THE EVENTS OF THIS
STORY TAKE PLACE
BETWEEN THE NOVEL
AND THE STORY TOLD
BY POLLY IN PARTS 1
TO 4 OF THE BIG FINISH
AUDIO BOOK "THE THREE
BIG FINISH 'COMPANION
CHRONICLES' CD 3.9
RELEASED IN MARCH
February 1944: France
is occupied by the 3rd
Reich, the Gestapo has
an iron grip and the
to RESIST the GERMAN
On one quiet winter's
night, a British plane
crashes, leaving aN
officer desperate to
escape THROUGH the
Separated from the
TARDIS, Ben and Jamie,
the Doctor and Polly
find themselves with
enemies on all sides.
Trapped in one of the
darkest times in hist-
ory, Polly discovers
that humanity can be
just as dangerous as
any ALIEN threat. She
resolves to make a
difference, even if it
means leaving the
Well, Resistance certainly has curb appeal. Simon Holub, who seems to design almost all of the Companion Chronicles’ covers, has really excelled himself with this one. His artwork tells listeners everything that they needs to know about this production, whilst
just happening to look incredibly stylish and striking at the same time. And with a name like Steve Lyons’ proudly emblazoned upon it, who of course penned the seventh Doctor and Ace’s outstanding Second World War adventure, Colditz, it’s hard to imagine how anyone could resist the urge to purchase this one.
Set entirely within war-torn France, Lyons’ wholly historical tale is different enough from the likes of Colditz and The Empty Child to be able to carve out its own, distinct identity. Here intrigue takes precedence over incident, the author’s plot focusing heavily on the intricate relationships between the Milice, the Maquis, and the French Gestapo, and the variety of threats that they each pose to the TARDIS crew.
However, the heart of the story lies with Polly Wright, the companion of the chronicle, and it
is here that it truly impresses. Of course the Second World War is a much closer event for Polly than it is for us, and as such it’s enthralling to listen to her narrate a tale that saw her thrown into her family’s recent past; a past that she convinced herself she was destined to change by saving the life of her Uncle, Randolph Wright, who we learn died in a Nazi PoW camp.
As Resistance is chock-full of twists and turns aplenty, I don’t want to reveal too much about what happens here, but suffice it to say that Polly’s actions and in particular her dealings with John Sackville’s character culminate in a very surprising and remarkably effective ending – one that bears little semblance to Father’s Day, The Aztecs or any other Doctor Who story that broaches similar subject matter.
For her part, Anneke Wills gives an
astounding performance. Her voice
hasn’t aged a day since she left the
series in The Faceless Ones, nor
has her grasp on Polly’s character
loosened. Indeed, I understand that the actress was most vocal about
how Polly should be portrayed here,
even sharing a number of “creative
differences” with series producer David Richardson concerning the character’s footwear as written!
In all seriousness though, Wills’ rendering of Polly is perfect in sound and in spirit; I couldn’t believe it when I listened to the CD Extras and realised that, when she recorded Resistance, Wills hadn’t played Polly since 1966 - a staggering forty-two years earlier. Thanks to her many memorable turns as Lady Louisa Pollard in the eighth Doctor’s adventures and even her extraordinary appearance as the Galyari Director Nrosha in The Sandman, Wills has unwittingly become part of the Big Finish furniture; so much so that one forgets she started out in the Whoniverse as swinging sixties’ chick Polly Wright – a fact that, I’m very pleased
to say, Resistance is sure to remind everybody of.
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2010
E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
This story’s blurb places its events between the television serials The Macra Terror and The Faceless Ones. Within this gap, we have placed them between the novel The Roundheads and the Big Finish audio book The Three Companions: Polly’s Story, which it was released in between.
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