It’s no secret that I love Rufus Hound’s Monk. If you’ve read any review of mine that includes Hound’s Monk, you will know that I absolutely adore him. Today, the Monk is against the Fourth Doctor whilst trying to give a presentation on How To Win Planets And Influence People.
10AM: Our Opening Guest Speaker discusses Strategic Invasion Plans, including things to look out for, Time Lords to avoid, and tips on crushing the lesser races
11AM: Biscuits and Coffee
12PM: Continuing on from his opening talk, our Guest Speaker discusses bringing the universe to its knees
A dynamic talk with slides. The Meddling Monk has lectured widely for several centuries, and his wisdom is contained in the following bestsellers: The 7 Habits Of Truly Terrible People, Who Moved My Sun?, Feel The Fear And Detonate It Anyway, The One Million Year Manager and Ice Men Are From Mars, Karate Is From Venus.
Have you ever watched a TED Talk? If you have, you’ll know exactly what’s in store in the pre-titles for How To Win Planets and Influence People. The Monk, played once again by the brilliant Rufus Hound, is giving a talk on how to invade the Earth. To be honest, I would love an actual TED Talk where Rufus Hound talks about how to invade the Earth. Just imagine.
As the slideshow continues, the Monk gives an enthralling performance; his Do’s and Don’t’s are brilliantly accurate, especially what he said about America. Then we learned the truth about housing prices. It’s clear that this Short Trip is going to be full of variety in lessons learned. It’s great.
Eight minutes into the slideshow, and the Monk goes on a little bit of a tangent (all the best do, to be honest, myself included) about (one of) his downfall(s). When a plucky young journalist by the name of Sarah Jane Smith stepped into his life. Normally in these Short Trips, or the Companion Chronicles, or any release in which one actor is portraying another, the actor at least tries to sound similar in their delivery; to make you aware that that’s who they’re being. Not Hound’s Monk though, he mimics in such a child like way. It sounds petulant and I love it.
On his fourth slide, the Monk then picks apart a hell of a lot of previous Doctor Who villains plans, it’s like a Who’s Who in Who, especially in regards to the Third Doctor (who Hound’s Monk met in The Blame Game).
Once the Monk is back to the digressions, we’re joined once again by the Fourth Doctor and Harry, who seem to be gloating at the Monks misfortune. It’s brilliantly odd; pompous and grandiose.
Who’d have thought that the Monk would be having a go at graphic designers too? One of my best friends is a graphic designer, and… to be honest, I actually agree with the Monk on this one. Graphic designers are far too… themselves.
What I love about James Goss’ writing in this story, is that he absolutely gets the Monk as a character; especially Rufus Hound’s portrayal. He’s like John Simm’s Master in Series 3, but with a lot more charm; the Monk, like Harold Saxon, infiltrated the peoples conscious, but in a much more endearing way. It’s brilliant. I’d love a Master/Monk story, especially with either Simm or Macqueen as the Master, and Hound as the Monk of course.
The Monk and the Fourth Doctor are a brilliant pairing; and they have a scene together near the end of the story, which I’m not going to spoil for you; but it’s one of those moments that you really want to imagine. I love my mind’s eye.
The conclusion of How To Win Planets and Influence People is really well thought out, and a nice conclusion; it’s nothing amazing, but it’s such a Doctorlike way to solve a problem, it’s great.
Overall, How To Win Planets and Influence People is another romp of a story featuring Rufus Hound’s Monk. He may not always be in the most high profile Big Finish releases; but whenever he’s utilised, Hound always gives 110%. It’s not often I say this, but I genuinely believe that Rufus Hound was born to play the Monk. James Goss absolutely hit the nail on the head with the writing too, and the story was extremely well paced and engaging. All I wish for now is a box set dedicated to the Monk and his adventures. Big Finish, after The War Master, give this a thought?
Should you want to purchase How To Win Planets And Influence People, it’s currently available as a download from Big Finish for £2.99 which you can purchase here.