The Hourglass Killers (2012)

The final story of the fourth series follows on from the (not so) surprising revelation that Dark was in fact the Doctor. As Colin Baker appears so does Terry Molloy, making his first non-Davros appearance in a Big Finish adventure since 2008’s Kingdom of Silver. Written by Justin Richards, this final story is clearly designed to be the big finale which the previous three stories seemed to lack. This is the fourth story that Justin Richards has written for this range and he seems to the writer who has the best handle on what it takes to come up with a great adventure. His previous stories (The Bloodless Soldier, Litefoot and Sanders & Dead Men’s Tales) were the best stories from each of their respective series and this trend continues with The Hourglass Killers. The story sees the revelation that Mr Hardwick and Mr Kempston are after the Doctor or more importantly (?) after the TARDIS because they want time travel.

The truth about Mr Hardwick and Mr Kempston being sand was quite a surprise. I do think of that character in the third Spider-Man film which was made of sand and instantly thought this was better done. Their intention is not quite so much of a surprise but it was still fun. The plot is a good one though I was worried that the introduction of the Doctor would be a problem as it would blur the lines and also would turn Jago and Litefoot from leading characters to supporting ones. Thankfully this wasn’t the case though it did feel slightly strange finding that the Doctor was the supporting character but it didn’t last long as the story was good enough to maintain my attention.

I thought the departure scene was actually my favourite scene in the entire thing. I thought that Leela’s departure was well done and it was actually quite sad that after 8 adventures, Leela won’t be with Jago and Litefoot. However it got better when the Doctor offered Jago and Litefoot the opportunity to fly the TARDIS. Thankfully they accepted the offer because it would be nice to have Jago and Litefoot in an alien world or a futuristic setting. All the performances are solid. Both Trevor Baxter and Christopher Benjamin have not put a foot wrong and I thought the Benjamin was possibly the better of the two. It will be sad that Louise Jameson won’t be in these stories because she has added something different to the partnership of Jago and Litefoot and despite this being the eighth or ninth story to feature Leela that I have heard since the start of the year, I haven’t tired of Jameson or Leela. I think that Leela has suited Jago and Litefoot and the style of stories in this series very well. Colin Baker did a good job in not taking over this story. Normally he doesn’t have to try hard to be noticed in the main range stories but he did well in coming across as an equal to Benjamin and Baxter. Lisa Bowerman seldom gets a mention in these reviews and I thought she was great in this story. The character of Ellie has always been in the background in these stories but she has consistently been a very good character and I just loved the scenes where she and Benjamin had to pretend to be the Doctor and Leela. She managed to pull it off and if Louise Jameson ever decides to stop playing Leela then with a tiny bit of tweaking, Lisa could take over. Terry Molloy did a good job despite his character not being in it for very long. It’s always good to have Molloy in anything.

The Hourglass Killer ought to be the best story of the series and it should but that’s only because the previous three have felt like they were good but lacking something. Overall whilst this has been an ok series it hasn’t been as good as the previous three. Though I think that at some point the series was going to through up something that didn’t meet the high standard that the series has set for itself it was still worth the money and the future of the series looks as strong as ever.

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