The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk A weekly Doctor Who podcast with your hosts Garry and Adam bringing you news, merchandise round-ups and reviews. New shows every Friday. Wed, 08 Apr 2020 14:53:31 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4 71078257 The Lives of Captain Jack: Volume 3 – Review https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/the-lives-of-captain-jack-volume-3-review/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-lives-of-captain-jack-volume-3-review https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/the-lives-of-captain-jack-volume-3-review/#respond Thu, 09 Apr 2020 09:00:28 +0000 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/?p=8410 The Lives of Captain Jack Vol 3 Review

Everyone's favourite Time Agent is back and this time with Jackie Tyler and River Song in tow. I missed the first volume on its initial release, I picked up the second volume, which I thought was brilliant. The announcement for Volume 3 came out of the blue, but I loved how the second volume played around with the established Whoniverse with the Sixth Doctor being in it, I was up for more shenanigans with Jackie and River! And what shenanigans they are! [caption id="attachment_8424" align="aligncenter" width="600"]The Lives of Captain Jack: Volume 3 The Lives of Captain Jack: Volume 3[/caption] The set opens with the much-anticipated return of Camille Coduri as Jackie Tyler in Guy Adam's opening adventure Crush, which sees Jackie getting to go into space. Jack promises to take her on a trip on a train through space but the duo gets stuck in a train replacement service, crowded in with a group of aliens who don't look, touch or acknowledge each other. It was fun to hear Jackie getting to travel into space and experience some of the excitement that her daughter does. But Adams also makes it clear how she isn't really suited to space travel. The aliens don't like touching or looking at each other so when people begin to die, Jackie forgets to respect their wishes, holding the hand of a dying alien, because she doesn't want her to die along, even though the alien-woman doesn't like it and making a lot of noise. But it isn't done from a place of selfishness, it's done because Jackie does care about the people around her. It's a nice take on the character and adds to the likability of an already enjoyable character. And Coduri handles the material perfectly and she delivers a great speech on what loneliness feels like. Adams should be praised on that speech and it should go down as one of the greatest speeches in Doctor Who. I related to what she was saying, especially when she talks about people purposely avoiding you as I experienced something similar when my father died. In many ways, this is a story which tackled the same sort of issues as this year's television story, Can You Hear Me? tried and failed to do, but Crush did it fantastically. As someone who does suffer from mental health issues, this was the way to write a story about isolation and loneliness and really do it well! If there is one problem with Crush its that the villain is really obvious from the get-go, but I think that's kind of the point. Paul Clayton's performance as the underappreciated robot driver was great and Adams makes sure to give us some interesting points from the driver's point-of-view. He wants to be noticed and he's willing to kill people to get that attention. But as Jackie tells him, it'll be the wrong sort of attention. However, there was a side to the robot-driver that was understandable and does slightly play to the more sadistic side of people who work in customer services! Jack and Jackie make such a great pairing that its surprising the pair never met on television. John Barrowman and Camille Coduri make such a great duo that I'm hoping in the future Big Finish will give us a boxset with just this pair, come on, let's give Jackie the space-adventures she rightly deserved! The second story of the set, Mighty and Despair from Tim Foley, sees Jack at some point long after his adventures with the Doctor and Torchwood and he's living a quiet but content life in a monastery on an alien world. But all this is thrown on its head when a couple of people fleeing an alien war crash land on the planet. Jack is initially hesitant to help and even more hesitant once he realises one of them is a vampire. Foley makes sure to steer clear of the vampire-clichés as these aren't the type which like to bite your neck, while they still can, instead, they have no choice but to team up to survive. The opening act is light, keeping the vampire, her servant and Jack separated for the most part, with Jack trying to get an understanding of his new housemates. The second act though is when things begin to get serious, and Foley's more human-focused-style of writing really comes nicely into play. As Jack and his new friends, celebrate Christmas and his new friends help him to celebrate the Blood Moon festivities, in the whole of one scene we see the three characters grow to become friends, only for it all to slip away as one of them dies. Jack is immortal and so is his vampire friend. One is still very human and her death really helps to hammer home how being immortal can be both a blessing and a curse and looks at the grieving process when we lose those we love. [caption id="attachment_8425" align="aligncenter" width="800"]John Barrowman and Alex Kingston enjoy the recording John Barrowman and Alex Kingston enjoy the recording[/caption] Once again, Tim Foley has delivered a great story, that feels very different from the types of stories this range has offered us so far. The quieter and slower pace here might not be to everyone's taste, giving the action-packed stories that bookend this one, but it isn't a story to skip over as Foley's writing yet again triumphs. Somehow he always manages to get to the heart of any character he has to write for, exposing those raw human emotions and sculpting them into something extraordinary! The set concludes with R&J from James Goss and features a pairing of characters that I'm surprised never happened on screen. Having said that, Jack was supposed to feature in A Good Man Goes To War, so we nearly got him meeting River Song. But R&J more than makes up for us being robbed of their on-screen meeting. Of course, it all goes down how you'd expect with the pair not really trusting one-another and trying to stop and/or kill one another as they rampage through each other's timelines and the wider Doctor Who universe. There are plenty of enjoyable moments and references to stories like Boom Town, Day of the Moon, The Pandorica Opens and The Husbands of River Song, as well as asking questions Who-fans have been asking for years, like where was future-Jack during the events of Boom Town? Because of all this time-travel, thanks to River and Jack never meeting in the right order, this isn't an episode designed for newcomers to either character, though for long-time fans, Goss does manage to keep control of the different continuity references nicely, making sure that things don't get too confusing. And he even manages to throw in a storyline that results in River and Jack nearly getting married to defeat the villain of the episode. If I had one issue with this episode it is that the main villain isn't entirely clear right until the end and the second-act does seem to forget about the character altogether as Jack and River's antics continue. This isn't too much of problem though because it a lot of fun hearing these two characters, but a little more clarity on the villain of the piece throughout would have been nice. But with cameos from the 9th Doctor, I think voiced by Nicholas Briggs and Jackie Tyler, in amongst all the other references and nods, R&J is everything you could hope from a meeting between this pair. Yet it is so much more than just references and nods, it has a sense of emotion all the way throughout as Jack tries to work out which mutual friend River knows and towards the end, as River knows it isn't long before she goes off to the Library, she becomes much more sullen. For fans of both River and Jack then this story is an essential listen! The Lives of Captain Jack: Volume 3 is a really fun set of stories and works as a nice jumping point for the character of Captain Jack if you aren't entirely familiar with him. Plus with Jackie Tyler and River Song in tow, you really can't go wrong!]]>
The Lives of Captain Jack Vol 3 Review

Everyone's favourite Time Agent is back and this time with Jackie Tyler and River Song in tow. I missed the first volume on its initial release, I picked up the second volume, which I thought was brilliant. The announcement for Volume 3 came out of the blue, but I loved how the second volume played around with the established Whoniverse with the Sixth Doctor being in it, I was up for more shenanigans with Jackie and River! And what shenanigans they are! [caption id="attachment_8424" align="aligncenter" width="600"]The Lives of Captain Jack: Volume 3 The Lives of Captain Jack: Volume 3[/caption] The set opens with the much-anticipated return of Camille Coduri as Jackie Tyler in Guy Adam's opening adventure Crush, which sees Jackie getting to go into space. Jack promises to take her on a trip on a train through space but the duo gets stuck in a train replacement service, crowded in with a group of aliens who don't look, touch or acknowledge each other. It was fun to hear Jackie getting to travel into space and experience some of the excitement that her daughter does. But Adams also makes it clear how she isn't really suited to space travel. The aliens don't like touching or looking at each other so when people begin to die, Jackie forgets to respect their wishes, holding the hand of a dying alien, because she doesn't want her to die along, even though the alien-woman doesn't like it and making a lot of noise. But it isn't done from a place of selfishness, it's done because Jackie does care about the people around her. It's a nice take on the character and adds to the likability of an already enjoyable character. And Coduri handles the material perfectly and she delivers a great speech on what loneliness feels like. Adams should be praised on that speech and it should go down as one of the greatest speeches in Doctor Who. I related to what she was saying, especially when she talks about people purposely avoiding you as I experienced something similar when my father died. In many ways, this is a story which tackled the same sort of issues as this year's television story, Can You Hear Me? tried and failed to do, but Crush did it fantastically. As someone who does suffer from mental health issues, this was the way to write a story about isolation and loneliness and really do it well! If there is one problem with Crush its that the villain is really obvious from the get-go, but I think that's kind of the point. Paul Clayton's performance as the underappreciated robot driver was great and Adams makes sure to give us some interesting points from the driver's point-of-view. He wants to be noticed and he's willing to kill people to get that attention. But as Jackie tells him, it'll be the wrong sort of attention. However, there was a side to the robot-driver that was understandable and does slightly play to the more sadistic side of people who work in customer services! Jack and Jackie make such a great pairing that its surprising the pair never met on television. John Barrowman and Camille Coduri make such a great duo that I'm hoping in the future Big Finish will give us a boxset with just this pair, come on, let's give Jackie the space-adventures she rightly deserved! The second story of the set, Mighty and Despair from Tim Foley, sees Jack at some point long after his adventures with the Doctor and Torchwood and he's living a quiet but content life in a monastery on an alien world. But all this is thrown on its head when a couple of people fleeing an alien war crash land on the planet. Jack is initially hesitant to help and even more hesitant once he realises one of them is a vampire. Foley makes sure to steer clear of the vampire-clichés as these aren't the type which like to bite your neck, while they still can, instead, they have no choice but to team up to survive. The opening act is light, keeping the vampire, her servant and Jack separated for the most part, with Jack trying to get an understanding of his new housemates. The second act though is when things begin to get serious, and Foley's more human-focused-style of writing really comes nicely into play. As Jack and his new friends, celebrate Christmas and his new friends help him to celebrate the Blood Moon festivities, in the whole of one scene we see the three characters grow to become friends, only for it all to slip away as one of them dies. Jack is immortal and so is his vampire friend. One is still very human and her death really helps to hammer home how being immortal can be both a blessing and a curse and looks at the grieving process when we lose those we love. [caption id="attachment_8425" align="aligncenter" width="800"]John Barrowman and Alex Kingston enjoy the recording John Barrowman and Alex Kingston enjoy the recording[/caption] Once again, Tim Foley has delivered a great story, that feels very different from the types of stories this range has offered us so far. The quieter and slower pace here might not be to everyone's taste, giving the action-packed stories that bookend this one, but it isn't a story to skip over as Foley's writing yet again triumphs. Somehow he always manages to get to the heart of any character he has to write for, exposing those raw human emotions and sculpting them into something extraordinary! The set concludes with R&J from James Goss and features a pairing of characters that I'm surprised never happened on screen. Having said that, Jack was supposed to feature in A Good Man Goes To War, so we nearly got him meeting River Song. But R&J more than makes up for us being robbed of their on-screen meeting. Of course, it all goes down how you'd expect with the pair not really trusting one-another and trying to stop and/or kill one another as they rampage through each other's timelines and the wider Doctor Who universe. There are plenty of enjoyable moments and references to stories like Boom Town, Day of the Moon, The Pandorica Opens and The Husbands of River Song, as well as asking questions Who-fans have been asking for years, like where was future-Jack during the events of Boom Town? Because of all this time-travel, thanks to River and Jack never meeting in the right order, this isn't an episode designed for newcomers to either character, though for long-time fans, Goss does manage to keep control of the different continuity references nicely, making sure that things don't get too confusing. And he even manages to throw in a storyline that results in River and Jack nearly getting married to defeat the villain of the episode. If I had one issue with this episode it is that the main villain isn't entirely clear right until the end and the second-act does seem to forget about the character altogether as Jack and River's antics continue. This isn't too much of problem though because it a lot of fun hearing these two characters, but a little more clarity on the villain of the piece throughout would have been nice. But with cameos from the 9th Doctor, I think voiced by Nicholas Briggs and Jackie Tyler, in amongst all the other references and nods, R&J is everything you could hope from a meeting between this pair. Yet it is so much more than just references and nods, it has a sense of emotion all the way throughout as Jack tries to work out which mutual friend River knows and towards the end, as River knows it isn't long before she goes off to the Library, she becomes much more sullen. For fans of both River and Jack then this story is an essential listen! The Lives of Captain Jack: Volume 3 is a really fun set of stories and works as a nice jumping point for the character of Captain Jack if you aren't entirely familiar with him. Plus with Jackie Tyler and River Song in tow, you really can't go wrong!]]>
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Doctor Who: Subterfuge – Review https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/doctor-who-subterfuge-review/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=doctor-who-subterfuge-review https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/doctor-who-subterfuge-review/#respond Wed, 08 Apr 2020 14:41:12 +0000 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/?p=8427

