‘CRIME OF THE CENTURY’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
The Doctor and Ace Meet Raine Creevy
Hello Raine! Welcome to the TARDIS!
This is ‘Crime of the Century’, the second story of the lost Season 27 of ‘Doctor Who’ by Big Finish. It features a new companion called Raine Creevy, played by Beth Chalmers and introduces a new race of ‘Doctor Who’ monsters called the Metatraxi, who are insect-like warriors with this code of conduct.
I was aware of this lost story’s existence from an opening sequence Andrew Cartmel described in the ‘Endgame’ documentary on the ‘Survival’ DVD. It’s the sequence where Raine is attempting a burglary at a house during a fancy dinner party and she opens the safe to find the Doctor inside waiting for her.
I was looking forward to hearing this audio story and to find out what would have been had Raine Creevy be the Seventh Doctor’s companion in the TV series. The story would have occurred after Ace left the series. But as the second tale in the season and with Ace staying, it means a new TARDIS trio gets born.
This four-part story is by Andrew Cartmel, the script-editor of the Sylvester McCoy era and of Season 27. It has been pretty enjoyable to listen to. Andrew writes most of the Season 27 audio stories in Big Finish and he certainly has a lot of fun in crafting the season, by linking all four stories in one story arc.
‘Crime of the Century’ is set in 1989 and concerns a master plan concocted by the Doctor involving Raine stealing something from the safe at the dinner party. It leads the Doctor and Raine to journeying from London, to the Middle East and to the Scottish borders where they discover the insect Metatraxi.
I really enjoyed how Raine is introduced in this story. Raine is the daughter of Markus Creevy and Raina Kerenskaya who appeared in the previous story called ‘Thin Ice’. Raine is a cool, clever and rather sexy cat burglar, who knows her forte and she can easily steal anything without anybody spotting her.
Beth Chalmers stars as Raine Creevy beautifully. I almost fell in love with Raine when Beth played her. I’ve listened to Beth Chalmers in other ‘Doctor Who’ audio stories before this and it’s great that she gets to play a ‘Doctor Who’ companion in this season of adventures and she’s perfect casting for Raine.
The story by Andrew Cartmel is pretty gripping. It’s quite a job to keep track of where you are in certain places. But I really enjoyed the character relationships as well as the links to the previous story, ‘Thin Ice’. They include the alien artefacts like the Martian egg. There’s also a lot of sword fighting going on.
Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor is on true form. It’s quite funny when the Doctor’s in the safe and he startles Raine when she finds him. But the Doctor is planning ahead since he knows how significant Raine is with being Markus Creevy’s daughter and he also attends to the Metatraxi when they turn up.
Sophie Aldred is equally good as Ace who has an adventure of her own. She’s separated from the Doctor for most of the audio story, but she gets to meet Markus Creevy who recognises her. She also has a sword fight with a Metatraxi and is outraged when one Metatraxi becomes really sexist with her.
The story features the return of Ricky Groves as Markus Creevy. It was nice to hear Markus again, now 22 years older since ‘Thin Ice’. Markus has now split up from Raine’s mum and hasn’t spoken to her daughter for quite a while. But Markus seems very willing to help the Doctor in whatever he’s planning.
The story also features the return of John Albasiny as Felnikov, who also appeared in ‘Thin Ice’. Felnikov has now been promoted to Colonel since the Doctor and Ace last met him. He’s nasty as ever, has kept the alien artefacts from the previous story and he’s now hired the Metatraxi to work for him.
The guest cast also includes Derek Carlyle as the Russian soldier Nikitin and Chris Porter as the swordsman prince Sayf Uddeen. Derek Carlyle previously appeared in a number of ‘Doctor Who’ audios with Peter Davison. Chris Porter also appeared in ‘The Daleks: The Destroyers’ with Jean Marsh.
The monsters are the insect-like Metratraxi. I heard about these monsters from Ben Aaronovitch and Andrew Cartmel in the ‘Endgame’ DVD documentary. I was looking forward to what the Metatraxi would sound like on audio. They look fantastic on the CD covers and are voiced superbly by John Banks.
The Metatraxi are insect-like warrior aliens with a strict code of conduct who won’t fight you unless you have weapons in your hand. They also have problems with their voice translators that the Doctor adjusts. I found them pretty funny and strange when they all spoke like American dudes at some point.
I enjoyed it when Raine and Ace meet. They don’t like each other at first and become antagonistic towards each other. They eventually apologise and start to complement each other. This pleases the Doctor who says ‘this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship’. I enjoyed when the ladies deny it.
At the end of the story, the Doctor is curious about a mystery with a certain Margrave University and is pretty keen to investigate. Raine is willing to leave the Doctor and Ace to it, but they invite her to join them. Raine is rather pleased and the new trio go off to together to have adventures in the TARDIS.
‘Crime of the Century’ has been one enjoyable audio adventure for me. It’s a great story that introduces Raine as the new companion and the Metatraxi as new monsters in ‘Doctor Who’. I wondered where the story would go next and how the Doctor, Ace and Raine would fare as a new trio.
The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Discs 1 and 2, there are behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew on the making of ‘Crime of the Century’. These interviews include Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Beth Chalmers, Ricky Groves, John Albasiny, writer Andrew Cartmel, director Ken Bentley, etc. There’s also a trailer for the next story with the Doctor, Ace and Raine called ‘Animal’.
‘Crime of the Century’ rating – 8/10
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