Having learned its lessons from time-traveling history tour lines of the past, Jolly Chronolidays opts instead to recreate history for its customers. One of its tours takes travelers on a visit to the Sector of Forgotten Souls, the very spot where the pioneering Time Lord Omega detonated – and then captured in mid-explosion – the star that became the source of Gallifrey’s power. But the unique dimensional instabilities of the sector have unintended side effects – the actor who portrays Omega’s ill-fated assistant Vandikirian goes mad, convinced that the real Omega is trying to kill him, and when he turns up dead it seems he wasn’t entirely mistaken in that fear. The Doctor, who has been along for the tour, is puzzled when his investigation of the man’s death dead-ends without a suspect. He’s even more alarmed when he begins hearing the voice of Omega himself, urging him to help the fallen Time Lord escape from his dimension of anti-matter. But will he be able to help Omega when it begins to look like the Doctor himself committed the murder?
written by Nev Fountain
directed by Gary Russell
music by ERS
Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Ian Collier (Omega), Caroline Munro (Sentia), Patrick Duggan (Professor Ertikus / Luvis), Hugo Myatt (Daland), Conrad Westmaas (Tarpov / Rassilon), Jim Sangster (Zagreus), Faith Kent (Maven), Anita Elias (Glinda), Gary Russell (Medibot / Vidibot / Scintillans / Mugging Machine)
Timeline: immediately after Arc Of Infinity and before Snakedance
LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green
Review: From the pen of Nev Fountain (who scripted the controversial BBCi audio drama Death Comes To Time), Omega is an almost surrealist story that follows on immediately from the last Omega appearance in the TV series, Arc Of Infinity, and demonstrates that the television adventure in question was only half the story. If there was ever a time when the Big Finish audio adventures were at risk of breaking the fourth wall, Omega is it, with Peter Davison’s unusually companion-less Doctor talking to himself a great deal, and the story’s dialogue tackling everything from showbiz to the propagation and commercial exploitation of watered-down revisionist history. Davison gets to bounce off of the magnificently menacing voice of Ian Collier in what is more of a double act than you may at first realize. Actress and former model Caroline Munro, once mooted as the companion for an unproduced big-screen Doctor Who movie in the 80s, turns in a wonderfully layered performance as the misguided Sentia, who takes turns coming across as everything from airheaded to devilishly cunning.
As funny as it all seems, Omega ties up a few dangling threads of continuity and lays some pipe for stories yet to come, with a nice little bit of insignificant foreshadowing for Zagreus dropped in fairly early in the story. Things get a bit thick with technobabble about halfway through the story, but again, some of it is a game of misdirection on the writer’s part – there’s something I’d describe as a very substantial cliffhanger at the end of part three that turns the entire story upside down. Big Finish has given us cliffhangers of great revelation, terror and suspense in the past, but never have they succeeded in throwing one quite like this at you, where you’re suddenly forced to question just what it is you’ve been listening to and hearing in every previous moment of the story.
Lots of fun, this one, and proof that Nev Fountain does actually know what he’s doing with a Doctor Who story in his hands; here’s hoping that the powers that be at Big Finish see fit to bring him back for more.