Since 2010, various on-screen and audio adventures have seen the Doctor meeting and joining forces with his friend, Winston Churchill. Ever since the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond helped stop an invasion of earth from the Daleks, Churchill and the Doctor have been linked. That link can also go back to an old Sixth Doctor book called Players, which sees Churchill during his reporter days. But ever since then the Doctor has always helped Churchill. Subterfuge does something different, set just before Churchill lost his election after WW2, the Seventh Doctor this time has to make sure his old friend doesn't win. [caption id="attachment_8428" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Cover Art for Subterfuge Cover Art for Subterfuge[/caption] What doesn't help is that his old villain, the Meddling Monk, once again played with relish by Rufus Hound is also hanging around, making sure that Churchill does get into power again. But this is the first in a series of headaches for the Doctor in this story from Helen Goldwyn, as the Doctor soon discovers two aliens being taken advantage of, who just want to go home but have been forced to steal priceless works of art and plant bombs underground in London. Goldwyn makes sure to keep things interesting in this spy-fi story, which sees plenty of the titular subterfuge through double-agents, art-thieves and traitors all rear their ugly heads. With plenty of twists and turns, most of which stick, there is a small air of predictability about the proceedings, though it doesn't detract from this being a very fun story. However, I think this story is at its strongest when it focuses on its three leads. This is the Seventh Doctor when he is travelling alone, something we've seen in the past from Big Finish and I would put this somewhere towards the end of his era, much like the Mags trilogy from last year, as well as the Klein trilogy from years back where the Seventh Doctor is trying to wrap up all the loose ends he's left hanging. He seems genuinely delighted to see his old friend again, and Winston Churchill will be popping up again with the Third Doctor in a few months from Big Finish, though he is dismayed when he discovered what point in his friend's life he has arrived. Goldwyn gives a fantastic look at the Seventh Doctor towards the end when Churchill gives an accurate description of this incarnation of his friend, someone who likes to manipulate events, who can't help themselves but do so. It's sad to hear this friendship come to an end, but something that the Seventh Doctor needed to hear and Sylvester McCoy handles the script perfectly. Rufus Hound has been playing The Meddling Monk for the last few years with Big Finish and hasn't dropped the ball yet. Subterfuge is another strong entry into the Monk's story as he tries to get Churchill re-elected in 1945. Much of the Monk's actions allow for Goldwyn to give some commentary on Churchill as a person as well as how the world changed after his failed election campaign and how it might have changed had he been re-elected. Hound proves to be another great addition to the Doctor Who universe. [caption id="attachment_8429" align="aligncenter" width="1170"]The cast of Subterfuge The cast of Subterfuge[/caption] I saw someone on Twitter moaning about how Doctor Who always paints Churchill in a good light. Goldwyn makes sure she doesn't do this, instead giving us an adventure which does expose Churchill's worst aspects, including snuffing the idea of the NHS and his dislike of people from other countries. There can be no denying most of his actions during WW2 helped win the fight against the Nazi's but his outdated outlook on life rapidly bled away at the end of the war. But it also shows how the Doctor is much more mature than most, befriending people from all walks on life and with different outlooks to others, whether those outlooks be right or wrong. Since his debut in Victory of the Daleks, Ian McNiece has been great as Churchill and does seem to channel an inner persona of the man himself during this story. I've not listened to the Churchill-sets from Big Finish and while this story didn't inspire me to go and seek them out unless they are in a sale at some point, he still proves to be fantastic in the role and works excellently with Hound and McCoy and you'll be hard-pressed not to feel sorry for him in the end, especially when he realises the man he thought his friend has betrayed him. With the espionage elements of the story feeling rather standard for a Doctor Who story, where Subterfuge succeeds is in Goldwyn's handling of the Doctor, Monk and Churchill. And the betrayals from all three characters keep things feeling fresh and interesting to listen too. While Subterfuge might not be the strongest Big Finish story for me to come out so far this year, it's still another audio that's incredibly easy to recommend!]]>

Since 2010, various on-screen and audio adventures have seen the Doctor meeting and joining forces with his friend, Winston Churchill. Ever since the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond helped stop an invasion of earth from the Daleks, Churchill and the Doctor have been linked. That link can also go back to an old Sixth Doctor book called Players, which sees Churchill during his reporter days. But ever since then the Doctor has always helped Churchill. Subterfuge does something different, set just before Churchill lost his election after WW2, the Seventh Doctor this time has to make sure his old friend doesn't win. [caption id="attachment_8428" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Cover Art for Subterfuge Cover Art for Subterfuge[/caption] What doesn't help is that his old villain, the Meddling Monk, once again played with relish by Rufus Hound is also hanging around, making sure that Churchill does get into power again. But this is the first in a series of headaches for the Doctor in this story from Helen Goldwyn, as the Doctor soon discovers two aliens being taken advantage of, who just want to go home but have been forced to steal priceless works of art and plant bombs underground in London. Goldwyn makes sure to keep things interesting in this spy-fi story, which sees plenty of the titular subterfuge through double-agents, art-thieves and traitors all rear their ugly heads. With plenty of twists and turns, most of which stick, there is a small air of predictability about the proceedings, though it doesn't detract from this being a very fun story. However, I think this story is at its strongest when it focuses on its three leads. This is the Seventh Doctor when he is travelling alone, something we've seen in the past from Big Finish and I would put this somewhere towards the end of his era, much like the Mags trilogy from last year, as well as the Klein trilogy from years back where the Seventh Doctor is trying to wrap up all the loose ends he's left hanging. He seems genuinely delighted to see his old friend again, and Winston Churchill will be popping up again with the Third Doctor in a few months from Big Finish, though he is dismayed when he discovered what point in his friend's life he has arrived. Goldwyn gives a fantastic look at the Seventh Doctor towards the end when Churchill gives an accurate description of this incarnation of his friend, someone who likes to manipulate events, who can't help themselves but do so. It's sad to hear this friendship come to an end, but something that the Seventh Doctor needed to hear and Sylvester McCoy handles the script perfectly. Rufus Hound has been playing The Meddling Monk for the last few years with Big Finish and hasn't dropped the ball yet. Subterfuge is another strong entry into the Monk's story as he tries to get Churchill re-elected in 1945. Much of the Monk's actions allow for Goldwyn to give some commentary on Churchill as a person as well as how the world changed after his failed election campaign and how it might have changed had he been re-elected. Hound proves to be another great addition to the Doctor Who universe. [caption id="attachment_8429" align="aligncenter" width="1170"]The cast of Subterfuge The cast of Subterfuge[/caption] I saw someone on Twitter moaning about how Doctor Who always paints Churchill in a good light. Goldwyn makes sure she doesn't do this, instead giving us an adventure which does expose Churchill's worst aspects, including snuffing the idea of the NHS and his dislike of people from other countries. There can be no denying most of his actions during WW2 helped win the fight against the Nazi's but his outdated outlook on life rapidly bled away at the end of the war. But it also shows how the Doctor is much more mature than most, befriending people from all walks on life and with different outlooks to others, whether those outlooks be right or wrong. Since his debut in Victory of the Daleks, Ian McNiece has been great as Churchill and does seem to channel an inner persona of the man himself during this story. I've not listened to the Churchill-sets from Big Finish and while this story didn't inspire me to go and seek them out unless they are in a sale at some point, he still proves to be fantastic in the role and works excellently with Hound and McCoy and you'll be hard-pressed not to feel sorry for him in the end, especially when he realises the man he thought his friend has betrayed him. With the espionage elements of the story feeling rather standard for a Doctor Who story, where Subterfuge succeeds is in Goldwyn's handling of the Doctor, Monk and Churchill. And the betrayals from all three characters keep things feeling fresh and interesting to listen too. While Subterfuge might not be the strongest Big Finish story for me to come out so far this year, it's still another audio that's incredibly easy to recommend!]]>
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Our Top Stories to Watch During Lockdown https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/our-top-stories-to-watch-during-lockdown/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=our-top-stories-to-watch-during-lockdown https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/our-top-stories-to-watch-during-lockdown/#respond Tue, 07 Apr 2020 13:30:00 +0000 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/?p=8437 Our Top Five Who Stories

It's weird times for us all at the moment and what better way to spend this lockdown period than watching some Who. Now that classic and modern Who is available across BritBox and Netflix (as well as those of you with your physical collections) it's never been easier to access the show.

I've rounded up the five best stories from the team which are in no particular order, just a bunch of stories we happen to love. Bookmark this page or pop back when you need more inspiration. Here we go...

Mark

Kinda

Kinda

Kinda is Doctor Who at its most inventive and original, it’s the finest story of Peter Davison’s era and one of the very best that 1980’s Who has to offer. It takes place in a literal paradise, albeit one that’s staged in a BBC recording studio on a shoestring budget. What finer location to be transported to during lockdown? Right? Well, sort of.

No Doctor Who story captures the chilling effects of isolation, toxic masculinity and the fragility of mental health like this one. Simon Rouse’s layered portrayal of the increasingly unhinged Hindle veers beautifully from chin jutting, teeth-gnashing insanity to cowering vulnerability. Although if all that sounds a bit much to deal with in the current climate, then rest assured that Kinda is ultimately a story about finding inner peace in the face of internal struggle - something we could all use a bit of right now.

Invasion of the Dinosaurs

Top Five Stories - Invasion Dinosaurs

Let’s face it, as reasons for a city-wide lockdown go, dinosaurs are much more fun than a deadly, incredibly virulent flu. The early scenes of the Doctor and Sarah investigating the deserted streets of central London are incredibly eerie and lend the story an atmosphere of mounting dread. If you throw yourself into that, you absolutely forgive the shortcomings when it comes to the titular reptiles. It’s also an early example of the show doing proper character arcs – Mike Yates’ decision is clearly rooted in his experiences during The Green Death where he sees first-hand the damaging effect that humanity has wrought on the environment.

This unfairly maligned Pertwee 6-parter deals with themes that are still incredibly relevant today, Operation Golden Age is essentially a more murderous prototype for Extinction Rebellion. The only thing that hasn’t aged so well is the laughably outdated idea that Londoners would stay indoors during a lockdown.

Delta and the Bannermen

Top Five Stories - Delta Bannermen

I get it, it’s really disappointing that your holiday has been cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation. However, it could be far worse – you could be dodging murderous aliens in 1950’s Barry Island like the ill-fated tourists in this underrated McCoy adventure!

Sure, Delta and the Bannermen is campy, cheesy and has a frankly staggering cast of characters that border on the unwieldy but it’s incredibly endearing in its whimsy. I love a dark, manipulative 7th Doctor as much as the next person, but it’s refreshing and slightly incongruous to see him cutting about Butlins, noodling on an electric guitar and offering an awkwardly affectionate shoulder to cry on to heartbroken Ray. This is light, throwaway fluff and a perfect bit of Doctor Who to raise a smile – Ken Dodd’s in it for goodness sake!

Partners in Crime

Top Five Stories - Partners Crime

Friendship is such an important part of human existence, and it’s going to be hard not to be able to hang out with our friends for the next few months. So why not hang out with best friends the 10th Doctor and Donna instead?

Partners in Crime is another light and fluffy Doctor Who story that may not set the world alight but it lights up a corner of your living room and your heart for 45 glorious minutes. This is Russell T Davies, David Tennant and Catherine Tate at the height of their powers – a daft, deliriously paced sci-fi critique of weight-loss fads that incorporates laugh-out-loud physical comedy, an action sequence involving a window cleaner’s cradle and some genuine pathos. I defy anyone to not have glistening eyes and a lump in their throat when the Doctor and Donna wave at Wilf. Here in lockdown, I’m waving right back at them.

