‘PORTRAIT OF A LADY’ (LC)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Lady Christina, Sam Bishop and the Sontaran
The third episode of Series 1 of ‘Lady Christina’ is ‘Portrait of a Lady’ by Tim Dawson. This is the first time I’ve come across Tim Dawson as a writer. I believe this was his first contribution to Big Finish. 🙂
When I heard this episode, I did wonder where Lady Christina was in the story. It took a while for her to enter in. It was later on that I realised she was using a voice modulator to disguise her voice here.
Lady Christina takes on the disguise of El Guapo when employing the services of brother-and-sister cat burglars Leon and Lucy Clancy. Fortunately I was able to recognise Michelle Ryan’s voice later. 😀
Incidentally, the episode has a very unusual rendition of the opening titles music for the series – sort of James Bond like I think. I would’ve gone with the standard ‘Lady Christina’ opening titles music. 😀
The story’s focus early on is taken from Warren Brown as Sam Bishop who becomes an integral part of the episode. He gets involved with preventing the theft of a certain priceless painting in the story.
Like I said, the Clancy brother-and-sister cat burglars Gareth Corke as Leon and Emily Carewe as Lucy attempt to steal the painting called Perfection for Lady Christina as El Guapa. Sam Bishop intervenes.
As Sam Bishop gets involved with Leon and Lucy’s criminal activities, they soon run into Christopher Ryan as Grunt, a former Sontaran marshal. He is working for Matthew Brenher as Mr. Kamen in this.
I did wonder why a Sontaran would be willing work for a human like Kamen. It gradually transpired that Grunt had squishy stuff on his head to modify his brain functions as is depicted on the CD cover.
Christopher Ryan of course played Sontarans in the new series of ‘Doctor Who’. It was nice to hear a Sontaran in a ‘Lady Christina’ episode going “Sonta-Ha!” It matches to ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’.
Matthew Brenher guest stars as Mr. Kamen, who is essentially the villain of the piece. He uses Grunt’s warrior skills to help him steal the priceless Perfection painting for a certain Professor Plush.
I liked it when the odds seemed against Sam and Lucy as well as Leon as they simultaneously attacked by Grunt and Kamen respectively. It’s Lady Christina who enters to save the day in the end.
I enjoyed the interaction between Lady Christina and Sam in the episode. Sometimes they bounce off each other. Sometimes they clash, especially when Sam is intending to arrest Christina in the tale.
It doesn’t stop Christina from giving Sam a ride in her ‘mighty 200’ bus when they’re about to go and chase after Leon and Lucy. Unlike with Sylvia last time, Sam experiences the bus flying into the sky! 🙂
It was tense when the ‘mighty 200’ bus crashed into the sea when being gunned down by Kamen and Grunt in their submarine Bentley. I did wonder if Christina’s bus could actually go underwater. 😦
As I indicated, there is a feeling of a James Bond adventure in this episode. This is especially when Lady Christina and Sam are journeying the world from Europe to South America to the Pacific Ocean.
It was unusual when Lady Christina was looking into the Perfection painting and it was reflecting what she feels, as voiced by Emily Carewe. I don’t believe there was a lot of exploration on that part.
Grunt goes ballistic when Sam attacked him, knocking him out on the probic vent at one point. He even goes ballistic further when he finds out the truth of Kamen controlling him and wants revenge.
I did find the brother and sister characters of Leon and Lucy quite annoying at times. Lucy tended to whine and moan about not getting what she wanted and Leon tended to be a coward in the episode.
Jenny Lee guest stars Professor Leslie Plush in the episode. I’m not sure I understand her motivations as a villain. She wanted that Perfection painting really much in order to see her reflection in it. Why?
I thought Lady Christina was going to be taken in by Sam Bishop at the end as well as have her bus confiscated. But Christina manages to outwit Sam and get away. Will these two ever meet again? 😀
‘Portrait of a Lady’ has been an enjoyable episode in the ‘Lady Christina’ series. I don’t think it’s the best one, but it was fun to hear Lady Christina and Sam together as well as hear Grunt the Sontaran.
‘Portrait of a Lady’ (LC) rating – 7/10
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