Review – Jago & Litefoot: Series 14

Review by Jacob Licklider


This review (a week late….) is going to be a bit different from the other reviews I’ve written for this site. Other reviews often go into the performances and a bit of the plot and makes a judgment based on that, however, Jago & Litefoot: Series 14 is a release that shouldn’t necessarily be looked at like a standard release, being presented as four audiobooks adapted from the scripts of an unrecorded Jago & Litefoot written before the tragic passing of Trevor Baxter. It is Baxter to whom this release is dedicated, giving the series one last hurrah and allowing four of the remaining stars one final chance to shine telling a story. Paul Morris and Julian Richards were put in charge of adapting the scripts into audiobook format for one narrator, originally with the idea being only one long audiobook, but due to the second episode being told in the first person while the other three are in third person limited. This format shift in one long audiobook would have been jarring. It also allowed Morris the chance to adapt the scripts which he had a hand in writing so the adaptation could be a bit smoother as Simon Barnard, Jonathan Barnes, and Justin Richards had no hand in changing their scripts for the project.

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Review: Torchwood – Drive

Review by Jacob Licklider


When adapting Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet for the modern day, Steven Moffat noticed that everyone trusts a cabbie.  They’re paid to take you from point A to point B, putting up with your terrible drunkenness and your insults.  Torchwood: Drive by David Llewellyn uses the back of a cab as its primary setting with Toshiko Sato on her own with the rest of Torchwood Three off on other missions leaving Tosh in charge of saving the world.

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Review: Bernice Summerfield – Tree of Life

Review by Jacob Licklider


Continuing Big Finish’s re-releases of out of print Bernice Summerfield novels on audiobook is The Tree of Life.  Continue reading

Review: Bernice Summerfield – The Big Hunt

Review by Jacob Licklider


Over the past two years, Big Finish Productions have been rereleasing their out of print Bernice Summerfield books as audiobook readings for the low price of $10 a book with the first five full length novels already being released (interestingly they haven’t done any of the anthologies or novella collections yet). A surprise December 2020 announcement gave listeners the opportunity to add three new Benny books to their audiobook collections: The Big Hunt, The Tree of Life, and The Two Jasons, all set for release in 2021 and 2022. The Big Hunt by Lance Parkin leads these audiobooks, released this month and available for download right now. Now, it is important to note that this is not a new release, nothing has been changed from the text of the 2005 book release, just put into an audiobook reading with Benny herself, Lisa Bowerman. Perhaps listeners were spoiled by Terror of the Master in Masterful, but going from that right into The Big Hunt, the lack of music and sound effects in the audiobook may detract. Potential listeners shouldn’t go in expecting them in any way as this is a release. The Big Finish website shows this as being recorded completely remotely in November and December which is confirmed by the included Q&A. Bowerman, as always, is an excellent narrator using her impressive range to bring to life several characters, only one of which actually appeared previously (that being Benny).

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Review: Torchwood – The Crown

Review by Jacob Licklider


When Torchwood was first conceived as an arc for Series 2 of Doctor Who it was established in universe by Queen Victoria, so having Big Finish Productions producing a series of audio dramas based on Torchwood, doing releases with Queen Victoria as a prominent character is a given.  Big Finish Productions cast Rowena Cooper in the role; and several monthly range releases, and an appearance in The Torchwood Archive established her as the definitive Queen Victoria.  The final Torchwood monthly range release for 2020 is The Crown which is promoted with a striking image of Her Majesty, Queen Victoria in a straitjacket and padded cell with a skeleton looming.  This image, combined with a vague product description, can only lead a potential listener to buy this on intrigue.

