Review: Doctor Who The Lost Stories – Return Of The Cybermen / The Doomsday Contract

Review by Jacob Licklider


When The Lost Stories was revived in 2019, listeners thought it could only be for a one-off run of two extra stories. Nobody really expected Big Finish Productions to announce the range to continue with more frequency than the occasional production, but only a few months later the announcement came that March 2021 would see the release of two stories featuring the Fourth Doctor, and last month a third release was announced from Russell T. Davies featuring the Sixth Doctor and Mel. The Sixth Doctor and Mel story may still be a long while off yet, but bringing Tom Baker back to The Lost Stories range is an excellent choice as he had only one release in the range: a box set featuring two stories, a six part story from Robert Banks Stewart and a four part adventure from Phillip Hinchcliffe. It is March 2021, nearly a year since the initial announcement, and Big Finish have made good on that release date. Return of the Cybermen and The Doomsday Contract have been released and the range is truly revived in a new form recovering previously abandoning Doctor Who scripts for a new audience to enjoy in a whole new way. Continue reading

Review: Doctor Who – The Blazing Hour

Review by Jacob Licklider


As February continues on, Big Finish’s monthly range reaches its penultimate installment, and it becomes clear that the end of the range is meant to parallel its beginning. As the second story was a Fifth Doctor and Turlough adventure, so is The Blazing Hour, making the total number of adventures to feature this specific TARDIS team in the Monthly Range to reach the large number of five. It makes The Blazing Hour one of those rare opportunities to see a rare all-alien TARDIS teams; placing the Doctor and Turlough in a story that reflects on the absolute worst of humanity. This is a story where one should not judge the release by it’s cover. The cover from Tom Webster is strikingly surreal; boasting Turlough in a wheelchair, the Fifth Doctor barely standing, a disfigured figure, and flames in the background. While all of these things occur in The Blazing Hour, instead of telling a story of surrealism, James Kettle provides a story all about the greed that humanity succumbs to and how that can corrupt genuinely good ideas and advancements in technology. The first episode of this story spends quite a bit of time on speaking against the idea of nuclear power in a manner close to sounding like a Luddit;, as Kettle focuses on the ease at which nuclear energy could go awry. While Kettle intends it to be cautionary and foreshadowing, it isn’t as clear here that he is speaking on what happens when negligence and greed become the main point of running a power station.

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Review: The Tenth Doctor & River Song

Review by Jacob Licklider


There is a saying that every cloud has a silver lining, and for Doctor Who fans, especially those invested in the expanded universe, the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns has created a big silver lining. The devastating shutdowns of the arts has made the entertainment industry turn to other methods for creating content, and Big Finish Productions made no delay in taking advantage of many actors who were now available to record remotely due to the pandemic. One such actor is David Tennant who had already worked with Big Finish as the Tenth Doctor in three individual volumes, plus a myriad of cameos, and with lockdown meaning he was available, Big Finish commissioned a special fourth box set featuring the Doctor’s future wife, River Song. The Tenth Doctor and River Song is essentially the fourth volume of The Tenth Doctor Adventures range, and was wholly conceived during the pandemic due to availability. Three stories were produced and released in late November 2020 in a box set and as three individual stories, all set after Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead for the Doctor and at various points in River’s life, picking up on the implication that the Tenth Doctor would have met her again in this incarnation from that story. The overarching theme of these stories is exploring how that relationship is different from the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors’ dynamics with River. The Tenth Doctor through all three stories treats River like a mystery to be solved, and becomes more and more annoyed at her constant evasions. Continue reading

Audio Review: Star Cops – Mars (Part 2)

Review by Ian McArdell


Mars 2, the latest Star Cops audio release, concludes the current storyline for the International Space Police Force. Based on Chris Boucher’s short-lived 1987 television series, this audio drama stars David Calder as Commander Nathan Spring, a canny copper determined to build a presence for law and order in orbit.

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Review – The Diary of River Song (Series 7)

Review by Jacob Licklider


As a spin-off series, The Diary of River Song is one which has perhaps relied the most on it’s connections to Doctor Who as a parent show.  The first four series were promoted by prominently featuring the Fourth through Eighth Doctors, Series Five featured four distinct incarnations of the Master, and Series Six heavily featured the eras of the first four Doctors revisiting classic stories in prequels, mid-quels, or sequels.

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Audio Review: Star Cops – Mars (Part 1)

Review by Ian McArdell


The television series of Star Cops ended with Commander Nathan Spring posing a question: “Anyone for Mars?”. Now firmly established from a base on the Moon, the ISPF’s remit was set to encompass Mars in a second series. While the show on television never quite made it, fresh from their investigation into the terrorist organisation Mother Earth’, Big Finish’s superb audio continuation of the show has finally made good on that offer. Continue reading