The Three Doctors

Top Five Stories - Three Doctors

This very first multi-Doctor story is the very definition of a warm bath Doctor Who. A serialised drama equivalent of slipping your feet into a comfy pair of slippers after a long day working from your improvised office-cum-dining table.

Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton’s bickering rivalry is hilarious and has never been bettered, Nicholas Courtney is endearingly flustered and perplexed and Katy Manning is, as ever, an utter delight. It’s testament to the writing of Bob Baker and Dave Martin that something as monumental as uniting the Doctors against a threat from Timelord history feels so cosy, accessible and broadly entertaining. Indeed, Omega appeals to us all as a stark warning to keep your head during self-isolation. Stay safe, everyone.

Maria

The Curse of Peladon

Top Five Stories - Curse of Peladon

This story is a real favourite for me the kind of story that feels very traditional in a way in an era of soldiers and alien invasions. It's great seeing the Ice Warriors in colour with that marvellous hissing before they speak. Inverting it and making them the goodies too is a nice twist. There's quite a lightness in the script with Jo and the Doctor which is nice but there is one bit where he tells he to be ' Just do as I say there's a good girl' where I might have told him off!

King Peladon obviously fancies Princess Josephine from the off and I quite like his conflicted king role. There are Hepash and Torbis flighting for the Kings attention, Alpha Centauri like a dizzy aunt and its a murder mystery.I quite enjoy the politics of it all as it makes a change from aliens invading. The fight is great to watch too. Good ol' Terry Walsh

The Robots of Death

Top Five Stories - Robots Death

Robots of Death zips along very nicely as a whodunnit the enclosed environment of the ship allows the human crew to be really interesting characters each with their own gripes and paranoid thoughts. This tension within the crew mimics the pressure of the ship moving through the sandstorm. And then you have the dialogue. It is quite tightly scripted and I really enjoy some of the lines.

The Doctor: "You know, you're a classic example of the inverse ratio between the size of the mouth and the size of the brain."
The Commander about D84: "He's a D class. Dumb. He cant talk."
Leela "Has anyone told him that?."

Tom's voice and tall gait really give him authority in this story.

The script repeats words and sentences closely together many times which is a clever device to emphasise the differences supposed between fallible man & the logical machine & claustrophobic nature of the robots. My favourite line is D84 ' I heard a cry' Doctor ' That was me' over and over.:)And then there are the 'creepy mechanical men'. D84 almost feels quite human and is quite wonderful. The others with their beautiful faces and calm voices are a lie especially SV7. They are logical machines without mercy.

Snakedance

Top Five Stories - Snakedance

Peter Davison has settled into his Doctor in this story and is enthusiastic and curious. I also love his testing of Tegan in the TARDIS about Manussa and the Sumaran Empire as he leans in staring. A Tegan heavy story highlighting Janet Fielding is a decent actress. She shows some range here such as when she thinks she is six years old and her hiding from the fortune teller and then her relish and turns to evil look with the shock and fear on the fortune tellers face is a great scene in the story.

Martin Clunes is the star guest and does a brilliant portrayal of the spoilt brat bored of his position and life as the Federator's son, alongside Colette O Neill as his mother Tanha who has knows she has spoilt him too much. I like the mystery in the story and the idea of Snakedancers and Dojjen. Peter Davison handles a snake too.

The Ribos Operation

Top Five Stories - Ribos

I do love this story. Cyril Luckham's White Guardian seems deceptively casual with his garden chair/umbrella and Creme de Menthe! The ultimatum the Doctor is given really leaves him with no choice but to complete the tasks which remind me of the beginning of Genesis of the Daleks. This is the kind of story where if I want to just relax with Doctor Who I could put it on and enjoy.

It's a character piece not necessarily an action one but I find it quite satisfying. Robert Holmes does work hard to give us believable characters. Ian Cuthbertson just steals the scenes as Garron. I like the general humour in this story as it doesn't overpower the script. Mary Tamm gets a strong start as Romana and I love her and the Doctor's banter at the start. Binro is great. very moving.

The Unicorn and the Wasp

Top Five Stories - Unicorn Wasp

I love a good whodunnit and if there was one story with the 10th Doctor and Donna that is a fun watch it is this story by Gareth Roberts. The 1920’s period is again a familiar environment and Gareth Roberts plays up the genre with humour including Agatha Christie and as many of her book references as he can. Catherine Tate is given the chance to flex her comedy credentials and the back and forth between her and David Tennant playing detective as Agatha has a crisis of confidence is a true joy.

The highlight is David Tennant being poisoned and trying to detox with ginger beer, walnuts and anchovies which shows how versatile he is with comedy. It’s a charming love letter to Agatha Christie and makes me laugh. Sidecar anyone?

Jordan

The Daemons

Top Five Stories - Daemons

For me, The Daemons has always been a great Doctor Who story, and I would say its one of my favourite Doctor Who stories of all time because it gave me a great final memory of my late father. My father had a brain tumour and on the day he collapsed and fell into a coma, we watched this story in the morning. He remembered everything, Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning, UNIT, the cars which he always loved and he remembered who I was for the first time in months.

But for you dear, reader, The Daemons is an example of how a great Doctor Who story should be written and told. The script from Guy Leopold, also known as Barry Letts, is a love letter to the old hammer-horror movies with a distant location, dodgy locals and a mysterious power awakening. Visually it looks stunning as well, despite the well-known location problems of rapidly changing weather.

The cast is top form too, Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning are always excellent as the Third Doctor and Jo Grant and the whole UNIT family, including Nicholas Courtney, Richard Franklin and John Levine are having a ball. The guest cast is fantastic too, Damaris Hayman as local White-Witch Olive Hawthorne, Stephen Thorne as the Daemon himself-Azal and Roger Delgado as the Master are all joys to watch.

The Daemons is a feel-good story in between the evil villagers, giant demons, the Master being evil and the obvious shades of The Wicker Man. The whole cast is clearly having a ball, and you can clearly see how much they enjoyed working together. And if you’ve got the DVD there are some great extras on there to also enjoy!

The Horror of Fang Rock

Top Five Stories - Horror Fang Rock

You might notice a pattern here, as a horror fan, Horror of Fang Rock is a great example of how to tell a scary Doctor Who adventure. Director Paddy Russell makes the most of the small sets and Terrance Dicks proves a master at telling a hauntingly good story. What makes Horror of Fang Rock even more enjoyable is that it is the first story to be told after Philip Hinchcliffe stepped down as producer. For a time known for the scariest Doctor Who stories of all time and Graham Williams was known for steering the show more towards comedy, it goes to show how enduring Doctor Who and horror can be with the first story of his era being one of the scariest of all time.

Tom Baker and Louise Jameson are on fire in this script and you wouldn’t know that they didn't get on behind the scenes. Leela is one of my favourite companions and gets a number of comedic moments, where she doesn’t understand Victorian ethics and goes to undress in front of a man and later when she slaps a woman across the face because her racket is annoying her. Tom Baker also clearly relishes the script and the chance to get play the Doctor is perhaps one of the darkest stories of all-time where every guest character dies gruesomely.

If you like dark and scary Doctor Who stories then, Horror of Fang Rock is for you!

The Androids of Tara

Top Five Stories - Androids Tara

Everything from the fantastic performances to the bubbly script from David Fisher is enjoyable when it comes to The Androids of Tara. From the stunning sunny location at Leeds Castle to the fairy-tale feel of the whole piece, this story wears its campiness on its sleeve for everyone to see and works all the better for it. Sure, it can get a little bogged down in all its android-doppelgangers plot but it's even more enjoyable seeing the cast getting to play evil versions of their characters.

Also, highly enjoyable is Mary Tamm’s performance as the first incarnation of Romana. There is something about her pairing with Tom Baker that brings out the best of their acting chops. I think it’s the way Tamm plays the sarcasm, dry wit and genuine disbelief at the situation they find themselves in that adds the icing on this cake!

The Androids of Tara won’t fail to make you smile, even the Taran Wood Beast looks sweet and cuddly!

Black Orchid

Top Five Stories - Black Orchid

This one is perhaps the biggest surprise given how so many people give it a bad rep, but it's enjoyable. It’s a breather-episode, placed between The Visitation and the fateful Earthshock, and gives the characters and in turn, the main cast, a chance to let their hair down and have some fun. What really makes it is watching the DVD with the main-cast commentary playing and hearing their thoughts on the story. But I think they’ve missed something, because it's supposed to be a slower-paced outing, allowing Sarah Sutton to have her turn in these adventures.

Peter Davison’s first series suffered like Jodie Whittaker’s with too many companions but unlike Whittaker’s era so far, Davison’s had episodes where each companion got time to shine. Black Orchid is Nyssa’s. And the main cast works so well together. Give Black Orchid a go and you might be surprised by how enjoyable this story really is!

The Curse of Fenric

Top Five Stories - Curse Fenric

This final slot was a close winner between Curse of Fenric and Revelation of the Daleks but Curse won because of how much the Haemovores terrified me when I was younger. Fenric boasts some really unsettling scenes and if you are up-to-date on you’re Dracula and Vampire knowledge, you’ll really enjoy this one. You’ll also really enjoy this one if you are a horror fan.

It’s a shame that the BBC cancelled Doctor Who when it did because Curse of Fenric proves how good it was getting again, from impressive monster designs, great performances from the entire cast, stunning location work and a fantastic script from Ian Briggs, there are now three different ways to enjoy this story. We’ve got the transmission version, the DVD special edition version and the recently re-released VHS/Blu-Ray version.

Curse of Fenric is a story I shouldn’t like, given how much seeing things from WW2 gives me anxiety. But I love it. It’s another story that shows you how great Doctor Who can be when it's written well and has some love thrown its way. I’m always surprised it isn’t on these kinds of lists more often. The only thing that lets it down are the Halloween costume-rubber fingernails the Vampires have, but the terrifying performances from all the baddies more than make up for it! You’ll be in for a scary hour-and-a-half with Curse, but you’ll be more than glad you stuck around to see it!

Garry

Dalek

Top Five Stories - Dalek

It's a damn shame we never got to see more of Eccleston past one series. What we did get however is some fantastic stories and Dalek is a great example of that. The first time seeing the moving dustbins since Remembrance of the Daleks in Series 25 was a great experience and this story takes on a different and needed approach.

Gone are the concepts of old where you'd see a Dalek army, this time around it's a lone Dalek and this somehow makes it more menacing than ever. The performance from Eccleston in this one is amazing and the story culminates with an emotional punch you don't see coming.

The Greatest Show in the Galaxy

Top Five Stories - Greatest Show Galaxy

Talking of Series 25, it gave us two belters, Remembrance and this one, affectionately known simply as "Greatest Show". McCoy was definitely settling into his role after having a series under his belt. Couple this with the show wanting to move into a darker and more mysterious direction for the Doctor and you have some great Who unfolding.

Few people like creepy clowns and these guys are no exception. The heavy use of location shoots give it some scale and the script is both funny and sharp. Some of McCoy's best here.

The Eleventh Hour

Top Five Stories - Eleventh Hour

It's always exciting to see a new Doctor do their thing fresh after a regeneration and Matt Smith exploded on to our screen and ushered in the Moffat era of Who. To say he hit the ground running is an understatement. His performance is so solid, quirky and funny that you'd think he'd been playing the Doctor for years already.

When you throw in a decent introduction to the new companions you're all set for a cracking watch. This also introduces Murray Gold's "I am the Doctor" track which is one of my fav's (although admittedly played to death throughout Matt's era) and always gets me in the mood for Who.

Pyramids of Mars

Top Five Stories - Pyramids Mars

This was one of the first classic Who stories I watched when I jumped with both feet into the show. I was blown away by the performances and overall story. It's one that builds with intensity and serves up a foe actually worthy of the Doctor. Sutekh is wonderful, over the top and one I'd love to see make a return.

This story also has some that great old school Who design which sticks around. The eery looking mummies stalking the grounds, the Egyptian decor and vibe around the Scarman's estate, Sutekh's mask... it's all here. Oh, and did I mention the performances? Amazing.

