Review: Sarah Jane Smith: 7 Snow Blind
Snow Blind: The Skinny: Snow Blind is a whodunit story but it doesn't start out that way. Keeping this "spoiler-free" which necessarily limits how much one can share, I can say that there are some very chilling moments (pun intended) in Snow Blind.
Liner notes: Having lived a life of adventure as a traveller in time and space, returning to a quiet life on present day Earth was never going to be easy. Ex-journalist, Sarah Jane Smith is determined to make a difference in her own way. Fiercely independent, Sarah relies on her own wit, judgement and keen sense of morality to challenge the evils of the world. Life is never quiet for long. Trouble has a habit of finding Sarah -- even when she’s not looking for it.
Sarah Jane Smith travels to Antarctica where her friend, Will is part of a research team studying global warming. But someone at Nikita Base is a murderer and everybody has a guilty secret. When a massive storm severs all communications, the killer strikes and the truth is revealed. Will anyone get off the Ice alive?
And now, the rest of the story...
Reference to "The Seeds of Doom" (Doctor Who, circa 1976) was very cleverly woven into the script. For the seasoned listener, such references always lend credibility to the story at hand, or ears, as it were in that they can provide a backdrop or a point of reference for what's going on in the here and now of the current story line. Sometimes one sees a direct relationship with a character's past in the mention of an episode from yesteryear while other times the connection is less evident but no less legitimate. I can not speak for the whole of the Big Finish range, however I can say without a doubt that given my experience, which is limited to Bernice Summerfield and Doctor Who dramas, Big Finish has always used devices like this very effectively. Recently I've been listening to a number of fan produced audio dramas and while the same sort of devices are employed, often they are over used or so blatantly used that one feels as though they are attending a "Doctor Who 101" lecture and that's a shame for it detracts from what otherwise may be a really good story. Big Finish doesn't go there. While a commercial enterprise which got its start in the realm of fandom, Big Finish respects what it reflects, if I may be so vague.
Snow Blind is a whodunit story but it doesn't start out that way. Keeping this "spoiler-free" which necessarily limits how much one can share, I can say that there are some very chilling moments (pun intended) in Snow Blind. If you think I've already crossed the "spoiler line" with: "But someone at Nikita Base is a murderer and everybody has a guilty secret," in the third paragraph above, please understand that what you've read in the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs of this review are transcribed directly from the back of the CD liner. Would you verbally accost the owner of a shop where merchandise like this is sold for having such information out in public view or perhaps threaten to never shop there again, implying that you intended to take your business elsewhere? To quote Steven Wright, "It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to paint it." While the Doctor and his companions like Sarah Jane Smith are known to travel in circles much larger than most of us, it is a small world, accordingly, there are only so many places one can plug into entertainment of this sort. No spoiling intended.
One brief bit in Snow Blind that I enjoyed very much demonstrated how firm a grip the cast and crew have on the technical side of production, specifically, with audibly switching our point of view between characters. I freely admit that "audibly switching our point of view" may sound a little clumsy, but we are "seeing" with our ears whenever we immerse ourselves in audio drama, so as awkward as it may sound it is likewise accurate. This particular phase of the production is so well handled that you might feel as though you are in two places at the same time as you eavesdrop on conversations between the cast. Experience Snow Blind and you'll "get it" immediately.
Finally, let me encourage you to give a listen to the trailer linked below, but be warned, once you do, resistance is futile!
Snow Blind earns a 5 MOBILE Rating.
PRODUCTION NOTES: Cast: Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith); Jeremy James (Josh); Tom Chadbon (Will); Nicholas Briggs (Munro); Julia Righton (Morgane); Jack Galagher (Jack); Shaun Ley (Newsreader); with Jacqueline Pearce, David Gooderson, and Stephen Greif
Writer: David Bishop; Director: John Ainsworth; Music: Steve Foxon; Sound Design: Steve Foxon; Cover Art: Lee Binding
Trailer link: Trailer_7_Snow_Blind.mp3
Product link: http://bigfinish.com/Sarah-Jane-Smith
Detailed synopsis: http://www.drwhoguide.com/sj_07.htm