Bernice Summerfield: Oh No It Isn't! - Review

It is hard to believe that now we are in 2017, that Oh No It Isn't! was actually the first audiobook that Big Finish produced. And boy can you tell. It's cheesy and the story drags dramatically in the second half and it is haphazard and amateurish compared to the heights that the company have since reached.

But I loved it!

Bernice Summerfield, the Seventh Doctor's archaeologist companion is heading back from a recent dig, when the ship she is travelling on comes under attack from alien forces, she wakes to find herself having been thrown into the magical world of pantomime. But why? And why can her cat suddenly talk?

Lisa Bowerman and Nicholas Courtney, as the Brigadier sounding cat Wolsey, are the reason that this play works, despite aliens with annoying voice modulation work and an implausible plot. Bernice Summerfield is a dead ringer for Lara Croft, or the other way around, and this story keeps trying to stuffy Benny into an archetype, any type of archetype. But I love her solution to her suitor problem.

The secondary characters are pretty thin, almost given no back story. And then they get stuffed into archetypes too, even if I did appreciate the switching of genders in true pantomime fashion. (I take part in pantomimes at my local amateur dramatics society and so know the tropes inside and out.) It is strange though that it is the cat who gets the role as the most interesting character arc.

There is a lot to talk about here but the main reason to get this release is because it was the first story that Big Finish ever produced. One enjoys hearing Bowerman's hilarious muttered asides. And Nicholas Courtney never failed to crack me up as Wolsey and his dick jokes!