During the third season finale of ABC’s Once Upon A Time, the writers introduced time travel into the show’s mythology. The by-the-numbers Back to the Future homage brought Elsa, the Snow Queen, from Disney’s Frozen to Storybrooke. It also brought Maid Marian from the past, facilitating a love triangle with her, Robin Hood, and the semi-reformed Evil Queen. As these narrative developments were touted at this year’s Comic-Con, I found myself hankering for a more effective time travel story, which featured the underserved Red Riding Hood, who is a werewolf on Once Upon A Time. Big Finish gave me an alternative dark fairy tale featuring werewolves and time travel called “Loups-Garoux.”
Synopsis: Germany, 1589: the townspeople of Cologne pronounce a sentence of death on a mass-murderer who has stalked the countryside in the guise of a ferocious wolf. Russia, 1812: retreating from Napoleon’s invading forces, a merchant’s daughter is rescued from bandits by a handsome partisan with a ravenous appetite. Brazil, 2080: The Doctor and Turlough arrive for the Rio de Janeiro carnival. Is wealthy heiress Ileana de Santos all that she seems? What sinister ailment afflicts her invalid son, tended by the mysterious Dr Hayashi? And who exactly is Rosa, engaged on a secret quest to fulfil the destiny of her extinct tribe? Time is running out for Rosa, Ileana and the Doctor, as the fearsome shadow of an ancient werewolf moves ever closer…
The Fairy Tales: “Loups-Garoux”, French for werewolves, features two fairy tale threads. Rosa Caiman (Sarah Gale) is the last of an extinct South American tribe, seeking to keep tradition alive and find her place in the world with a rite of passage. She’s the Red Riding Hood character who takes on the wolves while walking the last forest in 2080 — the one in her mind where she communes with ancient spirits. What’s truly wonderful is that the werewolves in this story had their own fairy tales. The werewolf matriarch Ileana de Santos (Eleanor Bron) told her son the story of the wolf woman who harbored the wolf called Winter in her home. This served as the bitter-sweet thematic parallel for Ileana and the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison).
“Loups-Garoux” is is an engaging, thought provoking, and poignant entry in Big Finish’s Main Range.
- You can buy it at www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/loups-garoux-645.
Written By: Marc Platt
Directed By: Nicholas Pegg
Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor); Mark Strickson (Turlough); Eleanor Bron (Ileana de Santos); Burt Kwouk (Doctor Hayashi); Nicky Henson (Pieter Stubbe); David Hankinson (Anton Lichfuss); Sarah Gale (Rosa Caiman/Samba Girl/Tannoy Voice/Ticket Inspector); Jane Burke (Inez); Nicholas Pegg (Magistrate); Barnaby Edwards (Victor); Derek Wright (Jorge)0rc Platt (Tourist); Alistair Lock (Greetings Card); Jez Fielder (Jaguar Maiden Vocals)