‘ANTIDOTE TO OBLIVION’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Sil with the Sixth Doctor and Flip
Sil is back…and so is Philip Martin! 😀
After the first successful trilogy of ‘Doctor Who’ stories featuring the Sixth Doctor and Flip in 2012 by Big Finish, it was decided to bring the TARDIS duo back for another set of adventures in 2014. Apparently, Flip had become very popular when she returned as a companion with the Sixth Doctor.
It’s interesting as according to the CD extras, more people were happy to have Flip as a companion in ‘Doctor Who’ rather than Thomas Brewster. And to be fair, that makes sense since people have pointed out Brewster wasn’t nice to the Doctor. I have yet to write ‘The Prison of Thomas Brewster’. 😀
I like Flip as a ‘Doctor Who’ companion with Colin Baker’s Doctor. Yes she’s cheeky and can be adventurous without being cautious, but it was nice to hear the dynamic between Flip and the Sixth Doctor in these audios. Also, Colin Baker and Lisa Greenwood did get on pretty well with each other.
At this point, since Flip’s debut appearance in ‘The Crimes of Thomas Brewster’, there have been more Sixth Doctor and Flip adventures by Big Finish. These include the likes of ‘The Curse of Davros’, ‘The Fourth Wall’ and ‘Wirrn Isle’. Flip has also appeared in ‘The Sixth Doctor: The Last Adventure’. 🙂
I’ve enjoyed all the audios I’ve heard with Flip as a ‘Doctor Who’ companion so far. At this point however in the 2014 trilogy, it was decided by the production team for Flip and the Sixth Doctor to part separate ways. How that was to happen would be delved into further in the third story of the trilogy.
From listening to ‘Antidote to Oblivion’, it seems the Sixth Doctor and Flip have been travelling together for quite some time. I’m sure there are more audios in-between to check out, but it’s intriguing that Sixy and Flip have become seasoned travellers together and are fond of each other. 🙂
Anyway, let’s talk about ‘Antidote to Oblivion’. I purchased this audio adventure as part of the ‘Doctor Who Returns’ sale by Big Finish in early 2020 when Series 12 of ‘Doctor Who’ was shown on TV. I enjoyed ‘Antidote to Oblivion’ very much, especially since it features the return of the evil Sil. 😀
Sil is the slug-like business profiteering Mentor character created by Philip Martin. Sil was first introduced in ‘Vengeance on Varos’. He has appeared in more stories since then including ‘Mission to Magnus’ and the ‘Mindwarp’ segment of ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’. We are now on Sil’s fourth story!
Lately, Sil has had his own spin-off film which is of course ‘Sil and the Devil Seeds of Arodor’. All the Sil stories in ‘Doctor Who’ that I’ve seen and heard so far are by Philip Martin. Clearly script editor Alan Barnes wanted to bring Sil back into ‘Doctor Who’. And you can’t have Sil without Philip Martin.
In this audio adventure, the Sixth Doctor and Flip are enjoying a holiday on Tranquillity. Or rather the Doctor is enjoying himself since Flip finds it all boring. 😀 They soon respond to a distress call that’s coming from a TARDIS on futuristic Earth. The Doctor’s TARDIS lands in London and in the year 2382.
The Doctor and Flip find London to be run-down and Britain to be bankrupt. Disease and poverty ensue whilst ConCorp attempts to restore Britain to its former glory. The Doctor and Flip soon find that Sil is profiteering from Britain’s problems and are soon enlisted from some deadly experiments.
There are links and echoes from previous ‘Doctor Who’ stories by Philip Martin including ‘Mission to Magnus’ where Time Lord bully Anzor makes a sort-of return as well as ‘Mindwarp’. There are also echoes of modern-day society getting reflected in this story, especially in terms of deadly diseases. 😐
Nabil Shaban returns to play Sil in this ‘Doctor Who’ adventure. I enjoyed hearing Sil being at his most greedy, disgusting and mechanical best. Sil still has his funny guttural laugh that he makes and Nabil Shaban adds new interesting layers to the character whenever he gets angry or laughs away. 🙂
There are times when Sil can be foul and repugnant, especially when he’s dismissive of human life being at risk once affected by diseases. Sil even manipulates someone to work for him, much to the Doctor’s disadvantage. This story also has Sil in a more central villain role compared to other stories.
Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor is great to listen to in this audio adventure. It was funny how Colin’s Doctor seemed relaxed and wanted to get away from it all on Tranquillity before he gets swept into the adventure on futuristic Earth with Sil. He finds the sins of the past haunting back to him in this. 😐
In the story, Colin’s Doctor shares his history with Sil to Flip as well as the consequences of what happened to Peri when she seems to have multiple futures. Colin’s Doctor is also determined to save Flip’s life when she gets infected with a disease. I liked it when he tells Flip off at the point of death. 😀
Lisa Greenwood is equally wonderful to listen to as Flip in this audio adventure. Poor Flip has a rough time of it, what with drinking drug-infected water as well as getting infected with deadly disease. I like how Flip seems to be selfish when the Doctor has to choose to help Sil’s minions to save her life.
I enjoyed some of the remarks Flip gave to Sil such as calling him ‘slug-face’, which he is really. 😀 Flip can be pretty forthright, especially when she and the Doctor get trapped in a prison and are experimented upon with diseases. But she has a strong resolve and she can be pretty good-hearted.
The story’s guest cast also includes Dawn Murphy as Cordelia, who is Sil’s new scientist. It was interesting to hear that Cordelia is the daughter of Crozier from the ‘Mindwarp’ story. Cordelia blames the Doctor for her father’s death in that tale, but it transpires it was Sil who had him killed. 😮
David Dobson guest stars as Pan Connell whilst Mary-Ann Cafferkey guest stars as Cerise Davies. Both are scavengers in the London Underground when the Sixth Doctor and Flip meet them. Pan betrays the Doctor and Flip to Sil at ConCorp whilst Cerise is good-hearted and reluctant in the story.
The story also features Scott Joseph as President Boscoe who works with Sil during Britain’s troubled times. Scott Joseph also plays Knight Marshall who tracks down the Doctor and Flip on Sil’s orders. There’s also Mandy Weston as Kristal, who is like the voice of conscience on the Concordian board. 🙂
There is a sentient virus featured in this story called the Velandari. They include characters like Voda, voiced by Scott Joseph as well as Velana, voiced by Mandy Weston. At this time of this review, I couldn’t help but think of the coronavirus pandemic occurring in 2020 whilst I listened to this audio.
Other characters include Lord Mav, played by David Dobson, who is like Sil’s new Lord Kiv in the story. There’s also Mistress Na, played by Mandy Weston, a Mentor who rescued Sil at the story’s end. Ironic since Mistress Na would be played by Sophie Aldred in ‘Sil and the Devil Seeds of Arodor’.
The story concludes with Sil escaping from Earth and Cordelia angry that she’d been tricked before letting her own diseases and viruses spread. Thankfully the ConCorp building was blown up. The Sixth Doctor and Flip seem to be going off to find Peri, but not after a well-earned rest on Tranquillity first.
‘Antidote to Oblivion’ is a gripping audio adventure with the Sixth Doctor and Flip meeting Sil. I enjoyed how Si was so dastardly evil towards Sixy and Flip and how they overcome him in his mechanical plans. Who knows what will happen to the Sixth Doctor and Flip in their next adventure?
The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Disc 1, there are two tracks of incidental music to enjoy. At the end of Disc 2, there are some behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew including Colin Baker, Lisa Greenwood, director Nicholas Briggs, etc. There’s also a trailer for the next story with the Sixth Doctor and Flip called ‘The Brood of Erys’.
If you subscribe to Big Finish for ‘Antidote to Oblivion’ via a 6 or 12 CD/download subscription, you’ll get the following extras. There is a PDF script and extended extras of ‘Antidote to Oblivion’.
‘Antidote to Oblivion’ rating – 8/10
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