Doctor Who: Rapture [Big Finish]

During the 90’s, while Doctor Who was completely out of production, the BBC authorized a series of “New Adventure” novels featuring the ongoing adventures of the show’s final cast, the 7th Doctor and his companion AceThe books took on a darker tone than the series had, with more vicious and crude content.

The Rapture

Big Finish, producer of fine audio dramas made with the discerning listener in mind, produced Rapture back in 2003, and in general it feels like it would have fit nicely into the New Adventure take on the series.  It’s not necessarily more violent (nearly all Doctor Who is pretty violent) but it does contain a bit more blunt talk about sex, drugs, mental illness, religious fervor, and other topics not strongly associated with either the classic Doctor Who series or the Big Finish adventures I’ve listened to so far.

The story is about the Doctor and Ace looking to take a break after the events of Colditz, and winding up at a Mediterranean paradise, and particularly at a newly popular nightclub called the Rapture where attendees regularly have nigh spiritual experiences.  Indeed, the DJ’s even claim to be genuine angels.  Of course, there is more going on than meets the eye, and for once, the often  manipulative 7th Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) is as surprised by this as everyone else.

Overall, Rapture is a pretty interesting listening experience.  The story is gripping and the character work is surprisingly strong.  Ace, as played by Sophie Aldred meets a brother she never knew she had, and actress Sophie Aldred gets to go deep with the character.  The story takes a few surprising twists along the way that keep things interesting.  It at first gives you the impression that it’s going into some pretty controversial territory by having the villains of the story being actual angels from the Bible, but in the end it shies away from that and in classic Doctor Who style they turn out to be aliens instead.

There are other imperfections, but ultimately it’s a strong story and a good entry into Big Finish’s line.

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