Midnight

Top Five Stories - Midnight

If you've listened to the podcast for any length of time you'll know that the Russell T Davies era is my favourite of modern Who. The quality of character creation and development is so good and this story is an embodiment of that. It's one of those simple scripts and productions that almost feels like you're watching a play rather than a TV show. The premise of being trapped in a stranded vehicle with an invisible alien threat is great Who already but when the story gets turned upside down and the entity starts to possess the travellers along with the Doctor it's intriguing and scary in spades.

It's the mind games that really sell this one. The alien (again, invisible which makes it even scarier) has been written to manipulate and turn people against each other, playing them off each on and other's fears and paranoia. Like many great Who stories, it's the wonderful script and performances that make this one a real treat.

There you have it, our top five lists of Who to get stuck into and let's be honest, this is great Who regardless of whether we're on lockdown. Whether you've seen these or not, let us know your favourite stories in the comments below.

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Our Top Five Who Stories

It's weird times for us all at the moment and what better way to spend this lockdown period than watching some Who. Now that classic and modern Who is available across BritBox and Netflix (as well as those of you with your physical collections) it's never been easier to access the show.

I've rounded up the five best stories from the team which are in no particular order, just a bunch of stories we happen to love. Bookmark this page or pop back when you need more inspiration. Here we go...

Mark

Kinda

Kinda

Kinda is Doctor Who at its most inventive and original, it’s the finest story of Peter Davison’s era and one of the very best that 1980’s Who has to offer. It takes place in a literal paradise, albeit one that’s staged in a BBC recording studio on a shoestring budget. What finer location to be transported to during lockdown? Right? Well, sort of.

No Doctor Who story captures the chilling effects of isolation, toxic masculinity and the fragility of mental health like this one. Simon Rouse’s layered portrayal of the increasingly unhinged Hindle veers beautifully from chin jutting, teeth-gnashing insanity to cowering vulnerability. Although if all that sounds a bit much to deal with in the current climate, then rest assured that Kinda is ultimately a story about finding inner peace in the face of internal struggle - something we could all use a bit of right now.

Invasion of the Dinosaurs

Top Five Stories - Invasion Dinosaurs

Let’s face it, as reasons for a city-wide lockdown go, dinosaurs are much more fun than a deadly, incredibly virulent flu. The early scenes of the Doctor and Sarah investigating the deserted streets of central London are incredibly eerie and lend the story an atmosphere of mounting dread. If you throw yourself into that, you absolutely forgive the shortcomings when it comes to the titular reptiles. It’s also an early example of the show doing proper character arcs – Mike Yates’ decision is clearly rooted in his experiences during The Green Death where he sees first-hand the damaging effect that humanity has wrought on the environment.

This unfairly maligned Pertwee 6-parter deals with themes that are still incredibly relevant today, Operation Golden Age is essentially a more murderous prototype for Extinction Rebellion. The only thing that hasn’t aged so well is the laughably outdated idea that Londoners would stay indoors during a lockdown.

Delta and the Bannermen

Top Five Stories - Delta Bannermen

I get it, it’s really disappointing that your holiday has been cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation. However, it could be far worse – you could be dodging murderous aliens in 1950’s Barry Island like the ill-fated tourists in this underrated McCoy adventure!

Sure, Delta and the Bannermen is campy, cheesy and has a frankly staggering cast of characters that border on the unwieldy but it’s incredibly endearing in its whimsy. I love a dark, manipulative 7th Doctor as much as the next person, but it’s refreshing and slightly incongruous to see him cutting about Butlins, noodling on an electric guitar and offering an awkwardly affectionate shoulder to cry on to heartbroken Ray. This is light, throwaway fluff and a perfect bit of Doctor Who to raise a smile – Ken Dodd’s in it for goodness sake!

Partners in Crime

Top Five Stories - Partners Crime

Friendship is such an important part of human existence, and it’s going to be hard not to be able to hang out with our friends for the next few months. So why not hang out with best friends the 10th Doctor and Donna instead?

Partners in Crime is another light and fluffy Doctor Who story that may not set the world alight but it lights up a corner of your living room and your heart for 45 glorious minutes. This is Russell T Davies, David Tennant and Catherine Tate at the height of their powers – a daft, deliriously paced sci-fi critique of weight-loss fads that incorporates laugh-out-loud physical comedy, an action sequence involving a window cleaner’s cradle and some genuine pathos. I defy anyone to not have glistening eyes and a lump in their throat when the Doctor and Donna wave at Wilf. Here in lockdown, I’m waving right back at them.

The Three Doctors

Top Five Stories - Three Doctors

This very first multi-Doctor story is the very definition of a warm bath Doctor Who. A serialised drama equivalent of slipping your feet into a comfy pair of slippers after a long day working from your improvised office-cum-dining table.

Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton’s bickering rivalry is hilarious and has never been bettered, Nicholas Courtney is endearingly flustered and perplexed and Katy Manning is, as ever, an utter delight. It’s testament to the writing of Bob Baker and Dave Martin that something as monumental as uniting the Doctors against a threat from Timelord history feels so cosy, accessible and broadly entertaining. Indeed, Omega appeals to us all as a stark warning to keep your head during self-isolation. Stay safe, everyone.

Maria

The Curse of Peladon

Top Five Stories - Curse of Peladon

This story is a real favourite for me the kind of story that feels very traditional in a way in an era of soldiers and alien invasions. It's great seeing the Ice Warriors in colour with that marvellous hissing before they speak. Inverting it and making them the goodies too is a nice twist. There's quite a lightness in the script with Jo and the Doctor which is nice but there is one bit where he tells he to be ' Just do as I say there's a good girl' where I might have told him off!

King Peladon obviously fancies Princess Josephine from the off and I quite like his conflicted king role. There are Hepash and Torbis flighting for the Kings attention, Alpha Centauri like a dizzy aunt and its a murder mystery.I quite enjoy the politics of it all as it makes a change from aliens invading. The fight is great to watch too. Good ol' Terry Walsh

The Robots of Death

Top Five Stories - Robots Death

Robots of Death zips along very nicely as a whodunnit the enclosed environment of the ship allows the human crew to be really interesting characters each with their own gripes and paranoid thoughts. This tension within the crew mimics the pressure of the ship moving through the sandstorm. And then you have the dialogue. It is quite tightly scripted and I really enjoy some of the lines.

The Doctor: "You know, you're a classic example of the inverse ratio between the size of the mouth and the size of the brain."
The Commander about D84: "He's a D class. Dumb. He cant talk."
Leela "Has anyone told him that?."

Tom's voice and tall gait really give him authority in this story.

The script repeats words and sentences closely together many times which is a clever device to emphasise the differences supposed between fallible man & the logical machine & claustrophobic nature of the robots. My favourite line is D84 ' I heard a cry' Doctor ' That was me' over and over.:)And then there are the 'creepy mechanical men'. D84 almost feels quite human and is quite wonderful. The others with their beautiful faces and calm voices are a lie especially SV7. They are logical machines without mercy.

Snakedance

Top Five Stories - Snakedance

Peter Davison has settled into his Doctor in this story and is enthusiastic and curious. I also love his testing of Tegan in the TARDIS about Manussa and the Sumaran Empire as he leans in staring. A Tegan heavy story highlighting Janet Fielding is a decent actress. She shows some range here such as when she thinks she is six years old and her hiding from the fortune teller and then her relish and turns to evil look with the shock and fear on the fortune tellers face is a great scene in the story.

Martin Clunes is the star guest and does a brilliant portrayal of the spoilt brat bored of his position and life as the Federator's son, alongside Colette O Neill as his mother Tanha who has knows she has spoilt him too much. I like the mystery in the story and the idea of Snakedancers and Dojjen. Peter Davison handles a snake too.

The Ribos Operation

Top Five Stories - Ribos

I do love this story. Cyril Luckham's White Guardian seems deceptively casual with his garden chair/umbrella and Creme de Menthe! The ultimatum the Doctor is given really leaves him with no choice but to complete the tasks which remind me of the beginning of Genesis of the Daleks. This is the kind of story where if I want to just relax with Doctor Who I could put it on and enjoy.

It's a character piece not necessarily an action one but I find it quite satisfying. Robert Holmes does work hard to give us believable characters. Ian Cuthbertson just steals the scenes as Garron. I like the general humour in this story as it doesn't overpower the script. Mary Tamm gets a strong start as Romana and I love her and the Doctor's banter at the start. Binro is great. very moving.

The Unicorn and the Wasp

Top Five Stories - Unicorn Wasp

I love a good whodunnit and if there was one story with the 10th Doctor and Donna that is a fun watch it is this story by Gareth Roberts. The 1920’s period is again a familiar environment and Gareth Roberts plays up the genre with humour including Agatha Christie and as many of her book references as he can. Catherine Tate is given the chance to flex her comedy credentials and the back and forth between her and David Tennant playing detective as Agatha has a crisis of confidence is a true joy.

The highlight is David Tennant being poisoned and trying to detox with ginger beer, walnuts and anchovies which shows how versatile he is with comedy. It’s a charming love letter to Agatha Christie and makes me laugh. Sidecar anyone?

Jordan

The Daemons

Top Five Stories - Daemons

For me, The Daemons has always been a great Doctor Who story, and I would say its one of my favourite Doctor Who stories of all time because it gave me a great final memory of my late father. My father had a brain tumour and on the day he collapsed and fell into a coma, we watched this story in the morning. He remembered everything, Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning, UNIT, the cars which he always loved and he remembered who I was for the first time in months.

But for you dear, reader, The Daemons is an example of how a great Doctor Who story should be written and told. The script from Guy Leopold, also known as Barry Letts, is a love letter to the old hammer-horror movies with a distant location, dodgy locals and a mysterious power awakening. Visually it looks stunning as well, despite the well-known location problems of rapidly changing weather.

The cast is top form too, Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning are always excellent as the Third Doctor and Jo Grant and the whole UNIT family, including Nicholas Courtney, Richard Franklin and John Levine are having a ball. The guest cast is fantastic too, Damaris Hayman as local White-Witch Olive Hawthorne, Stephen Thorne as the Daemon himself-Azal and Roger Delgado as the Master are all joys to watch.

The Daemons is a feel-good story in between the evil villagers, giant demons, the Master being evil and the obvious shades of The Wicker Man. The whole cast is clearly having a ball, and you can clearly see how much they enjoyed working together. And if you’ve got the DVD there are some great extras on there to also enjoy!

The Horror of Fang Rock

Top Five Stories - Horror Fang Rock

You might notice a pattern here, as a horror fan, Horror of Fang Rock is a great example of how to tell a scary Doctor Who adventure. Director Paddy Russell makes the most of the small sets and Terrance Dicks proves a master at telling a hauntingly good story. What makes Horror of Fang Rock even more enjoyable is that it is the first story to be told after Philip Hinchcliffe stepped down as producer. For a time known for the scariest Doctor Who stories of all time and Graham Williams was known for steering the show more towards comedy, it goes to show how enduring Doctor Who and horror can be with the first story of his era being one of the scariest of all time.

Tom Baker and Louise Jameson are on fire in this script and you wouldn’t know that they didn't get on behind the scenes. Leela is one of my favourite companions and gets a number of comedic moments, where she doesn’t understand Victorian ethics and goes to undress in front of a man and later when she slaps a woman across the face because her racket is annoying her. Tom Baker also clearly relishes the script and the chance to get play the Doctor is perhaps one of the darkest stories of all-time where every guest character dies gruesomely.

If you like dark and scary Doctor Who stories then, Horror of Fang Rock is for you!

The Androids of Tara

Top Five Stories - Androids Tara

Everything from the fantastic performances to the bubbly script from David Fisher is enjoyable when it comes to The Androids of Tara. From the stunning sunny location at Leeds Castle to the fairy-tale feel of the whole piece, this story wears its campiness on its sleeve for everyone to see and works all the better for it. Sure, it can get a little bogged down in all its android-doppelgangers plot but it's even more enjoyable seeing the cast getting to play evil versions of their characters.

