Over the last two years, the Out of Time range has pitted David Tennant‘s Tenth Doctor not only against a series of his most dastardly enemies, but against previous Doctors, with Tom Baker and Peter Davison‘s incarnations of the heroic Time Lord having made appearances fighting the Daleks and Cybermen (review here) with their future self. Now, in the final instalment in the series, Colin Baker joins Tennant in Wink, which sees the Time Lord twosome face off against the terrifying Weeping Angels! Read on for our review!
Arriving on the planet Lucidus Silvara, whose suns are so bright its inhabitants never evolved the ability to see, the Tenth Doctor encounters the Sixth Doctor… and the Weeping Angels! Falling in with a pair of locals, Estra and Padilla, the Doctors must work out how to stop the Angels, before they destroy an entire civilisation. How can a race of people who can’t see ever hope to stop the Weeping Angels? What happened to Estra and Padilla’s friend Dax? And what might happen if the Angels encounter two of the same Time Lord?
As you can probably imagine from that short synopsis, Wink is a story with lots of really creative concepts at its heart. The idea of putting the Weeping Angels up against a race of blind aliens is inspired, with writer Lisa McMullin somehow managing to make a terrifying foe even scarier than before by incorporating such an interesting twist. The way in which she introduces and develops the world of Lucidus Silvara and its people is excellent, and one of this story’s greatest strengths.
Of course, the main strength of this story has got to be the interactions between Colin Baker and David Tennant as the Doctors, who have more of a thornier relationship than some of the other pairings we’ve heard in the Out of Time series. The Sixth Doctor’s up-front brusqueness contrasts perfectly with the Tenth Doctor’s flair for the dramatic, though McMullin makes sure not to pad the script with pointless bickering between the two, choosing to use their differences to push the story forwards. Baker and Tennant have excellent chemistry (though, honestly, I can’t think of a single pairing of Doctors which hasn’t worked), and this sits at the heart of this release, elevating even the less exciting moments.
Baker and Tennant are joined by Ayesha Antoine and Joanna Van Kampen as Padilla and Estra respectively and, while the two put in some strong performances, their characters aren’t particularly compelling or memorable. Far better served is Clive Hayward as the unfortunate Dax, whose voice is appropriated by the Weeping Angels; he gives a suitably sinister performance in the same vein as David Atkins as Angel Bob in The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone on TV.
Howard Carter handles sound design here, and does a sterling job as usual, proving himself once again as one of Big Finish‘s best behind-the-scenes talents. Not only does he perfectly translate the movements of the Angels to audio without the need for clunky “it just moved!’ dialogue, which is no mean feat in and of itself, but he announces their presence with a spooky choral score, which is the standout piece in an already-strong soundtrack.
Overall, Wink is, like the other instalments in the Out of Time series, a strong story, with Lisa McMullin expertly bringing together two Doctors, an old enemy and a compelling plot. While the side characters are a little on the weak side, and the story drags a tad in the middle, this is made up for by the creativity of the ideas at play, which is this release’s strength outside of the fantastic rapport between David Tennant and Colin Baker. Recommended.