Saturday, 17 January 2015

Deadlier Than The Male.

Ho Boy just listened to this lovely boxed set of second Doctor adventures from Big Finish and what a lovely ride through the veil of years it was. it is one of a series of recordings by big Finish called The Lost Stories( stories scripted but never produced-as opposed to stories deliberately wiped.) using actual cast members and guest performers. The presence of some of the original teams lend the recordings a glowing authenticity. This boxed set was one I was particularly looking forward to. The amazing cover art on the slip case was enough to turn me into a drooling fool. With that lovely spot of science fiction green illuminating a Dalek highlighting an extra disc with a special recording of an unused Dalek pilot script by Terry Nation( Does this not sound like a Christmas wants list?)
              What a hoot Prison In Space turned out to be. With a truly sterling turn by Frazer Hines as the adorable Jamie and also a startlingly accurate turn as The Doctor himself. It was as though Patrick Troughton was there at the recording. I could see him standing in a darkened booth with a huge set of head phones atop his hair whilst he stood on tip toe to reach a mike and deliver with a sense of urgency and vigor. Wendy Padbury does a similar job with two versions of the science adventuress Zoe; her usual bubbly intelligent self and as a brain washed rubber clad zombie like prison warder(honestly, not kidding.) It is truly an odd script peppered with repressed saucy sixties kinkiness as the Tardis crew find themselves in a society where the female is deadlier than the male and men are mere servants and chattel. in all honesty it feels at times as though it were a lost script for an unmade Carry On film rather than a lost Who. Which is just fine by me as I love that genre of movies and know the format of Who is strong enough to survive this bizarre little diversion. It might even offend the sensibilities of the more serious minded listeners who collect Classic Who in all its many forms.
                Yes, there are some truly daft moments in this slice of groovy sixties science fantasy but they are performed with an innocent truth and joyful conviction by all concerned. In fact it sounds like a right old laugh was had by all which surely harkens back to happy times for the original cast members. Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury must have been rolling about the recording booths at some of the carry on.
                And speaking off Carry On it reminded me in tone of one of my very favorite Carry On movies Carry On Spying. A spy drama where all the regulars are on the top of their game( it is my favorite spy movie next to Casino Royale!)There is even a character called Babs in both stories.
                Go on, give them both a go. If only to feel your ear lobes try to roll.
                Or even to watch Kenneth Williams wear a fez with an unequaled degree of casuality in a world that predates the use of the word "cool".
                For in truth "cool" is not cool.
                It never was.