Big Finish Folly, Part 51 – The Destroyer of Delights, by Jonathan Clements
With two pieces of the Key to Time still to find, the Doctor and Amy are forced to team up with the Black Guardian to continue their desperate search, and so it’s off to 9th century Sudan for our intrepid time travellers – where Amy is mistaken for a slave, the Doctor is mistaken for a teller of unlikely stories, and the Sultan Cassim Ali Baba is something altogether darker… And there’s still no sign of that elusive fifth segment….
Astute readers might already have guessed where this second part of the Key2Time trilogy is headed and yes, indeed, this is a massive romp through the treasures of the Arabian Nights. But unlike 1001 Nights, this is packed with more comedy than your average panto. It easily surpasses the pace and vigor of the previous episode as well and pulls the story through to a thrilling end that – no real spoilers, I guess – effectively deals with the bad guy, the good guys, both the Guardians, and the mystery of the missing segment.
The brilliant humour involves a running joke about “40 kinds of…” everything, and another about the unwillingness of the locals to mention death by name. There’s also some well-written bitchy dialogue between David Troughton and Jason Watkins as the all-too-human Guardians. Ciara Janson’s Amy meanwhile is given the chance to develop further from being purely a plot device and in the supplementary material Jonathan Clements makes it clear that his intention was to subvert the stereotypical depictions of slaves and companions alike. Even without that subtext both Amy and the slave Nisrin stand out as strong characters.
If The Chaos Pool can top this, I’ll be a very happy bunny!