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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Review: Doctor Who – Third Doctor Adventures (Volume 8)

Review by Jacob Licklider


The Third Doctor Adventures for 2021 were announced as two sets exploring essentially every part of the Third Doctor’s run; with Volume 7 exploring the Season 7 team and the space faring version of the Third Doctor during the later half of Season 11, and now we have Volume 8 exploring the Doctor and Jo as well as a UNIT story post-The Three Doctors which much like The Time Warrior and Planet of the Spiders. Volume 8 takes two very different stories and makes them work together in a package much like Volume 7 had to do with The Unzal Incursion and The Gulf.

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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.

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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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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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More Doctors announced to cameo in Time Fracture

More Doctors will feature in pre-recorded cameo appearances for the immersive show Time Fracture!

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Review: The Fourth Doctor Adventures Series 10 (Vol 1)

Review by Michael Goleniewski

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Review: Terror of the Master (from Masterful limited edition)

Review by Jacob Licklider


Terror of the Master is a bonus audiobook included in the limited edition of Masterful written by Trevor Baxendale and narrated by Jon Culshaw. Unlike other releases from Big Finish Productions, this is not an audio drama, but an audiobook with the occasional sound effects and as such it can only rely on the actual prose of the storytelling and the narration. Culshaw is an excellent narrator, using his impressive vocal range and variety of impressions to bring to life the Jon Pertwee era. While Masterful was a celebration of the Master, the incarnation played by Roger Delgado was not included due to Delgado’s tragic passing in 1973, so for the limited edition only Trevor Baxendale was commissioned to write a three and a half hour story featuring the Third Doctor, UNIT, and the Master; set right after The Green Death. Like many of the Pertwee serials, ‘Terror of the Master’ has a political bent, once again tackling pollution and the increasing global temperatures with a kindly scientist promising to fix Earth’s problems with a revolutionary new process that only he can know the exact details of and behind him is the Master. The Master has plans to take over the world using an alien creature in a story that most closely resembles that of The Claws of Axos with Dr. Drake in place of Axos and the Axons, without the Tory MP. On that front Terror of the Master is a fairly standard affair from Baxendale, with a prose style (and runtime) that intentionally feels like that of a Target Novel of a standard serial that would have been released during that time period.

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Review: Masterful (Celebrating 50 years of ‘The Master’)

Review by Jacob Licklider


“I am usually referred to as the Master…universally.”

This immortal line, first aired 50 years ago, introduced Doctor Who fans to Roger Delgado and the Doctor’s arch enemy the Master. And now, to celebrate this momentous occasion, Big Finish Productions has brought together all surviving TV incarnations of the Master and a host of others for a three hour audio drama, ‘Masterful’. Released 50 years to the day of Episode One of ‘Terror of the Autons‘, there are two editions of this release; the standard three disc edition and the limited eight disc edition which contains a disc of bonus features, an original audiobook by Trevor Baxendale, and two previously released Short Trips. This review is only looking at Masterful the story (see our Terror of the Master review here) So, should you buy Masterful? Short answer, yes, of course you should, James Goss provides three hours with a brilliant cast pitting Master against Master, playing to each incarnation’s strengths and giving listeners a real treat to see how dysfunctional each incarnation can be when forced to cooperate. Continue reading