Omega Factor: Series 3 (Big Finish)
Written By: Roy Gill, Natasha Gerson, Louise Jameson, Phil MulryneDirected By: Ken Bentley
Louise Jameson (Dr Anne Reynolds), John Dorney (Adam Dean), Natasha Gerson (Morag), Alan Cox (James Doyle), Lucy Goldie (Claire McTeal), Roberta Taylor(Olivia Kirkland), Leighton Pugh (John Gardener), Orion Ben (Adhara Rahul / Nurse), Jamie Newall (Professor Peter Shand), Miranda Keeling (Lucy Williams), Gunnar Cauthery (Edward Milton), Elizabeth Payne (Grace Roberts), Ben Porter(Professor Stephen Wright). Other parts played by members of the cast.
Producer David RichardsonScript Editor Matt FittonExecutive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs
As I began Omega Factor series three, I must confess to feeling a little of what I can only call trepidation. With the quality of the first two series being so high and after proclaiming them to be my favourite Big Finish products EVER, well one starts to wonder if ANYTHING can live up to those expectations. Not only that but series 2 ended on such a bizarre (but wonderful) cliff-hanger, that the challenge seemed two-fold. Of course, I forgot the immortal words of Yazz; ‘The only way is up…’
Under Glass- Roy Gill
Returning after the superb, The Changeling, Roy Gill’s opening script wisely keeps the Omega conspiracy and various dangling threads from the last series in the background. Instead it chooses to concentrate on the relationship between Louise Jameson’s Anne Reynolds and John Dorney’s Adam Dean. They’ve come a long way since season one and the chemistry between them allows Gill to experiment with introducing elements such as a potential love interest for Adam Green, whilst at the same time making it perfectly clear that he’s also developing a closer relationship with his daughter. Both of these facts send a clear message to the audience but also make perfect material for an opening story, particular when Adam’s new love interest is directly connected to the demonic threat. The guest cast are of course superb, with Roberta Taylor delivering a wonderful performance as Olivia Kirkland.
Let us Play- Natasha Gerson
Morag herself is the author of the next story in the set and boy what a story. Let us Play uses the contemporary video game obsessions to great effect, telling the story of a mysterious game that is having unpleasant effects on the students who have trialled it. Jamie Newall steals the show here as Proffesor Peter Shand, presenting a likeable but tragic character and delivering one of the stand out moments of the entire series thus far in his confrontation with this stories villain. One of the highlights of the set.
Phantom Pregnancy- Louise Jameson
After her fantastic episode last season, Louise Jameson returns with another tale. This story concerns a refugee who has mysteriously fallen pregnant. It’s a story that confronts some difficult issues, both socially but also personally, directly targeting Anne’s role as a scientist and her attitude to her work. At points I must confess to being a little confused as to exactly what the supernatural threat was and where it was coming from, though the real joy of this episode is its exquisite character studies. I must also state that whilst I admire the teams desire to try something different with the voice of the supernatural entity, it’s far more amusing than it is horrifying. However their minor niggles with another outstanding story in a series that has never failed yet. Special mention must be made of Orion Bens excellent portrayal of Adhara and one hopes we’ll have the pleasure of hearing her again. One also hopes that there’s more scripts to be had from the superb talent that is Louise Jameson. Another highly enjoyable story.
Drawn to the Dark- Phil Mulryne
One of the things I’ve enjoyed about this series is how it’s really tapped into the history of Edenborough and Drawn to the Dark is no exception. This story also features the return of Drexel and resolves the plot points that were left open at the end of the last series. Not only that but it offers tantalising hints into the history of Omega and provides a satisfying conclusion to three series worth of stories. The final sequence provides an epic conclusion and the story itself manages to stand alone as a great horror story, whilst also providing many treats for long term listeners.
It’s confirmed in the behind the scenes features that OF will be returning at some point for a fourth series and I for one cannot wait. OF continues to be one of the single best products put out by Big Finish and for my money the best. Highly recommended.