‘A THOUSAND TINY WINGS’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
The Doctor reunites with Elizabeth Klein
The Doctor and Klein – the best of enemies!
Klein is back! This trilogy of stories by Big Finish features Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor who is now joined by Tracey Childs as Elizabeth Klein, who becomes his companion. I purchased this trilogy at the ‘Regenerations 2013’ convention in Swansea, September 2013 when I visited the Big Finish stall.
Tracey Childs reprises her role as Elizabeth Klein in this trilogy of audio stories with the Seventh Doctor. Tracey recently appeared in the TV series in ‘The Fires of Pompeii’ with David Tennant’s Doctor. This first story is a creepy, atmospheric tale that kept me enthralled from beginning to end.
‘A Thousand Tiny Wings’ is a four-part story by Andy Lane set in 1950s Kenya. Klein becomes a medical doctor and is with this group of women at a house in the African jungles during the Mau Mau Uprising. Soon the Doctor arrives and there’s a mysterious force with ‘a thousand tiny wings’…
Klein is a character who appeared in the ‘Doctor Who’ audio story ‘Colditz’ with Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred as the Seventh Doctor and Ace. It was a story set in Nazi Germany at Colditz Castle in the 1940s where Klein was the Doctor’s enemy and it also featured David Tennant as a Nazi officer.
Elizabeth Klein is a Nazi from an alternative timeline where Germany won the Second World War in the 1940s. After a foiled attempt to travel back in time in ‘Colditz’, Klein is now a refugee of in our version of history. She is bitter with the Doctor and attempts to re-shape history in her own image.
It was interesting to find Klein becoming a ‘companion’ in this trilogy of audios. With her being a Nazi, one wondered how this set-up with the Doctor would work. It is a tense relationship between her and the Doctor. They don’t trust each other and Klein could easily betray the Doctor at any time.
I liked the first scene between the Doctor and Klein when they meet in ‘A Thousand Tiny Wings’. You can tell that there’s an adversarial relationship between the two and I liked how they link up to what happened since they’d last met. Klein reveals to the Doctor what she has been doing since ‘Colditz’.
Sylvester McCoy is really good as the Doctor in this audio story. The Doctor is travelling on his own now as he isn’t travelling with Ace anymore when Klein meets him. The Doctor is at his manipulative best and he is determined to keep an eye on Klein, knowing that she’ll do anything to change history.
This story has a pretty creepy atmosphere. You wonder what’s going on and why people are being attacked and killed off one-by-one by flying birds with tiny wings in the air. It did put me in mind of the Alfred Hitchcock film called ‘The Birds’ with Tippi Hedren, although I’ve not seen that movie yet.
The historical setting of this story is interesting. I’m not familiar with the Mau Mau Uprising in 1950s Kenya, but it was fascinating to discover the historical context and why the women were trapped in the house. ‘Doctor Who’ is very good with providing insight into unexplored periods of Earth history.
The story’s guest cast includes Ann Bell as Sylvia O’Donnell. Ann was in the TV series ‘Tenko’ with Louise Jameson and she has appeared in the audio, ‘Night of the Stormcrow’ with Tom Baker. Sylvia is an old fashioned lady of values of the British Empire. She is disapproving of the Mau Mau Uprising.
There’s also Abigail McKern as Mrs Denise Waterford. I’ve heard Abigail in the audio adaptation of ‘The English Way of Death’ with Tom Baker. Denise is a rather positive; quirky sort of lady with very idyllic views. She meets a horrible death when she gets attacked by some fluttering birds with wings.
There’s also Joannah Tincey as Miss Lucy Watts. Joannah played a nasty character in the audio adventure called ‘The Elite’ with Peter Davison. Here she plays a nice, young person who becomes ill part-way through the story. She manages to save Sylvia O’Donnell’s life towards the end of the story.
There’s also Chuk Iwuji as Joshua Senbeke, a young Kenyan male native who comes to the house with the Doctor and the ladies inside. Sylvia easily suspects Joshua and believes him to be one of the Mau Mau. Joshua denies that he is one of him when with them. Will his true nature be discovered?
At the end of the story, the Doctor and Klein defeat the strange alien menace with fluttering wings. But the Doctor is not intent to leave Klein as he decides to make her his travelling companion in the TARDIS. He is determined not to lose sight of Klein and one wonders where this is going to go next.
‘A Thousand Tiny Wings’ has been gripping, atmospheric audio story with the Seventh Doctor and Klein. It is a wonderfully-written story that is well-directed by Lisa Bowerman. I was looking forward to where the Doctor and Klein would go next and how their adversarial relationship would develop.
The CD extras are as follows. On Disc 1, there’s a trailer for ‘Klein’s Story & Survival of the Fittest’ with Sylvester McCoy and Tracey Childs. There are also behind-the-scenes cast and crew interviews with Sylvester McCoy, Tracey Childs, writer Andy Lane and director Lisa Bowerman. On Disc 2, there’s the eleventh episode of ‘The Three Companions’ with Anneke Wills as Polly; Nicholas Courtney as the Brigadier and John Pickard as Thomas Brewster. This is the third episode of the Brewster segment of the story. ‘The Three Companions’ is now complete in ‘The Companion Chronicles Specials’.
If you subscribe to Big Finish for ‘A Thousand Tiny Wings’ via a 6 or 12 CD/Download subscription, you’ll get the following extras. There is a PDF script and extended extras of ‘A Thousand Tiny Wings’.
‘A Thousand Tiny Wings’ rating – 8/10
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