Review: Phillip Hinchcliffe Presents – The God Of Phantoms

Review by Jacob Licklider


Philip Hinchcliffe Presents is a Big Finish range that is tangentially related to The Lost Stories in that it is a range from the mind of a previous writer doing stories that fit in line with that era of the television show, but not actual ideas which were ever proposed. Philip Hinchcliffe, enjoying the work done adapting his lost story The Valley of Death, began to work with Marc Platt to produce his ideas, alternating a six and four part story. Four stories were released across three releases between 2014 and 2017, so imagine the surprise when a fourth release was announced for August 2021. As described in the behind the scenes interviews, The God of Phantoms is a story that just came to Hinchcliffe and has been in development at Big Finish for a while as Platt worked and reworked the outline into a usable form. Recording actually happened in February of this year, not too long before it was officially announced, and like any Philip Hinchcliffe Presents release is one focused squarely on mixing gothic horror and science fiction. While the range itself has been incredibly varied with stories like The Ghosts of Gralstead and The Devil’s Armada being classic horror and The Genesis Chamber being more straight science fiction, The God of Phantoms actually most feels like a story produced by Hinchcliffe’s successor Graham Williams in The Stones of Blood.

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Audio Review: Sherlock Holmes- The Seamstress of Peckham Rye

Review by Ian McArdell


The Seamstress of Peckham Rye is the second installment in Big Finish’s latest trilogy of stories, chronicling the adventures of the famous Consulting Detective and his loyal associate Dr Watson.

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Review: Doctor Who – Out of Time (Volume 2)

Review by Jacob Licklider


Out of Time was a release that couldn’t have come at a better time: we were reaching the fall and the COVID-19 pandemic was still getting worse and lockdowns were getting to people and Nicholas Briggs brought together Tom Baker and David Tennant in an exciting adventure with the Daleks. It was a fun release and with David Tennant’s availability due to the pandemic being more available to record from home, two further releases were announced where the Tenth Doctor meets the Fifth and Sixth Doctor set to be released in June 2021 and 2022 respectively. Well, it’s June 2021, if only by two days and Out of Time 2: The Gates of Hell sees the Fifth and Tenth Doctors in Paris, 1944 facing off against the Cybermen in the Catacombs. There’s also a Time Agent calling herself grapefruit but French. This is a script from David Llewellyn and he packs a lot into a single hour, almost too much for a single story to do. As the title is ‘Out of Time’, the idea is that Cybermen have been using the Transit of Venus, whenever the planet Venus passes directly in between the Sun and another planet (in this story Earth, obviously). It’s actually a really interesting idea with a piece of alien technology from the Cybermen being sent back in time and essentially being put into the hands of aristocrats to weasel their way to survive. This is a Cyberman story after all and it just feels right, though if there is one big and glaring issue with the story is that they don’t actually feel like a threat. Continue reading

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