Image credit: Cutaway Comics (Fair Use)
Image Description: Brian Blessed as Omega
Tides was provided with a free review copy of the audio
By James Ashworth
Though Big Finish may have the advantage when it comes to Doctor Who audios, they aren’t the only ones with the ability to do so. Spinning out of the Audio Visuals, the firm is a stalwart in a continuing chain of Doctor Who fans producing stories in the medium over the years. Cutaway, on the back of their comics’ success, are the latest to enter this arena, with an adaptation of the Omega series of comics.
The cover tells you as much as you really need to know about Omega: Vengeance – Brian Blessed, space god. To be a bit more technical, he is Omega himself, whispering and, because it’s Brian Blessed, sometimes shouting his words into the minds of mere mortals. His performance is more than worth the price of admission alone, as he schemes and manipulates before demonstrating his destructive powers personally. The rest of the cast, meanwhile, are variable, with some lacking the necessary emphasis in their performance to stop them sounding a little flat.
The audio itself, however, is far from it. From a technical perspective, it is very well put together, with the sound effects and mixing more than equivalent of any Big Finish production. From a narrative one, the story itself is for the most part pretty solid, adapting scenes taken from the comics themselves. However, this is also Vengeance’s biggest problem, as between the individual scenes, the story tends to be joined up by narration from Princess Malika; the audio equivalent of linking text. The problem is that this doesn’t translate well to audio. In sticking too literally to the comics medium, the momentum of the audio slows every time the narration begins, and really needs new material to link the scenes organically, rather than artificially.
Overall, Omega: Vengeance is a capable and enjoyable audio, which is a good first step into the world of audio for Cutaway Comics. While there’s work to be done, the foundations are all set for bigger things to come if they continue down this line in the future.