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< 129. Plague of the Daleks
131a. Klein's Story >

130. A Thousand Tiny Wings

Rating Votes
10
34%
56
9
28%
46
8
21%
34
7
12%
19
6
4%
7
5
1%
2
4
0%
0
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
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Average Rating
8.7
Votes
164
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User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 4/17/18 4:58 pm
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

'Wings' starts off the first Klein trilogy in interesting fashion by placing her in Kenya in the middle of the Mau Mau uprising, another historical event in history that I wasn't immediately familiar with and I don't think Doctor Who has touched on before now. This allows for a gorgeously atmospheric African soundscape and an intriguing story with elements of a 'base under siege' structure but also lots of different and rather shocking element making it extremely engaging. The alien element itself and the way it manifests is genuinely disturbing and intriguing all at the same time and the sound design is some of the best I've ever heard in an audio format with a disquieting scream or the sudden snapping of a twig combined with the usually calm and serene sounds of the African jungle really standing out and keeping your focus while at the same time giving you a sharp jump. It's a complex story with lots of shades of black and white to characters that make them interesting with lots of justifications for seemingly ignoble actions. One of the main side characters Sylvia O'Donnell (played by Ann Bell) is perhaps the strongest example of this outside of Klein herself. She is a horrendously racist and bigoted individually with all the appalling negative tropes associated with the view but she still deeply and sympathetically cares about the women in her charge and will do anything for them. This makes the story a bit less clear cut than other Who stories and it's all the better for it. In terms of our main pair, Sylvester McCoy's Seventh Doctor continues to be great doing his best to be the good guy in a situation where his views simply aren't as useful and his philosophies and morals are very much put to the test in the face of what's going on. Tracey Childs is also damn good slipping back into the role of Elizabeth Klein almost flawlessly. She's still an unrepentant monster in what she believes are her rational views but now with her return she becomes someone who we can honestly relate to a little more as much as we as the listener may not want to. When the two are paired together, we not only get the intellectual conflicts that were started in "Colditz" that are so fascinating to listen to but we also get the pair immediately dropping hostilities and working together when they have to in order to save themselves and the people around them. I love pair of characters with opposing views forced to work together and Klein / The Doctor are an absolutely fabulous example of the dynamic. Combine all of this with a fantastic script by Andy Lane and lots of subtle touches like Klein dropping a glass when she first hears the TARDIS land and connections to other Seventh Doctor TV stories such as"Colditz" and even the TV story "Silver Nemesis" and it all makes this audio really stand out without any real flaw that I can think of. Thus, "A Thousand Tiny Wings" is a dark and complicated tale, the perfect reintroduction for Klein's character and one of the best realized Big Finish Seventh Doctor stories I've ever heard. 
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 12/11/16 1:39 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The story is set during the Mau Mau uprising in 1950’s Kenya, and Klein has taken refuge with a group of British imperialists. People are mysteriously being savagely killed. Under pressure Klein and a companion-less Doctor decide to join forces. This story starts a trilogy and is followed by Klein’s Story and Survival of the Fittest. This audio drama was recorded on 25 and 26 June 2009 at The Moat Studios and was available on BBC Radio 4 Extra from 23 May 2012 to 24 May 2012.

As Klien is teamed up with the Doctor she poses no real threat. The other characters are pretty paper thin. The plot is deceptively simple but enjoyable. This story is certainly a cut above average and has the atmosphere of a base-under-siege-type story. This could be because there are really only two settings: the farmhouse and the countryside. This works both for and against the story. The world created lacks depth but builds up suspense nicely. There are a few painfully trite philosophical points about the British Empire being similar to the Nazis but from a different perspective, lifeforms that are different are not necessarily inferior, and there is strength in numbers.

That being said: Lisa Bowerman’s directing is focused and gives everything cohesion. The sound effects and music create a vivid landscape. This is wedded to Andy Lane’s classy story filled with fine performances. The suspense increases throughout and McCoy plays the Doctor with authority. Also, The Doctor indicates that Ace has left by this point. A Thousand Tiny Wings manages to rise above any perceived faults and definitely above average.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
NR
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
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Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: jdhall1971Review Date: 5/25/15 6:09 am
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Not quite a "base under siege" but almost. Excellent. Historical detail is superb. Characters are brilliant.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 4/11/15 12:01 pm
2 out of 3 found this review helpful.

The Doctor appears in Kenya during the Mau Mau revolution and comes across a farmhouse where four women are holed up hiding from the rebels. One of them is a former Nazi scientist named Dr. Elizabeth Klein who remembers a world where the Nazis won the War and wants to change history back. But right now, she and the Doctor have to deal of a odd creature and a series of alien deaths.

The highlight of the story is the interaction between between the Doctor and Klein. It's amazing how they are continually bouncing between their ideological and personal enmity and scientific and strategic cooperation to uncover the mystery of the strange deaths. It's an odd sort of chemistry that works wonderfully. The Doctor's decision to have Klein travel with him is stunning but definitely intriguing.

The plot itself is engaging, with a few good twists and concepts along the way. The acting by most of the supporting characters was good, though some of the characters are rather flat which given the number of characters "on stage" poses a small problem. Sylvia O'Donnell is almost too much of a stereotype and while her turn at the end is good, it could have used a little more build up so it seemed less sudden.

While most reviewers think this requires Coldlitz, I heard it without having listened to that play first and had no trouble following it. This is incredibly entertaining and highly recommended.