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Review: Bernice Summerfield – The Christmas Collection

Review by Jacob Licklider


Celebrating Christmas, and any other winter holiday, in 2020 is going to be one of those weirder experiences to avoid the further spread of an already taxing pandemic. So leave it to Big Finish Productions to come along and bring Lisa Bowerman in to record a Bernice Summerfield anthology celebrating the season with the ‘First Lady’ of Big Finish. New listeners should know going in that this is an anthology showcasing Benny throughout her life (after her travels with the Seventh Doctor), and is written without heavily relying on the continuity of the adventures and can be enjoyed separately. This is something that I am grateful for, especially as until very recently the single releases of the Bernice Summerfield range have only been available on CD (and Series 7-11 still are as of writing this review). It means that you can just listen to this rather affordable audiobook and enjoy 10 very different stories of the season from 10 very different authors. Continue reading

Review: The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield (Vol. 6) – Lost in Translation

Review by Jacob Licklider

Mild spoilers!


The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield is one of those Big Finish ranges which slips under the radar of quite a lot of people. Bernice Summerfield is one of those characters who has a big role in the greater Doctor Who universe, as the companion most associated with the Virgin New Adventures range of novels and the character which gave Big Finish Productions their start. Benny’s own range has been running since 1998 through eleven series of single releases and five box sets before being rebranded in a box set series of ‘New Adventures’; fitting considering where the character came from. The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield has been releasing one box set each year since 2014, with a small hiatus in 2018 to celebrate 20 years of Big Finish by reviving the classic range. 2016’s The Unbound Universe took Benny out of her universe while 2017’s Ruler of the Universe brought the character and the David Warner Doctor, right back into our universe. Now, two volumes later, Big Finish are finally dealing with the fallout in Lost in Translation, as Benny and the Doctor spend a set on the run from the Time Lords who have deemed the Doctor an aberration, unfit to exist. Continue reading

Review: Bernice Summerfield – The Glass Prison

Review by Jacob Licklider


The Bernice Summerfield Range is Big Finish’s flagship, running with releases since the company’s founding in 1998 with audios and novels being the two staples for the character, succeeding Virgin Publishing’s series of Benny novels.  With publishing audios and novels side by side, early story arcs crossed over and continued; often alternating between novel and audio, especially with the first five Benny novels and second series of Benny audios creating a difficult continuity when the books went out of print.  They infamously go to high prices to get editions of these books, but this problem has been uplifted in the past year as Big Finish Productions have produced audiobook readings of these books, all read by Benny herself, Lisa Bowerman. The final book in this sequence is Bernice Summerfield and the Glass Prison written by Jacqueline Rayner; which could easily be described as completing the character arc that the VNAs and the previous four Big Finish books had begun.  The audiobook production, like all of the previous Benny audiobooks, are the barebones readings with no music and no sound effects putting much of the weight on the reader’s shoulders.  Luckily, with Lisa Bowerman (who plays Benny) the listener is in safe hands. Bowerman takes the numerous characters in her stride, including those who appear in audios giving her best impression of actors like Stephen Fewell, Harry Myers, Steven Wickam, and Miles Richardson.  There is a real habitation of each character as Bowerman makes enough of a distinction between characters, so the listener knows who is speaking and has her own voice for the narration.  Continue reading

Review: Short Trips – The Second Oldest Question

Review by Michael Goleniewski


If you are a Whovian at all in the slightest, you most likely know the oldest question in the universe. It’s been tackled and handled in multiple series across the show’s run and is instrumental to the very fabric of what Doctor Who is. But now the query becomes: what about the second oldest question in the universe? That’s what this Short Trip written by Carrie Thompson sets out to tackle further back in the Doctor’s timeline.

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Review: The Companion Chronicles – The First Doctor (Vol 3)

Review by Michael Goleniewski


The Companion Chronicles range returns to the era of the First Doctor with the latest Companion Chronicles release, The First Doctor Volume Three. It’s a series that has presented some of the earliest examples of great Doctor Who storytelling with 2017’s Volume 2 containing two of my personal favourite First Doctor adventures in Across the Darkened City and The Plague of Dreams. I’m always glad to see these releases continuing and this particular volume is no exception with a strong theme around the concept of heroes and how they are perceived and seen by those around them. How does it stand up compared its predecessors? Let’s take a look: Continue reading