Review: The War Doctor Begins – Forged in Fire

Review by Jacob Licklider


The War Doctor range was one of the Big Finish ranges sadly cut off due to the passing of Sir John Hurt.  A fifth box set was actually planned and some of those scripts have been used in other ranges such as The War Master, at least in similar premises.  Now that time has passed, the character has been recast with Jonathon Carley, most well known for several fan Doctor Who productions, and instead of continuing John Hurt’s legacy as the character which may have been insensitive if done incorrectly, goes back to the beginning of the character to explore what the War Doctor actually kind of means.  The War Doctor Begins was announced as four box sets, starting release in June 2021 all looking to lead to essentially where their War Doctor releases began.  Forged in Fire sports a beautifully painted cover by Claudia Gironi featuring Daleks and Thals and a younger John Hurt.  It also is a set which sets up something interesting for the character, taking a step away from what Steven Moffat implied with the character, that he was the version of the Doctor who went against everything that the Doctor stood for, that his purpose was to be a warrior.  There is something to be said to the recast; Carley joins Jon Culshaw’s Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Sadie Miller’s Sarah Jane, and Elliot Chapman’s Ben Jackson (among others) in Big Finish’s roster of perfect recasts.  Carley worked closely with director Louise Jameson to ensure that his impression was more than just an impression, but really embodying the younger version of the character.  He makes it his own and Jameson’s direction is also a welcome change as her touch makes the entire set have a different atmosphere to Big Finish’s usual output. Continue reading

Review: Doctor Who – Dalek Universe 1

Review by Jacob Licklider


The Dalek Protocol started off the Dalek Universe miniseries with a fairly standard but enjoyable tale with no real connection to what would become the series at least based on the first set. And a day later, Dalek Universe begins itself properly with the first three stories in the miniseries being released to acclaim. To make what’s most likely going to be a long review short, Dalek Universe 1 is a brilliant start to the miniseries and if you haven’t already, go do yourself a favour and buy it. This is one of those sets that I cannot critically evaluate without losing my restraint on spoilers so from this point forward. You have been warned. Each installment of Dalek Universe 1 is truly part of a miniseries, blending together which helps as two of the episodes are from John Dorney, and the third deals with the character fallout from the previous two episodes before moving along to what will eventually become the conclusion of the set while transitioning into the second set. An interesting note, this set barely features the Daleks, like The Dalek Protocol before it, they are an off-screen presence bar a few scenes, the writers instead electing for setting this around the time of The Daleks’ Master Plan and dragging the Tenth Doctor out of time into his own personal timeline.

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Audio Review: Space 1999 (Vol. 1)

Review by Ian McArdell


Space 1999 Volume 1 continues Big Finish’s vivid reimagining of the late 1970s Gerry Anderson classic. After launching with the show’s pilot episode, refashioned as an epic audio movie, this boxset moves us into the realm of regular episodes. While remaining faithful to the spirit of the original, this first set holds two original stories and one adaptation. The first deals directly with the aftermath of Breakaway, and follows up on the mysterious call to the planet of Meta – a plot threat surprisingly forgotten onscreen as the Moon headed on out into the universe. Continue reading

Review: The Fourth Doctor Adventures Series 10 (Vol 2)

Review by Michael Goleniewski

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Audio Review: Star Cops – Mars (Part 2)

Review by Ian McArdell


Mars 2, the latest Star Cops audio release, concludes the current storyline for the International Space Police Force. Based on Chris Boucher’s short-lived 1987 television series, this audio drama stars David Calder as Commander Nathan Spring, a canny copper determined to build a presence for law and order in orbit.

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Audio Review: Star Cops – Mars (Part 1)

Review by Ian McArdell


The television series of Star Cops ended with Commander Nathan Spring posing a question: “Anyone for Mars?”. Now firmly established from a base on the Moon, the ISPF’s remit was set to encompass Mars in a second series. While the show on television never quite made it, fresh from their investigation into the terrorist organisation Mother Earth’, Big Finish’s superb audio continuation of the show has finally made good on that offer. Continue reading

Review: Doctor Who – Emissary of the Daleks

Review by Michael Goleniewski


“Emissary of the Daleks” continues the latest Sixth Doctor / Peri trilogy of stories begun with the intrinsically memorable “Memories of a Tyrant” last month. On a remote planet orbiting a solitary star, the Doctor and Peri have landed in order to discover how life has developed on a world with little to no external influences. They soon discover a devastated landscape full of gravestones of the dead and a nearby city on stilts under the control of the new masters of the planet.

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Audio Review: Survivors (Series 9)

Review by Ian McArdell


In the five years since its audio resurrection, Survivors, based on Terry Nation’s 1970s BBC television show, has provided some of the most shocking and traumatic hours of audio drama I have ever heard. Set in the aftermath of a devastating contagion, the show follows those who survived in their attempts to forge a new life, to re-learn the basics and work together in order to stay alive. Continue reading

Review: Doctor Who – The 4th Doctor Adventures Series 8 (Vol. 1)

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)


Tom Baker is back once again as the Doctor at his eccentric best and he meets the first new companion for Big Finish in WPC Ann Kelso (Jane Slavin).

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Review: First Doctor Adventures (Vol 2)

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)


David Bradley is back with the new first Doctor crew for 2 new adventures in time and space with a slightly 60’s sensibility. Continue reading