You Can Never Go Back. That's Your Tragedy (Invaders From Mars)

(29 comments)

It's January of 2002. Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman are at number one with "Something Stupid." Daniel Bedingfield unseats them a week later with "Gotta Get Through This," then Aaliyah's posthumous "More Than A Woman," which was in turn unseated by the posthumous rerelease of George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord." Clearly a month for nostalgia and digging things up after their time for sentimental reasons. I wonder who's writing the story this month. In any case, S Club 7, Kate Winslet, Puretone, Pink, Dr. Dre, and the Chemical Brothers also chart. In news, the Euro enters circulation. Daniel Pearl, an American reporter, is kidnapped in Pakistan and eventually murdered. And it's the Queen's Golden Jubilee, if you're into that sort of thing.

While on CDs you can buy in specialty shops, Paul McGann kicks off his second "season" as the Eighth Doctor with Mark Gatiss's Invaders From Mars. I’ve already largely tipped my hand on this: I am decidedly not a fan of most of Mark Gatiss’s output. Invaders from Mars, however, presents an unusual sort of problem. Unlike Gatiss’s worst moments, it is at least not blatantly offensive. It avoids, for instance, accidentally backing the British National Party. Its storytelling is, by many reasonable arguments, deeply flawed, but there’s a reasonable case to be made that those flaws are more accurately described as a difference of aesthetics.

More than almost any other writer in the wilderness years, and certainly more than any other writer of the new series, Mark Gatiss has an aesthetic of nostalgia. Under many circumstances this would be outright unbearable. Gatiss was prone to a self-conscious embrace of the “trad” aesthetic, most notably in things like Last of the Gaderene, in which he does an almost note-perfect imitation of the Pertwee era. There are few writers who can be said to pull this off well. But whatever objections I might have to Gatiss’s work at large, it’s difficult to argue seriously that he wasn’t good at it. He wrote rarely, but his were among the most beloved of “trad” novels.

Part of this is that, although he is ruthlessly nostalgic, he has considerable range in his nostalgia. There’s a bit of a classical sensibility to his nostalgia; it reaches back to stuff that was already fairly old when Gatiss was a child. Gatiss is at home being nostalgic for Victorian fiction, 1950s sci-fi television, and World War II movies. It doesn’t make him any less prone to uncritical recitations of the things he’s nostalgic for, but it adds a pleasant sort of variety to proceedings. Invaders from Mars largely trades on this. It is, first and foremost, a piece of nostalgia for 1930s American radio. The result is that for all its traditionalism, it’s unlike anything else the McGann audios do. It’s terribly old-fashioned, but it’s so old-fashioned as to end up being reasonably creative.

It’s also, as with the best nostalgia, a meditation on tone rather than content. As a result, there’s a bit of a hodgepodge to it. Several genres are blended casually together such that a New York gangster story abuts with a sci-fi invasion. Light effort is made to blend them seamlessly: the aliens, for instance, turn out to be running a protection racket, creating a parallel between them. But for the most part the linking is based on tone and mood. Both are classic American radio genres, and so they can fairly easily be made to feel like they go together.

One thing that is notable about Invaders from Mars, in fact, is the degree to which real effort has been made to have the story match the tone. Old-timey radio cues and sound effects permeate Invaders from Mars, along with comical American accents. Unlike the disaster accents of Minuet in Hell, however, this time everyone is in agreement that the accents are to be played for comedy. Where Minuet in Hell felt like nobody was quite on the same page, this one has everyone united in doing pastiches of classic radio tropes, and ends up sounding much stronger for it.  The accents are silly, but they’re silly in the same way that a story that contains cheesy musical cues and is called Invaders from Mars is silly.

There’s a bit of an aesthetic issue underlying this. The term “romp” exists in the standard critical vocabulary for Doctor Who almost specifically to segregate stories of this sort into a lesser category. But what exactly this means is obscure and seems to crumble the more one pokes at it. A romp seems to be a story whose primary goal is to frolic in amongst a set of tropes and signifiers. But this is a standard approach to Doctor Who and always has been. Is the objection simply a lack of ambition beyond having fun with a given story?

