Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)
I am starting to get a real tingle when I hear that big brassy theme tune from the UNIT audios.
I always know they are going to be interesting and do something a bit different from the last. This latest set is no exception.
This one is very chilling though. Not only have you got the Silence making their audio debut (some might say something challenging to represent in audio) but there are also some VERY prescient moments plucked from the headlines.
It centres around a right wing, blustering, isolationist who has turned to politics and become more popular than he has the common sense to back up (sounding familiar yet?) At the same time UNIT are staking out a house that seems to have people coming in but not leaving. When they investigate they get some answers until… sorry, what was I saying?
Yes our out friends the Silence are back and translated insanely well to audio in the writing of Matt Fitton and John Dorney. They feel genuinely chilling and this story proves you don’t have to see them to feel that. The premise is enough. They also manage to create the idea in each part of this story that UNIT end up having to start from square one and rediscover the progress they have made before.
But getting back to the really chilling part of this story for me. This story will have been written (let alone produced) months ago. Before President elect Trump (I shiver writing that) was a nightmare you couldn’t wake up from and possibly even before Brexit was passed. Obviously Fitton and Dorney had been watching the news (and they do mention this in the extras) and seen where the natural conclusion of the current political battles could lead us in a worse case. I apologise to any Brexit fans reading, not so much to the Trump supporters! When I was listening to parts of this story I envisaged a Prime Minister Farage and now that seems now all too real a threat in the future.
This all might seem like I have got off topic; but I would say this is the point, that Doctor Who has always played on our current fears to scare us with a story. UNIT are continuing that legacy with this story, maybe even more successful than they had intended; though maybe it isn’t a coincidence it has come out within weeks of the US election?
It seems almost unnecessary to say that Jemma Redgrave and Ingrid Oliver are amazing in this, as they always are. It’s also nice to see James Joyce as Captain Josh Carter and Ramon Tikram as Colonel Shindi take on even more meaty roles in these stories; neither disappoint.
You can also round it all off with some lovely stories in the behind the scenes and a real sense of the team that has built up by the 3rd modern UNIT boxset.
With the next set bringing together the old and new UNIT, it’s only going to get better!
I give this one a well-earned 10/10 asthma inhaler puffs, as I feel like I need them after this white knuckle ride of a tale.
Download here https://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/unit—silenced-1210
Pre-order from Amazon.
Check out the rest of our Big Finish reviews here.