Description: Volume 2 of The Churchill Years brings yet more adventures for Britains most revered Prime minister and this set of Adventures not only tests his wits but also test his very moral compass.
Review: This second volume adventure sees Winston Churchill looking back on the career of Winston Churchill with one story set during his younger days in which he is implicated in a mystery and the other three are set during the second world war and sees Prime Minister Churchill having to resist various temptations as he wrestles with his own moral compass.
The first story ‘Young Winston’ by Paul Morris sees the famed British orator and politician as a brash office in His Majesties armed forces. This adventure begins in Havana Cuba in which Winston has gone looking for a fight, but finds so much more in the guise of a beautiful woman and a mystery. The story leaps forward in time to 1899, which is a period where Winston is looking to go into politics for the first time, but before he can decide his past Cuban adventure catches up with him when a certain famed Detective by the name of Madam Vaster pulls him into her investigation, which involves a mysterious pearl, an older lady called Carman and a bunch of ruthless alien mercenaries.
This first adventure sets the scene for what is to follow. Having Winston Churchill meet Madam Vastra is a brilliant idea and allows so much fun interplay between Ian McNiece’s portrayal of Churchill and Neve McIntosh’s Vastra who is brilliant value. The mystery concerning Carman and the pearl and Churchill’s cigar cutter is brilliant stuff.
The second adventure ‘Human Conflict’ by Iain McLaughlin sees a distraught Churchill trying to boost the morale of the country and the armed forces. It’s 1942 and the war has been raging for 2 years and we are caught smack bang in the middle of the blitz. There could be hope. Which comes in the form of a mission to retrieve technology that could help end the war early. As things develop. Winston learns that he and the Nazi’s are part of what could be the arms deal to end all arms deals. It takes the Doctor to step in and convince Churchill that no good will come of the war irrespective of who gets the cache of weapons that are on offer. This story sees Winston Churchill having to roll a hard six and measure the human costs of purchasing and using such destructive weapons. Ian McNiece is on awesome form in this story and I loved that we got to see a Prime Minister has to make a tough call in this story.
The third story ‘I was Churchill’s Double’ by Alan Barnes gives us an interesting glance at how Churchill might have coped within an alternate universe in which the German’s have occupied Great Britain. With some input from the 9th Doctor Churchill manages to muddle through a situation that he’d never have dreamed of being in. Again Ian McNiece is awesome in this story and having him spur on a resistance movement was an interesting touch.
The fourth and final story ‘Churchill Victorious’ by Robert Khan & Tom Salinsky sees the dogmatic bulldog of a Prime Minister going undercover with a very iffy fake identity. The idea of Churchill walking among the people of London on the day in which Germany surrendered is a fun notion and one that presents a lot of comedic moments as well as the notion of a politician getting out from the Westminister bubble to actually speak to and learn about real people. In this instance, the Prime Minister under his fake identity gets help from two civilians and an uncommissioned soldier from the Home Guard as he takes on a deadly Alien Bounty Hunter. This story throws forward a lot of surprises including a brilliant speech from a Mrs. Wheeler as she pleas with Churchill not to start operation unthinkable and drag out the war. Her anti-austerity speech resonates but is something she pulls back on at the end and takes back when Churchill’s own decision is informed by the public feeling that she seems to be conveying.
The Doctor also has some involvement in this story, but for the first half of it, he is otherwise indisposed.
This last story with all of the twists and turns and the political commentary at the end was really enjoyable and not only showed us a Great and multifaceted Winston Churchill but also showed us some of the old wartime British spirits.
Overall. This box set is excellent. The acting performances are brilliant and the writing is fantastic. Whether you love him or loathe him. There is no disputing the fact that Churchill was the best Prime Minister of the 20th century and perhaps one of the most multifaceted individuals to ever govern in Great Britain. The writing and acting in this box set are brilliantly respectful of Churchill as both a leader and a human being.
This set improved upon a great job that Big Finish did with Volume One. Its a must have for all fans of Big Finish.
- Voice Acting10
- Sound Production & Music10