If so the objection seems unfair in some ways. Especially because it seems to build over time. “Doctor Who does X” was a standard of several television eras. We must be careful, especially with a project like this, of demanding ever higher standards as the series winds on. Especially because, for all the ostensible traditionalism of this story, it’s not like this is something we’ve seen before. This is traditionalist in the same way that Big Finish has been at its best: the sort of thing Doctor Who does, but not quite in a way we’ve ever seen before. Doctor Who hasn’t done old time radio before. It’s traditional, but it’s not traditional in the same way that yet another gothic horror piece would be. And more to the point, perhaps, it’s something that Big Finish had to do eventually. To do audio Doctor Who without any larking about in classic audio genres would be strange, to say the least. And US old-time radio is an obvious pool to play in.

Given that, Gatiss is the obvious person to go to. This is squarely in his wheelhouse. And he does well, keeping episode lengths short, the plot eventful, and a sense of playfulness. The story avoids overstaying its welcome and tours the high points of the genres. It’s not going for sprawling ambition, but that’s not its goal. Its goal is to be a fun opening to the new McGann series. And not only does it succeed, it succeeds with some plausibly interesting bits.


Most notable is its use of radio history. The story is built around the famed Orson Welles broadcast of The War of the Worlds, which, by popular legend, was confused with a real newscast by listeners, prompting a panic over the prospect of Martians actually invading. Those with a thing for the history of media will recognize this event as a variation on a popular theme: the fantasy of media so immersive it’s mistaken for reality. The archetypal one is the screening of the Lumiére Brothers’ L’Arrivée d’un Train en Gare de la Ciotat, in which the audience is said to have mistaken the film of a train for a real train and panicked. This myth is, however, thoroughly debunked, and sensibly so: it requires that we believe that a projection of a train on the wall of a room in which there could not possibly be a train would be mistaken for the real thing despite, unlike a real train, being silent and not in color.

This is typical of legends of the immersive fantasy: they almost all crumble under a sustained interrogation. We talked back during the Virgin era about Ghostwatch, a television program supposedly mistaken for reality, and found it similarly wanting in a factual basis. And the Wells story is similarly exaggerated: it appears that there were some people who called the local authorities in concern over the broadcast, but by and large the furor seems overstated, and the myth mostly serves as a parable about the totemtic power of radio as a medium.

Totemic power suits the concept well, in fact, especially in the context of Invaders from Mars, which culminates in the Doctor getting Orson Welles to do a second version of the show to trick the alien invaders. In the myth the success of Welles’s broadcast is primarily down to the fact that its form mirrored that of a news broadcast. But this is a power that comes from cultural context. The broadcast supposedly fooled people because it fit into a particular context of how a medium works in a particular way.

But Gatiss’s script treats it markedly differently. In Gatiss’s script a pair of aliens with minimal knowledge of Earth’s culture are still terrified by the broadcast and mistake it for reality. This turns its “realistic” power from being something that comes out of the culture that produced it and into a totemic object that can convince people of its reality simply by existing. This is strange from any realist perspective, but, of course, that’s a ludicrous perspective to approach a Doctor Who story from. Gatiss is treating the Welles broadcast the same way he treats everything in this story: as a genre trope, valued for its symbolic strength.

But this fits oddly with the rest of the story. For one thing, the fetishization of radio is odd for Big Finish to do. Invaders from Mars got run on radio eventually, but it’s an audio drama. The Welles broadcast derives its power from the fact that it was broadcast live - that it was in a sense immediate. A sold-in-stores two-CD set lacks that context, and so for it to so valorize the Welles broadcast so completely seems strange. For all that this is a romp through old-time radio, it’s not old-time radio, and Gatiss’s reliance on the totemic power of it ends up off base.

This is exacerbated by a structural problem. Gatiss traces the Orson Welles storyline through the entire audio, but it only ends up intersecting the actual plot in episode four. This puts even more stress on the Welles aspect of it by making it hang over the mantlepiece of the story waiting to be fired, and makes the strange way in which it’s finally employed even more jarring and dissonant. This is in some ways typical of Gatiss: he’s prone to not quite earning his endings.

So let’s excuse it. Yes, the ending doesn’t work. But that is typical of Gatiss, and with at least nine more Gatiss entries to write it’s going to get pretty boring if I point that out in detail every time. So let’s just accept that the ending is a bit of a flop and look at the piece conceptually and as a whole. Because the interesting thing that pops out if we do that is that this is surprisingly close to The Adventuress of Henrietta Street.

