Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)
This is a really nice action story. UNIT are undercover, they are buying a Dalek and you get a team of Central American rebels. What’s not to love? You get Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) & Osgood (Ingrid Oliver) as the heart and brains trying to get alien tech out of unsafe hands and find out how it got to be in them & then Colonel Shindi (Ramon Tikaram) and the fist, who knows Daleks can’t be trusted and is ever the soldier. Karina Fernandez is also great as the rebel leader Captain Gonsalves and is a great foil to our team. This is a nice action-based adventure to kick the set off with.
A nice Halloween set ghost story is the setting for story 2 (I wonder if this set was originally slated to come out late October?). Josh (James Joyce) is the first to find ghostly goings on at a party, but soon Osgood hears voices in her head from the skies and Kate finds a spooky link to UNIT’s past in the Scottish boarders.
This story has a really nice feel to it and it has nice links back to the original UNIT & the Brigadier and goings on when Kate was a girl even. It also sidesteps a few more obvious plot solutions that it may have gone for.
When I hear Andrew Smith is writing, I know we are in for a treat and no disappointment here. Especially as Dan Starkey is also back as another batch of Sontarans; which as always he deftly makes all unique and you never feel like you’re just getting another Strax. He plays the line between comedic notes and serious warriors as well as the script does. Colonial Shindi is also very well placed in this story to have the respect of one warrior to another and each looking after their own people’s interests. Osgood meanwhile is taking the scientific side on cloning and how human cloning might try to use Sontaran’s to more human ends.
Ok, to really talk about this one, you will get a few spoilers, so if you want to go in completely clean leave now…
For you who are reading on, we are going to a mirror universe! This story is on one hand a really mystery as to how Osgood & Josh end up in this other world, but on another is gets to push their relationship abit. When you go into this one, there is a lovely feeling of “did I miss something?” without having the plot be too hard to follow. Different universes are always great for giving actors new versions of known characters to play and everyone does it well here.
This is a great set that does have a thread running through it but also allows for more stand-alone style stories. It relies a lot on our core cast who shine as opposed to big guest stars from the Doctor Who world and this is nice to see. The guest cast they do have is top notch and this one breaths a little more story-to-story and has a bit more fun.
Buy it now on on CD or download here https://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/unit—encounters-1531