Having finished the wonderful Project: Twilight (review here), it’s time to review the next instalment in the Hex/Evelyn arc: Cavan Scott and Mark Wright‘s Project: Lazarus. Beware, this review WILL contain spoilers.
The first two parts of this story follow the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn, as they return to Norway to pick up half-vampire Cassie (Rosie Cavaliero) from Project: Twilight. There, they become caught up in the exploits of a professor, who’s chasing the huldra of Scandinavian myth.
The Cassie we meet here is rather a different character from the one we heard in Project: Twilight. Now a member of the Forge, she’s far more ruthless, and it was shocking to hear this heretofore timid and quiet character acting so callously towards the Doctor and Evelyn. I felt that her sudden reversal at the end of part two was a little unearned, but her resulting death led to some great moments for Evelyn (and a gut-wrenching performance from Maggie Stables) that I’m sure will have major consequences in the future.
Colin Baker‘s Doctor gets a lot to do here, starting the story off as his usual jolly self and devolving into darkness and desperation by the story’s close. Seriously, this is one of Baker’s very best performances in the role; he really rises to the strength of the material in Scott and Wright’s script and knocked this listener’s socks off. It’s stories like these that prove how excellent Baker is as an actor, and just how wrong the BBC were for getting rid of his Doctor before he reached his prime.
The second half of the story sees the Seventh Doctor arrive at the Forge, where he discovers that the Sixth Doctor has started working there. Or so it seems… The revelation that the Forge have actually cloned the Sixth Doctor was jaw-dropping, but totally made sense given all the experiments they did on him in part two.
It’s great to hear the Seventh Doctor interacting with the Sixth; this story shows us just how much darker this incarnation is, with Sylvester McCoy‘s response to Baker’s excellent performance being to raise his game in equal measure, too putting in one of his strongest efforts.
The Sixth and Seventh Doctors collide in yet another great release by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright. Dark, uncompromising and packed with some of Baker, McCoy and Stables’ very best performances, this is a gripping tale from start to finish. With some ominous hints about the future, particularly concerning Evelyn and the Forge, Project: Lazarus has left me excited to see how all of this pans out.
Project: Lazarus is available as a download from http://www.bigfinish.com