Review: Doctor Who Third Doctor Adventures – The Annihilators

Review by Jacob Licklider


 

2022 is a year of change for Big Finish. We are already a month into the year and the switch to box sets has meant that there is a new format for every range, with a majority of the previous box sets decreasing to three CDs instead of four. To bring the Third Doctor into the new box set era, Nicholas Briggs pens and directs ‘The Annihilators’, Big Finish’s first seven-part story and Briggs’ tribute to Season 7. This is how it was initially announced complete with dummy cover, until it was revealed that Michael Troughton, son of Patrick Troughton, would appear as the Second Doctor with Frazer Hines reprising his role as Jamie McCrimmon. This, while understandable as to why it is integrated into the story, does mean that the second half of the story where Briggs admirably pulls off a story style switch which makes it feel like a completely different story instead of just a different direction. Jamie and the Doctor end up on a mission although it’s not quite clear if it’s for the Time Lords, but considering how Doctor Who expanded universe material likes to make it for the Time Lords that’s probably what’s being done here. There wasn’t an intention to cross the timelines, and it is explicit that the Third Doctor has had his memories altered in some way, and the story ends in a way that we are dealing with timelines in flux, but the sheer different nature makes this more akin to The Daleks where the second half could be a completely different story.

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Review – The Diary of River Song – New Recruit

Review by Jacob Licklider


October was already set to be a celebration of the Third Doctor era, bringing out the second Third Doctor Adventures set this year, but July saw the announcement of The Diary of River Song: New Recruit, sending River back to Season 7 with the Doctor travelling Europe and Liz and the Brigadier left back at UNIT. Of course, Tim Treloar reprises his role of the Third Doctor for the final story, but this is a celebration of the early years of the Pertwee era with a twist, putting River in the role of the Doctor and Liz as a companion making for a very different dynamic. Each of the four stories pastiches a Pertwee style story with the final one in particular providing one last twist for a Pertwee story which Big Finish have been unable to do until very recently which ends the set with one very pleasant twist. This twist is one which listeners would not want to have spoiled, and the TARDIS Wiki articles for these stories do provide spoilers so I implore potential listeners to avoid looking anything up about these stories. This review will only include light spoilers for plot details, but none of the big twists will be spoiled.

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River Song meets the Third Doctor

Tim Treloar’s Third Doctor and Alex Kingston’s Professor River Song are colliding in a brand new box set of adventures from Big Finish.

River-Song-New-Recruit-Doctor


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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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