Villordsutch reviews The Omega Factor – Series One…
Written By: Matt Fitton, Phil Mulryne, Cavan Scott, Ken Bentley
Directed By: Ken Bentley
Sound Design: Martin Montague
Music : Nicholas Briggs
I vaguely remember the episodes of The Omega Factor. I would have been the mighty age of four when it was originally aired and due to my upbringing of British sci-fi I would have been happily plonked down in front of the television and laughed at as I soiled myself. Those were the days of impressive 1970’s parenting skills. The fragments I have of The Omega Factor are haunting moments and when I saw this on the Big Finish list, memories rushed back to me of corduroy trousers, knitted jumpers and the recollection of being slightly terrified.
The primary player in the full run of these episodes is Louise Jameson as Dr. Anne Reynolds, however due to the passing of James Hazeldine – who played psychic Journalist Tom Crane – in 2002, the role of colleague and companion is now filled by Tom’s estranged son Adam, played by John Dorney.
It’s been thirty years in real-time for Department 7 and the Government isn’t seeing results and is planning to close the doors and retire off its final employee. It’s around this time when Adam receives his first vision in From Beyond (written by Matt Fillion). This opener begins to introduce our characters for the old fans and newcomers and it also manages to pepper supernatural elements throughout, and squeeze in the final big piece for the closing chapters.
In The Old Gods (written by Phil Mulryne), our episode begins with we the listeners being made privy to a previous case of Dr. Reynolds, a young woman – called Eleanor – who is affected by WiFi, EM Fields, Mobile Phone signals etc., but this is disbelieved due to the lack of evidence. In the present day, we discover the girl now resides in a commune, ran by somebody Tom was investigating in the past, and Adam has also begun to have strong nightmares. As Anne and Adam attempt to gain access to the commune – by Adam pretending to suffer the same symptoms as Eleanor – we discover what is going on within the commune, and Room 33. While it ramps up the pace of the story, The Old Gods follows along the same path of From Beyond – we are still being introduced to the characters so the mystery and supernatural elements are given to us in small doses until the final climatic chapters.
With Legion (written by Cavan Scott) our stories really begin to run on full steam. Our characters are pretty well known and we gain more of their backstory as it is drip fed to us, but from this point the mystery drives the story – and it’s a cracking story too. Here we find a local exorcist called Miss McCrumb making a profit from those in need around her, and we also we discover what Miss McCrumb does with the demons she removes.
Our final tale The Hollow Earth (written by Ken Bentley) closes perfectly The Omega Factor – Series One. With numerous homeless people vanishing from the Southside Parish, Adam and Anne are requested to investigate and in doing so bring all their equipment to see if it’s paranormal. It soon becomes apparent that this isn’t a place of sanctuary anymore, with the doors locked and the energy and truths being spilt, Department 7 is the only thing that is stopping Hell from taking over.
As the whole package The Omega Factor – Series One is an excellent buy for the new and old fan of the series. As expected from Big Finish this is extremely well produced and directed, aND there are some serious scares delivered within this new series. Take for example when Adam enters the hospital room as we’re introduced to him in the beginning – I was in my home, on my own, with the earphones in and felt the need to remove one so I could keep a listen out behind me at the same time.
Even though the first two episodes of the series followed the same path of character development and end on a supernatural high they are still good tales, and coupled with the final two episodes, this is truly something else to own from the Big Finish library.
The Omega Factor is available to buy from Big Finish via CD or Download.
Villordsutch likes his sci-fi and looks like a tubby Viking according to his children. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter.