‘Leviathan’ in 2009 and he also wrote the less than impressive ‘Sentinels of the New Dawn’ but I have to approach this with an open mind. The idea for the story came from Peter Ling who’s previous Doctor Who contribution was ‘The Mind Robber’ (1968) which is a funny (not funny ha ha) story. Like ‘Kiss of Death’, this story sees one of the companions emotional state examined. This time it is Tegan who shows us her caring side when the TARDIS crew end up on the planet Luparis which has an uncanny resemblance to Tudor London. We learn that there are scuttling creatures that are actually the human minds that have been abducted including that of Mike Bretherton.

The sub-plot seems to be between the Doctor and Queen Zafira where for the second time, the Doctor finds himself engaged. However unlike ‘The Aztecs’ (1964), the Doctor has to but the problem was that I found the Tegan/Mike stuff more interesting than what was going on with Queen Zafira. The whole story is a simple alien invasion plot but the problem is that despite everything I just think that it lacked that killer punch that there was in ‘The Elite’. There was a revelation of sorts in this story when we find out what happened to Mike after he was abducted but even that wasn’t really a massive shock for me. In ‘The Elite’ I kind of knew what was coming but when it was revealed I was still enjoying it but that didn’t happen two stories in a row.

I am very impressed with the casting of this story and felt like it should have been reserved for a main range release. Jacqueline Pearce returns to Big Finish after 11 years as the formentioned Queen Zafira. I thought that character was well played by Pearce and quite frankly made the character far more interesting than anybody could have made it. It should be made a law that Toby Hadoke appears in every story because despite his limited involvement in the story (playing a bug cant be the greatest role ever), Hadoke is very entertaining and manages to do a pretty good Australian accent. Richard Mark and Dan Starkey were both strong in different ways as Lord Jezzavar and Lord Zellenger respectively and Sean Brosnan is quite entertaining as Astrorius.

The regular cast are all very good as usual but Janet Fielding is actually the best of the regulars because she has the emotional stuff and she is the one that drives the story at the beginning. Sarah Sutton does her best but she does do the supporting role in this story but its always good to have Sutton in a story. Peter Davison has some good scenes with Queen Zafira. But ultimately he doesn’t get to be a Doctor-like as he was in ‘The Elite’.

Whilst I didn’t dislike this story, I didn’t find it as good as ‘The Elite’. I also thought that it was odd that the insect Mike was the only one that managed to retain its human emotions is a tad bit convenient and ruins the sadness we are suppose to feel about humans being turned into insects. The final scene also feels a tad bit botched. There is a line where Mike says he will have the barby on in ten minutes that I found totally silly because this was the final scene between Mike and Tegan and considering Mike has feelings for Tegan it seems an odd line to make someone say. I think that apart from solving the mystery of Tegan’s friend there wasn’t a lot going on and that is ultimatley why I was disappointed with Hexagora. The characters and setting worked but the writing was slightly underwhelming. Ok but nothing more.

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