Review: Doctor Who – The End Of The Beginning

Review by Jacob Licklider


So here we are. March 2021 and the end of The Monthly Range of Doctor Who. Over 20 years and 275 releases, and Big Finish Productions have decided to give their flagship range on final multi-Doctor send-off adventure. Relative newcomer Robert Valentine was given the task of writing The End of the Beginning, a story which harkens back to the very first release in the range, The Sirens of Time, telling three connected adventures for three Doctors before bringing them together for the final episode in one big overarching plan. Each episode adds to the drama and ends with the Doctor (and this time companion) in some sort of danger while everything builds towards some universe breaking danger. The production of The End of the Beginning is put in the hands of Ken Bentley, one of the range’s most prolific directors, and the sound design and music by Wilfredo Acosta. This is an entire story based on making an homage to the range; including appearances from range exclusive characters for one last hurrah before Big Finish moves into a new era of box-sets and new adventures with different Doctors and companions. There is at least one Monthly Range release which is still coming as it was delayed, but this truly is the end of an era for Big Finish Productions.

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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 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: 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

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.

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Review: Doctor Who – Harry Houdini’s War

Review by Michael Goleniewski


Harry Houdini’s War concludes the most recent trilogy of Sixth Doctor stories begun with Memories of a Tyrant in July and Emissary of the Daleks in August. When the Doctor crashes one of Houdini’s shows in September 1917 asking for help, the pair are brought together in search of a spy ring who have captured Peri and the TARDIS. But this particular group has somehow gained access to advanced technology as well as tears in the fabric of space-time that will go a long way in helping the Central Powers win the Great War. But most shockingly of all, it appears they’ve gotten some extra help….from the Doctor himself!

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Review: Doctor Who – The 10th Doctor Adventures (Vol 3)

Review by Jacob Licklider


Getting David Tennant to reprise his role as the Tenth Doctor is one of the biggest successes in Big Finish’s recent years and after two successful volumes of adventures, they are back with Volume 3. The main draw to this box set is the return of Bernard Cribbins as Wilfred Mott in the first release of the set and as always bringing Tennant and Catherine Tate together will get fans excited. Continue reading

Review: Doctor Who – The Kamelion Empire

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)


Jon Culshaw wraps up his first trilogy as robo-companion Kamelion alongside 5th Doctor (Peter Davison), Tegan (Janet Fielding) and Turlough (Mark Strickson).

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Review: Missy – Series 1

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)


The Doctors, now female, nemesis hits Big Finish in her own set for the first time in this form in a coup for the company and a treat for it’s listeners. Continue reading

Review – First Doctor Adventures (Vol 3)

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)


David Bradley again takes up the reigns of the First Doctor with the new version of the first Tardis crew with Claudia Grant (Susan), Jemma Powell (Barbara Wright) & Jamie Glover (Ian Chesterton) in two even newer stories. Continue reading