4 stories, from a character I really do not have a frame of reference on the grounds that I never caught them on-screen. So I approach with an open mind and a willing one. I must secretly admit I have always had a thing for Michelle Ryan, and she is excellent in this inaugural audio adventure. What Big Finish have done is almost a mash-up of adventure story lines and characterisations from the Doctor Who universe. The first story is almost an Avengers tale, with Lady De Souza a cat burglar of alien artefacts plying her trade on the French Riviera. Death and mysterious articles being stolen, and a rather foppish English gent whom nearly falls foul to being the next victim leads, Lady De Souza to finding out whom really is behind the spate of thefts, and getting one step ahead of her. This story is absolutely spot on. A brilliant faultless roller coaster of an audio adventure, a mix of Sci Fiction and 60’s ITC pseudo secret agent fun and frolics. Skin Deep the second in the release, the story is reminiscent of a Tales of the Unexpected, with the rich and beautiful people seeking the rather unexpected method of retaining their beauty and youthful good looks. The expense that these people go to is more than a quick smear of Avon’s favourite face cream. The story is to all intense and purposes a rather fun and entertaining romp, with some very quirky turns, De Souza’s father being one of them, popping up not as the doting father, more of a rather sneaky, and somewhat untrustworthy person, whom is also in on the scheme. Essentially beauty is not skin deep, and the treatment is of alien origin. The were elements of this story that reminded me of a short story I read out of Readers Digest which had a similar feel, of alien DNA being used to keep unsuspecting humans young, at the cost of their bodies being taken over as a host. All rather unpleasant stuff, but once again some rather clever and entertaining writing going on here that delivers a full on science fiction fix. Portrait of a Lady, is where this box set gets turned up with the introduction of modern UNIT being thrust into the story more and more, and this is where this range gets this wonderful mix mash of established BF output and new range output. I like the way that De Souza plays with Sam from UNIT is a sort of toyed manner. Once again an alien artefact is at the crux of the story, and a mad race begins with Souza setting up to old lags siblings doing the work of the mark in this scam. UNIT however are quick on the trail and are also in hot pursuit of the same thing, for which all four parties have to join forces to do battle against those that want this rather special piece of artwork for themselves. This is non stop action from start to finish, and the thing really does start to gather a real pace, which can only bode well, this has to have a second outing in another volume from BF. Death on the Mile is an exotic plan by non other than Dr’s favourite farting aliens trying to disrupt the Edinburgh Tattoo in the only way they know, complete carnage. De Souza, UNIT and some rather unwilling participants do battle with the Slitheen, the backdrop being that De Souza is also trying to pull off the score of her cat burgling career. With this mashup it is not long before we learn of husband not really being husbands, and, long dormant volcano’s being made active to allow escape and carnage to those left standing.
Lady Christina is probably one of the best new release ranges this year from Big Finish, and I sincerely hope that they continue to produce this range, and get some growth out of it. The mad mix and the way that is slides across various other Doctor Who ranges, and associated ranges, is fantastic, a release well worth your hard-earned pennies or dollars. One that you could easily play more than once and enjoy. Science Fiction at it’s best.