The Selachian Gambit (2012)

The Selachian Gambit is quite like the previous release in that it features two companions in the same story. However unlike the previous story, this was not billed as a special story. Just a regular companion chronicle. This is the second story to feature the Selachians in the Big Finish world however for many they have appeared over many years. Their previous outing was in 2010 in the seventh Doctor adventure ‘The Architects of History’. I quite liked them in that story however once I heard that were coming back I wasnt expecting this story to be as good because its the law of diminisioning returns and by that I mean that they lose their sparkle after every visit. Steve Lyons who won a Toms Tardis Award in 2007 for Son of the Dragon was given the job of using his own creation in this story which is set in a bank with the Selachians trying to get into a vault. The story has a pretty simple premise and its that simple premise that is what I quite like about this adventure.

Setting a story in a single location is always a good thing in my book because it reduces the chance for things to get a bit complicated. What I did quite like about this story was how the vault seemed like the TARDIS. This was explained in a story which the name of escapes me but essentially the exterior of the TARDIS/Vault might be in one place but the interior is elsewhere. I thought the actual story itself was very interesting and suited the Companion Chronicle format very well.

Frazer Hines’ impression has become one of the highlights because it is so good. Not necersarily the tone of it but the mannerisms such as the coughs and the way that he delivers his lines. In the same way that Peter Purves’ impression of the first Doctor is an enjoyable one, Hines does an impression of the Doctor which helps you get past the obviousness that its someone else doing Patrick Troughton’s Doctor. I wasnt totally convinced with his impression of Ben. It must be quite a task for a Scot to do an impression of a Cockney and its the only time during the whole story that it falls apart slightly. Anneke Wills on the other hand does a very good Ben impression partly because she is more cockney than Hines. I thought that her impression was slightly more comical cockney than anything else but it was still the better of the two. As for their combined performance in telling the story I must admit that they are two very good readers as they make sure that even when very little was happening they kept the pace and the tempo of the story the same.

The Selachian Gambit was another enjoyable release from the Companion Chronicles. I think that out of the two stories this year to feature two companions, I would say that this was arguably the better of the two purely because the story was the right length and the plot was stronger though I still maintain that if they had cut the running time of The Achronauts then it would have been a better release but I have no doubt that the Selachians return to Big Finish however I hope it will be in the main range. A nice story.

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