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

Review: The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield – Buried Memories (Vol 5)

Review by Jacob Licklider


The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield is one of the Big Finish ranges which I have been following since its inception, and each set has been a gift to me in the years since. I was greatly disappointed when there wasn’t a set last year, but incredibly excited when it was announced Volume Five would not only feature the David Warner, but a big risk in four completely new writers.

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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!
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Review: Bernice Summerfield – In Time

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)


In another wonderful celebration of Bernie at 20, we are treated to another anthology spanning the life of the character over all the iterations we know and others that reaches into her future.

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Review: Doctor Who – The Early Adventures – The Dalek Occupation of Winter

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)


Let’s start with what an awesome title this is, harkening back to the way they used to have more poetic story names. And this tells you a lot about the style of this piece by David K Barnes. It does in many ways go back to the classic story telling of Doctor Who, as these early adventures tend to. What’s striking about this one for me is how it also blends in a lot of modern techniques of writing and characters whilst making them fit perfectly. Take the character of Jacklyn Karna (Sara Powell). She feels like a modern villain but the Doctor uses very old-school techniques to wrong-foot her and it’s great.

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Audio Review – The Coming of the Martians

Review by Ian McArdell


Since going out of copyright, there have been a few projects based on H.G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds, adding to the extensive catalogue of adaptations already available.
While the most well-known versions might be Orson Welles’ famous 1938 radio play or Spielberg’s Tom Cruise fronted movie, both shifted the location and moved the story to their present day. Slightly more faithful is Jeff Wayne’s musical interpretation, which at least keeps the setting correct – although it has claimed the title and forced this adaptation to be dubbed ‘The Coming of the Martians’; originally the title of the first part of the novel. With a fresh take on the novel by Nick Scovell, who may be known to some for his re-staging of Doctor Who classics, Sherwood Sound Studios’ approach has remained incredibly faithful to the original text; this is a tale of a Martian invasion of the home counties, with the action taking place across Surrey and Hampshire, as well as London. Continue reading

Review: Bernice Summerfield – Treasury

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)


As part of the celebrations of Bernice Summerfield turning 20, Big Finish kick off the festivities with a short story collection of 8 new stories from 8 writers; a lot of whom are legendary in the Big Finish, Benny and Doctor Who worlds. Continue reading