Following on from its fifth segment, Short Trips (Volume 3) from Big Finish again continues with a short interlude narrated/voiced by Nicholas Briggs. Still being the “sales android”, the 2nd Doctor (with Jamie) tricks it into a form of the irresistible force paradox. The android believes that his armour can withstand any attack, whilst also believing the the weapon can destroy anything. The Doctor gets it to demonstrate, leaving the way clear to open the door again.
Nicholas Briggs does well with Jamie’s voice and, although his Troughton is better than some of his other interpretations, it’s not a patch on his Tom Baker.
The Riparian Ripper features the 7th Doctor and Ace, and is read by Sophie Aldred who does an unsurprisingly good re-enactment of Ace’s voice and, with the story being written in First Person, is very listenable. Her 7th Doctor is less convincing, being more of a generic voice with a Scottish lilt. Her voices for the other characters are very effective, however.
Written by one time 7th Doctor script editor Andrew Cartmel, The Riparian Ripper is a clever, if somewhat predictable piece. It doesn’t really help that the alien of the plot and its motive is awfully similar to something I recently listened to in The Secret History.
The 7th Doctor and Ace, with no pre-amble, arrive at the Red River in time to encounter a series of brutal attacks. Bodies being slashed, each time in a different place – the neck one time, the stomach the next, etc. Oddly, all of the victims of the attack survive, although they can’t describe their attacker. The Doctor figures out what’s happening quite quickly (but, given it’s only a 16 minute story, he needs to be quick).
The fairly predictable plot aside, the atmosphere, environment, characters, mixed with Sophie Aldred’s delightful reading, make this one of the better offerings in this series of “short trips”.