Review: Bernice Summerfield – The Christmas Collection

Review by Jacob Licklider


Celebrating Christmas, and any other winter holiday, in 2020 is going to be one of those weirder experiences to avoid the further spread of an already taxing pandemic. So leave it to Big Finish Productions to come along and bring Lisa Bowerman in to record a Bernice Summerfield anthology celebrating the season with the ‘First Lady’ of Big Finish. New listeners should know going in that this is an anthology showcasing Benny throughout her life (after her travels with the Seventh Doctor), and is written without heavily relying on the continuity of the adventures and can be enjoyed separately. This is something that I am grateful for, especially as until very recently the single releases of the Bernice Summerfield range have only been available on CD (and Series 7-11 still are as of writing this review). It means that you can just listen to this rather affordable audiobook and enjoy 10 very different stories of the season from 10 very different authors. Continue reading

Review: The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield (Vol. 6) – Lost in Translation

Review by Jacob Licklider

Mild spoilers!


The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield is one of those Big Finish ranges which slips under the radar of quite a lot of people. Bernice Summerfield is one of those characters who has a big role in the greater Doctor Who universe, as the companion most associated with the Virgin New Adventures range of novels and the character which gave Big Finish Productions their start. Benny’s own range has been running since 1998 through eleven series of single releases and five box sets before being rebranded in a box set series of ‘New Adventures’; fitting considering where the character came from. The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield has been releasing one box set each year since 2014, with a small hiatus in 2018 to celebrate 20 years of Big Finish by reviving the classic range. 2016’s The Unbound Universe took Benny out of her universe while 2017’s Ruler of the Universe brought the character and the David Warner Doctor, right back into our universe. Now, two volumes later, Big Finish are finally dealing with the fallout in Lost in Translation, as Benny and the Doctor spend a set on the run from the Time Lords who have deemed the Doctor an aberration, unfit to exist. Continue reading

Review: Bernice Summerfield – The Glass Prison

Review by Jacob Licklider


The Bernice Summerfield Range is Big Finish’s flagship, running with releases since the company’s founding in 1998 with audios and novels being the two staples for the character, succeeding Virgin Publishing’s series of Benny novels.  With publishing audios and novels side by side, early story arcs crossed over and continued; often alternating between novel and audio, especially with the first five Benny novels and second series of Benny audios creating a difficult continuity when the books went out of print.  They infamously go to high prices to get editions of these books, but this problem has been uplifted in the past year as Big Finish Productions have produced audiobook readings of these books, all read by Benny herself, Lisa Bowerman. The final book in this sequence is Bernice Summerfield and the Glass Prison written by Jacqueline Rayner; which could easily be described as completing the character arc that the VNAs and the previous four Big Finish books had begun.  The audiobook production, like all of the previous Benny audiobooks, are the barebones readings with no music and no sound effects putting much of the weight on the reader’s shoulders.  Luckily, with Lisa Bowerman (who plays Benny) the listener is in safe hands. Bowerman takes the numerous characters in her stride, including those who appear in audios giving her best impression of actors like Stephen Fewell, Harry Myers, Steven Wickam, and Miles Richardson.  There is a real habitation of each character as Bowerman makes enough of a distinction between characters, so the listener knows who is speaking and has her own voice for the narration.  Continue reading

Review: The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield – Buried Memories (Vol 5)

Review by Jacob Licklider


The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield is one of the Big Finish ranges which I have been following since its inception, and each set has been a gift to me in the years since. I was greatly disappointed when there wasn’t a set last year, but incredibly excited when it was announced Volume Five would not only feature the David Warner, but a big risk in four completely new writers.

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Review: Bernice Summerfield – The Story So Far (Vol. 1 & 2)

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)


As one of a few celebrations of everything Benny after 20 years on Big Finish; the character that launched their empire, they have assembled some of the best of the creative team behind Benny from over the years to give us two boxsets; set throughout her story… so far!

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