Review: 12th Doctor Chronicles (Vol 2) – Timejacked!

Review by Jacob Licklider


 

The Twelfth Doctor Chronicles, like the other instalments in the Doctor Chronicles range from Big Finish Productions started as a replacement for the Companion Chronicles and a chance to give the New Series Doctors a chance to shine while the actors playing those Doctors don’t come to Big Finish. Jacob Dudman is the actor who headlines the range, performing the Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctors. His Eleven is actually pitch perfect and his Tenth Doctor isn’t too far off, but his Twelfth Doctor was the performance that left audiences and myself cold in his Short Trips performances for being further away from Peter Capaldi, but for The Twelfth Doctor Chronicles: Timejacked! a switch occurs. Writers Matt Fitton and Lou Morgan implement a story arc and new companion for the Twelfth Doctor, young Time Agent Keira Sanstrom, played by Bhavnisha Parmar, and a tighter focus on the three stories bringing it in line with the new Big Finish style of box sets being either miniseries or separate serials in their own right. Dudman has also developed his impression of Peter Capaldi into less of an attempt to imitate the character but instead as a friend of mine noted, take inspiration from Peter Purves’ First Doctor in attempting to get the mannerisms and characterisation down, which makes Timejacked! feel more like a Twelfth Doctor story than anything else with Dudman in the role.

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Review: Doctor Who – Dalek Universe 3

Review by Jacob Licklider


With each installment in Dalek Universe, the scope and tension has been building to unravel the mystery of just what’s happening with the universe that the Tenth Doctor is now before the Time War and with Anya Kingdom and Mark Seven. The initial promotion as a full fourth series for the Tenth Doctor was perhaps the most accurate description of the three box sets as a whole, all taking place right after The Waters of Mars; and Dalek Universe 3 sets up The Day of the Doctor, and actually helps transition the Tenth Doctor towards the end of his life. Like the first set, Dalek Universe 3 is only two stories, a single episode and two parts, essentially echoing the structure of one of his televised series (without the third two-parter to fill in the usual thirteen episodes as this is only nine episodes). And with any finale, this set is built around wrapping everything up from the heartbreaking installments at the end of Dalek Universe 2. This review will contain spoilers for Dalek Universe 2, so it is highly recommended to at least be caught up with the stories to this point before continuing. This is also a set which cannot be listened to in isolation, despite its high quality.

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River Song meets the Third Doctor

Tim Treloar’s Third Doctor and Alex Kingston’s Professor River Song are colliding in a brand new box set of adventures from Big Finish.

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Freema Agyeman reprises Martha Jones role in new audio adventures from Big Finish Productions

Freema Agyeman returns in her own triumphant trio of audio adventures, to be released in December 2021.

After more than a decade away from the TARDIS, the Tenth Doctor’s companion, Martha Jones, is returning to the world of Doctor Who, in a brand-new box set of full-cast audio drama from Big Finish Productions.


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Review: The War Doctor Begins – Forged in Fire

Review by Jacob Licklider


The War Doctor range was one of the Big Finish ranges sadly cut off due to the passing of Sir John Hurt.  A fifth box set was actually planned and some of those scripts have been used in other ranges such as The War Master, at least in similar premises.  Now that time has passed, the character has been recast with Jonathon Carley, most well known for several fan Doctor Who productions, and instead of continuing John Hurt’s legacy as the character which may have been insensitive if done incorrectly, goes back to the beginning of the character to explore what the War Doctor actually kind of means.  The War Doctor Begins was announced as four box sets, starting release in June 2021 all looking to lead to essentially where their War Doctor releases began.  Forged in Fire sports a beautifully painted cover by Claudia Gironi featuring Daleks and Thals and a younger John Hurt.  It also is a set which sets up something interesting for the character, taking a step away from what Steven Moffat implied with the character, that he was the version of the Doctor who went against everything that the Doctor stood for, that his purpose was to be a warrior.  There is something to be said to the recast; Carley joins Jon Culshaw’s Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Sadie Miller’s Sarah Jane, and Elliot Chapman’s Ben Jackson (among others) in Big Finish’s roster of perfect recasts.  Carley worked closely with director Louise Jameson to ensure that his impression was more than just an impression, but really embodying the younger version of the character.  He makes it his own and Jameson’s direction is also a welcome change as her touch makes the entire set have a different atmosphere to Big Finish’s usual output. Continue reading

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