Also, highly enjoyable is Mary Tamm’s performance as the first incarnation of Romana. There is something about her pairing with Tom Baker that brings out the best of their acting chops. I think it’s the way Tamm plays the sarcasm, dry wit and genuine disbelief at the situation they find themselves in that adds the icing on this cake!

The Androids of Tara won’t fail to make you smile, even the Taran Wood Beast looks sweet and cuddly!

Black Orchid

Top Five Stories - Black Orchid

This one is perhaps the biggest surprise given how so many people give it a bad rep, but it's enjoyable. It’s a breather-episode, placed between The Visitation and the fateful Earthshock, and gives the characters and in turn, the main cast, a chance to let their hair down and have some fun. What really makes it is watching the DVD with the main-cast commentary playing and hearing their thoughts on the story. But I think they’ve missed something, because it's supposed to be a slower-paced outing, allowing Sarah Sutton to have her turn in these adventures.

Peter Davison’s first series suffered like Jodie Whittaker’s with too many companions but unlike Whittaker’s era so far, Davison’s had episodes where each companion got time to shine. Black Orchid is Nyssa’s. And the main cast works so well together. Give Black Orchid a go and you might be surprised by how enjoyable this story really is!

The Curse of Fenric

Top Five Stories - Curse Fenric

This final slot was a close winner between Curse of Fenric and Revelation of the Daleks but Curse won because of how much the Haemovores terrified me when I was younger. Fenric boasts some really unsettling scenes and if you are up-to-date on you’re Dracula and Vampire knowledge, you’ll really enjoy this one. You’ll also really enjoy this one if you are a horror fan.

It’s a shame that the BBC cancelled Doctor Who when it did because Curse of Fenric proves how good it was getting again, from impressive monster designs, great performances from the entire cast, stunning location work and a fantastic script from Ian Briggs, there are now three different ways to enjoy this story. We’ve got the transmission version, the DVD special edition version and the recently re-released VHS/Blu-Ray version.

Curse of Fenric is a story I shouldn’t like, given how much seeing things from WW2 gives me anxiety. But I love it. It’s another story that shows you how great Doctor Who can be when it's written well and has some love thrown its way. I’m always surprised it isn’t on these kinds of lists more often. The only thing that lets it down are the Halloween costume-rubber fingernails the Vampires have, but the terrifying performances from all the baddies more than make up for it! You’ll be in for a scary hour-and-a-half with Curse, but you’ll be more than glad you stuck around to see it!

Garry

Dalek

Top Five Stories - Dalek

It's a damn shame we never got to see more of Eccleston past one series. What we did get however is some fantastic stories and Dalek is a great example of that. The first time seeing the moving dustbins since Remembrance of the Daleks in Series 25 was a great experience and this story takes on a different and needed approach.

Gone are the concepts of old where you'd see a Dalek army, this time around it's a lone Dalek and this somehow makes it more menacing than ever. The performance from Eccleston in this one is amazing and the story culminates with an emotional punch you don't see coming.

The Greatest Show in the Galaxy

Top Five Stories - Greatest Show Galaxy

Talking of Series 25, it gave us two belters, Remembrance and this one, affectionately known simply as "Greatest Show". McCoy was definitely settling into his role after having a series under his belt. Couple this with the show wanting to move into a darker and more mysterious direction for the Doctor and you have some great Who unfolding.

Few people like creepy clowns and these guys are no exception. The heavy use of location shoots give it some scale and the script is both funny and sharp. Some of McCoy's best here.

The Eleventh Hour

Top Five Stories - Eleventh Hour

It's always exciting to see a new Doctor do their thing fresh after a regeneration and Matt Smith exploded on to our screen and ushered in the Moffat era of Who. To say he hit the ground running is an understatement. His performance is so solid, quirky and funny that you'd think he'd been playing the Doctor for years already.

When you throw in a decent introduction to the new companions you're all set for a cracking watch. This also introduces Murray Gold's "I am the Doctor" track which is one of my fav's (although admittedly played to death throughout Matt's era) and always gets me in the mood for Who.

Pyramids of Mars

Top Five Stories - Pyramids Mars

This was one of the first classic Who stories I watched when I jumped with both feet into the show. I was blown away by the performances and overall story. It's one that builds with intensity and serves up a foe actually worthy of the Doctor. Sutekh is wonderful, over the top and one I'd love to see make a return.

This story also has some that great old school Who design which sticks around. The eery looking mummies stalking the grounds, the Egyptian decor and vibe around the Scarman's estate, Sutekh's mask... it's all here. Oh, and did I mention the performances? Amazing.

Midnight

Top Five Stories - Midnight

If you've listened to the podcast for any length of time you'll know that the Russell T Davies era is my favourite of modern Who. The quality of character creation and development is so good and this story is an embodiment of that. It's one of those simple scripts and productions that almost feels like you're watching a play rather than a TV show. The premise of being trapped in a stranded vehicle with an invisible alien threat is great Who already but when the story gets turned upside down and the entity starts to possess the travellers along with the Doctor it's intriguing and scary in spades.

It's the mind games that really sell this one. The alien (again, invisible which makes it even scarier) has been written to manipulate and turn people against each other, playing them off each on and other's fears and paranoia. Like many great Who stories, it's the wonderful script and performances that make this one a real treat.

There you have it, our top five lists of Who to get stuck into and let's be honest, this is great Who regardless of whether we're on lockdown. Whether you've seen these or not, let us know your favourite stories in the comments below.

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Post-live stream waffle and back to Torchwood for our End of Days review https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/ep261/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ep261 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/ep261/#respond Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:56:58 +0000 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/?p=8416 The Big Blue Box Podcast - Episode 261

Quiet on the news and merch this week but plenty of waffle after our first joint line stream the night before.

Review story this week is: Torchwood - End of Days

We've reached the end of Series 1 and as you know, we felt it's been up and down but can the finale bring a strong end for Jack and the Torchwood Three?

Thank you all for listening this week. Next week our review is the 10th Doctor story - Utopia. Until then have a great week, take care of yourselves, stay healthy and remember – Allons-y!

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The Big Blue Box Podcast - Episode 261

Quiet on the news and merch this week but plenty of waffle after our first joint line stream the night before.

Review story this week is: Torchwood - End of Days

We've reached the end of Series 1 and as you know, we felt it's been up and down but can the finale bring a strong end for Jack and the Torchwood Three?

Thank you all for listening this week. Next week our review is the 10th Doctor story - Utopia. Until then have a great week, take care of yourselves, stay healthy and remember – Allons-y!

]]>
https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/ep261/feed/ 0 8416
My Doctor Who Pitch: Series 2 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/my-doctor-who-pitch-series-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=my-doctor-who-pitch-series-2 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/my-doctor-who-pitch-series-2/#respond Thu, 02 Apr 2020 09:00:20 +0000 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/?p=8286

In my last article, I outlined what I would like with a debut series of Doctor Who if I ever, hypothetically got the chance to write and fill the role of executive producer of our favourite show. Since the first article seemed to go down well and I have introduced the main players, The Doctor and his companions, George, Elisabeth and Nate, this is my outline for a prospective second series.

The Series:

In this second series, with the Doctor travelling with three companions, the stories would be much larger in scope, allowing each character to get their time to shine and show us why each one deserves to be there. Series 2 would also see past villains returning in the modern era, as well as the introduction of new villains; The Harvesters, The Rage Machine and The Quiet Ones. [caption id="attachment_8351" align="aligncenter" width="525"]I really like the classic-look for the interiors of the TARDIS. So in my series, I would go back to these 'desktop-themes'. I think I would like something like Doctor Ruth's TARDIS. I really like the classic-look for the interiors of the TARDIS. So in my series, I would go back to these 'desktop-themes'. I think I would like something like Doctor Ruth's TARDIS.[/caption] This second season would also see the return of the Meddling Monk and the Valeyard who will team up to see the Doctor destroyed in the three-part finale, which will take place through the Hundred-Year-War. This three-part adventure will also see Elisabeth Watts bow out of the series in a dramatic way, with her pretending to be Joan of Arc, following the Monk killing the real-historical figure. Of course, the moment she does this, the Doctor is rendered powerless to save her, without the TARDIS or any hope of rescue, she really does take Joan of Arc's place in history. This forces a wedge between the Doctor, George and Nate who decide to leave too and at the end of the finale, the Doctor agrees to take them home, which leads into the Christmas Special, Silent Night. Of course, the second series will feature a selection of stories from the past, present and future, and will range from sci-fi adventures to horror stories, with a two-part story, featuring new monsters, The Harvesters and being a tribute to the old 70s/80s slasher-films. And we'd introduce our first pure-historical adventure in the form of The Mad Monk, which would see the Doctor and the gang coming up against Rasputin. [caption id="attachment_8353" align="aligncenter" width="512"]I would re-introduce The Meddling Monk to the series, tying it in with the Big Finish audios with the Monk out for revenge following the death of his companion, Tamsin Drew. I would re-introduce The Meddling Monk to the series, tying it in with the Big Finish audios with the Monk out for revenge following the death of his companion, Tamsin Drew.[/caption] We did a list of main characters in the last article and as none of the Doctor's companions or the Doctor themselves has changed, all we need to know is that the Doctor has become somewhat more reckless, taking his friends around the universe with little regard of the risks of doing so. This reckless streak comes to an end with the finale and the Christmas Special.

Recurring Characters:

The Meddling Monk The Meddling Monk met the Doctor in 1066, then during The Daleks' Masterplan and later opposite the Eighth Doctor when the Daleks invaded Earth a second time. The Monk's companion, Tamsin Drew died in that story and now the Monk is out for revenge. He's come up with a brilliant plan, cause a temporal- tsunami to knock the TARDIS out of the time-vortex and virtually destroy it and then take out the Doctor. To do so, he's travelled back in time and murdered Joan of Arc. The resulting paradox drastically changes the future and only the Doctor, Elisabeth, George and Nate know what's happened. But the moment they step out of the TARDIS, they fall into the Monk's trap. While hundreds of years have passed for the Doctor, the death of Tamsin has only recently taken place for the Monk and he is still grieving the passing of his friend. The Valeyard Still evil and manipulating things from behind the scenes. We've first seen this shadowy figure in the previous Christmas Special and he appears throughout the course of this series showing us how he is manipulating things from behind the scenes. He's laying his own trap for the Doctor and a part of that trap is the Meddling Monk. He's been recruited by Gallifrey to bring the Doctor in. The Celestial Intervention Agency has hired The Valeyard as the last resort. In the end, The Valeyard, in a random act of kindness, releases the Doctor from his clutches and he, instead of the Doctor, return George and Nate to Earth in modern-day. [caption id="attachment_8354" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Series 2 would also include the return of the Valeyard, this time working for the Time Lords and the Celestial Intervention Agency who want to capture the Doctor. Series 2 would also include the return of the Valeyard, this time working for the Time Lords and the Celestial Intervention Agency who want to capture the Doctor.[/caption]

Series 2:

