Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)
The 8th Doctor (Paul McGann) from before the Time War, continues his battle with the deadly Ravenous with the help of Liv (Nicola Walker), Helen (Hattie Morahan) and a host of former friend and foes, in this 3rd set in the series.
Deeptime Frontier by Matt Fitton
Following on from the conclusion of the last series, the Doctor and friends find themselves stranded on an unfriendly planet, with a dead Tardis. The Ravenous are on their trail and Liv and Helen are worried when it starts to sound like the more they learn about the Ravenous, the more they realise the Doctor might actually be scared of something in a way they’ve never seen.This is a story that builds on what came before as opposed to being a stand alone tale and for me kicks the Ravenous story-line into top gear. Until now the Ravenous have been more a background threat, with details being slowly fed to us. The end of the last series made this threat more present and this keeps that pace going. Paul McGann is on top form as a rattled 8th Doctor giving Walker and Morahan some nice things to play off and they take full advantage.
Companion Piece by John Dorney
The Nine (John Heffernan) has a new collecting hobby. Unfortunately for Charlotte Pollard (India Fisher), River Song (Alex Kingston), Bliss (Rakhee Thakrar) and many other familiar folks from the Doctors past, that collection is the Doctors companions. Sadly for the Nine, the next worst thing to the Doctor you don’t want to put in a trap is all his friendsRight from the punny name I was in love with this story. What a fantastic idea, so broad in scope to have all of the companions being rounded up in such a way and to have them working against the one Timelord who is many at once. It just adds to the scale you feel from this story. It’s just a fun fest and such a crowd pleaser from start to finish. And all the companions involved meeting up is just as delightful as you’d expect.
L.E.G.E.N.D by Matt Fitton
When Helen meets one of the fabled Brothers Grimm in a tavern, she is in awe. When their stories take on a life of their own the Tardis crew are a little more concerned. When the Eleven (Mark Bonnar) is along for the ride and Prof. Marathanga (Tanya Moodie) and her intelligent futuristic database are embroiled in events, well, there is a story there!This has some really fun elements and a big story. It’s also a perfect setting for a Who tale. The Brothers Grimm’s stories coming to life in weird and wonderful (not to mention scary) ways. This provides a nice showcase for Helen’s character as it’s always great to see the companion meet their hero and what comes from that.
The Odds Against by John Dorney
The Tardis team find themselves in the dimension where the Ravenous where previously imprisoned and hope to trap them there again. But does this dark dimension play host to more nightmares still?All guns are a blazing. The stakes are high and you get not only The Eleven, but the Nine also. With 20 personas in 2 actors it’s a wonder to behold and that’s before you even get to the threat level to the Doctor and team. I don’t want to give much away, but hold on to your hats.
I have enjoyed the Ravenous series to date, but have felt a need for more involvement from the baddies of the piece and less stand alone stories. In this set I get that. Yes, only 2 of the stories directly focus on them but not only do those 2 focus hard and deliver chills and thrills, but the other stories work within the teams set up in the other boxsets more. The Nine and Eleven are woven throughout to great effect, the companions and Doctor are all written for at their best and it feels like a very action set. If you listen to the extras the tease of what is to come in the forth series promises to continue this trend and the best and most dynamic set is yet to come. They’ve certainly set the stage with this one. 8/10
Download/buy here: https://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/doctor-who-ravenous-3-1799