Both stories are, ultimately, concerned with the way in which Doctor Who is structured around the world of symbols. The difference is that The Adventuress of Henrietta Street makes that terribly obvious by running around and inserting lengthy monologues about how it’s structured around the world of symbols, while Invaders from Mars just gets on with it. But that’s unfair too. Nothing about Invaders from Mars, or really anything in Gatiss’s career indicates that he’s a writer who has spent a lot of time reflecting on the particulars of narrative theory or philosophy. Everything about Miles’s work suggests that he has. So it’s not that Miles thinks he’s terribly clever so much as that Gatiss works instinctively over territory Miles spells out.

If anything, Miles comes off looking better here. Certainly it has always been easier to get a blog entry’s worth of thought about a Miles book than anything by Gatiss. Because while Gatiss’s work functions along the same logic as Miles’s, it doesn’t engage with it. There’s ever any sense that Gatiss has a point. Yes, he’s romping merrily through old-time radio, which is kind of neat from a historical perspective. But he doesn’t have anything to say about it as such. Yes, he turns the Welles War of the Worlds broadcast into a strange fetish object with magical powers, but there’s no content to that decision beyond its narrative function.

And there’s an extent to which, as a critic, I feel like I should shut up. Yes, Gatiss has niggling storytelling problems and occasional outbreaks of inadvertent extreme conservatism, but those are in many ways window dressing for an objection that really amounts to “ he’s particularly uninspiring for the purposes of analysis and criticism. But this isn’t a real objection. Yes, he makes my life harder, but God help us if Doctor Who ever starts being written for crazy postmodernist bloggers. Gatiss is writing to the aesthetic goal of “be reasonably interesting and fun and kick off a new series of Paul McGann audios.” He comes within reasonable margins of succeding. There’s not actually a lot more interesting than that. But there doesn’t have to be.

Comments

elvwood 3 years, 11 months ago

I think you said everything I was going to (and a whole lot more, of course!). In particular I agree with the comment about accents - even as a Brit the accents in Minuet were annoying, whereas they fitted perfectly here.

Can we reclaim the word 'romp', do you think? I have never thought of it in a negative light, but I can see how it could be viewed like that. I've always parsed it as something with no other ambition than to amuse and entertain, though I can see the "tropes and signifiers" thing now you mention it.

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Daibhid C 3 years, 11 months ago

"To do audio Doctor Who without any larking about in classic audio genres would be strange, to say the least. And US old-time radio is an obvious pool to play in."

I'm now trying to think of other audio genres they could do. They did 24-hour news stations in Live 34, of course. Doctor Who as lighthearted panel game, perhaps?

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Bob Dillon 3 years, 11 months ago

I'm sorry, I haven't a Doctor?

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Jack Graham 3 years, 11 months ago

This is by far the thing of Gatiss' that I dislike least. Possibly because it's got Jessica Stephenson (as she was then) and Simon Pegg in it, possibly because I'm a Welles fan and Gatiss seems to have done his research... I suspect he read the excellent biography by David Thomas.

BTW, what do we think about Cosmo Devine? An openly gay, parodically camp villain? I was going to say 'what do we think about a gay writer creating such a character?' but that'd be unfair pidgeonholing... even so, doesn't Gatiss' open gay sexuality change the context a bit? Or not? Does the fact that Devine victimises other gay men change things at all? For the better? For the worse? Is it wrong to judge a writer's work by his sexuality? Can it be avoided? Surely we wouldn't want to say he has a 'duty' to present gay characters a certain way because of his own sexuality...? I'm genuinely undecided about this and I'd be interested to hear views.

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Abigail Brady 3 years, 11 months ago

Not quite pure audio, but they've done the DVD commentary: in John Dorney's "Special Features".

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jane 3 years, 11 months ago

"For one thing, the fetishization of radio is odd for Big Finish to do. Invaders from Mars got run on radio eventually, but it’s an audio drama."

I didn't find it odd at all. Yes, radio is a different medium than CDs, but they're both mediums of audio. So it's the audio drama itself that's fetishized, and making radio and CD kin. Finally, that bit of self-awareness that's been with Doctor Who from the beginning! And it's a self-awareness that's played up in several of the subsequent stories in this range, to often beautiful effect.

So I think it's rather crucial that the Welles story is threaded through the larger drama. It's the constant reminder that this is a story of tropes, done in a tropistic style, but without the clumsy attempts to remind us of that as Miles does in Henrietta Street. In fact, I kind of prefer it this way, because the channels of "story" and "discourse" are in balance, and more effective as a dual-voice technique. As such, I think it's perfect that the Welles story only collides with the Doctor in the final part.

