Welcome to DoWntime’s not-too-regular column, Assessing Stress. That’s where we assess … stress. Or more accurately, talk and debate about the newest episodes to hit the television screen, the new releases from Big Finish, and all these good things.
And today, Tibère and Scribbles tackle the latest UNIT boxset. Spiritus abysso invocat te voco, and all that jazz. Spoilers after the read more tag – also, please do check out our partnership with Ruth Long’s Untold Adventures project if you haven’t!
SCRIBBLES: UNIT’s been a hard range to get a hold on, quality-wise, I think. At its best, it’s been exceptional. At its worst, downright baffling. But I’m very happy to say that the change of pace in Encounters, which could have just been an excuse to shove Daleks and Sontarans in, works a treat. This stands strong with the best of the UNIT releases and Big Finish in general, four very solid stories that go great lengths to evolve the characters and their world. If this is setting the tone for the next three sets, announced at the same time, then we’re going to be in for a treat and I’m very glad I pre-ordered the lot.
TIBERE: It’s a really solid set – the change of focus, away from big, multi-parts storylines, allows for some quieter storytelling and for a series of really interesting character vignettes. As good as the range has been before, and it has been really good, it mostly dealt in the realm of broad thematic strokes and political affairs; but this set fleshes out the different protagonists a lot more. Kate Stewart gets some of her finest material, whereas some previous storylines could rely a bit too much on her iconic status and Jemma Redgrave’s excellent acting; and Josh Carter, who we both considered until recently the weakest spot of these stories, makes a lot more sense as a character now. It’s a real return to form for the range, and it lays very solid bases for future developments.