Review: The Sixth Doctor Adventures – Water Worlds

Review by Jacob Licklider


Disability in Doctor Who has never been it’s strong suit. Perhaps the most prominent disabled character has been Davros, a genocidal maniac who created the Daleks, aka space Nazis whose purpose is exterminating all other life. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s there was a streak of characters with physical disfigurements as a mark of villainy, though by 1989 there was some small instances of complexity with disabled characters in Battlefield and The Curse of Fenric while the New Series has been mostly neutral in disability representation with some exceptions (Under the Lake/Before the Flood comes to mind for deaf representation). Oddly enough the 1960s were more progressive than much of the 1970s and 1980s with serials like Galaxy Four where the monstrous Rills being the good guys and The Dalek Invasion of Earth including a good scientist in a wheelchair who dies at about the halfway point of that story. So, here we are in 2022, and Big Finish Productions are once again making a push ahead of television series in terms of representation by introducing the first disabled Doctor Who companion in Dr. Hebe Harrison in The Sixth Doctor Adventures: Water Worlds, a marine biologist who uses a wheelchair. Like their push with trans representation in Rebecca Root’s Tania Bell, Hebe is played by disabled actress Ruth Madeley and producer Jacqueline Rayner worked closely with Madeley to ensure all three scripts from this set reflected disability representation well.

Continue reading

Review: The War Doctor Begins – Warbringer

Review by Jacob Licklider


It’s most definitely a coincidence that Big Finish Productions would have two releases within a week of each other that tells its story in a non-linear fashion, but it is interesting that it’s happened so soon after Stranded 3’s What Just Happened? inspired my review to be told backwards. The War Doctor Begins: Warbringer is presented as non-linear in the way each of its episodes are presented, beginning in media res, going to a conclusion, and then flashing back to the beginning to deal with a character’s amnesia. This decision assists in making the themes of Warbringer come front and centre with each of the three episodes having single word titles: Timothy X. Atack’s Consequences, Andrew Smith’s Destroyer, and Jonathan Morris’s Saviour. These titles make the set feel much like three episodes of a complete story. While Forged in Fire also acted as a miniseries, Warbringer is a three-part story. It feels like Atack, Smith, and Morris all had the time to communicate with each other in telling the same story.

Continue reading

Review – The Diary Of River Song (Series 8)

Review by Jacob Licklider


If you follow the reviews I have written in the past for IndieMacUser I have indulged in discussions on how Big Finish have during the COVID-19 pandemic, but what hasn’t been discussed yet is the releases which have been disrupted.  Luckily Big Finish Productions rarely announce releases before recording has at the very least began, yet The Diary of River Song Series 8 has become one of those releases which had to be changed while recording was occurring due to the pandemic. Continue reading

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

Review by Michael Goleniewski

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.

Continue reading

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

Review: Doctor Who – Shadow of the Daleks 1

Review by Jacob Licklider


Shadow of the Daleks is an interesting idea for a Doctor Who Big Finish release, at least for the Main Range. Instead of a single release, this is a story arc crossing two releases made up of eight individual episodes from different writers, all with the conceit of the Time War breaking into the life of the Fifth Doctor and a collection of people. This review is of only the first release, as it serves as the October Main Range release, Shadow of the Daleks 1, as the second installment has not been released and the story has not been concluded. As a series of four individual stories that have an overarching narrative, I will be foregoing any sort of format and just talking about what strikes me as this is a very different type of story. Listeners going in should expect that the title Shadow of the Daleks is apt as while the Daleks appear, and Nicholas Briggs is always excellent, they are not the focal point, staying in the literal shadows of each of the four episodes. The implication is that they are fighting the Time War, and possibly dragging earlier Doctors into events in a gambit to win, but as it stands there isn’t much to know of what they are. They are even referred to only as the Enemy in one of the stories which brings back images of the Eighth Doctor Adventures and Virgin New Adventures where the Terry Nation estate did not allow their use in the novels.

Continue reading

Review: Fourth Doctor Adventures – Series 9 (Vol 1)

Review by Michael Goleniewski


The ninth series of the Fourth Doctor Adventures takes several different directions in terms of structure and tone. Rather than being eight hour-long stories comprised of two parts, the series is now jumping to longer adventures with four two-hour-long stories instead. It also represents a significant time jump moving into the Fourth Doctor’s time in E-Space with Romana, K-9, and Adric rather than during his time with Leela or either of the Romanas individually. It’s an interesting jump considering most of the series are going to shorter formats nowadays but it could yield some intriguing results if done well.

Continue reading

Review – The Legacy of Time

Review by Jacob Licklider


The Legacy of Time is Big Finish’s big birthday bash, celebrating twenty years of Doctor Who audio drama with six-hour long episodes and two hours of bonus features from writers James Goss, John Dorney, Guy Adams, Matt Fitton and Jonathan Morris. Each story features a doctor from the Third to the Eighth with plenty of companions and cameos along the way. Along with paying tribute to the Doctor Who ranges, a number of spin-offs and one-off characters are also included in the celebrations. Now over the month or so this has been released I have given it two listens in preparation for this review and a fair warning: mild spoilers ahead. Most of the major twists are safe, but minor character and plot details may not be so lucky, so be warned!
Continue reading

Review: The Paternoster Gang – Heritage 1

Review by Michael Goleniewski


Victorian London harbours many secrets: alien visitors, strange phenomena and unearthly powers. But a trio of investigators stands ready to delve into such mysteries – the Great Detective, Madame Vastra, her resourceful spouse, Jenny Flint, and their loyal valet, Strax. If an impossible puzzle needs solving, or a grave injustice needs righting, help can be found on Paternoster Row. But even heroes can never escape their past…


Continue reading