Which brings us back to the "point" of this story. Yes, the Welles broadcast is turned into "a strange fetish object with magical powers," but because this is the counterpoint and eventual fusion with the Doctor Who story, the effect is to say that Doctor Who is a strange fetish object with magical powers, a magic that's concretely extended to the audio dramas. It's not unlike Moffat's more abstract "ideas that can think for themselves" -- a kind of magical spell that begs for the world of the fantastic to breach the world of the real.

Well, except that way lies madness. The other thing Gatiss does here is to subvert and somehow exploit that breach by having the Doctor screw up the broadcast -- everyone's so busy congratulating themselves afterwords (so smug!) that the aliens realize they've been conned. Yet this is mirrored by the smug Professor Stepashin emerging from the holding tank on the spaceship to wonder in wild-eyed... er, wild-voice glory if he's the first man in history to build an atomic bomb. Talk about fetishism!

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Steven Clubb 3 years, 11 months ago

It had never really occurred to me that people would use "romp" as a criticism. For me, it's more a difference between a sprinter and a runner. A romp just goes for it, never letting itself get bogged down by plot logic.

Which isn't to say a romp has bad plot logic, but that it's not really interested in explaining all the hows & whys and depends on the audience to go with it for the sake of a good time.

Sort of like how in Grindhouse's Planet Terror, they intentionally lost the reel which featured a lot of linking exposition, highlighting how unimportant these kinds of character reveals are in movies such as Planet Terror. Simply that the plot works best in the first two acts if the hero is at odds with other characters, while the third act requires this tension to be put aside. In a romp, this needs to be done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

In another movie, that translation would be the meat of the story, but a romp is much more concerned with taking a step back and enjoying the operation of a well-oiled machine.

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jane 3 years, 11 months ago

I don't think it's wrong to consider authorship when reading a text, especially when we're studying the potential effects of how minority characters are depicted. The fact that Dave Chapelle is black, for example, changes the context of his work enormously. Context is relevant -- it doesn't determine how we a judge a work, in the end, but it can help to inform our evaluations.

I think the fact that Cosmo Devine has targeting other gay men is a necessary salve, because it's showing that he is an outlier, not representative of other gay men; rather, he serves to remind that even the gay community has its predators. No one's perfect.

Also, this is a work that's playing with some outlandish tropes. In the context of the rest of the story's discourse, Cosmo ends up getting the same kind of treatment afforded to the other tropes that have been smashed together here -- Cosmo is a walking, talking trope. But it's not his sexuality that brings about his downfall, it's that he partakes of the violence and greed of mobsters and alien con-men.

BTW, John Arthur, who plays Cosmo, has some brilliant timing!



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Alan 3 years, 11 months ago

Wait a minute! If the Doctor was on hand during Orson Wells' "War of the Worlds" broadcast, how did he fail to notice the invasion of New Jersey by Lord John Whorfin and the Red Lectroids from Planet 10 that was going on at the same time?!?

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Archeology of the Future 3 years, 11 months ago

Erm, police radio scanner, CB radio recordings, Longwave radio wafting over from Europe and the rest of the world, answer machine messages, ethnographic library recordings, audio interview, cutups and mashups, on-the-spot reporting, radio phone in, hospital radio?

Writing those down, I'd like to hear Doctor Who done as any of them!

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Jesse 3 years, 11 months ago

Thank you for not repeating the standard mythology of the Welles broadcast.

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Pen Name Pending 3 years, 11 months ago

By the way...why isn't there a cover image in this post? (Although I am on the mobile version.)

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Rob Shearman 3 years, 11 months ago

I've always thought 'Invaders of Mars' was a sublimely clever idea. I remember (thirteen years ago, my God) being back at the pub meet, where all the writers for this McGann season met to tell everyone else what they were up to. I envied it immediately. It was the best sort of 'romp', one that had a genuinely witty premise behind it.

I think poor old Invaders has come in for a bit of stick over the years due to its placing in the season. There was a bit of a gap between the first McGann set of audios and this one, and expectations were set very high - and (until Russell did the same thing with the TV series, and we all began to get used to it), as an audience we expected our seasons to begin with something big and epic, not slight and frothy. I ought to say it was my fault, really. 'Chimes of Midnight' was supposed to be the season opener, but I pushed the Charley story arc along further than it should have been pushed - and so my story was bumped back, and Mark's was put in the front line instead. Context is everything with these audios, especially the way this blog studies them - I've always suspected Invaders might have had an easier time of it had I fulfilled my writing brief more accurately...

