Review: #BigFinish Audio: #DoctorWho: Fourth Doctor Adventures: Suburban Hell

DW4D0405_suburbanhell_1417This adventure features Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor and Louise Jameson as Leela.

It’s a standalone story, which is welcome because I suffer from extreme fatigue with Big Finish’s predilection for overusing a setting or group of characters.

The basic plot is an homage / parody of Abigail’s Party, but this is very much equivalent to the way the Hinchcliffe stories borrowed from a classic monster movie or gothic trope.

The story has some good details and clever science fiction but it is also, in a way similar to City of Death, a late 70s gentle comedy married to a science fiction drama.

The performances are uniformly good with a welcome lack of scenery chewing and the infamous Big Finish LOUD VOICES.

Tom Baker is having a great time, and it seems Louise Jameson is as well, although Leela is a by the numbers character at the best of times. Nevertheless Jameson gets every little bit of performance she can out of the role.

I’d recommend this one, especially for the following reasons:

1. stand alone story – thank goodness

2. good plot and strong basis for the threat

3. science fiction elements are handled with a light touch

4. very little techno- or any other sort of -babble

5. leads are in fine form.

In a way this is a bit like the Fourth Doctor’s equivalent of Year of the Pig, much more so than the overtly silly and marmite Auntie Matter.