Review: Terror of the Master (from Masterful limited edition)

Review by Jacob Licklider


Terror of the Master is a bonus audiobook included in the limited edition of Masterful written by Trevor Baxendale and narrated by Jon Culshaw. Unlike other releases from Big Finish Productions, this is not an audio drama, but an audiobook with the occasional sound effects and as such it can only rely on the actual prose of the storytelling and the narration. Culshaw is an excellent narrator, using his impressive vocal range and variety of impressions to bring to life the Jon Pertwee era. While Masterful was a celebration of the Master, the incarnation played by Roger Delgado was not included due to Delgado’s tragic passing in 1973, so for the limited edition only Trevor Baxendale was commissioned to write a three and a half hour story featuring the Third Doctor, UNIT, and the Master; set right after The Green Death. Like many of the Pertwee serials, ‘Terror of the Master’ has a political bent, once again tackling pollution and the increasing global temperatures with a kindly scientist promising to fix Earth’s problems with a revolutionary new process that only he can know the exact details of and behind him is the Master. The Master has plans to take over the world using an alien creature in a story that most closely resembles that of The Claws of Axos with Dr. Drake in place of Axos and the Axons, without the Tory MP. On that front Terror of the Master is a fairly standard affair from Baxendale, with a prose style (and runtime) that intentionally feels like that of a Target Novel of a standard serial that would have been released during that time period.

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Review: Masterful (Celebrating 50 years of ‘The Master’)

Review by Jacob Licklider


“I am usually referred to as the Master…universally.”

This immortal line, first aired 50 years ago, introduced Doctor Who fans to Roger Delgado and the Doctor’s arch enemy the Master. And now, to celebrate this momentous occasion, Big Finish Productions has brought together all surviving TV incarnations of the Master and a host of others for a three hour audio drama, ‘Masterful’. Released 50 years to the day of Episode One of ‘Terror of the Autons‘, there are two editions of this release; the standard three disc edition and the limited eight disc edition which contains a disc of bonus features, an original audiobook by Trevor Baxendale, and two previously released Short Trips. This review is only looking at Masterful the story (see our Terror of the Master review here) So, should you buy Masterful? Short answer, yes, of course you should, James Goss provides three hours with a brilliant cast pitting Master against Master, playing to each incarnation’s strengths and giving listeners a real treat to see how dysfunctional each incarnation can be when forced to cooperate. Continue reading

Audio Review: Blake’s 7 – Outlaw

Review by Ian McArdell


Outlaw is the latest Blake’s 7 audiobook from Big Finish. Like it’s immediate predecessor ‘Uprising’, it focuses on a lesser developed character from the show. In that case it was the ill-fated Gan, here the light is shone on Blake’s nemesis, Space Commander Travis. Continue reading

Audio Review: Blake’s 7 – Restoration (Part 3)

Review by Ian McArdell


Restoration Part 3 is comprised of four episodes, which conclude the current Blake’s 7 mini-series. Set towards the end of the on-screen Series C, the story has seen the crew of the Liberator undertake desperate measures to repair their ship, critically damaged during the recent power struggle between Servalan and the President of the Federation. While the title references the crew’s goal, it also fits the aims of the President; in the wake of recent conflicts, he is striving to re-establish his grip on power.

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Audio Review: Blake’s 7 – Restoration (Part 2)

Review by Ian McArdell


Restoration Part 2 is the latest release in the current Blake’s 7 audio series. Although forming the middle part of this trilogy of box sets, these four tales also follow a tightly-linked storyline themselves: desperate to repair their ailing ship, nearly abandoned in tense finale of the previous set, Avon has brought the Liberator back home to ‘The System’.

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Audio Review: Blake’s 7 – Restoration (Part 1)

Review by Ian McArdell


A new year brings a fresh batch of classic adventures for Blake’s 7, the first of three box sets which will make up a mini-series under the umbrella title ‘Restoration’, in the same way the last three releases did for Crossfire. Continue reading

Audio Review: Blake’s 7 – Crossfire Part 3

Review by Ian McArdell


Across four further tales, the crew of the Liberator return to witness the conclusion of the Crossfire story arc; episodes 9 – 12 chart the final stages of a civil war for control of the Federation, with Servalan and the former President vying for supremacy. Nestled as a sub-season within the continuity of late Series C, Crossfire Part 3 follows the same format as the previous two box sets, mixing arc-heavy stories with lighter ones and using various combinations of the cast; Avon, Cally, Vila, Tarrant and Dayna, along with Orac and Zen. Continue reading

Audio Review: Blake’s 7 – Crossfire Part 2

Review by Ian McArdell


Hot on the heels of their thrilling 40th Anniversary release, Big Finish are back for more as Crossfire – a twelve-part season of stories set within the programme’s third series – continues.

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Audio Review: Blake’s 7 – Heroes 

Review by Ian McArdell


Celebrating Blake’s 7’s band of heroes, or should that be anti-heroes, this short-story collection is released in anticipation of the programme’s 40th anniversary next year.
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