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Ununnilium 3 years, 11 months ago

Frock is so rarely appreciated in its time.

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Philip Sandifer 3 years, 11 months ago

Because I apparently forgot to upload it. Fixed now.

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elvwood 3 years, 11 months ago

Another thing they've done, now I think about it, is a story almost entirely made up of 'wrong number' telephone conversations: Urgent Calls. That wasn't quite an 'audio genre', but it was certainly a successful experiment, in my book.

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elvwood 3 years, 11 months ago

I think poor old Invaders has come in for a bit of stick over the years due to its placing in the season.

Its tone is so different from every other McGann audio in those first two seasons, though, that I think it might have been given a hard time whenever it was released. It's like a Williams/Adams serial suddenly appearing during the Hinchcliffe/Holmes era: so surprising listeners have to switch mental gears too quickly to really appreciate it properly. It's probably closest to Time of the Daleks, but (a) that's only really in the whimsy and nostalgia departments rather than the humour, and (b) TotD came later and so couldn't help soften IfM's welcome.

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Rob Shearman 3 years, 11 months ago

I think that's probably true!

What's often forgotten (well, I often forget it, anyway!) was that all the plays in the second McGann season were written long before we'd heard any of the stories from the first! We had to write them very hastily in the autumn of 2000, for recording in the New Year of 2001, with releases not starting until a whole year later. The knock on effect of this is that it wasn't just the first four stories that were written blind, as it were - it was the first ten! And each time all we writers were trying to scrabble about finding our own fresh take on a brand new Doctor, with only the TV Movie to hinder us. Tonally, we were all trying different things with the stories, and finding different things to bring out with our characterisations of the Doctor and Charley.

Invaders doesn't feel like much else around it, probably. But then I'm certain Seasons of Fear doesn't either, or Embrace the Darkness come to that. And I know that with Chimes I was just holding on for dear life and hoping I wasn't getting it all wrong. I remember going to the recording of Chimes, which started minutes after Mark finished directing Invaders - God, did that overrun - and I looked at the Invaders script in the green room, and my heart sank, because it just seemed so much more witty and fun than anything I'd come up with. And there really hadn't been time for cooperation or sharing between writers: we'd have loved to have done that, but we were all just trying to get our scripts out as soon as possible.

Nightmare times, looking back. Fun, though!

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sleepyscholar 3 years, 11 months ago

Although its tone is different from every other McGann audio in the first two seasons, that isn't such a big deal, considering that there is a massive variation in tone anyway. I mean Chimes of Midnight also has a very different tone, yet is equally wrapped up in manipulating a genre (doing the Agatha Christie cosy somewhat more successfully than the TV Agatha Christie story: and in a distinctly uncosy way!), and doesn't class with Invaders. And since he's here, we could skip ahead to the same author's Scherzo which follows on from Zagreus with such a rupture in tone, you might almost say it was a universe away.

I've been listening to these audios recently, without any particular awareness of them being in "series" (in my case the year long gap came between Stones of Venice and Minuet in Hell), and I disagree with you. I listened to it as if it were in the middle of a season, straight after Minuet in Hell, and it benefited greatly from that positioning. And I listened without knowing that it had Simon Pegg and Jessica (then) Stevenson in it, which might have biased me in its favour.

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sleepyscholar 3 years, 11 months ago

D'oh! While I was typing, Rob slipped in a comment, so it's not clear that my "you" is actually Elvwood's suggestion that Invaders would have had trouble wherever it was. I was actually agreeing with Rob that if it feels like it's in mid-series (especially directly after Minuet) it is easy to appreciate.

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Rob Shearman 3 years, 11 months ago

Ha! Yes. I'm sneaky like that.

It's an interesting question, though - do we better tolerate the 'light' episodes, knowing that they're part of the rhythm of a TV season which might want us to catch our breath for a week? (From my point of view, I find 'Planet of the Dead' much easier to swallow when I see it as the last piece of whimsy before the Tennant stories go all angsty and apocalyptic. If only there hadn't been, what, eight months between that and the next story, its contrast might have seemed more obvious!)

