Review: ‘Master!’

Review by Jacob Licklider


With the acquisition of Eric Roberts returning to the role of the Master in The Diary of River Song, Ravenous 4, and Masterful, it became a matter of time before Big Finish Productions gave him his own spin-off box set.  Announced in 2020, Master! is essentially a precursor to Big Finish’s new three disc box set model for releases going forward.  Eric Roberts’ Master is also a character who does not actually have a fully fleshed out character.  He is a character who was over the top and camp in his one television appearance, under the guidance of a director who simply did not understand who the Master was and didn’t allow Roberts to actually give any menace in his performance.  Big Finish obviously worked to correct this in his first three appearances, but giving him a full length box set audiences finally get the chance to explore just what this version of the Master is and what he actually stands for.  Master! contains three stories from three writers, all telling an overarching story of how Eric Roberts’ Master escaped the time vortex and was eventually tracked down by an assassin and the Daleks, and of course escaped.  Interestingly unlike The War Master and Missy where the Master is a protagonist, Master! actually plays it with the Master directly the role of the antagonist, with each story essentially following other characters interacting with the Master and essentially trying to stop him from succeeding in each episode’s plan as things escalate towards the eventual conclusion.

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Review: Doctor Who – Stranded 2

Review by Jacob Licklider


Stranding the Eighth Doctor on Earth was by no means a new idea, it had been done in the Eighth Doctor Adventures novels, but making him a landlord with Liv and Helen made for an interesting change. Stranded 1 was released way back in June 2020 when we were all in lockdown and the future releases were sadly delayed, with Stranded 2 moving from its original November release date to March 2021. Stranded 1 was one of those releases while where I enjoyed it quite a bit, I felt slightly underwhelmed by the premise as it was very much Doctor Who does a soap opera, but sitting down to listen to Stranded 2 made me acutely aware of how I have missed this ensemble cast and their interactions. Like Jon Pertwee’s second season bringing some time travel back, Stranded 2 still contains four earthbound stories, it is the first to actually bring these new companions and residents of Baker Street into the TARDIS and exploring their history and interpersonal relationships. This premise allows it to stand out from the first set and the Pertwee era in a number of ways which makes it incredibly fun. As Stranded 2 is still kind of like Doctor Who does a soap opera, this review may contain minor spoilers for certain plot developments in the characters. This review was also written with each section right after listening, so each section may not reflect how any story arcs happen.

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Review: Gallifrey – Time War (Vol 4)

Review by Michael Goleniewski


Romana is lost to the Time War though Leela and Narvin still fight to survive. A resistance, caught between Rassilon’s fury and the Dalek Emperor’s mania, have a desperate plan to stop the conflict. Everything ends. And for some on Gallifrey, the Time War will soon be over.

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Review: The Paternoster Gang – Heritage 4

Review by Jacob Licklider


The Paternoster Gang as a spin-off has suffered from a bit of an identity crisis through its first three volumes. It doesn’t know if it wants to be a spiritual successor to Jago and Litefoot or a straight out character driven comedy or a serious Victorian drama and examination of Victorian culture. The subtitle of the first four sets being ‘Heritage’ implies the later, but the first two sets don’t really examine the idea of heritage or the theme.

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Review: The 8th Doctor – Time War (Vol 4)

Review by Jacob Licklider


The Eighth Doctor: Time War was announced by Big Finish Productions as a four box set prequel series to Big Finish’s War Doctor range in 2017 after the passing of John Hurt. It is now 2020 and the miniseries is coming to an end with Time War: Volume Four which is incredibly fitting as the world has gone into lockdown, much like Gallifrey has become at this point in this set where the Time War is over after the events of Time War: Volume Three. Continue reading

Review: Doctor Who – Out Of Time (Volume 1)

Review by Jacob Licklider


Out of Time is a release that’s production feels much like Big Finish Productions had an idea, and then decided ‘let’s do that idea because it’s fun’.  Billed and hyped for being the meeting between the Fourth and Tenth Doctors played by Tom Baker and David Tennant; Matt Fitton’s story really only sets out to be a bit of fun and does just that.

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Review: Doctor Who – Stranded 1

Review by Jacob Licklider


2019 saw Big Finish ending their then current Eighth Doctor miniseries with Ravenous 4, leaving the Doctor, Liv, and Helen stranded in London, 2020.  The TARDIS has been destroyed and Baker Street provides the only refuge for the team in June 2020’s Stranded 1. Continue reading

Review: Doctor Who – Ravenous 4

Review by Jacob Licklider


The finales for the Eighth Doctor box sets have always had difficulty tying things together into a satisfying conclusion, so I was apprehensive going into Ravenous 4. The three previous sets in the Ravenous series, however, had set themselves apart by telling stories where the arc isn’t nearly as comprehensive or built up as Dark Eyes or Doom Coalition. Big Finish setup the Ravenous as a great evil with motivation of devouring everything in its sight and being difficult to beat, unlike previous miniseries with conspiracies going deep into Time Lord mythology and the precursor to the Time War. Ravenous does not include this baggage, allowing the miniseries to feel more laid back allowing the listener to enjoy the ride. This kept me optimistic for the fourth installment, which was then announced to feature four incarnations of the Master and the Eleven and hype began to set in. Because this release was only this month, this review will remain largely spoiler free.

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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: Doctor Who – The Monsters of Gokroth

Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)


The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) is lurking in the background to check in on an old friend, Mags (Jessica Martin), who is still fighting her Werewolf side and seeking a cure. Mags has come to Gokroth, a remote world, to see the mysterious Doctor Maleeva (Victoria Yates). Maleeva is conducting experiments on monsters found on the planet. The people of this world fear the monsters, but may have cause to mistrust Maleeva more. Can she help Mags or will she be in more need of the Doctors help than ever?

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