Bernice Summerfield: Road Trip boxset by Christopher Cooper, Simon Barnard, Paul Morris and David Llewellyn (CD review).
When Bernice Summerfield goes on a ‘Road Trip’, there is no stopping her. With three stories in this collection and ample guest stars, we find out what happens after the momentous events of ‘Epoch’ in this boxset which builds to the bridge to Legion.
1. Brand Management written by Christopher Cooper
In which Bernice accidentally spoils a very good marketing ploy and makes a few more enemies, new friends and old ones.
When Bernice arrives on Lyndyaz looking for a job, Professor Henry Burtenshaw welcomes her with open arms and so does Ruth, presumed long dead. However there are other interested parties that might just want Bernice dead. It’s all down to deities and for Bernie, once a deity is enough.
With Anjil Mohindra (‘Sarah Jane Adventures’) as Gabriella Dominiccix, head of the Dominiccix Corp, her brother Frederico (Robbie Webster) and Roger Hammond as Burtenshaw channelling the absent-minded Professor (and also sounding like Slartibartfast from ‘The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy’), this is a great hour of entertainment.
2. Bad Habits by Simon Barnard and Paul Morris
In which Bernie and Ruth get into costume. Yep, it’s nuns on the run.
On the run and in black and white, both Ruth and Bernie are posing as nuns so Bernie can see the dig on planet Agora. The only way they could get there was to blag passes on the nun shuttle going to perform. The wheelchair-bound Mother Superior is keen to get them singing but how do you solve a problem like Bernice?
Another day, another dig but this one might point the way to Legion and Bernie must persuade the archaeologist Professor Melville Trout (Ian H Watkins) to let her in on the excavations, although this requires another costume change. Meanwhile, she also has to escape the clutches of the over-sexed Bishop Synesious (Nigel Lambert) and persuade the Mother Superior that she is singing from the same hymn sheet.
Keen pop spotters might notice that H is from Steps as the archaeologist but there’s no singing from him this time. Probably for the best.
3. Paradise Frost by David Llewellyn
In which Ruth and Bernie take a holiday but forget their skis.
A holiday on the premier resort of Zarnac used to be just the ticket, until it became a death zone, so having a tractor beam pull the space-taxi that Ruth and Bernice are in towards certain crash is not the best start. The taxi driver isn’t happy, with no cab, no fare, no food and no hope of rescue. The three meet the remaining inhabitants of Zarnac, ravaged by a plague and cut off from the rest of the galaxy. Doctor Carol Bauer (India Fisher) and Yukon 9 (Alan Ruscoe) are apparently pleased to see them as they were trying to hitch a ride having spent ten years alone on the frozen planet. But something is not quite right and it’s not just the ravening sand-roaches that are over-running the resort that they need to worry about. As the soulless recorded voice of the architect of the complex, Jared Jones (Arthur Darvill) echoes round the holiday complex, the unhappy group are trapped and their options limited.
All three stories are self-contained and form part of the regular adventures of Bernice Summerfield as she travels the galaxy trying to track down son Peter, who she believes to be on the mysterious Legion. There is a good deal of wit and fun to be had in these tales. Our Bernice continues to be surprised and sometimes delighted by what the universe throws up and there is always time for some sarcasm.
(pub: Big Finish. 3 CDs 180 minutes 3 stories. Price: CD: £25.00 (UK), Download: £20.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-599-0)
cast: Lisa Bowerman, Ayesha Antoine, Arthur Darvill, Roger Hammond, Jacqueline King, Nigel Lambert, Anjli Mohindra, India Fisher, Ian H Watkins, Liam Cooper, Paul Jones, Robbie Webster, Marcus Harris, Charlie Langdell, Scott Arthur and Alan Ruscoe
check out website: www.bigfinish.com