Review: The Ninth Doctor Adventures – Back To Earth

Review by Jacob Licklider


Old Friends ended the first series of Ninth Doctor Adventures with a genuinely brilliant series finale that felt like a lead in to Rose, something my review of that set had some pushback since it had already been announced that Series 2 would essentially be continuing where Series 1 left off with the Ninth Doctor still travelling alone. Now Series 1 spent quite a bit of time developing the idea that this was one continuous series, including by designing the covers to mimic the single DVD releases of Series 1 of the show. Series 2 seems to be less a full series with a central character arc for the Ninth Doctor and more of a series of themed box sets with new styles of cover art, this first one being from the wonderful Caroline Tankersley, with the theme of going Back to Earth. It’s three stories set at various points in Earth’s history, mainly in the past ranging from the early 17th century to the early 1990s, with one story having some pieces in the modern day, but not really. All three of the authors here do an excellent job of taking their piece of Earth and doing something interesting with it, overcoming my initial hesitation of going into a set not really following up the character development of the Ninth Doctor within the first few minutes of the first story.

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Review: The Third Doctor Adventures (Volume 7)

Review by Jacob Licklider


Big Finish Productions with the Third Doctor Adventures have perhaps taken the greatest risk since the inception of the range with Tim Treloar replacing Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor, and that’s releasing a box set without any returning cast members from the Third Doctor’s era. Katy Manning’s Jo Grant is not present nor John Levene or Richard Franklin. Fans of Jo Grant, fear not, she will be reappearing in Volume Eight, as Volume Seven brings one story from Season 7 and one from Season 11, meaning that they include Liz Shaw and Sarah Jane Smith as companions, bringing back Daisy Ashford and Sadie Miller in those roles as well as Jon Culshaw as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Taking this step (and announcing Miller’s involvement in Volume Eight) means that Big Finish are not afraid to use their recast performers in the ranges resulting in fully recast casts instead of having at least one original cast member present. The Third Doctor Adventures Volume Seven also brings two new authors into the range: Big Finish veteran Mark Wright (although not writing with his usual writing partner Cavan Scott) and, in his first four part story, Tim Foley. This takes the range into new territory as Big Finish goes headfirst into its new box set led era of stories.

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Review: The First Doctor Adventures (Volume Five)

Review by Jacob Licklider


There is something odd about the First Doctor Adventures Big Finish range. As it features the cast from An Adventure in Space and Time in the roles of the Doctor, Susan, Ian, and Barbara it is classified as a range for the New Series, however, each set has been in some way or another a fitting tribute for the television show’s first few years, especially Season 1, where each story essentially alternates science fiction and pure historical with the occasional a la The Space Museum or The Edge of Destruction thrown in for good measure. Each episode even is given its own individual title as the first three seasons would often do, and they move directly one into the next, with The First Doctor Adventures: Volume Five even ending implying that there will be a volume six. This is also a range which has lost the novelty of having full cast First Doctor stories, which isn’t a bad thing, and was indicated by the previous volume including the Daleks in a sequel to the very first Dalek story. Volume Five goes back away from bringing back any returning elements, though the second story does take some cheeky nudges to future stories and events for the Doctor in particular, selling itself on two very interesting titles and the promise of a story with William Shakespeare and pairing a veteran writer with a new writer.

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Audio Review: Survivors Series 8

Review by Ian McArdell


It has been a long thirteen months since the last audio box set of Terry Nation’s Survivors, Big Finish’s continuation of the classic 1970s television drama. With the world’s population ravaged by a deadly pandemic, the series charts the lives of those who are attempting to rebuild against all the odds.

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