1. The Gaslight Murders The infamous ripper has been terrorising London for weeks and people are living in fear of being his next victim. When the Doctor, George, Elisabeth and Nate arrive they are quickly thrust into the investigation. George and Nate call London home but this is history and a much darker period for the city and its something of a culture shock. Elisabeth soon finds herself as bait and out on the streets of London. She comes face-to-face with Jack and faces the idea of becoming his next victim. Meanwhile, the Doctor has found something interesting in the sewers, a nest of Weevils are living under London and they are hungry. Could Jack the Ripper and the Weevils actually be one-and-the-same? 2. Mr. Sandman Returning to modern-day, the Doctor and friends find people living in fear in a small village. They talk of monsters who stalk the streets at night and people seems to be mutating into strange creatures. UNIT has been called in to discover what's going on and they've locked the village down. But people aren't waking up and... What's that? Is there something in your eye? The Sandman are coming, they're going to lull the world to sleep. And they are going to feed... [caption id="attachment_8355" align="aligncenter" width="550"]The Weevils would return to run amok in Victorian London in The Gaslight Murders The Weevils would return to run amok in Victorian London in The Gaslight Murders[/caption] 3. The Harvesters Part 1 When the TARDIS brings the Doctor and friends to a garbage-scow in the far future, they quickly discover that things aren't quite right. The ship's engines have failed and they are stuck in space, with limited life support. The crew of the garbage-scow are terrified of this sector of space and are trying desperately to escape and are about to mutiny. And then, a lone ship docks. But this is Harvester territory and while the Doctor tries to get the scow's-engines up and running again, the Spare Part People are coming... 4. The Spare-Part People Part 2 The Harvesters were always just a space legend. A species so ravaged by a plague that they turned on one another, stealing the healthiest organs from one another to keep themselves alive. And then they discovered space travel. Now they are a scourge on the galaxy, a dark legend whispered between captains of space-faring vessels. But the Spare-Part People aren't a legend. They are very, very real. They are looking for new body-parts and the crew of this garbage-scow will do nicely. With George in their clutches, the Doctor, Elisabeth and Nate must launch a daring rescue attempt to get him back. But the Harvesters aren't as defenceless as it first seems... [caption id="attachment_8356" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Mr. Sandman would see the return of the titular Sandmen Mr. Sandman would see the return of the titular Sandmen[/caption] 5. Dreaming of Water Following on from their narrow escape from the Harvesters, the TARDIS brings the Doctor and friends to the Antarctic and research base hidden there. They have just discovered a new virus in the ice, the previous crew of the base having succumbed to it. The virus causes the skin at the bottom of the face to crack and the body creates large amounts of water that drips constantly from the victim. The Doctor has seen this before and thought he defeated it. The Flood has made its way to Earth and gained itself a foothold on the planet. From the cold waters, it won't be long before the Flood makes its way into the larger oceans and lakes. And then it will dominate the planet. 6. The Green House Malcolm Blaine is a very rich man. And like many rich men, he's got plenty of hobbies. One of which is horticulture. He takes after his uncle in that respect and he's finally been allowed into the old Chase estate. Digging through the decades-old-wreckage of his Uncle Harrison's house Malcolm finds a pod. He's heard the rumours of course of a large monster which crushed the house, before being blown up and a strange man who defeated the monster. But monsters don't exist and those stories were made up by people jealous of his uncle's successes. Taking it back to his own mansion, he places it in his Green House and watches the pod germinate. The Krynoid is alive again and now the Plant-Revolution can begin. [caption id="attachment_8357" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]For me, The Flood are one of the scariest monsters to have ever featured in the show, so they'll make a return in the story, Dreaming of Water For me, The Flood are one of the scariest monsters to have ever featured in the show, so they'll make a return in the story, Dreaming of Water[/caption] 7. Seeing Red In a distant colony in the far future, the Doctor and friends find themselves in Prosperity, a colony where crime and anger, jealously and hatred have been eliminated. It's all thanks to the planet's strange properties. But these people have never experienced anger and negative emotions. That's where The Rage Machine comes in, an exciting opportunity to experience some of humanity's more primal urges. But unknown to the population, the Rage Machine is malfunctioning and is being tainted by the anger, rage and hatred that's it's being fed. It's mutating and it wants more food. And the population of Prosperity are ripe for the picking. Can the Doctor, George, Elisabeth and Nate put an end to the machine before it gets too powerful and can they save the people of Prosperity when all they can see is pure rage? 8. The Mad Monk Landing in Russia in December 1916, the TARDIS crew find a country in the grips of a small war against one man. While the First World-War rages across the fields of Europe, Russia is trying to kill Grigori Rasputin. With the TARDIS taken from the streets, the Doctor has to grapple with the KGB to get it back. Meanwhile, George, Nate and Elisabeth find themselves embroiled in the assassination plans of Rasputin. Struggling to survive in these harsh times, George and Nate have to keep their friends close and their enemies closer while Elisabeth falls under the magnetic spell of The Mad Monk himself... [caption id="attachment_8358" align="aligncenter" width="700"]The Green House would see the return of the Krynoid's and work as a direct sequel to The Seeds of Doom. The Green House would see the return of the Krynoid's and work as a direct sequel to The Seeds of Doom.[/caption] 9. The Doctor Trap: Part 1 When a temporal tsunami knocks the TARDIS out of the vortex, the Doctor and the gang find themselves stuck in France in 1431. The Future has been drastically changed and George and Nate can't return, if they do that, they would be assimilated into the new world. They've got no choice to stay where they are. But even the TARDIS holds no sanctuary as the temporal tsunami has destroyed much of its innards. It doesn't take the Doctor long to work out what happened. At the end of May 1431, Joan of Arc was supposed to die, but someone has killed her before her time. And that person is his old enemy, The Meddling Monk. The Doctor has fallen for his trap and the Monk is out for revenge... 10. The Hundred-Year War: Part 2 With the Doctor facing off against the machinations of the Meddling Monk, George, Elisabeth and Nate have to keep a low profile. Sent away by the Doctor, they find themselves in a small town in Normandy and they are taken in by a kindly old man. The old man allows them to stay in his chateau for as long as they need. But the Hundred-Year War isn't far away and they might find themselves conscripted to the war effort. But this is a trap too, the seemingly kindly old man is nothing of the sort. He knows Joan of Arc is dead and one of the travellers he's given sanctuary happens to be a woman. He is the Valeyard and both the Doctor and the Monk have fallen for his trap. [caption id="attachment_8359" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]The three part finale will see the Doctor and the gang getting caught up in the Hundred-Year War and the death of Joan of Arc The three part finale will see the Doctor and the gang getting caught up in the Hundred-Year War and the death of Joan of Arc[/caption] 11. The Maid of Orleans: Part 3 With Elisabeth wrongly imprisoned by the British for believing her to be Joan of Arc, she faces an uncertain future. George and Nate have to work their way out of the military and the days are ticking down, Joan was burnt at the stake on the 30th May. The Doctor knows this too, and he and the Monk must work together to escape the clutches of the Valeyard and his paymasters; the Celestial Intervention Agency. It's a literal battle against time as the shockwaves from the Monks initial actions are beginning to ripple backwards, changing the outcome of thousands of events. Elisabeth's worked it out. Joan of Arc was supposed to die, this was the action that changed the future and when she confesses to being Joan, history is set back on track. Now she has to burn and there is nothing the Doctor, George, Nate, the Monk, The  Valeyard or even the Time Lords can do to stop it... 12. Silent Night: Christmas Special Following the death of their friend Elisabeth and the inactions of the Doctor, the Valeyard brought George and Nate back to Earth. But the Doctor's returned too, only he's discovered the city of London has lost its voice. With Christmas approaching, the legendary Quiet Ones have escaped their imprisonment thanks to the temporal wave in the previous adventure. Now they have stolen the voices of everyone in London for themselves and are walking through the streets, using their new voices to kill anyone they come across. Can the Doctor, George and Nate become friends again in time to stop the Quiet Ones, or will they too lose their voices? [caption id="attachment_8360" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]The Maid of Orleans will see Elisabeth Watts bow out of the series in a dramatic way and become immortalised as the legendary, Joan of Arc The Maid of Orleans will see Elisabeth Watts bow out of the series in a dramatic way and become immortalised as the legendary, Joan of Arc[/caption] That is a brief overview of the second series of the show if I were in charge, and the stories I'd like to tell. While I don't normally like my companions to depart in shocking ways, fates which have befallen a lot of the Doctor's other friends, particularly in the modern era, Elisabeth's death is as much a part of the Doctor's storyline as it is hers. These first two series will see a Doctor who is much more bold and adventurous, almost like the dangers of the universe have been forgotten and across the series, the companions will be put in more and more dangerous situations because the Doctor isn't paying attention. For Elisabeth, her act of self-sacrifice is something that will be building up from the first series two-parter, The Fall of the House of Watts. At the end of that story, her family can't accept that she's changed, as well as having to go through the death of their other daughter and Elisabeth's sister, they disown her. This act casts Elisabeth adrift from everyone else, and she becomes a much broodier version of the character that we've known. But she is also far from daft and understands that she is sacrificing herself. She's doing it to save the lives of her friends George and Nate and save everyone in the future. She'll be a tragic historic companion, much like Katerina who sacrificed herself in The Daleks' Masterplan. Her death and the Doctor's inability to save her forces a wedge between the Doctor, George and Nate and they all part company while they come to terms with the realities of time-travel and the death of their friend. And for those wondering where the Daleks and the Cybermen have been, with past producers introducing and using them in their first series, I want to keep them away to be the big baddies, using them in the ways they should be. The Daleks and Cybermen are creatures that the Doctor dreads turning up and as such, should be used sparingly. But don't worry, because the Daleks are going to make an explosive comeback in the series three finale...]]>

In my last article, I outlined what I would like with a debut series of Doctor Who if I ever, hypothetically got the chance to write and fill the role of executive producer of our favourite show. Since the first article seemed to go down well and I have introduced the main players, The Doctor and his companions, George, Elisabeth and Nate, this is my outline for a prospective second series.

The Series:

In this second series, with the Doctor travelling with three companions, the stories would be much larger in scope, allowing each character to get their time to shine and show us why each one deserves to be there. Series 2 would also see past villains returning in the modern era, as well as the introduction of new villains; The Harvesters, The Rage Machine and The Quiet Ones. [caption id="attachment_8351" align="aligncenter" width="525"]I really like the classic-look for the interiors of the TARDIS. So in my series, I would go back to these 'desktop-themes'. I think I would like something like Doctor Ruth's TARDIS. I really like the classic-look for the interiors of the TARDIS. So in my series, I would go back to these 'desktop-themes'. I think I would like something like Doctor Ruth's TARDIS.[/caption] This second season would also see the return of the Meddling Monk and the Valeyard who will team up to see the Doctor destroyed in the three-part finale, which will take place through the Hundred-Year-War. This three-part adventure will also see Elisabeth Watts bow out of the series in a dramatic way, with her pretending to be Joan of Arc, following the Monk killing the real-historical figure. Of course, the moment she does this, the Doctor is rendered powerless to save her, without the TARDIS or any hope of rescue, she really does take Joan of Arc's place in history. This forces a wedge between the Doctor, George and Nate who decide to leave too and at the end of the finale, the Doctor agrees to take them home, which leads into the Christmas Special, Silent Night. Of course, the second series will feature a selection of stories from the past, present and future, and will range from sci-fi adventures to horror stories, with a two-part story, featuring new monsters, The Harvesters and being a tribute to the old 70s/80s slasher-films. And we'd introduce our first pure-historical adventure in the form of The Mad Monk, which would see the Doctor and the gang coming up against Rasputin. [caption id="attachment_8353" align="aligncenter" width="512"]I would re-introduce The Meddling Monk to the series, tying it in with the Big Finish audios with the Monk out for revenge following the death of his companion, Tamsin Drew. I would re-introduce The Meddling Monk to the series, tying it in with the Big Finish audios with the Monk out for revenge following the death of his companion, Tamsin Drew.[/caption] We did a list of main characters in the last article and as none of the Doctor's companions or the Doctor themselves has changed, all we need to know is that the Doctor has become somewhat more reckless, taking his friends around the universe with little regard of the risks of doing so. This reckless streak comes to an end with the finale and the Christmas Special.

