Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)
In another wonderful celebration of Bernie at 20, we are treated to another anthology spanning the life of the character over all the iterations we know and others that reaches into her future.
The line up of stories and writers is thus…
Oh No, Not Again by Dave Stone
The Bunny’s Curse by Doris V Sutherland
The Seventh Fanfic by Mark Clapham
The Braxiatel Collection:
Benny and the Grieving Man by Simon Guerrier
Wurm Noir by Antonio Rastelli
Legacy Presence by Victoria CW Simpson
The Death of Hope by James Goss
Old Ruins by Peter Anghelides
It’s wonderfully divided up into all parts of Benny’s life in order and it showcases perfectly how the character has been allowed to evolve over the years as opposed to being one thing, with one supporting cast.
Benny has had different lives, different family and friends and even a couple of universes. This collection of writers brings out those times perfectly; all doing a wonderful job. Matching up with the styles of their era of Benny (some of which wrote for it in the first place) and finding now pockets of time within there, such as a story that deals with the impact of a students death under Benny’s watch and how she and the Braxiatel handle such losses and the risk to the collection if someone sees.
Another favourite of mine from this collection has Benny in the unbound universe with a museum robot in tow and someone from Bernice’s past appearing on the ship they are onboard, but from within Benny’s head. But consistently it is a great set. And if there is a time period, universe or story you are less keen on? The beauty of these type of collections is there will be another one along soon. And this is packed with over 5 and a half hours of stories.
Lisa Bowerman is as always great as our hero and narrator and brings all the characters to life with the zeal she always has with Summerfield herself. In this instance under the direction of Neil Gardner. I think it goes without saying at this stage, but its worth always giving praise to the way Big Finish and Bowerman have elevated a one time companion to someone who can still go toe to toe with the Doctor, but is a character on her own and one that allowed Big Finish to grow till they got the rights to tell Doctor stories. So once again a very happy 20 to Benny and here’s to another 20. Lisa, you are never allowed to retire! 😉
Buy/download here: https://www.bigfinish.com/news/v/bernice-summerfield-in-time2
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