In Review: Big Finish: UNIT: Incursions

Threats to our planet come in many forms. Some are alien visitations, some lay dormant in Earth itself, and occasionally, danger arrives with a big gun and fantastic hair.

Synopsis: Threats to our planet come in many forms. Some are alien visitations, some lay dormant in Earth itself, and occasionally, danger arrives with a big gun and fantastic hair.

Whatever the threat, whoever the enemy, UNIT is ready to defend the world.

Review: UNIT: Incursions is a marvelous box set, allowing for some lovely flourishes to one of the oldest science fiction tropes. River Song, as interesting as she is, isn’t always the most interesting thing within the storytelling.

“This Sleep of Death” by Jonathan Morris beautifully combines ideas of resurrection, possession, and invasion. It’s a much more esoteric variation of Doctor Who’s “The Unquiet Dead” or Torchwood’s “They Keep Killing Suzie.” As a plus, fans of Classic Doctor Who get a heartwarmingly in character easter egg.

“Tempest” by Lisa McMullin also involves alien arrival but is more a treatise on unintended consequences than outright invasion. I really appreciate how otherworldly this species is. I also really enjoyed how much the story felt like a classic UNIT adventure with timely social commentary.

Last, but not least, “The Power of River Song” by Guy Adams is the timey-wimey two-part main event. Alex Kingston does not disappoint. The chemistry and the call-backs are front and center. Listeners also get more cerebral time travel twists and meta-commentary on evil alien invasion plans. That said, River Song isn’t a good long-term fit for UNIT. Adams trades on River’s mystery, and Big Finish won’t be able to maintain that if River spends too much time with Kate Stewart and Osgood.

As ever, Jemma Redgrave, Ingrid Oliver, and the rest of the regular cast are superb. I’m glad Big Finish has given UNIT a home with excellent writing behind it, considering The Doctor’s favorite government organization has been defunded on television. I look forward to audio adventures for years to come.

Cast

Jemma Redgrave (Kate Stewart), Ingrid Oliver (Osgood), Alex Kingston (River Song), Warren Brown (Sam Bishop), Ajjaz Awad (Private Meghan Coates), Andrew French (Sergeant Warren Calder), Chris Jarman (Joel Sanders), James Joyce (Captain Josh Carter), Alexandra Mathie (Mother McCracken), Hywel Morgan (Jeff / Barney), Leighton Pugh (Leif / Wampeerix), Enzo Squillino Jnr (Mr Chant), Tracy Wiles (Jacqui McGee)

Production Credits

Cover Artist Tom Webster

Director Ken Bentley

Executive Producer Jason Haigh-Ellery, Nicholas Briggs

Music Howard Carter

Producer David Richardson

Script Editor Matt Fitton

Sound Design Howard Carter

Writers Jonathan Morris, Lisa McMullin, Guy Adams

9.5
Big Finish: UNIT: Incursions
  • Story
    8.5
  • Performances
    10
  • Audio Production
    10

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
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