MY BIG FINISH JOURNEY PART 12: INVADERS FROM MARS
After a little time away from the Eighth Doctor I have decided to start listening to his second series of big finish which came out between 2002 and 2003. There are seven stories in this series, and I plan to listen to four of them before a little break and then returning to the last three. Invaders From Mars is a very similar story to the opener for Paul McGann’s first series Storm Warning. Its set in 1938 America where the Doctor and Charley are trying to discover the truth to a dead detective. At the same time there is the famous case of the meteors flying past earth and people claiming on the radio they have seen aliens. This story plays in on that the same way Storm Waning played in on the airship exploding and why it actually happened. Of course, the Doctor and Charley had something to do with both. As I said in my Storm Warning review, I have always really enjoyed real world mysteries mixed with a Doctor Who twist and Invaders From Mars tried to do just that. It was a decent start for Paul McGann’s second series, and I am now hyped about listening to his next story which I have heard is an incredible one.
Whilst the main idea for Invaders From Mars was a very good one, I think the plot went off on a tangent unfortunately. It got too caught up in different characters stories. I think it could have done with a lot less side cast as with the early big finish audios its quite hard to tell who is who as the side cast all seem quite similar and the four parts isn’t long enough to develop. Due to this it could be quite hard to follow what was happening especially in parts two and three where nothing really happened. Part one did set everything up quite nicely and part four had a clever ending which I didn’t expect but I was quite bored throughout the second and third part. The aliens in this weren’t anything special but they did have an original motive/plan which was refreshing as many Doctor Who episodes are not that different from each other anymore. One thing that did really annoy me was that at the end of almost every track there would be an annoying 5 second sound effect which made it sound really cheesy and fake. I think it may be just something big finish did at the start of them making audios as they hadn’t found a proper format that worked yet but I am hoping it isn’t the same in the coming episodes to this series.
As per usual Paul McGann was brilliant in Invaders From Mars. I love every single thing he does or says. Even thou he’s had one movie and one audio series by this point, he feels like such a developed doctor who has his own little quirks and phrases. This is why he is one of my favourite doctors. He can be serious one minute and very light-hearted an enthusiastic the next. Charley is starting to grow on me but I did find it odd she spend her first episode trying to get to Singapore because she wanted an adventure and now at the start of her second series she wants to go home. Simon Pegg playing one of the side cast in this episode was great as he is an incredible actor, but it was a shame he was wasted as he had next to no screen time. On the other hand, Invaders From Mars was made before he became a big star so I can kind of see why he didn’t have a lot of screen time. It was nice to see Mark Gattis write a big finish audio as I am very much used to the modern format and writers so having a more familiar story made me enjoy it more. It was a very typical Mark Gattis historical story which was a solid story but wasn’t anything special.
To conclude, Invaders From Mars was a solid opener for Paul McGann’s second series as the doctor. It was a very similar story to his first series opener Storm Warning where there was a decent idea for a story but parts two and three didn’t progress as much as I would have liked an ultimately I had to wait till part four for it to really pick up again. The Doctor was as great as ever and Charley is growing on me as a companion as she is always doing something and trying to solve the problem without sounding too arrogant and annoying. I also found the sound effects quite annoying in this story.
Overall, I give Invaders From Mars a 6/10.
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