But the danger with the Big Finish CDs was that they all have to feel sufficiently important that they're worth your £13.99. It was harder, I found, to get the audience's trust behind the range, if you produced a deliberately inconsequential story when you knew that the Daleks-blowing-up-Gallifrey or whatnot was a story just before yours. And the danger of that was that you'd end up turning out stories which were all big and explosive - and all sounding exactly the same.

My defence of Invaders is that it knows it's part of a big arc that's going to climax a few months later with Gallifreyan mythos stuff in Neverland. And it just wants to provide a calm before the growing storm. If it were a TV story - and let's be honest, that's what we writers were all dreaming they were, back in 2000! - then it'd be seen as something necessary. But when you buy the things individually, and sometimes out of order, its throwaway nature, and the fact that from the accents upwards it's clearly wanting to be a spoof, is perhaps rather more irksome.

Maybe. I don't know. I'm just pontificating. I shouldn't pontificate. I look silly.

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John Seavey 3 years, 11 months ago

I understand completely what Rob is saying--it's always very easy to forget that any drama is being made to a schedule and a budget--but at the same time, I find it unforgivable that a story about the Welles broadcast of 'War of the Worlds' can't have its climax actually involve the Welles broadcast of 'War of the Worlds'. To me, the key element of a successful "romp" in Doctor Who (and I do think they can be quite successful) is a certain elegance to the plotting...the Doctor is forced to come up with the Trojan Horse, for example, or accidentally gives Nero the idea to burn Rome. Having the Doctor...sort of get famous people to re-enact major historical events...it just doesn't have the same ring. :)

Also, to be blunt, I didn't think the comedy names and accents were funny. That is to say, they were not inherently funny to me, and the audio clearly assumes that they are inherently funny with no need to embellish the humor. That was a dealbreaker to me, simply because one of the fundamental rules of comedy is that anything that thinks it's funny and isn't (to a given audience) rapidly moves past "unfunny" and into "annoying". If a joke fails once, it will fail harder the second time (...and third, fourth, et cetera.) So this one was rough for me.

And also, clearly Rob doesn't have enough confidence in himself. 'Chimes' is one of the best pure scripts Big Finish ever did.

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Rob Shearman 3 years, 11 months ago

Oh, thanks, John. But I promise you, I'm brimming over with confidence! I'm very fond of 'Chimes', honestly.

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Ununnilium 3 years, 11 months ago

I'm generally a bigger fan of "light" episodes, so... probably I should buy this?? (After finally finishing my listen of Love and War, of course.)

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Ununnilium 3 years, 11 months ago

Damn but that sounds interesting.

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elvwood 3 years, 11 months ago

Yep - I rate it 9/10, but I can't say too much more without spoiling it. I think what might be a problem for you in particular, Ununnilium, is that it's a single episode story on a release with the three-part I.D., a bog-standard "base under seige" which has a couple of neat ideas but is otherwise fairly earnest and run-of-the-mill - I rated that 4/10, and I suspect you'd be even less impressed (though you never can tell).

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elvwood 3 years, 11 months ago

Rob Shearman: Although its tone is different from every other McGann audio in the first two seasons, that isn't such a big deal, considering that there is a massive variation in tone anyway.

Yes, there's a huge variation in tone, and maybe I overstated the case by including the first season (Stones of Venice doesn't support my argument, and Storm Warning is borderline); but the key difference for me is that all the other stories are going for heightened tension. Whether it's through off-kilter creepiness, body horror, epic scale and consequences or just a sense of immediate personal peril, they all keep you on the edge of your seat (squirming in some cases) rather than snuggled up on the sofa with a mug of Ovaltine like Invasion. I dunno, for me that's a different class of variation.

Having said that, like sleepyscholar I first experienced them without a gap between Minuet and Invaders (and in some cases out of order); so maybe I'm missing the impact that wait has. I was certainly glad that by coming in late I avoided the buildup of expectation in the wait between Neverland and Zagreus!

(Incidentally, there is one other story set before Neverland which doesn't go for tension: Living Legend. But that came out later, so I wasn't including it.)

(Chimes is one of my top three audios, quite often my favourite, though it depends on my mood. But I did eventually listen to The Holy Terror, and that's great too.)

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Ununnilium 3 years, 11 months ago

Hmmmm, fair. Does Big Finish ever do collections of that kind of shorter stuff?

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Alphapenguin 3 years, 10 months ago

"Unlike Gatiss’s worst moments, it is at least not blatantly offensive. It avoids, for instance, accidentally backing the British National Party."

Wait, what?

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