Audio Review: The Worlds of Blake’s 7 – Bayban the Butcher: Bayban Ascending

Review by Ian McArdell


Bayban Ascending is the latest tie-in audiobook release for The Worlds of Blake’s 7, Big Finish’s spin-off range exploring wider elements in the Federation universe. While born of necessity, due to the sad passing of a number of core cast members, the range has opened up all sorts of interesting stories away from the Liberator.978-1-83868-607

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Audio Review: Survivors – New Dawn 2

Review by Ian McArdell


Survivors: New Dawn sees three further adventures for Abby Grant and Jenny Richards. Some twenty years on from the initial outbreak of ‘The Death’, this sequel series has caught us up with the two remaining central characters from the show.978-1-83868-771-7

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Audio Review: The Worlds of Blake’s 7 – The Terra Nostra

Review by Ian McArdell


The Terra Nostra returns us to the criminal organisation first glimpsed in the Blake’s 7 episode Shadow, for a set of stories in the shady underworld of the Federation. Taking their inspiration from the Mafia, the Terra Nostra seemingly stretched throughout the galaxy and it was heavily implied that they existed as a form of Federation soft power within the criminal classes. This boxset also draws together strands from the previous two in The Worlds of Blake’s 7, The Clone Masters and Bayban the Butcher – notably the story of the psycho-strategist Hinton. Continue reading

Audio Review: The Worlds of Blake’s 7 – Bayban the Butcher

Review by Ian McArdell


Bayban the Butcher grants Colin Baker’s famously off-the-hook villain centre stage. Although best known for playing the colourful Sixth Doctor, he gave an entertainingly big guest performance years earlier in Blake’s 7; Bayban, a self-aggrandising baddie with a penchant for alliteration, came up against Vila in Series C’s City at the Edge of the World.

This self-titled boxset follows an appearance in the recent Avalon series and there’s an audiobook origin story, Bayban Ascending, due in February too. While Bayban apparently died at the end of his only onscreen appearance, it seems you can’t keep a good berserker down. Continue reading

Audio Review: Survivors – Ghosts and Demons

Review by Ian McArdell


Ghosts and Demons is the latest story from the world of Terry Nation’s Survivors. While the audio dramas have pushed the timeframe on to the late 1990s with New Dawn, this story is firmly lodged within Series 1 of the television show (set around the time of the episode Something of Value). Indeed, the challenges our heroes face during the story are rooted in the events of that episode. As with some of the best of the full-cast range, Ghosts and Demons offers us multiple ways into the story by following the experiences of the characters through the early stages of “the death”. In most cases, it’s tragedy; for others, it’s freeing.

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Audio Review: Survivors – New Dawn 1

Review by Ian McArdell


New Dawn 1 is the first of two 3-story boxsets which picks up the tale some fifteen years after we last heard from Terry Nation’s Survivors.
Although it eschews a move into double figures, making a fresh start with the subtitle New Dawn, this is effectively the tenth audio series. With six new episodes adding to the thirty-six already released, there’s now more Survivors on audio than were made for television in the mid-1970s, which is a remarkable achievement. However, it’s not the Seventies that we are concerned with here; though it’s not specified, by my reckoning the events of New Dawn occur somewhere in the mid-to-late 1990s.
Abby Grant returns: Fifteen years after she went into hiding, having prized her conflicted teenage son Peter from the clutches of the quasi-military operation he’d become a part of, and despite his crimes, the pair fled.

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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

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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Audio Review: Space 1999 (Vol. 1)

Review by Ian McArdell


Space 1999 Volume 1 continues Big Finish’s vivid reimagining of the late 1970s Gerry Anderson classic. After launching with the show’s pilot episode, refashioned as an epic audio movie, this boxset moves us into the realm of regular episodes. While remaining faithful to the spirit of the original, this first set holds two original stories and one adaptation. The first deals directly with the aftermath of Breakaway, and follows up on the mysterious call to the planet of Meta – a plot threat surprisingly forgotten onscreen as the Moon headed on out into the universe. Continue reading

Review: Doctor Who – Genetics of the Daleks (Time Lord Victorious)

Review by Michael Goleniewski


‘Genetics of the Daleks’ is perhaps the biggest surprise story in the whole of the Time Lord Victorious arc as it features the earliest Doctor involved in the entire saga so far and yet somehow happens to be one of the last stories timeline-wise in regards to how the Daleks themselves pertain to the big event. Its trailer makes it feel like ‘Alien’ with a lone pepper-pot instead of a xenomorph akin to how the recent final Eighth Doctor TLV audio was basically ‘Die Hard’ with a whole army of ‘pepper-pots’ at it’s disposal and the Doctor in the John McClane role. And similar to said audio, ‘Genetics’ delivers pretty much that exact premise albeit with a few twists along the way.

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