The sheriff left Nottingham for a time, and has just returned. What will his newest scheme be, and can Much stop it – or will he be too distracted by food, Kate, and other pleasures to even notice what’s wrong?
The opening of The Dambusters certainly goes with the latter, and plays Much off as comic relief. It would have been interesting to see a more in-depth take on Much’s character, but this audio does provide a welcome change of pace from introspective pieces like Friendly Fire and The Witchfinders. The Dambusters is an ensemble piece, rather than just focusing on Much.
The sheriff has built the largest mill in the area – possibly in all of England – and hired a small army of German mercenaries to guard it. With every other mill in Nottingham destroyed, everyone will have to come to him to sell their grain – and he will be able to set the price. And his mill relies on a masterpiece of engineering: a giant dam that has created an articial lake.
Tuck, unsuprisingly, is fascinated by the scientific principles behind the mill. throwing caution the wind and trying to examine the workings of the dam, while Robin and the gang sprang into action. Not only do they have to bust the dam, they also needed to rescue Tuck. One wouldn’t imagine this would involve a swordfight atop a wet parapet, but it does. The scene would make for great television: Robin’s sword glistening as he struggles to keep his footing in the pouring rain, Guy’s face illuminated only by flashes of moonlight. As if that wasn’t enough, Kate and Isabella finally get a piece of the action, Tuck takes a leaf from Ben Franklin’s book (anachronisms ahoy), and Robin just may be able to control the heavens.
This play feels like a missing episode of the show. For all the billing that this series would closely tie into the episodes and themes of Season Three, it isn’t until this audio until the series delivers on that promise. Sam Troughton’s imitations of the other characters is spot-on, and the script fits neatly between Let the Games Commence and Do You Love Me?.
A very neat “missing episode” in the middle of Season Three, this audio proves the series can do more than introspective, broody audios – it can do action just as well as the TV series.
Friendly Fire (by Michael Abberton; read by Sam Troughton) was released by Big Finish Productions in May 2009.