Thursday, 16 August 2018

Big Finish Review: Planet of the Ogrons


Review by WhoGirlReviews

Written by Guy Adams and released in July 2018, Planet of the Ogrons is the second story in the second series of The Eighth Doctor: The Time War and sees the Doctor and Bliss teaming up with the most unlikely of allies…the Twelve.

Planet of the Ogrons easily has one of the weirdest episode opening sequences I’ve heard in a while and this is me counting Amy popping up inside the Pandorica at the start of The Big Bang. On Gallifrey, the TARDIS arrives and an Ogron steps out introducing themselves as the Doctor. Oh okay, so we have ourselves a little Time Lord/Ogron body swap episode – let’s go on a rescue mission?

Wrong!

It’s so much better and more complicated than that.

Moving on, I must confess I didn't expect to enjoy a story featuring the laziest and most boring villain in Doctor Who as much as I did. This feels like Judoon in Chains all over again. The plot is interesting, the twists are great and the Twelve...

Ok let's get this out of the way – I hated the news that Big Finish was not only going to regenerate Mark Bonnar but turn yet another prominent male time Lord female. Worse they chose to make the Eleven into Mother Mae-Eye. The Eleven is ruthless, cold-blooded, crazy murderer, not your favourite Granny. I went into this story – no this series knowing I was going to hate Mother May-Eye. And as much as it pains me to say it, the Twelve quickly grew on me. Julie McKenzie’s performance is spot on and her execution of the multiple aspects of the character’s countless regenerations feels just as strong as Mark Bonnar. Though I will also confess that the Twelve does feel closer to an anti-hero but because Mackenzie isn’t surplus to the story or worse wasted, this ends up not being a criticism.

Bliss is still struggling to the cast a shadow though here, but this time it's more down to the narrative, the twists and the vastly more entertaining characters filling out the story.

Without going into the spoilers about Doctor Ogron (as he’s been dubbed) I really enjoyed the back and forth Eight had with this paradoxical creature in his life. He never believes for a second that the two can somehow be connected, but enjoys taking the credit for Doctor Ogron’s deeds when it suits him. Likewise, Doctor Ogron is a very enjoyable character and shares more chemistry with Eight than Bliss does…which puts even more shame on the companion. Or is that the writers?



Lastly, I will please ask everyone who’s already heard this story not to spoil what happens at the very end of the episode. You know what it is; you know it’s good let’s not ruin it for our fellow fans.