‘DEATH ON THE MILE’ (LC)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Lady Christina, Sam Bishop, Jacqui McGee and the Slitheen
It’s the last episode of Series 1 of ‘Lady Christina’! I enjoyed this last episode! It had an intriguing first half with Lady Christina before the Slitheen arrived. It did get a little fuzzy by the second half though.
‘Death on the Mile’ (pun on Agatha Christie’s ‘Death on the Nile’, didn’t you know? 😀 ) is by Scottish writer Donald McLeary. He also penned one of ‘The Diary of River Song’ audio episodes by Big Finish.
In this episode, Lady Christina gets offered to do a heist for Ewan Bailey as Sir Edward Scott Cameron. He wants Christina to break into Edinburgh Castle and steal a really special treasure chest.
It’s of course an offer Lady Christina can’t refuse. But very soon, it turns out to be a trap set by the gruesomely alien Slitheen. Can Christina stop the Slitheen’s plans with the help of U.N.I.T. members?
I was delighted to hear the Slitheen in this ‘Lady Christina’ episode, having seen them in ‘Doctor Who’. They get to do their farting and become menacing whilst being pretty full of themselves here.
I enjoyed how Donald McLeary set the episode in Scotland and at Edinburgh Castle. Having been to Scotland myself with my parents, I was able to appreciate the Scottish Heritage featured throughout.
It’s been a while since I visited Edinburgh and I can’t recall Edinburgh Castle vividly at this time. But I was able to picture the exterior and interiors of the castle quite easily when listening to the episode.
Michelle Ryan is wonderful as Lady Christina in the episode. I enjoyed how she continues to be sassy and maintain her cat burglar antics whilst at the same time having a moral centre in defeating aliens.
This episode also features Sam Bishop back as Warren Brown. He’s become a regular in the ‘Lady Christina’ series as much as Michelle Ryan is the main star. He does get captured by Slitheen though.
The episode also features Tracy Wiles as Jacqui McGee. Jacqui is a journalist for Orbit TV News and has appeared in ‘U.N.I.T. – The New Series’. She works with Sam and Christina against the Slitheen! 🙂
In terms of the Slitheen cast, they are as follows. There’s Melissa Collier as Slitheen Janice; Richard Hansell as Slitheen Robin; Christopher Ryan as Slitheen Handley and Ewan Bailey as Slitheen Edward.
Yes, I was quite surprised when it turned out that Sir Edward was a Slitheen after all. I was even more surprised that U.N.I.T. Captain Handley turned out to be a Slitheen. Chris Ryan was a Sontaran!
It was saddening when Melissa Collier as Elaine saw that her husband Robin was not acting like she knew him and turned out to be a Slitheen. She helps out when she interacts with Jacqui in this story.
The Slitheen group in this episode happen to be called the Klep-Clotch Slitheen. They happen to be a branch of the Raxacoricofallapatorian criminal family. I assume every Slitheen is a vile criminal here.
It was fun to hear the Slitheen getting blown up when our heroes use vinegar to kill them. I can imagine Lady Christina, Sam, Jacqui and Elaine looking really grubby with Slitheen guts all over them.
Like I said, the ending was quite fuzzy to listen to. This is when Lady Christina, Sam and Jacqui are trying to hunt down their Slitheen’s HQ. Sometimes I did drift, but I soon found myself back on track.
I enjoyed it when Lady Christina happened to make certain improvements to her ‘mighty 200’ bus since the last time with her and Sam. This included driving the bus underwater and giving it a forcefield! 🙂
It was tense during the climax when the bus seemed to be journeying into a volcano and Lady Christina told everyone including Sam, Jacqui and Elaine to get out while she drove the bus on into huge peril.
I did wonder if Series 1 was going to end on an anti-climax as Sam, Jacqui and Elaine wonder what became of her after they defeated the Slitheen. But fortunately, Lady Christina and her bus survived.
The final scene with Lady Christina has her planning to check out a collection of sapphires that have been reportedly taken from somewhere called…Metebelis. Um…I wouldn’t bother there, Christina. 😀
‘Death on the Mile’ is an enjoyable episode in the ‘Lady Christina’ series. Its climax was a let-down, but I did enjoy the performances of Michelle Ryan and the rest as well as the Slitheen’s appearance.
BONUS DISC: BEHIND-THE-SCENES
Disc 5 of the Series 1 CD box set of ‘Lady Christina’ features a behind-the-scenes making-of documentary focusing on the creation of the series and how its first four episodes were made. These behind-the-scenes documentaries by Big Finish, as ever, are very informative and enjoyable to hear.
The documentary starts with the ‘Lady Christina’ theme song before we get to the introduction by producer David Richardson and director Helen Goldwyn. There’s also an interview with Michelle Ryan who shares her experiences of making ‘Planet of the Dead’ as well as the ‘Lady Christina’ series.
We then move onto the making of each of the four episodes of Series 1. First we look into ‘It Takes A Thief’. This features interviews with Michelle Ryan, writer John Dorney, Matt Barber, Cristina Barreiro and Holly Jackson Walters. I realised the episode’s title is a take on an Alfred Hitchcock film.
There’s then a look into the episode ‘Skin Deep’, featuring interviews with Michelle Ryan, writer James Goss, Jacqueline King, William Gaminara, Suzy Bloom and Rebecca Yeo. It was lovely to hear Jacqueline King getting interviewed and she gives praise to James Goss’ writing for Sylvia’s character.
After that, there’s a look into the episode ‘Portrait of a Lady’. This has interviews with Michelle Ryan, writer Tim Dawson via phone I believe, Gareth Corke, Emily Carewe, Matthew Brenher, Christopher Ryan and Jenny Lee. Matthew Brenher has featured in some early ‘Doctor Who’ audios by Big Finish.
Eventually, the documentary concludes with a look into the episode ‘Death on the Mile’. This features interviews with Michelle Ryan, Warren Brown, Tracy Wiles and Ewan Bailey. The documentary concludes with some thoughts on the future of the ‘Lady Christina’ series by Big Finish.
I greatly enjoyed Series 1 of ‘Lady Christina’ by Big Finish. Hopefully there’ll be more audio adventures featuring Michelle Ryan in the title role. I’m saddened this isn’t the Tenth Doctor/Lady Christina series of ‘Doctor Who’ stories I would’ve wanted, but it’s just about the next best thing.
I’m intrigued now about where Lady Christina will go next and what plans Big Finish have in mind for her next season of audio adventures. I’m planning to write a few Lady Christina stories, perhaps featuring her with a certain Fourth Doctor and a certain James Darby. That’s just to tease you! 😀
‘Death on the Mile’ (LC) rating – 7/10
‘Lady Christina’: Series 1 rating – 8/10
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