Big Finish: Doctor Who OUT OF TIME 3 - WINK Review - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Big Finish: Doctor Who OUT OF TIME 3 - WINK Review

Keep your eyes and ears open, says Matthew Kresal.
In the summer of 2020, Big Finish released a Doctor Who audio drama, Out of Time. Pairing Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor with David Tennant's Tenth as they faced off against the Daleks, the release launched what has become a summer staple from the company. In 2021, listeners heard Tennant's father-in-law Peter Davison joining him to face off against Cybermen in Paris in the second release, The Gates of Hell. Now, in the summer of 2022, Tennant's incarnation is joined by a Big Finish fan favorite as they face off against one of Doctor Who's iconic foes in the appropriately subtitled Wink.

That Big Finish fan favorite being none other than Colin Baker's Sixth Doctor. Over more than two decades, Baker's Doctor has been one of Big Finish's revelations and triumphs, handing in solid performances and making the best scripts shine, as 2022 has proven with Doctor of War and Mind of the Hodiac. Not to mention the chance to relish working with his fellow Doctors in the odd multi-Doctor story. Hearing him paired with Tennant is something of a fan's dream come true, particular on the back of the latter's work with the company in things such as the Dalek Universe trilogy. So does Out of Time 3 live up to expectations?

Indeed, it does, starting on a Doctor level. As with Davison's Fifth Doctor last summer, the Sixth-Tenth Doctor relationship sees a different sort of banter between them, one borne out of how alike they can be and the odd exasperation with one another, rather than the "chalk and cheese" interactions of the Second and Third Doctors. There's an air of mutual respect between them, part actor’s chemistry and partly thanks to Lisa McMullin's script, which means they pair nicely together, bouncing off each other and cooperating for the most part, even if they have a dig at one another on occasion. Indeed, there's a sense of the pair not quite wanting to part ways, something shared by Baker and Tennant alike in the extras.

Together, they face off against a creation that made its debut 15 years ago this month: the Weeping Angels. On the surface, bringing these silent statues who move when no one is look to life on audio would seem a fool's errand. Yet, Big Finish has risen to the challenge before and does so once more here. McMullin both grasps the primal fear behind these creatures and knows her Angels stories from TV, playing up those elements throughout the audio. Not to mention evoking one of those TV episodes by doing something rather clever: giving them a voice. It's something that, along with her dialogue and the cast's performances, not only offers the Angels a presence on audio but turns this into a suspenseful listening experience.

Also on display are the strengths that have made Big Finish as long-lasting as they've been. McMullin's script features some high concept ideas, including a world of nothing but light and an alien race with no sense of sight. Bringing that to life is a sparse but immensely effective cast, including the welcome returns of Ayesha Antoine and Clive Hayward, who both get meaty roles here. The icing on the cake is the sound design and music from Howard Carter, getting a lionshare of bringing McMullin's SF setting to life with the skills he brought to the earlier Out of Time releases, including a superb musical score.

The result? Simply put, Wink is a superb listen. From two fan-favorite Doctors to an iconic foe and a setting that could only work on audio, it once more showcasing Big Finish's ability to bring a best of all worlds approach to their Doctor Who storytelling. If this is the last of a trilogy, than Wink brings Out of Time to an end in fantastic fashion.

Don't take my word for it, go hear it for yourself.

Doctor Who: Out of Time 3 - Wink is exclusively available to buy from the Big Finish website until 31 August 2022, and on general sale after this date.

Matthew Kresal is a writer, critic, and podcaster with many and varying interests. His prose includes the non-fiction The Silver Archive: Dark Skies from Obverse Books, the Cold War alternate history spy thriller Our Man on the Hill, and the Sidewise Award winning short story Moonshot in Sea Lion Press' Alternate Australias anthology. You can read more of his writing at his blog and at The Terrible Zodin fanzine, or follow him on Twitter @KresalWritesHe was born, raised, and lives in North Alabama where he never developed a southern accent.

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