I must admit, this one threw me a little to begin with. As I don’t have any knowledge of the characters or events from the TV show, throwing the listeners into the middle of ongoing events with Trask walled up can mean new listeners need to take the first few scenes to find their feet with what’s going on. However, once that’s done (and it honestly doesn’t take much to get up to speed – Trask: nasty piece of work who thinks he’s doing God’s will – got his comeuppance and is left with only the ultimate way out), this is another cracking little play in Big Finish’s Dark Shadows range. Honestly, for a series I have no prior experience of, I’m enjoying the heck out of these.
The fun in this play really kicks in once Trask and Angelique find themselves back in the Civil War. Here we’ve got two villainous characters playing off each other. Each having been promised a way out from eternal damnation, so each is eager to out do the other. Both these characters play off each other well, with it being clear (at least based on what I could get from the play) that Trask is generally the nastier of the two, whileAngelique is the smarter, and none too happy to be stuck with him, especially as Trask sees it his divine duty to ensure she loses. Jerry Lacy in particular manages to come across very menacing as Trask, and its a great job by the two main stars.
A really nice bonus to this play is the cast. While Lara Parker and Jerry Lacy are credited, the Big Finish website would have you believe this play is a Companion Chronicles-style 2 hander, but that’s not the case, as you have Nigel Fairs as the Dark Lord and Lizzie Hopley (who also wrote the play) turning up in the civil war as a mysterious figure Trask and Angelique stumble upon, who turns out to be very important to events. The couple of extra voices really add to the play, giving it a much more “full cast audio”, richer feel and really feeling like you’re getting more for your money.
If like me, you’ve been enjoying Big Finish’s Dark Shadows range, then I definitely recommend picking this play up. While the unfamiliar backstory definitely threw me to begin with, once the main story of Angelique and Trask’s challenge kicked in and they arrived in the Civil War, I found myself really enjoying the interplay between these two characters and was thoroughly hooked.