Review: Doctor Who – The 11th Doctor Chronicles (Volume 2)

Review by Jacob Licklider


The ‘Doctor Chronicles’ is one of those ranges that exists out of necessity, despite what certain corners of social media would have you believe. With the acquisition of the Doctor Who license up to Twice Upon a Time, but only David Tennant officially coming back to the role of the Doctor (and even then not as much as Big Finish would like due to his busy schedule), the types of stories with New Series characters that could be told became limited. Essentially there had to be spin-offs such as Torchwood and The Paternoster Gang, or Short Trips like The Jago and Litefoot Revival. But with The Companion Chronicles being one of Big Finish’s more highly acclaimed ranges, adapting the format to the Ninth through Twelfth Doctors with one narrator and one guest, beginning release in 2017. After one release for each Doctor, the BBC intervened and suggested that the series move away from the initial format and into a full-cast audio format, making this range the only full-cast adventures for the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors (as Eccleston has returned to the role and Tennant has increased his output). This change begins with The Eleventh Doctor Chronicles: Volume Two which stars Jacob Dudman in the role as the Doctor. While Big Finish use Dudman for the Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctors it is actually his Eleventh where his performance excels. Throughout this set he captures the voice of Matt Smith’s portrayal, while adding a depth that many of Smith’s episodes seemed to lack, an emotional core rarely seen during that period of the Moffat era. Each of these stories are set in between The Angels Take Manhattan and The Snowmen, and there is this something that Dudman can coax out of the character, it was seen here and in his cameo in Thin Time/Madquake last year. It is also perhaps important to note that this review is coming from the perspective of someone who is not the biggest fan of the Eleventh Doctor.

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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 – Dalek Universe 2

Review by Michael Goleniewski


Cycle of Destruction by Roy Gill

“Cycle of Destruction” continues the “Dalek Universe” adventures with an audio counterpart to “House of Kingdom” from the prior set but this time focusing on the other component of this saga’s main trio. Roy Gill’s script wastes no time in jumping right back into the fray, albeit in a way that feels more like a necessary diversion rather than a substantial addition to the main thrust of the arc. The premise is a strong one overall and it’s nice to see Mark himself get the same amount of attention and backstory that Anya did previously. But the plot and writing contain tons of technical exposition that (while interesting in how it handles the aspects of the ALARK facility and the intensive lives of the people working within it) grinds the pacing and excitement at hearing these characters again to a screeching halt. Still, the writing also touches on deeper questions as to the nature of Mark Seven and the androids themselves as well as contains major flashbacks to Mark Seven’s past which is as harrowing as one would expect. It’s in those moments and in the tension between members of the TARDIS team as to how and why they got there in the first place that the story truly shines and not necessarily in the immediate details of what’s going on in the plot. Continue reading

Review: Doctor Who – Scourge of the Cybermen

Review by Michael Goleniewski


Under the seas of an alien world, the Third Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith have landed in a gigantic sea-base city run entirely by scientists working to clean up the planet. From cleaning up pollution to creating clean energy, these beings are working for the good of the entire population and of course, the TARDIS team is more than happy to help. While the Doctor is busy in his duties and work, Sarah Jane Smith puts herself on the case of some potentially dangerous issues such as flickering lights that hint at something going precariously wrong and staff members going missing in the deeper parts of the facility. An ominous recording captured on the security cameras portends the arrival of a force stalking and waiting in the depths of the base to make its attack, one which the Doctor is intimately familiar with and rightfully horrified of. The Cybermen have arrived and are working to gain a foothold in this world and its resources by any means necessary and this time they may have outsmarted even the Doctor in their attempts to conquer…..
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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

More Doctors announced to cameo in Time Fracture

More Doctors will feature in pre-recorded cameo appearances for the immersive show Time Fracture!

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Review: The Ninth Doctor Adventures – Ravagers

Review by Jacob Licklider


Raise your hand if you weren’t expecting Christopher Eccleston to come back to Doctor Who? Okay, whoever doesn’t have your hand up is clearly lying, because it was one of those things that nobody ever thought would happen, and even more so, would happen so soon, but here we are, May 2021, and the first of four Ninth Doctor Box sets from Big Finish Productions are out in the world. Ravagers was written and directed by Nicholas Briggs showing just how much enthusiasm he had for the first Doctor he worked with on television when Doctor Who came back, and structured like a three part miniseries. This format is actually really good for Doctor Who, as single hour long stories which aren’t connected in any way becomes incredibly difficult to properly develop a new setting and new characters all in a single episode. While each episode has its own title (Sphere of Freedom, Cataclysm, and Food Fight) as this is a miniseries, this review will be looking as Ravagers as one continuous story, which is the best way to look at this box set anyway as each episode ends in a cliffhanger before the final episode opens up the series of box sets to what is clearly going to become a new era of Ninth Doctor adventures.

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Review: Dalek Universe – The Dalek Protocol

Review by Jacob Licklider


Hype is an interesting phenomenon. When Big Finish Productions announced Dalek Universe, of course there was going to be hype: it’s three whole box sets starring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, the return of Anya Kingdom, and a two-hour Fourth Doctor prologue with Leela and K9 to boot. This is the type of release that is designed to build hype, yet now that it is April and the first release is out, The Dalek Protocol starring Tom Baker, Louise Jameson, and John Leeson, and some of the trouble with extreme hype is that is can actually put off listeners. For The Dalek Protocol it is imperative that before you purchase or listen, you understand that it was never actually intended to be part of a bigger series. Recorded in 2018, the behind the scenes on the release are enlightening as Nicholas Briggs was simply commissioned to do what he loves and tribute Death to the Daleks while bringing back Anya Kingdom. This means that the ending of the story feels final, the Doctor and Anya don’t get to reunite which is important as the Doctor hasn’t even met her yet, and that there really aren’t apparent threads which will be carrying over to Dalek Universe proper. As a part of the series, it seems the most disconnected which is fine as it was never written to be a part of a greater whole, so listeners should be wary of those expectations before going in as you will not enjoy it nearly as much when that is in play.

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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 The Lost Stories – Return Of The Cybermen / The Doomsday Contract

Review by Jacob Licklider


When The Lost Stories was revived in 2019, listeners thought it could only be for a one-off run of two extra stories. Nobody really expected Big Finish Productions to announce the range to continue with more frequency than the occasional production, but only a few months later the announcement came that March 2021 would see the release of two stories featuring the Fourth Doctor, and last month a third release was announced from Russell T. Davies featuring the Sixth Doctor and Mel. The Sixth Doctor and Mel story may still be a long while off yet, but bringing Tom Baker back to The Lost Stories range is an excellent choice as he had only one release in the range: a box set featuring two stories, a six part story from Robert Banks Stewart and a four part adventure from Phillip Hinchcliffe. It is March 2021, nearly a year since the initial announcement, and Big Finish have made good on that release date. Return of the Cybermen and The Doomsday Contract have been released and the range is truly revived in a new form recovering previously abandoning Doctor Who scripts for a new audience to enjoy in a whole new way. Continue reading