Resurrecting the Past

Posted in Audio by - September 08, 2018
Resurrecting the Past

Released September 2010

Following two series of adventures that were for the most part standalone with only occasional dabbles in past continuity and hints at what was yet to come, Braxiatel has finally showed his hand as his mechanoids begin a kidnapping spree, and Bev and Adrian are keen to pounce. As Adrian and Peter search for Bernice on a forgotten world, Robyn and Bev must determine just why Braxiatel wants to permanently erase Robyn’s creators from the timeline and just why Bernice has for so long been so important to his plans.

Considering that this is a cast of characters that has been put together as much by circumstance and accident as by design over the preceding ten years of audio adventures and novels, it truly is a testament to Big Finish just how well these characters mesh and come together to create a fully immersive experience bolstered by incredibly nuanced performances. ‘Resurrecting the Past’ by Eddie Robson represents this series at its most vast and epic, and its ambition can never be faulted as storylines years and in some cases over a decade in the making are picked up and continued skillfully without ever alienating more casual fans. As Bernice visits Jevada to follow a lead from a Bandril trader, Braxiatel has denied any wrong-doing as particular mechanoids have been kidnapping people from across the galaxy with no discernible pattern. Having purchased the struggling colony world of Maximediras that featured in ‘The High Seas’ ostensibly to display art, Braxiatel is all too ready to employ little-known laws to deal with the small subsection of the population who is not so keen to leave the planet as demanded, again highlighting just how forward-thinking and dangerous this figure is without overtly revealing his true motivations.

Of course, this is a man who has engineered a war and willingly manipulated and even killed those close to him, and so it comes as no surprise that Braxiatel is not simply interested in becoming a patron of the arts. Instead, the kidnapped beings are being transported to the dark side of the moon that has become nothing but a ghost town, losing something of their minds in the process. Shockingly, it’s Robyn’s own people who Braxiatel hopes to destroy, beings who came into being after humans from Buenos Aires fell through a fissure in time and space and provided the spark of life to their world’s primordial soup as part of an amalgamation of some fifty species. As the Deindum have thwarted Braxiatel’s attempts to destroy them from the future, he has instead changed tactics to change their very composition in order to prevent them from ever discovering time travel and becoming the aggressors he knows. Braxiatel has positioned his Collection near a vast store of an otherwise unknown energy that nobody even knows how to look for, and he wants to use it for his own doomed people rather than allow the one other race from the future who can use it to do so, planning to move and hide it next to Maximediras and out of sight.

The fact that Braxiatel quite overtly acknowledges the Time War and the ultimate fate of his people is reason enough for excitement and unequivocally ties these events into the larger story of the Doctor Who universe as a whole, and Braxiatel actually achieves a degree of sympathy despite the atrocious acts he has committed because of it while also amplifying the threat that the Deindum could pose. Inevitably, it’s Bernice who is destined to step through the fissure to unwittingly assist in the creation the Deindum, but as can only be befitting of a master manipulator with such a grand scheme, all does not go according to plan with first Peter considering going through the fissure himself to extend the universe for millennia as he was shown but then Hass instead pushing the inorganic Robyn through the fissure. Braxiatel certainly has no scruples and may be able to outthink Bernice even when she believes she has thought of every angle, but he’s not completely omniscient, and the fallout of this sequence of events with the Deinum only becoming more aggressive and paranoid should provide a spectacular second half.

With superb characterisation that draws upon years of interaction, highlighted best perhaps by Doggles who is working furtively with Braxiatel and his advanced technology and who attempts to reconcile with Bernice by explaining the truth behind his reprehensible actions during their last encounter, ‘Resurrecting the Past’ provides a staggering start to this eleventh series. With Bernice, Braxiatel, Adrian, Peter, Bev, Robyn, Hass, and Doggles all receiving important development rather than simply a series of throwaway appearances of little consequence, there is a genuine sense of scale and scope to these events that reaffirms just how strong this motley ensemble is together and separately. Robson’s ambitions could have easily collapsed upon themselves, but everyone is deftly positioned exactly where he or she needs to be to satisfyingly and organically allow the plot and its devastating core and danger to be revealed.

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