Recurring Characters:

The Meddling Monk The Meddling Monk met the Doctor in 1066, then during The Daleks' Masterplan and later opposite the Eighth Doctor when the Daleks invaded Earth a second time. The Monk's companion, Tamsin Drew died in that story and now the Monk is out for revenge. He's come up with a brilliant plan, cause a temporal- tsunami to knock the TARDIS out of the time-vortex and virtually destroy it and then take out the Doctor. To do so, he's travelled back in time and murdered Joan of Arc. The resulting paradox drastically changes the future and only the Doctor, Elisabeth, George and Nate know what's happened. But the moment they step out of the TARDIS, they fall into the Monk's trap. While hundreds of years have passed for the Doctor, the death of Tamsin has only recently taken place for the Monk and he is still grieving the passing of his friend. The Valeyard Still evil and manipulating things from behind the scenes. We've first seen this shadowy figure in the previous Christmas Special and he appears throughout the course of this series showing us how he is manipulating things from behind the scenes. He's laying his own trap for the Doctor and a part of that trap is the Meddling Monk. He's been recruited by Gallifrey to bring the Doctor in. The Celestial Intervention Agency has hired The Valeyard as the last resort. In the end, The Valeyard, in a random act of kindness, releases the Doctor from his clutches and he, instead of the Doctor, return George and Nate to Earth in modern-day. [caption id="attachment_8354" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Series 2 would also include the return of the Valeyard, this time working for the Time Lords and the Celestial Intervention Agency who want to capture the Doctor. Series 2 would also include the return of the Valeyard, this time working for the Time Lords and the Celestial Intervention Agency who want to capture the Doctor.[/caption]

Series 2:

1. The Gaslight Murders The infamous ripper has been terrorising London for weeks and people are living in fear of being his next victim. When the Doctor, George, Elisabeth and Nate arrive they are quickly thrust into the investigation. George and Nate call London home but this is history and a much darker period for the city and its something of a culture shock. Elisabeth soon finds herself as bait and out on the streets of London. She comes face-to-face with Jack and faces the idea of becoming his next victim. Meanwhile, the Doctor has found something interesting in the sewers, a nest of Weevils are living under London and they are hungry. Could Jack the Ripper and the Weevils actually be one-and-the-same? 2. Mr. Sandman Returning to modern-day, the Doctor and friends find people living in fear in a small village. They talk of monsters who stalk the streets at night and people seems to be mutating into strange creatures. UNIT has been called in to discover what's going on and they've locked the village down. But people aren't waking up and... What's that? Is there something in your eye? The Sandman are coming, they're going to lull the world to sleep. And they are going to feed... [caption id="attachment_8355" align="aligncenter" width="550"]The Weevils would return to run amok in Victorian London in The Gaslight Murders The Weevils would return to run amok in Victorian London in The Gaslight Murders[/caption] 3. The Harvesters Part 1 When the TARDIS brings the Doctor and friends to a garbage-scow in the far future, they quickly discover that things aren't quite right. The ship's engines have failed and they are stuck in space, with limited life support. The crew of the garbage-scow are terrified of this sector of space and are trying desperately to escape and are about to mutiny. And then, a lone ship docks. But this is Harvester territory and while the Doctor tries to get the scow's-engines up and running again, the Spare Part People are coming... 4. The Spare-Part People Part 2 The Harvesters were always just a space legend. A species so ravaged by a plague that they turned on one another, stealing the healthiest organs from one another to keep themselves alive. And then they discovered space travel. Now they are a scourge on the galaxy, a dark legend whispered between captains of space-faring vessels. But the Spare-Part People aren't a legend. They are very, very real. They are looking for new body-parts and the crew of this garbage-scow will do nicely. With George in their clutches, the Doctor, Elisabeth and Nate must launch a daring rescue attempt to get him back. But the Harvesters aren't as defenceless as it first seems... [caption id="attachment_8356" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Mr. Sandman would see the return of the titular Sandmen Mr. Sandman would see the return of the titular Sandmen[/caption] 5. Dreaming of Water Following on from their narrow escape from the Harvesters, the TARDIS brings the Doctor and friends to the Antarctic and research base hidden there. They have just discovered a new virus in the ice, the previous crew of the base having succumbed to it. The virus causes the skin at the bottom of the face to crack and the body creates large amounts of water that drips constantly from the victim. The Doctor has seen this before and thought he defeated it. The Flood has made its way to Earth and gained itself a foothold on the planet. From the cold waters, it won't be long before the Flood makes its way into the larger oceans and lakes. And then it will dominate the planet. 6. The Green House Malcolm Blaine is a very rich man. And like many rich men, he's got plenty of hobbies. One of which is horticulture. He takes after his uncle in that respect and he's finally been allowed into the old Chase estate. Digging through the decades-old-wreckage of his Uncle Harrison's house Malcolm finds a pod. He's heard the rumours of course of a large monster which crushed the house, before being blown up and a strange man who defeated the monster. But monsters don't exist and those stories were made up by people jealous of his uncle's successes. Taking it back to his own mansion, he places it in his Green House and watches the pod germinate. The Krynoid is alive again and now the Plant-Revolution can begin. [caption id="attachment_8357" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]For me, The Flood are one of the scariest monsters to have ever featured in the show, so they'll make a return in the story, Dreaming of Water For me, The Flood are one of the scariest monsters to have ever featured in the show, so they'll make a return in the story, Dreaming of Water[/caption] 7. Seeing Red In a distant colony in the far future, the Doctor and friends find themselves in Prosperity, a colony where crime and anger, jealously and hatred have been eliminated. It's all thanks to the planet's strange properties. But these people have never experienced anger and negative emotions. That's where The Rage Machine comes in, an exciting opportunity to experience some of humanity's more primal urges. But unknown to the population, the Rage Machine is malfunctioning and is being tainted by the anger, rage and hatred that's it's being fed. It's mutating and it wants more food. And the population of Prosperity are ripe for the picking. Can the Doctor, George, Elisabeth and Nate put an end to the machine before it gets too powerful and can they save the people of Prosperity when all they can see is pure rage? 8. The Mad Monk Landing in Russia in December 1916, the TARDIS crew find a country in the grips of a small war against one man. While the First World-War rages across the fields of Europe, Russia is trying to kill Grigori Rasputin. With the TARDIS taken from the streets, the Doctor has to grapple with the KGB to get it back. Meanwhile, George, Nate and Elisabeth find themselves embroiled in the assassination plans of Rasputin. Struggling to survive in these harsh times, George and Nate have to keep their friends close and their enemies closer while Elisabeth falls under the magnetic spell of The Mad Monk himself... [caption id="attachment_8358" align="aligncenter" width="700"]The Green House would see the return of the Krynoid's and work as a direct sequel to The Seeds of Doom. The Green House would see the return of the Krynoid's and work as a direct sequel to The Seeds of Doom.[/caption] 9. The Doctor Trap: Part 1 When a temporal tsunami knocks the TARDIS out of the vortex, the Doctor and the gang find themselves stuck in France in 1431. The Future has been drastically changed and George and Nate can't return, if they do that, they would be assimilated into the new world. They've got no choice to stay where they are. But even the TARDIS holds no sanctuary as the temporal tsunami has destroyed much of its innards. It doesn't take the Doctor long to work out what happened. At the end of May 1431, Joan of Arc was supposed to die, but someone has killed her before her time. And that person is his old enemy, The Meddling Monk. The Doctor has fallen for his trap and the Monk is out for revenge... 10. The Hundred-Year War: Part 2 With the Doctor facing off against the machinations of the Meddling Monk, George, Elisabeth and Nate have to keep a low profile. Sent away by the Doctor, they find themselves in a small town in Normandy and they are taken in by a kindly old man. The old man allows them to stay in his chateau for as long as they need. But the Hundred-Year War isn't far away and they might find themselves conscripted to the war effort. But this is a trap too, the seemingly kindly old man is nothing of the sort. He knows Joan of Arc is dead and one of the travellers he's given sanctuary happens to be a woman. He is the Valeyard and both the Doctor and the Monk have fallen for his trap. [caption id="attachment_8359" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]The three part finale will see the Doctor and the gang getting caught up in the Hundred-Year War and the death of Joan of Arc The three part finale will see the Doctor and the gang getting caught up in the Hundred-Year War and the death of Joan of Arc[/caption] 11. The Maid of Orleans: Part 3 With Elisabeth wrongly imprisoned by the British for believing her to be Joan of Arc, she faces an uncertain future. George and Nate have to work their way out of the military and the days are ticking down, Joan was burnt at the stake on the 30th May. The Doctor knows this too, and he and the Monk must work together to escape the clutches of the Valeyard and his paymasters; the Celestial Intervention Agency. It's a literal battle against time as the shockwaves from the Monks initial actions are beginning to ripple backwards, changing the outcome of thousands of events. Elisabeth's worked it out. Joan of Arc was supposed to die, this was the action that changed the future and when she confesses to being Joan, history is set back on track. Now she has to burn and there is nothing the Doctor, George, Nate, the Monk, The  Valeyard or even the Time Lords can do to stop it... 12. Silent Night: Christmas Special Following the death of their friend Elisabeth and the inactions of the Doctor, the Valeyard brought George and Nate back to Earth. But the Doctor's returned too, only he's discovered the city of London has lost its voice. With Christmas approaching, the legendary Quiet Ones have escaped their imprisonment thanks to the temporal wave in the previous adventure. Now they have stolen the voices of everyone in London for themselves and are walking through the streets, using their new voices to kill anyone they come across. Can the Doctor, George and Nate become friends again in time to stop the Quiet Ones, or will they too lose their voices? [caption id="attachment_8360" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]The Maid of Orleans will see Elisabeth Watts bow out of the series in a dramatic way and become immortalised as the legendary, Joan of Arc The Maid of Orleans will see Elisabeth Watts bow out of the series in a dramatic way and become immortalised as the legendary, Joan of Arc[/caption] That is a brief overview of the second series of the show if I were in charge, and the stories I'd like to tell. While I don't normally like my companions to depart in shocking ways, fates which have befallen a lot of the Doctor's other friends, particularly in the modern era, Elisabeth's death is as much a part of the Doctor's storyline as it is hers. These first two series will see a Doctor who is much more bold and adventurous, almost like the dangers of the universe have been forgotten and across the series, the companions will be put in more and more dangerous situations because the Doctor isn't paying attention. For Elisabeth, her act of self-sacrifice is something that will be building up from the first series two-parter, The Fall of the House of Watts. At the end of that story, her family can't accept that she's changed, as well as having to go through the death of their other daughter and Elisabeth's sister, they disown her. This act casts Elisabeth adrift from everyone else, and she becomes a much broodier version of the character that we've known. But she is also far from daft and understands that she is sacrificing herself. She's doing it to save the lives of her friends George and Nate and save everyone in the future. She'll be a tragic historic companion, much like Katerina who sacrificed herself in The Daleks' Masterplan. Her death and the Doctor's inability to save her forces a wedge between the Doctor, George and Nate and they all part company while they come to terms with the realities of time-travel and the death of their friend. And for those wondering where the Daleks and the Cybermen have been, with past producers introducing and using them in their first series, I want to keep them away to be the big baddies, using them in the ways they should be. The Daleks and Cybermen are creatures that the Doctor dreads turning up and as such, should be used sparingly. But don't worry, because the Daleks are going to make an explosive comeback in the series three finale...]]>
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The Great Virgin New Adventures Review: Blood Heat & The Dimension Riders https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/the-great-virgin-new-adventures-review-blood-heat-the-dimension-riders/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-great-virgin-new-adventures-review-blood-heat-the-dimension-riders https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/the-great-virgin-new-adventures-review-blood-heat-the-dimension-riders/#respond Wed, 01 Apr 2020 09:00:55 +0000 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/?p=8371

With the holiday quad-trilogy having come to an end with Iceberg and the Seventh Doctor fresh from his battle with the Cybermen, Virgin decided now would be a good time to wrap up the ill-TARDIS arc, as well as starting to delve into the history of the show. In currently reading Conundrum and I'm still confused with what's happening with the TARDIS, I've not got that storyline all the way through these books I'll admit, but it perhaps my least favourite thing about these books, which have been surprisingly enjoyable to read so far.

