Review: The Lone Centurion – Volume 2 ‘Camelot’

Review by Jacob Licklider


Mild spoilers…..

 

The Lone Centurion was kind of a dark horse for Big Finish Productions, coming in under the radar with a premise of being a spin-off set in between The Pandorica Opens and The Big Bang, in Roman times with Rory trying to survive while guarding the Pandorica and Amy inside of it. Because of an already vague premise it meant that the writers could really do anything with the premise, the first volume being a three part miniseries in the Roman empire while The Lone Centurion: Camelot does what it says on the tin, a three part miniseries in Camelot. There is one overall issue with the set, it follows the same formula as the first set to the letter with the first story being mostly set up of the world ending with Rory in a position of power that he doesn’t quite want, the second being an interlude leading to an ending with Rory at a low point, and the third being the finale ending with a large set piece as a conclusion before Rory moves on to pastures new. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, formulas work for a reason and there are plenty of amazing stories that follow established formulas, but for a spin-off it isn’t something that can always be relied upon to the letter. Going forward Big Finish will have to mix things up if the want this spin-off to stay interesting. That isn’t to say the formula can’t be followed, it just needs to be mixed up a bit, especially if there is going to be a third box set. The Lone Centurion: Camelot also has an interesting setting, being mostly fictional and not really based on anything in history while doing three stories in a pure historical mood. There aren’t any science fiction elements outside of the Pandorica being a McGuffin that the villain of the set is after, the fact that Rory is an Auton. Some of the science seems a bit too advanced for the era, but there are no instances of magic or sorcery that you would expect from a King Arthur legend.

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Review: The Ninth Doctor Adventures – Lost Warriors

Review by Jacob Licklider


Ravagers introduced Christopher Eccleston to the world of Big Finish as the Ninth Doctor through a miniseries.  Respond to All Calls switched gears towards three thematically similar stories with the idea being the Doctor, battle scarred and hardened, is always there to help.  The third set follows the format of Respond to All Calls, three stories tied around a theme, but that theme is a little subtler and is perhaps why some people haven’t gelled as much with this set as a whole.  Lost Warriors is a title which sets up the set with a subconscious exploration of the remnants of the Time War, and that’s there, but only in the last story and in the way the Ninth Doctor is characterised.  Each story has a warrior at its centre and each is an exploration of a different reaction to a war, one from a modern human war, one from a human war in the past, and one from an alien war, while the Doctor representing the Time War in all three of the stories.  It’s interesting as the Time War isn’t really directly mentioned in any notable capacity throughout the set, it’s in the background and simmering, but not actually being the driving force of the stories.  It’s a set about other warriors and other people as a reflection of the Doctor and not a direct parallel.  Eccleston’s portrayal of the Doctor is incredibly subtle here with the trauma and in each of the three stories he is absolutely brilliant in the role.  Some have complained he is too close to Tennant, but this is an odd set where the Doctor is actually the connection to the audience which usually is the companion’s job.

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Review: Torchwood One – Machines

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)


*Contains some spoilers

3 new stories from the Torchwood one team bringing together Yvonne Hartman (Tracy-Ann Oberman) and Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd)? Yes please! And this time we are focusing on some mechanical menaces!

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Big Finish Review: King Lear

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)


King Lear is one of my favourite Shakespeare stories. It’s deceptive in its relatively simple premise. A King with a huge ego asks his daughters to profess their love for him in increasingly over the top ways. 2 of his daughters are all to happy to go along with this to get their share of his kingdom in exchange. The youngest and most beloved daughter knows better and won’t just say how much she loves him, as this knows the words mean nothing when said just to get his things. She gets pushed aside for this, whilst the 2 daughters who did inherit his kingdom start giving him less and less place within it, to the point where he ends up on the street with his fool and he learns what a fool he has been. Continue reading

Big Finish Review: Hamlet

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)


When Big Finish do Shakespeare they clearly aren’t shy of the big stuff.

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Review – Doctor Who: Zaltys

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)


In the last of this run of 5th Doctor (Peter Davison) adventures with Nyssa (Sarah Sutton), Adric (Matthew Waterhouse) and Tegan (Janet Fielding) the Tardis experiences a psychic attack and Adric and Tegan are taken. The Doctor and Nyssa on the trail find themselves on the planet Zaltys where the inhabitants have disappeared under strange circumstances. Adric and Tegan find themselves separated and facing challenges of their own whilst the Doctor & Nyssa look for their friends whilst trying to deal with treasure seekers who are plundering this ‘planet of the dead’.
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Review: Doctor Who – The Contingency Club

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)


I really have to hand it to the writers of the new Big Finish audio’s for really nailing the motives and ‘USP’ behind each character in the new ‘5th Doctor, Nyssa, Tegen & Adric’ series and Phil Mulryne really raises the bar in this respect.978-1-78178-793-9 Continue reading

Review – Doctor Who: The Star Men

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)


First of all, let’s not overlook this is a title, it’s amazing they haven’t yet used it in Doctor Who. Continue reading

Review – Doctor Who: The War Doctor Vol 3. ‘Agents of Chaos’

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)

See our review of The War Doctor: Vol 1: Only the Monstrous


The really impressive thing about the War Doctor range (yes apart from getting John Hurt to do it, the amazing scripts, wonderful directing and music) is the fact that each set whilst following a through-line has its own unique feel and theme. Agents of Chaos is no exception. The idea of having people and items that add a wild card to an already chaotic universe beset by the Time War is inspired.
978-1-78575-191-2 Continue reading