Audio Review: Sherlock Holmes- The Seamstress of Peckham Rye

Review by Ian McArdell


The Seamstress of Peckham Rye is the second installment in Big Finish’s latest trilogy of stories, chronicling the adventures of the famous Consulting Detective and his loyal associate Dr Watson.

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Freema Agyeman reprises Martha Jones role in new audio adventures from Big Finish Productions

Freema Agyeman returns in her own triumphant trio of audio adventures, to be released in December 2021.

After more than a decade away from the TARDIS, the Tenth Doctor’s companion, Martha Jones, is returning to the world of Doctor Who, in a brand-new box set of full-cast audio drama from Big Finish Productions.


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Review: Doctor Who – Dalek Universe 2

Review by Michael Goleniewski


Cycle of Destruction by Roy Gill

“Cycle of Destruction” continues the “Dalek Universe” adventures with an audio counterpart to “House of Kingdom” from the prior set but this time focusing on the other component of this saga’s main trio. Roy Gill’s script wastes no time in jumping right back into the fray, albeit in a way that feels more like a necessary diversion rather than a substantial addition to the main thrust of the arc. The premise is a strong one overall and it’s nice to see Mark himself get the same amount of attention and backstory that Anya did previously. But the plot and writing contain tons of technical exposition that (while interesting in how it handles the aspects of the ALARK facility and the intensive lives of the people working within it) grinds the pacing and excitement at hearing these characters again to a screeching halt. Still, the writing also touches on deeper questions as to the nature of Mark Seven and the androids themselves as well as contains major flashbacks to Mark Seven’s past which is as harrowing as one would expect. It’s in those moments and in the tension between members of the TARDIS team as to how and why they got there in the first place that the story truly shines and not necessarily in the immediate details of what’s going on in the plot. Continue reading

Review: Doctor Who – Scourge of the Cybermen

Review by Michael Goleniewski


Under the seas of an alien world, the Third Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith have landed in a gigantic sea-base city run entirely by scientists working to clean up the planet. From cleaning up pollution to creating clean energy, these beings are working for the good of the entire population and of course, the TARDIS team is more than happy to help. While the Doctor is busy in his duties and work, Sarah Jane Smith puts herself on the case of some potentially dangerous issues such as flickering lights that hint at something going precariously wrong and staff members going missing in the deeper parts of the facility. An ominous recording captured on the security cameras portends the arrival of a force stalking and waiting in the depths of the base to make its attack, one which the Doctor is intimately familiar with and rightfully horrified of. The Cybermen have arrived and are working to gain a foothold in this world and its resources by any means necessary and this time they may have outsmarted even the Doctor in their attempts to conquer…..
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Audio Review: The Worlds of Blake’s 7: Avalon (Volume 2)

Review by Ian McArdell


Following three Earthbound tales, this second volume sees Avalon (Olivia Poulet) and her reluctant ally Argo Madison (Cliff Chapman) escape to the stars. While I found plenty to enjoy in the first set, notably the exploration of Earth’s society as glimpsed in Blake’s 7’s first episode, I found the central character of Avalon underdeveloped; despite her famous name we came away knowing precious little about her, save for a ruthless determination to destroy the oppressive Federation system.


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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 – Out of Time (Volume 2)

Review by Jacob Licklider


Out of Time was a release that couldn’t have come at a better time: we were reaching the fall and the COVID-19 pandemic was still getting worse and lockdowns were getting to people and Nicholas Briggs brought together Tom Baker and David Tennant in an exciting adventure with the Daleks. It was a fun release and with David Tennant’s availability due to the pandemic being more available to record from home, two further releases were announced where the Tenth Doctor meets the Fifth and Sixth Doctor set to be released in June 2021 and 2022 respectively. Well, it’s June 2021, if only by two days and Out of Time 2: The Gates of Hell sees the Fifth and Tenth Doctors in Paris, 1944 facing off against the Cybermen in the Catacombs. There’s also a Time Agent calling herself grapefruit but French. This is a script from David Llewellyn and he packs a lot into a single hour, almost too much for a single story to do. As the title is ‘Out of Time’, the idea is that Cybermen have been using the Transit of Venus, whenever the planet Venus passes directly in between the Sun and another planet (in this story Earth, obviously). It’s actually a really interesting idea with a piece of alien technology from the Cybermen being sent back in time and essentially being put into the hands of aristocrats to weasel their way to survive. This is a Cyberman story after all and it just feels right, though if there is one big and glaring issue with the story is that they don’t actually feel like a threat. Continue reading

Audio Review: Avalon – Volume 1 (From ‘The Worlds of Blakes 7)

Review by Ian McArdell


Avalon Volume 1 launches Big Finish’s new range exploring ‘The Worlds of Blakes 7’. With the sad passing of key cast members rendering full-cast dramas with the Liberator crew untenable, this spin-off range aims to broaden the storytelling universe. Focussing on other characters and situations, other battles against the Federation, it still allows for some of the original cast to feature, essentially as guest stars. In this first boxset, Sally Knyvette and Stephen Greif reprise their roles as Jenna Stannis and Travis respectively.


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Review: The Third Doctor Adventures (Volume 7)

Review by Jacob Licklider


Big Finish Productions with the Third Doctor Adventures have perhaps taken the greatest risk since the inception of the range with Tim Treloar replacing Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor, and that’s releasing a box set without any returning cast members from the Third Doctor’s era. Katy Manning’s Jo Grant is not present nor John Levene or Richard Franklin. Fans of Jo Grant, fear not, she will be reappearing in Volume Eight, as Volume Seven brings one story from Season 7 and one from Season 11, meaning that they include Liz Shaw and Sarah Jane Smith as companions, bringing back Daisy Ashford and Sadie Miller in those roles as well as Jon Culshaw as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Taking this step (and announcing Miller’s involvement in Volume Eight) means that Big Finish are not afraid to use their recast performers in the ranges resulting in fully recast casts instead of having at least one original cast member present. The Third Doctor Adventures Volume Seven also brings two new authors into the range: Big Finish veteran Mark Wright (although not writing with his usual writing partner Cavan Scott) and, in his first four part story, Tim Foley. This takes the range into new territory as Big Finish goes headfirst into its new box set led era of stories.

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Review: The Ninth Doctor Adventures – Ravagers

Review by Jacob Licklider


Raise your hand if you weren’t expecting Christopher Eccleston to come back to Doctor Who? Okay, whoever doesn’t have your hand up is clearly lying, because it was one of those things that nobody ever thought would happen, and even more so, would happen so soon, but here we are, May 2021, and the first of four Ninth Doctor Box sets from Big Finish Productions are out in the world. Ravagers was written and directed by Nicholas Briggs showing just how much enthusiasm he had for the first Doctor he worked with on television when Doctor Who came back, and structured like a three part miniseries. This format is actually really good for Doctor Who, as single hour long stories which aren’t connected in any way becomes incredibly difficult to properly develop a new setting and new characters all in a single episode. While each episode has its own title (Sphere of Freedom, Cataclysm, and Food Fight) as this is a miniseries, this review will be looking as Ravagers as one continuous story, which is the best way to look at this box set anyway as each episode ends in a cliffhanger before the final episode opens up the series of box sets to what is clearly going to become a new era of Ninth Doctor adventures.

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