Review: Bernice Summerfied – The Two Jasons

Review by Jacob Licklider


Before we continue with this review for The Two Jasons, a little warning. This book deals with the fallout of the events of Series 8 of the Bernice Summerfield single releases and as such those spoilers must be discussed as well as certain plot threads from the Virgin New Adventures, mainly Death and Diplomacy and Happy Endings. If you have not listened to or read those stories, please be careful reading ahead as there will be spoilers in this review for those story arcs. It’s also a release with adult themes as it is a Benny book outside of her Doctor Who Big Finish audios so isn’t quite as family friendly. 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: Bernice Summerfield – The Big Hunt

Review by Jacob Licklider


Over the past two years, Big Finish Productions have been rereleasing their out of print Bernice Summerfield books as audiobook readings for the low price of $10 a book with the first five full length novels already being released (interestingly they haven’t done any of the anthologies or novella collections yet). A surprise December 2020 announcement gave listeners the opportunity to add three new Benny books to their audiobook collections: The Big Hunt, The Tree of Life, and The Two Jasons, all set for release in 2021 and 2022. The Big Hunt by Lance Parkin leads these audiobooks, released this month and available for download right now. Now, it is important to note that this is not a new release, nothing has been changed from the text of the 2005 book release, just put into an audiobook reading with Benny herself, Lisa Bowerman. Perhaps listeners were spoiled by Terror of the Master in Masterful, but going from that right into The Big Hunt, the lack of music and sound effects in the audiobook may detract. Potential listeners shouldn’t go in expecting them in any way as this is a release. The Big Finish website shows this as being recorded completely remotely in November and December which is confirmed by the included Q&A. Bowerman, as always, is an excellent narrator using her impressive range to bring to life several characters, only one of which actually appeared previously (that being Benny).

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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 – The Legacy of Time

Review by Jacob Licklider


The Legacy of Time is Big Finish’s big birthday bash, celebrating twenty years of Doctor Who audio drama with six-hour long episodes and two hours of bonus features from writers James Goss, John Dorney, Guy Adams, Matt Fitton and Jonathan Morris. Each story features a doctor from the Third to the Eighth with plenty of companions and cameos along the way. Along with paying tribute to the Doctor Who ranges, a number of spin-offs and one-off characters are also included in the celebrations. Now over the month or so this has been released I have given it two listens in preparation for this review and a fair warning: mild spoilers ahead. Most of the major twists are safe, but minor character and plot details may not be so lucky, so be warned!
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Review: Bernice Summerfield – In Time

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)


In another wonderful celebration of Bernie at 20, we are treated to another anthology spanning the life of the character over all the iterations we know and others that reaches into her future.

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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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