THIS STORY TAKES
AFTER THE BIG FINISH
AUDIO DRAMA "THE
WISHING BEAST" AND
PRIOR TO THE NOVEL
BIG FINISH CD#97
RELEASED IN JULY 2007.
A strange beauty
parlour has opened
its doors for
The Vanity Box
"The Vanity Box”, this month's bonus one-part adventure, is a much more entertaining story than the main feature. However, in contrast to the “I.D.” and “Exotron” CD releases, “The Vanity Box” is in effect a prequel/sequel to “The Wishing Beast” – I would even go so far as to call it part of the same story. This certainly negates the charm of having a lightweight, one-off adventure included on the disc. Why not just go the whole hog and release it as a four-parter?
“How did you ever get to be here in Salford?”
Set in 1965 Salford, “The Vanity Box” is practically an outright comedy. Toby Longworth’s Monsieur Coffure is an outrageously over the top character, constantly switching his accent from French to Mancunian and back again, and Nesta (Diana Flack) would have been right at home in an early episode of Coronation Street. The plot is probably more ‘bonkers’ than that of “The Wishing Beast”, but I did find that it resonated a bit more with me than Magrs’ three-part effort. I am always a sucker for stories that pass comment on horrendous contemporary television shows, and “The Vanity Box” certainly puts a new spin on Channel 4’s Ten Years Younger…
On the whole, I found Big Finish’s ninety-seventh release to be intensely disappointing. I have said it before this year, but with each passing month it becomes a more desperate plea: we need another fantastic release. Soon. No matter how pretty the covers are and how crammed with extras the CDs are, if the stories are not great people are not going to subscribe.
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2007
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