Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)
After last being seen flying into the night sky on a London bus in Doctor Who on TV, Lady Christina (Michelle Ryan) is back in her own series.The Lady gets into all sorts of adventures in this ambitious first set. She is accused of murder when her liberating of jewellery crosses paths with a thief turned murders work in John Dorney’s ‘It Takes a thief’.
Then in James Goss’s ‘Skin Deep’ she meets with Donna’s mum Sylvia Noble (Jacqueline King) and introduces her to high society where a new beauty product may have a higher cost than imagined and Christina meets with her Dad.
In ‘Portrait of a Lady’ by Tim Dawson in South Africa Christina is embroiled in UNIT business and meets with UNIT elite Sam Bishop (Warren Brown) as they track down a painting with powers.
Finally she will try to break into Edinburgh castle; again getting messed up with what UNIT are up to and the latest plot from the Slitheen in ‘Death on the Mile’ by Donald McLeary.
This was always an intriguing character on TV and clearly had further to go. Probably inadvertently (or perhaps with a mind to bringing her back on TV) they left Lady Christina in the perfect position for further adventures. She had the flying London bus, which she now lovingly refers to as ‘the 200’, she was turned down for travelling with the Doctor so could still be a lone wolf and where as she is on the side of good in general, she isn’t tied to the Doctor’s strict moral code which offers a character where we aren’t sure what they will do. It’s an interesting point to pick her up at. And Michelle Ryan herself was born to play the part. She is sexy, smart, decadent and as is the order of the day a great, empowered female character.
The stories are all good. I particularly, as usual, loved James Goss’s. Involving Sylvia Noble is instantly a win. Without Donna around we get to play with her more likeable side and maybe see a little of why she is so hard on Donna, the Doctor and Wilf (Wilf spin off set next please!); seeing her want to be part of higher society and feeling so hurt when she might be rejected. Her reaction to the different aspects of Lady Christina are multifaceted. Also Lady Christina herself wanting to prove herself to her Dad (William Gaminara) and being so hurt that he doesn’t treat her as a daughter would want. A great piece of writing, built for great performances. That isn’t to do a disservice to the other stories. The first story by Dorney is a nice intro to the set and sets up something that suggest the stories might be going one way, but prove to go another. Having Sam Bishop as a running character through the stories and having him on his own as opposed to with a wider UNIT team brings out something new in the character and I think places him nicely to show up in future sets in this range. I’m not the biggest fan of the Slitheen but here they are handled nicely to bring out the best in the idea from that race.
The performances from all the guest cast are really good and a credit to the directing of Big Finish powerhouse Helen Goldwyn. I haven’t mentioned yet Matt Barber as the foppish, dim witted posh man Ivo Fraser-Cannon from the first story or Christopher Ryan returning to play a Sontaran under another’s influence. All these great performances giving nice texture to this world.
I’d like to see maybe a boxset next with an arc to really bed in the character some more, but as first outings go, this one works well and makes you want to hear that next set. 8/10.
Buy it now on CD or Download https://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/lady-christina-1829
Order from Amazon
Check out our Big Finish reviews!