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Sontarans and Garundel with the Doctor, Klein and Will
This is the second story in the trilogy with the Seventh Doctor, Elizabeth Klein and Will Arrowsmith!
‘Starlight Robbery’ is a four-part adventure by Matt Fitton and is really exciting. I enjoyed this story and found it better than the previous adventure ‘Persuasion’. Not only does it feature the Doctor, Klein and Will, but it also features the Sontarans and it features that slippery, slimy crook Garundel.
This story continues where ‘Persuasion’ finished, as the Doctor, Klein and Will are on the search for Kurt Schalk and his Persuasion machine. The TARDIS takes them to a secret arms auction of Garundel Galactic. At the place, they find the Sontarans who have also come for the Persuasion machine too.
This story is written in the style of a heist movie as intended by the writer Matt Fitton. I haven’t seen many heist movies really, but I can sense the fast-paced atmosphere of them. This story is certainly fast-paced and this grips you into how the Doctor and friends get to go face to face with the baddies.
During this adventure, the Doctor sends Klein and Will on a mission to steal the Persuasion machine during Garundel’s auction. All isn’t plain sailing, since Klein and Will’s disguises aren’t inconspicuous as the Doctor intended. He goes off to rescue them when the Sontarans and Garundel are involved.
Stuart Milligan (from ‘The Impossible Astronaut’/’Day of the Moon’) returns as Garundel. Garundel appeared in ‘Doctor Who’ before in the story ‘Black and White’. It was nice to hear a returning character from a previous Big Finish audio adventure with references from ‘Black and White’ in this.
Garundel is an amusing and menacing character to listen to when he makes dodgy deals. Stuart clearly relishes the dialogue he’s given as Garundel. Sometimes his high-pitched American accent comes across strongly in his performance, but it was very effective for this wretched toad-like being.
It’s interesting how Garundel managed to acquire the Persuasion machine and preserve the seeming body of Kurt Schalk at his galactic auction. The Doctor tries to avoid running into Garundel, having met him before. But Garundel soon meets the Doctor and uses him for what he wants at gunpoint.
I was thrilled to hear the Sontarans in a Seventh Doctor audio adventure. This marks as the first audio story made for Sylvester’s Doctor to face the Sontarans. Sylvester never faced the Sontarans on TV and it’s great to know that his Doctor did face them in the audio adventures and also in books.
Dan Starkey provides the voices for all of the Sontarans in this story. Dan plays the Sontarans for both TV and audio in ‘Doctor Who’. Dan’s a great multi-talented actor as he provides distinct voices for three Sontaran characters. You can never tell that the Sontarans are all voiced by the one actor!
The Sontarans have also come to Garundel’s Galactic auction to get the Persuasion machine. I liked how the Sontarans remark on their code of conduct. Some of the Sontarans’ lines are pretty funny, including the one where they sent their young clone warriors into battle and they’ve never returned.
Sylvester McCoy is terrific as the Doctor in this adventure. The Doctor takes a backseat, as he lets Klein and Will do all the work in stealing the Persuasion machine at Garundel’s auction. He is forced into the action when threatened by Garundel and shows concern when Klein and Will are in trouble.
Tracey Childs equally delivers a brilliant performance as Klein. Klein agrees for her and Will to carry out the Doctor’s plans for committing this robbery of the Persuasion machine. Klein goes under a different alias; has an intriguing connection with Will and has some great scenes with the Sontarans.
Christian Edwards is pretty good as Will Arrowsmith. He’s still the bumbling young man under the influence of Dr. Klein, but he’s still willing to help out with the Doctor’s plans. Will manages to get inside the vault where the Persuasion machine is and forms a fancy for a blue-skinned girl called Ziv.
The cast also includes Jo Woodcock as Ziv, who is Garundel’s secretary at the auction. Ziv is a blue-skinned alien called a Gadolaxian and seems to be a sweet-talking girl that Will takes a shine to. But Ziv turns out to be more than she appears and Garundel callously kills her, which was a shock for me.
The story introduces a new species of alien called the Krellorans. They are a race of vicious giant lizards. They’re led by Krakenmother Banarra (played by Lizzie Roper). The Krakenmother doesn’t like the Sontarans very much since she calls them ‘vermin’ and even tries to kill Klein at some point.
There are number of revelations revealed in ‘Part Four’. It turns out the Schalk in ‘Persuasion’ wasn’t Schalk at all and it happens to be Hinterberger from that same story. Also Garaundel turns out to be working for a race of monsters that are far, far terrible than the Sontarans. Who could they be, hey?
‘Starlight Robbery’ is a great action-packed adventure with the Doctor, Klein and Will that I enjoyed. I wondered what was going to happen next as the Doctor, Klein and Will still continue to look for Schalk. It turns out that Schalk has some connection to Klein in being a relative of hers. So intriguing!
The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Disc 1, there is a suite of incidental music to enjoy! At the end of Disc 2, there are behind-the-scenes interviews with cast and crew. These include Sylvester McCoy; Tracey Childs; Christian Edwards; Stuart Milligan; Dan Starkey; director Ken Bentley, etc. There is a trailer for the next story with the Doctor, Klein and Will called ‘Daleks Among Us’.
If you subscribe to Big Finish for ‘Starlight Robbery’ via a 6 or 12 CD/Download subscription, you’ll get the following extras. There is a PDF script and extended extras of ‘Starlight Robbery’.
‘Starlight Robbery’ rating – 7/10
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