Audio Review: Survivors – Crusade

Review by Ian McArdell


‘Crusade’ is the latest Big Finish audiobook set in the world of Terry Nation’s Survivors – a
1970s post-pandemic tale of those who lived after a virus dubbed “the Death” wiped out
much of the world’s population. Slotting into the latter part of the show’s first series, the
story is coloured by events from one of its most traumatic episodes.

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Review: Doctor Who Interludes – The Dream Nexus

Review by Jacob Licklider


The Interludes range is the newest addition to Big Finish Productions’ Doctor Who output, released exclusively to the website with specific releases (currently the first yearly release of the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Doctor Adventures), and seem to be yet another chance to bring in new talent by giving them a trial hour long audiobook featuring the Fifth, Sixth, or Seventh Doctor. The inaugural release was I, Kamelion allowing Dominic G. Martin a story, and the second released with The Sixth Doctor Adventures: Water Worlds from Adam Christopher, a New Zealand writer who has also written for the Star Wars expanded media. The Dream Nexus is very much a novella style audiobook set in between The Tides of the Moon and Maelstrom, which was honestly a surprise. The expectation wasn’t that it would be a continuation of the box set, but for The Dream Nexus it really works to continue what made Water Worlds work in exploring the team dynamic of this TARDIS team. Christopher’s story perhaps suffers most from being limited to a single hour as this is a story which almost needs the full novel length to really do anything conclusive with its plot as it feels as if things finish just as the story gets going. Continue reading

Review: Bernice Summerfield – The Slender-Fingered Cats of Bubastis

Review by Jacob Licklider


The Slender-Fingered Cats of Bubastis is the second Bernice Summerfield audiobook to be released this year, as well as the final audiobook to be announced this year for the range. It is the debut novel of Xanna Eve Chown who would go on to be the editor and producer of the Big Finish books and many of the audiobooks, including all of the Bernice Summerfield audiobooks. Her first effort is a near perfect example of Big Finish recruiting new talent, despite some short stories, this novel is an utter delight. Chown doesn’t quite cross the line into farce, but integrates farcical elements incredibly well with a setting going back to Benny’s archeological roots while integrating a plot by her companion Jack who promises a publisher a book of poetry which has already been featured in a library which includes books from the future projected back into the past. The planet Bubastis has several categories of religious thought on the stone cats, each with eleven fingers on their hands while new age archeologist Prof. Neon Tsara has a fanatical devotion to the number 23, and the “fact” that one of the cats has twenty three fingers (23 rules this woman’s life).

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Review: Doctor Who – Watchers

Review by Jacob Licklider


The Audio Novels range is the newest Doctor Who range from Big Finish Productions, essentially taking over from their original printed short story collections which ran until 2009 when they lost the license to print Doctor Who books. Several of the short stories would find their way as Subscriber Short Trips, four released a year, but with the ending of The Monthly Range and the normal Short Trips range being moved to box sets 2021 saw the introduction of The Audio Novels with Scourge of the Cybermen, essentially released every six months in January and July. The second installment is also an interesting contribution as it isn’t from an established writer, but an actor. Matthew Waterhouse wrote Watchers, a seven-hour audiobook set after The Keeper of Traken and exploring the final days of the Fourth Doctor, in universe, bridging the gap to Logopolis. It is an interesting look at the end of the Tom Baker era from a meta-textual standpoint as Waterhouse uses it to ultimately comment on how each of the three producers during the run produced the show, and especially how stark a contrast Season 18 was in respect to the end of the Graham Williams era. Gone was the previous era’s characteristic humour, brought into stark contract as Season 17 was script edited by Douglas Adams and was an out and out comedy.

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Review: Bernice Summerfield – The Weather on Versimmon

Review by Jacob Licklider


As The Two Jasons was brought forward from its initial January 2022 to October 2021, Big Finish Productions commissioned two further Bernice Summerfield audiobooks to replace that slot plus an additional slot for February 2022. The January slot was taken by The Weather on Versimmon by Matthew Griffiths, a novel released during the box set era of the Bernice Summerfield range to coincide with the release of Road Trip, the second box set. Luckily, unlike the initial five Bernice Summerfield novels, while plot points are referenced, but not integral to understanding that box set or the events of this book. This is essential as I have not heard any of the box sets yet. The plot sees Benny with Ruth searching for her son Peter who has gone missing. They find themselves on the planet Versimmon which is essentially a world of ecological artists, but the weather seems to be going haywire. There’s a hailstorm as climate change begins to ravage the planet for reasons that nobody is entirely sure of why as fauna has begun to join the flora.

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Audio Review: The Worlds of Blake’s 7 – The Rule of Death

Review by Ian McArdell


Released as a tie-in to the full-cast boxset The Clone Masters, is the latest Blake’s 7 audiobook from Big Finish. As well as building on the events of that excellent three-part drama, which saw the destruction of the Clone Masters and their living city, this story goes back to the well; the civilisation of genetic manipulators and their culture were first introduced in the Series B episode Weapon. Here, writer Trevor Baxendale develops the stories of various characters who were caught up in the machinations of Servalan, weaving them into an exciting tale.

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Audio Review: Blake’s 7 – The Palluma Project

Review by Ian McArdell


The Palluma Project is the latest Blake’s 7 audiobook from Big Finish. Set in early Series B, it tells the story of a secretive Federation base and its off-book project which Blake and the Liberator’s crew stumble into. Continue reading

Review: Bernice Summerfield – Tree of Life

Review by Jacob Licklider


Continuing Big Finish’s re-releases of out of print Bernice Summerfield novels on audiobook is The Tree of Life.  Continue reading

Review: ‘Vicious Dogs Attack Me In Sleepless Nights of Summer’ audiobook (A collection of prose from ‘Clerks’ actor Scott Schiaffo)

In ‘Vicious Dogs Attack Me In Sleepless Nights of Summer’ his bold collection of ‘prose, tales, and streams of semi-consciousness’, actor and musician Scott Schiaffo (Clerks, Vulgar) takes you through the depths of existential angst, addiction, and near-death experiences. This book reflects a troubling time in a gifted man’s journey. Schiaffo released this book of collected poetry and short stories in 2014. The book is a culmination of material written during 1986 through 1998, when the author was deep in the throes of alcoholism and drug addiction. He has now released a new audio book version for Audible; read by the author himself (also available on CD, Kindle or the original Paperback)

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Doctor Who – Time Lord Victorious; 10th Doctor audio announced

The BBC have announced a new audio adventure featuring The Tenth Doctor; Doctor Who: The Minds of Magnox will be released on CD and digital download by BBC Audio on 3rd December 2020 and will also be released on vinyl by Demon Records on 4th December 2020. This will form part of ‘Time Lord Victorious’; a brand-new multi-platform Doctor Who story told across audionovels, comics, vinyl, digital, immersive theatre, escape rooms and games!

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