Guest contributor Kieran Brennan continues his journey through the Divergent Universe with the Eighth Doctor and Charley… as they encounter new companion C’rizz for the first time!
It’s finally time for the Doctor and Charley to discover this brave new universe. Will they find excitement? New friends? New enemies? A weird amount of insect creatures trying to turn women into big slugs to breed with? You’ll have to listen to find out!
Yeah, that’s the best I can do for an opening paragraph summarizing the plot of the story. Quite frankly it’s a mess of weird body horror and off putting characters. Not in a “oh, this is freaky but I’m enjoying it” way, in a “please stop making me listen to bug creatures eat food up close” way. It’s just a really gross story, and I know that it’s trying to be and I don’t think Doctor Who should never be gross on purpose, but this is so excessive that it drags the story down to the bottom of the ocean.
Considering the quality of the last few Eighth Doctor releases I suppose it was inevitable that we’d be given a clunker at some point, but it doesn’t make it any easier to listen to. Think of this like a Sixth Doctor story. No, not the redeeming, fantastic ones Big Finish have put out, more like the ones on TV that didn’t really work at all and were a bit off putting.
Perhaps the most frustrating thing here is how strong the story starts out. The first ten minutes or so are excellent, engaging conversations with an engaging new character. It’s a great listen and feels like an expansion on the ideas of Scherzo and as if this new universe will keep up the creatively displayed in that release. Unfortunately after those brief few minutes it all falls apart into a terrible evil corporation story.
Not even the performances of the cast can save this one. Paul McGann is fine, but isn’t given anything remarkable to work with. India Fisher is given her weirdest and most uncomfortable story yet, which I can’t get into for spoilery reasons but just trust me (also, this is from memory the second story to reference her in a sexual way, the other being Minuet in Hell. Interesting that they’re both the weakest stories I’ve heard from Big Finish so far). Even newcomer C’rizz (Conrad Westmaas) only has a brief few seconds of interesting character work. It’s frustrating to have a new companion come in and not really make any impression, hopefully the next few adventures will help this.
The Creed of the Kromon is an uncomfortable, dull, uninspired story. Rarely rising above slightly engaging, it feels like the price we have to pay for the quality of the last three adventures. With little creativity and the absence of anything memorable, it’s clear to see why this is regarded as one of McGann’s weaker stories.
The Creed of the Kromon is available as a download from http://www.bigfinish.com