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Feel The Music In Your Soul
Drugs; sex; alcohol and loud music!
‘The Rapture’ is one of the most unusual and bizarre ‘Doctor Who’ adventures I’ve listened to. It stars Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor and Sophie Aldred as Ace. I wouldn’t call it a favourite, but it was interesting as there’s a nightclubbing atmosphere and you can feel the music throughout.
The Doctor and Ace visit Ibiza in 1997. Following the events of ‘Colditz’, Ace wants to be normal and she decides to do some clubbing with the university students at ‘The Rapture’ nightclub in Ibiza. But something strange goes on at the nightclub. Has the angel Gabriel really come to Earth sent by God?
This four-part audio adventure is by Joseph Lidster, who makes his first contribution to ‘Doctor Who’ in Big Finish. This is a story that belongs to the New Adventures book series of ‘Doctor Who’ during the 1990s with the Seventh Doctor and Ace, especially as it has drug, sex and alcohol references in it.
Being Joe’s first ‘Doctor Who’ story, I don’t consider this to be his best work. It focuses on the nightlife aspects rather than the actual plot of aliens taking control of humans to invade the Earth which is bizarre. But Joe would go on to write more fantastic audios in ‘Doctor Who’ with Big Finish.
There are lots of religious references and connotations in this story connected to the nightclubbing and music. Now I believe there is a God, due to my faith, but I don’t consider the references to be reassuring. It’s obviously meant to, as the aliens use the religious references to their advantage.
There is an exclusive rendition of the ‘Doctor Who’ theme music for this audio story in nightclubbing fashion style. I prefer the actual Sylvester McCoy theme music and would have liked it if they used that theme music for this story. But it’s a very interesting rendition of the theme music nonetheless.
Sylvester McCoy plays his darker Doctor extremely well in this audio adventure. The Doctor sometimes hangs about in the background, watching what goes on with the mysterious things during the nightclubbing. I like how he works out what’s going on and is also concerned for Ace.
Sophie Aldred is very good as Ace (or ‘McShane’ as she prefers to call herself now) in this audio. Ace is recovering from the horrors of ‘Colditz’ and doesn’t want any more nasty things to happen. She tries to be normal and join in with the clubbing. But as it turns out, it’s not as easy as she first thought.
I liked it when Ace makes references to previous stories like ‘The Curse of Fenric’ to emphasise how much she want things to be normal and doesn’t want the Doctor to ruin it for her. This was a very interesting turning point in the character development of Ace during the ‘Doctor Who’ series.
Tony Blackburn guest stars as the DJ in Ibiza. Tony doesn’t have a major part to play in the story, despite what the CD cover implies. He’s really making interjecting remarks on the radio during the events of the story and when everybody’s nightclubbing. But they’re quite amusing remarks really.
The guest cast also includes Matthew Brenher as Jude, one of the angels/aliens running the music at ‘The Rapture’ nightclub. Matthew also has a brother called Gabriel who he has a close connection to.
There’s also Neil Henry who plays Gabriel, Jude’s brother. Gabriel actually speaks out to everyone on the dance floor at the nightclub. He declares righteous oaths and believes himself to be an ‘angel’.
There’s also Carlos Reira, a Spanish actor, playing Gustavo, who runs a bar in Ibiza. He’s an old friend of the Doctor, but it turns out he’s not what he seems regarding ‘The Rapture’ and the nightclubbing.
This story also guest stars David John as Liam. David appeared in the ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘Survival’ before ‘The Rapture’. Here he plays Ace’s brother, who has been looking for his sister for a long time.
I found interesting and surprising to discover that Ace has a brother. The scenes in ‘Part Two’ where Ace finds out that Liam is her brother are touching and moving. It was pretty intense when Ace is shouting to demand who Liam is and he explains to her what happened regarding his family history.
There’s also Anne Bird as Caitriona, one of the girl clubbers at ‘The Rapture’ nightclub. Caitriona suffers from depression and she gets to fly with Gabriel in the sky, experiencing unusual sensations.
And there’s also Daniel Wilson as Brian, another clubber at ‘The Rapture’ nightclub. Brian seems to be a rather nervous type of person and he gets killed pretty early on the story, which was a surprise.
There are a number of eerie dream sequences that appear during this story. This is when Caitriona is flying with Gabriel and she sees different versions of the Doctor; Ace and Liam. I didn’t understand these sequences really and it was where the story fell apart for me, as it’s not made clear by the end.
The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Disc 2, there’s a trailer for ‘The Sandman’ with Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor and Maggie Stables as Evelyn Smythe. There is also a suite of incidental music from ‘The Rapture’. This I had to wait for a few minutes after ‘The Sandman’ trailer had finished.
‘The Rapture’ certainly has an exotic Ibizan atmosphere with nightclub music resonating throughout. I don’t consider this one of my favourites, but I enjoyed hearing the Doctor and Ace who experience the clubbing atmosphere. It does provide a different take on what a ‘Doctor Who’ story should be.
‘The Rapture’ rating – 5/10
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