Shield of the Jotunn is the latest Big Finish audio featuring Colin Baker reprising his role as the Sixth Doctor. Featuring Vikings and Americans and Monsters!
The story here deals with the very near future and an issue that is currently hotly debated in our society. The year is 2029 and a billionaire philanthropist named Dr. Hugo Macht is working on a plan to fix global warming. His construction crew though discovers a Viking burial mound in the Arizona desert full of Viking corpses and the Doctor. As if things weren’t unusual enough, a blizzard strikes the desert in mid-summer and a monstrous frost giant begins terrorizing the work site and eating people. . . Do you really need to know more than that to go out and get this for your own listening pleasure?
The Doctor has a companion in this story that is unique to the Big Finish world, Constance Clark. The new companions are wonderfully conceived and acted. No more of the damsel in distress companions. No more of the companions simply there to ask the Doctor “What are you doing?” Constance has just as important a role in the adventure as The Doctor himself.
Over the last few years I have taken an enhanced interest in Viking stories and lore. Ian Edginton wrote the script for this story, and managed to bring just enough background history to the tale to make it fascinating without feeling like it turned into a history lesson. An even bigger surprise to me was noticing that Louise Jameson directed this story. Fans of classic Doctor Who will recognize the name as she was the actress who played the Fourth Doctor companion Leela. She did a fantastic job directing this story.
The Big Finish series of Doctor Who audios have a standard running time of 90 minutes (more or less), and each story has several bonus tracks. There is a 15 minute instrumental track of isolated score from the story. I love listening to these, they do a great job with the original scores. They also have a behind the scenes feature track. Well, 3 in this case. Not sure why they broke it up into 3 interview tracks, because the cast and crew weaves throughout all 3 of them. But they are always fun to listen to. I enjoy behind the scenes bits, only wish they would not include snippets from the audio drama we just listened to. I don’t understand that part of the extras. It is about 10 minutes of interview stuff and likely 3 minutes is snippets from the play.
All in all, this is a solid story that is quite enjoyable. Whether you are a Doctor Who fan, a Viking fan, or a horror fan, there is something here for everyone. I give this story 4 stars.