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Werewolves in Rio with the Fifth Doctor and Turlough
‘Loups-Garoux’ is French for ‘werewolves’!
It’s also the title of the second Big Finish audio adventure made with Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor and Mark Strickson as Vislor Turlough. I found this to be a pretty grizzly and gruesome adventure. Yet somehow, it’s a pretty gripping audio drama and one of the finest ‘Doctor Who’ stories made for audio.
‘Loups-Garoux’ is a four-part adventure by Marc Platt who has contributed to the TV series with ‘Ghost Light’. This was his first Big Finish audio for Peter Davison’s Doctor. It’s a dark tale about werewolves with lots of things going on. Mind you, I don’t think I’ve fully grasped all the concepts featured in this.
The adventure takes place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the year 2080. The Doctor and Turlough visit Rio to enjoy the carnival festivities. But there are werewolves in Rio and very soon the Doctor and Turlough get embroiled in grizzly events when an ancient werewolf arises and about to go on the hunt.
Marc Platt comes up with a growling, howling tale of werewolves with a sci-fi spin on it. I was quite terrified when hearing werewolves on audio. Although I may not grasp the story fully, there are some gruesome horrific scenes that I found effective and that is what ‘Doctor Who’ strives for in many cases.
I enjoyed Peter Davison as the Doctor and how he deals with the werewolves. I enjoyed the friendship he has with Turlough and how he develops a unique relationship with the lady werewolf Ileana de Santos. Peter’s Doctor faces dangerous territory regarding the werewolves. This could put his life on the line.
Mark Strickson as Turlough is well-written in this adventure and he develops an interesting character journey. I liked how Turlough’s dark side gets explored and he discovers his inner wolf. He also possibly develops a romantic side in meeting and befriending Rosa Caiman somewhere in the Amazon desert.
The story features a superb cast full of howling performances with the likes of Eleanor Bron, Burt Kwuok and Nicky Henson. I’ve come across many of these actors before in other film and TV productions. It was a delight to hear them in this audio story with Peter Davison’s Doctor and Turlough.
Eleanor Bron guest stars as Ileana de Santos, a lady werewolf. Eleanor has been in ‘Doctor Who’ before; first as an art critic in ‘City of Death’ and later as Kara in ‘Revelation of the Daleks’. Ileana is a mother on the run with her ill son Victor. She seeks the Doctor for help and may end up being his bride.
Burt Kwuok guest stars as Dr. Hayashi, who works for Ileana de Santos. Burk Kwuok has been in ‘Doctor Who’ before in ‘Four To Doomsday’ with Peter Davison. Dr. Hayashi is helping to get Ileana’s son Victor better and possibly ‘cure’ him. He’s also a deceptive man who may turn traitor against the werewolves.
Nicky Henson guest stars as Pieter Stubbe, the ancient werewolf who hunts Ileana de Santos. Henson has been in ‘Eastenders’ and he apparently played Mr. Johnson in the ‘Fawlty Towers’ episode ‘The Psychiatrist’. I found Henson’s deep, growling tones as Stubbe pretty effective, scary and creepy to listen to.
Sarah Gale as Rosa Caiman is an interesting character. I don’t fully understand her role in the story, but she lives out in the Amazon desert by herself with her Dictaphone, talking to her grandfather. She shares an interesting relationship with Turlough as there’s some element of romance between them.
There’s a scene in this story that I enjoyed between the Doctor and Turlough in ‘Part Four’. It’s the scene where the Doctor and Turlough discuss women and relationships. The Doctor makes references to his past companions like Nyssa, Tegan and many others. He also mentions his granddaughter Susan.
‘Loups-Garoux’s conclusion was pretty fast-paced. I also felt it was rather rushed. I didn’t fully get what was going on in the last number of scenes of the story with how Stubbe got defeated and how the Doctor was seeing Ileana at the end. I wish more time was given to explain ‘Loups-Garoux’s conclusion.
Despite that, I found ‘Loups-Garoux’ to be a pretty grizzly, gripping tale with the Doctor and Turlough meeting werewolves. I enjoyed this audio tale by Marc Platt and found the character journeys of the Doctor and Turlough interesting. It’s clearly one of Big Finish finest tales and not an easy one to forget.
The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Disc 2, there’s a trailer for the first series of ‘Dalek Empire’ (‘Invasion of the Daleks’, ‘The Human Factor’, ‘”Death to the Daleks!”‘ and ‘Project Infinity’).
‘Loups-Garoux’ rating – 8/10
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