Reviews and Commentary

 Dust Breeding 
Big Finish Productions
Mike Tucker
©2001

Damien the artist is such a prat. I'm offended by his representation as an obsessed creator, as much as any scientist would be in a similar position. Every time he opened his mouth, I rolled my eyes. Sure, I'd love to have my work be forever remembered, but artifact immortality is everyone's quest. It's not isolated to artists and madmen.

I liked Ace in this one. She spent more time asking useful questions and explaining her logic than yelling and charging into trouble. Makes me think this story happens further along towards Nightshade. "Shut out what they do and try to live with yourself afterwards." It's a good, if sad, characer progression, despite being a by the numbers story.

I enjoyed the scene where the Scream attempts to communicate through Ace, and not just for all the funny yelling and moaning. While she was clearly afraid and in mental pain, she wasn't terrified into confusion. There was no "what's going on" nonsense. Ace knew right from the get go that the painting was sentient and trying to speak to her telepathically. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, eh? She recovered quickly afterwards and later, when the Doctor allowed it to possess him, she kept her cool and kept probing for information. The Doctor was pleased with her.

Bev pops up again and as usual, I had trouble figuring out whether it was her or Ace talking. No matter. Ace takes charge of her and Salvadore and focuses exclusivelyon finding the Tardis. It's Bev who plays the part of the younger Ace and charges in to face down a Krill to save Salvadore and rages against Ace's forced indifference to the death around them.

It happens again when they join the Doctor and try to make it from the elevator to the Tardis. Ace goes so far as to ignore the Krill surrounding them to focus on keeping the Doctor safe. She doesn't even hesitate to accept Salvadore's self sacrifice, nor does she seem particularly sad about it afterwards. It was a necessary loss for the greater good. Apparently, she has habituated to certain harsh realities of a Time Lord's existance. Although, not entirely, as she does ask if they could prevent the entire series of events before the close of the story.

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