Synopsis: Missy is alone, unleashed and unfettered. What does she get up to when the Doctor isn’t around?
Now that she has what she wants, Missy needs someone to show off to, but her temporal mischief attracts the wrong kind of attention.
Infuriating children, a vacationing Sontaran, and her own worst intentions will get in her way. Added to that, a Meddling Monk is out for revenge…
Review: Missy Series 02 is a darkly delightful follow up containing stories by Lisa McMullin, Roy Gill, Gemma Arrowsmith, and John Dorney. These tales introduce new wrinkles, revisit old friends, and continue the process of integrating Big Finish into modern Doctor Who and vice versa.
“The Lumiat” by Lisa McMullin introduces a necessary character for bridging the gaps between Big Finish and modern Doctor Who. At first, I thought The Lumiat was the Big Finish analog for the Thirteenth Doctor until they could contractually begin telling Whittaker-era stories. Turns out, Big Finish needed her to fulfill a much more interesting destiny.
I love Missy’s dynamic with The Lumiat and their give and take through time. Their trip to UNIT’s Black Archive is worth the price alone. Moreover, I hope we get at least one Short Trip about the adventures of various K9’s and The Lumiat’s cybernetic cats.
“Brimstone and Terror” by Roy Gill reunites Missy with Oliver and Lucy Davis from Gill’s first series story, “A Spoonful of Mayhem.” The tale transitions from Mary Poppins to Boys’ School tropes. The highlight, however, isn’t Missy, but Strax. His presence is wonderfully unexpected but completely logical. The scene in which Lucy engages Strax’s services is a treat, as is the cuckoo clock exchange Strax has with Oliver.
“Treason and Plot” by Gemma Arrowsmith is a send-up of the Gunpowder Plot and gives listeners a different view of The Time Agency. I adore that Missy goes old school in her interactions with Robert Catesby and Guy Fawkes, including a certain line of dialogue.
The centerpiece of the story, though, is Missy’s interaction with rookie Time agent Rita Cooper. The two women make an unsettling double act. Instead of Captain Jack’s usual bedroom farce, this installment is more of a twisted training montage, as Rita learns the hard way in a scenario that isn’t included in any textbook.
“Too Many Masters” by John Dorney is a sequel to Dorney’s first series story, “Divorced, Beheaded, Regenerated.” I’m not even bothering to describe this, because Missy and The Monk are plot proof and simply must be experienced.
Michelle Gomez returns, and if possible, her performance is even madder than an even larger box of frogs. It’s amazing to me that she delivered this and her previous tour-de-force remotely and has never actually met her Big Finish producers and costars.
As for those costars, Gina McKee makes her very welcome debut as a Time Lady like no other, and I’m glad she’s playing The Lumiat for Big Finish, as I don’t think a BBC script of this storyline would allow her the same performance opportunities.
McKee is joining returning guest stars that are, as ever, in top form. Dan Starkey plays a triple role, showing off his versatility. It’s his performance as Strax that really continues to impress, however. Starkey’s deadpan comedy remains superb.
Oliver Clement and Bonnie Kingston reprise Oliver and Lucy with commitment and glee. Listeners get the sense through their performances that these are children who live in the wider Big Finish world when they aren’t in Missy’s path.
As marvelous as these other actors are, though, their dynamics with Gomez pale next to Rufus Hound. He’s inhabiting The Monk at this point (no pun intended). I don’t think anyone foresaw the character being so perfectly realized almost sixty years after his introduction.
Once again, Big Finish brings one of Doctor Who’s darkest characters to brightest life. I can’t wait for Missy Series 03.
You can purchase Missy Series 02 here.
- Audio Production10