Blood Heat: Written by Jim Mortimore

Doctor Who and the Silurians is a story I've had a love/hate relationship with in the past. In more recent times, I've come to appreciate it, though I still wouldn't call it one of my favourite Doctor Who stories of all time. It's still a little too long and much like my problems with the recent episode, Praxeus, whenever a series goes into a plague-cure finding mode, all vaccines and tests, needles and microscopes, my eyes and mind glaze over. I've also never been a massive fan of the Silurians, even in the modern era and so I came to Blood Heat with a little trepidation. That trepidation also came from the fact that I'd heard plenty of negative things about this book. From glaring plot holes to it just being boring. But I'd also heard plenty of good things and so, as I do with everything, I went into it with no expectations and I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Parallel universes weren't something that was really handled in the classic era, apart from the Jon Pertwee epic, Inferno and so Blood Heat makes for a refreshing setting, this time, the sick-TARDIS bringing the Seventh Doctor, Bernice and Ace to an alternate universe where the Silurians wiped out much of the human race thanks to their plague and then conquered and subjugated the rest of the planet. One of the most powerful moments of the original television serial was when the Brigadier blew up the Silurians at the end, but this book poses the question of what happened if he hadn't done that. Oh and the Third Doctor died at the hands of the Silurians, so he wasn't around to aid their defeat. [caption id="attachment_8394" align="aligncenter" width="350"]Cover art for Blood Heat Cover art for Blood Heat[/caption] The world that Mortimore gives us here is very reminiscent of movies like Jurassic Park, Planet of the Apes with shades of War of the Worlds and Day of the Triffids. Its a bleak world, one that is difficult to live in and as such, Mortimore gives us some interesting looks at previously familiar characters. Inferno gave us a fully-evil-Brigadier, complete with eye-patch, but the Brigadier here isn't necessarily evil and has the same feeling he did in Pertwee's first series, just with a much more military-orientated mind, desperate to save what remains of humanity from the Silurians. Where he does definitely differ from the Brigadier we know and love is in how he behaves behind the scenes. He doesn't trust the Seventh Doctor, who is much more manipulative than the Third Doctor, he asks Liz to do terrible things to find ways to defeat their oppressors and he even lets a different version of Jo Grant die. Liz Shaw, one of my favourite companions on television continues to be absolutely brilliant here, she's just as optimistic as she was, though a little more world-weary following the death of her husband. For you P.R.O.B.E. lovers out there, Blood Heat came out about 5 years before that BBV spinoff and its undertones between Liz and Patricia. Blood Heat doesn't waste any time in showing us how alone Liz is in this new world, with the rest of the world either trying to blow up the Silurians or admitting defeat, her optimism sets her apart from everyone around her. But she's still a great inclusion to the story and now that I think about it, represents the Third Doctor from the television series, determined to try and broker peace between the two-species before one nukes the other out of existence. And then there is Benton. But this is a Benton where gone is the cuddly warmth John Levine brought to the role on television. He's tired and vicious and proves an interesting foil for Ace for much of the book. This is a Benton who does deserve his fate in the end, driven insane by his hatred of the 'Reps' as he calls them. And then there is poor Jo Grant who we meet right at the beginning of the book. This is Jo before she met the Third Doctor and she's gone feral and is pregnant. She loses her baby and then her life. Its a tragic twist but helps reinforce to the Seventh Doctor what he's lost and what he stands to lose if he doesn't set things right in this universe. Given how this is a Virgin New Adventures book, it is odd then how the guest characters fare a lot better than the established ones do. Bernice Summerfield is hardly in the book, turning up about half-way-through, having been captured by the Silurians and then forgotten about and her going missing seems to barely register with the Doctor and Ace. As such Bernice has to save herself. When Bernice does appear, she proves a great addition to the book, but leaving her out of the action for such a long time does make you wonder why Mortimore bothered to include her at all. And as for Ace, in her Virgin Books era, there is little you can do with her. She's got her space-suit and bombs and she isn't afraid to throw herself into a fight, but there is little to her character here anymore. She's still haunted by the death of her friend Manisha, who she mentions in Ghost Light and across this range of books and she gets a nice moment here where she gets to meet her again and finally say goodbye. Otherwise, she's just the same Ace as she's ever been. Putting aside the Silurians in this book, we do get the first hints that things aren't right and that someone is manipulating the events currently happening in the Doctor's life. I'm curious to find out who when I get to No Future, though I do have my suspicions! And like I stated above, this is the book where the sick-TARDIS arc is wrapped up with the Seventh Doctor's TARDIS sinking into tar and then the Doctor, Ace and Bernice leaving this universe in the dead-Third Doctor's TARDIS. It's something a little confusing to get my head around but I know this new TARDIS will be with us for a while, so hopefully, I'll finally understand all the things going on at some point! And the Doctor is contemplating giving up time-travel, though perhaps a universe as dark as this isn't the best place to do that, and he, of course, can't help but solve the situation and bring peace. It was also fun to hear from established Silurian characters like Morka from The Silurians and Icthar from Warriors from the Deep. And the Sea Devils put in a nice appearance towards the end, trying to stop a nuclear submarine. Blood Heat is a bold and enjoyable book and Jim Mortimore makes sure to keep things interesting, throwing in enough twists and turns to keep you on the wrong foot, that sense of genuinely not knowing what's going to happen lends the book some excitement. However there is something that holds this book back and I think that a lot of the world-building on offer feels more like a summary, rather than a genuine exploration. And there is a few strange narrative choices and the style its told to us in that made me feel like I'd missed something important and despite a number of beloved Third Doctor characters, there was no one I felt genuinely concerned about, despite the few shocking moments Mortimore litters the script with. I know that there is an extended directors-cut out in the wild now and I'll track it down at some point which does offer a different take of this story, once again written by Jim Mortimore. For now, though, Blood Heat satisfied me, even if there were one or two missteps along the way. It gives us a brilliant What-If kind of story and things in Doctor Who and the Silurians were certainly uncertain for a while. But this book is nothing more than a cool answer to the question of what if the Doctor hadn't defeated them?

The Dimension Riders: Written by Daniel Blythe

For the first act of Daniel Blythe's The Dimension Riders, you'd be forgiven for mistaking it for an adaptation of Douglas Adams' Shada. We've got an ancient time-lord myth, a spaceship from the far future, a setting at a university and some scary monsters. Blythe himself has admitted to borrowing ideas from Shada and the book itself has lines where the Doctor references how he shouldn't be surprised that other time-lords are hiding in Earth universities and then a line about the Skagra-business. And later mention of The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey. It wasn't a surprise then to see other people refer to this book as something of a sequel to Shada, I don't think I would go quite far, as the book is much different from Adams' unmade-classic. For one, I wouldn't say it stands up to Shada, The Dimension Riders isn't a bad book, but it's inconsequential and the villain is big and ostentatious but lacked any real threat for me. Blythe's prose isn't too shabby and is quite witty at times, in a similar vein as Adams' script. I quite like Blythe's writing and I quite enjoyed his other book, The Man in the Velvet Mask in the Virgin Missing Adventures range. He also gives the supporting characters little splashes of back story and does make them feel people, making it all the sweeter when some of them bite the dust. [caption id="attachment_8395" align="aligncenter" width="350"]Cover art for The Dimension Riders Cover art for The Dimension Riders[/caption] But all the witty dialogue and writing and surprisingly enjoyable supporting characters can't help but prove how weak the villain is, who is being controlled by the big bad for these next few books, who does nothing but theatrically shout. One wonders if this was a deliberate choice, trying to make him feel like a baddie from Tom Baker's series 17, but here, it just across as annoying. On the other hand, the baddies, I think are called Time Soldiers abilities to rapidly age someone to death or regress them back to being a baby is used well and sometimes to frightening effect. But one can't help but feel that aliens chasing and killing people on a space-ship in the far future is all a little bit middle-of-the-road. But there are also plenty of times when the witty dialogue and descriptions desert Blythe and can feel very jarring. We've got a character who to the surprise of herself and the Doctor gives us a monologue about her overly dark childhood, and Blythe seems to struggle with giving characters names. This was the biggest part of the book that kept making me checkout, the names like Vaik, Quallem and Romulus Terran were so bizarre that even after turning a page over, I was struggling to remember which one was which, and that might also go into the fact that many of them featured in the darkest parts of this book, which still managed to keep the idea that the Virgin books could be very adult, there is a fate of a pregnant crewman which I would rather forget too and probably shouldn't have been included. For me, the highlight of this book is all the stuff that takes place in Oxford. And that's mainly down to how well Blythe includes Bernice Summerfield in the narrative. I don't know why other writers seemed to struggle with her character when her dry sense of humour should easily bounce of the page. She is a great character and really amazing in her Big Finish audios, so I don't know why other writers struggled so much with her. Blythe gets her just right though and she helps push the narrative towards its conclusion like a companion should do. Ace, on the other hand, proves a little more of a problem, stuck on a space-ship in the future, she kind-of fancies one of the crewmen and there doesn't seem to be a book that's gone by since she came back in Deceit where the writers aren't trying to get her and someone else together. The Doctor does fair a little better but not much and his metaphysical journey through trust issues with Ace are just getting annoying now. And those trust issues certainly explain why the Doctor is just plain miserable through these books. I expect this new attitude Ace has is finally beginning to get on his nerves. The Dimension Riders will probably be a really fun read for people who aren't trying to read the whole series in one go. But for me, it was clever and quite witty but not really much all happens thanks to the arch-villain turning up and rendering the previous 200-odd pages completely inconsequential. Shame really, because there was a lot here to enjoy.]]>

With the holiday quad-trilogy having come to an end with Iceberg and the Seventh Doctor fresh from his battle with the Cybermen, Virgin decided now would be a good time to wrap up the ill-TARDIS arc, as well as starting to delve into the history of the show. In currently reading Conundrum and I'm still confused with what's happening with the TARDIS, I've not got that storyline all the way through these books I'll admit, but it perhaps my least favourite thing about these books, which have been surprisingly enjoyable to read so far.

Blood Heat: Written by Jim Mortimore

Doctor Who and the Silurians is a story I've had a love/hate relationship with in the past. In more recent times, I've come to appreciate it, though I still wouldn't call it one of my favourite Doctor Who stories of all time. It's still a little too long and much like my problems with the recent episode, Praxeus, whenever a series goes into a plague-cure finding mode, all vaccines and tests, needles and microscopes, my eyes and mind glaze over. I've also never been a massive fan of the Silurians, even in the modern era and so I came to Blood Heat with a little trepidation. That trepidation also came from the fact that I'd heard plenty of negative things about this book. From glaring plot holes to it just being boring. But I'd also heard plenty of good things and so, as I do with everything, I went into it with no expectations and I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Parallel universes weren't something that was really handled in the classic era, apart from the Jon Pertwee epic, Inferno and so Blood Heat makes for a refreshing setting, this time, the sick-TARDIS bringing the Seventh Doctor, Bernice and Ace to an alternate universe where the Silurians wiped out much of the human race thanks to their plague and then conquered and subjugated the rest of the planet. One of the most powerful moments of the original television serial was when the Brigadier blew up the Silurians at the end, but this book poses the question of what happened if he hadn't done that. Oh and the Third Doctor died at the hands of the Silurians, so he wasn't around to aid their defeat. [caption id="attachment_8394" align="aligncenter" width="350"]Cover art for Blood Heat Cover art for Blood Heat[/caption] The world that Mortimore gives us here is very reminiscent of movies like Jurassic Park, Planet of the Apes with shades of War of the Worlds and Day of the Triffids. Its a bleak world, one that is difficult to live in and as such, Mortimore gives us some interesting looks at previously familiar characters. Inferno gave us a fully-evil-Brigadier, complete with eye-patch, but the Brigadier here isn't necessarily evil and has the same feeling he did in Pertwee's first series, just with a much more military-orientated mind, desperate to save what remains of humanity from the Silurians. Where he does definitely differ from the Brigadier we know and love is in how he behaves behind the scenes. He doesn't trust the Seventh Doctor, who is much more manipulative than the Third Doctor, he asks Liz to do terrible things to find ways to defeat their oppressors and he even lets a different version of Jo Grant die. Liz Shaw, one of my favourite companions on television continues to be absolutely brilliant here, she's just as optimistic as she was, though a little more world-weary following the death of her husband. For you P.R.O.B.E. lovers out there, Blood Heat came out about 5 years before that BBV spinoff and its undertones between Liz and Patricia. Blood Heat doesn't waste any time in showing us how alone Liz is in this new world, with the rest of the world either trying to blow up the Silurians or admitting defeat, her optimism sets her apart from everyone around her. But she's still a great inclusion to the story and now that I think about it, represents the Third Doctor from the television series, determined to try and broker peace between the two-species before one nukes the other out of existence. And then there is Benton. But this is a Benton where gone is the cuddly warmth John Levine brought to the role on television. He's tired and vicious and proves an interesting foil for Ace for much of the book. This is a Benton who does deserve his fate in the end, driven insane by his hatred of the 'Reps' as he calls them. And then there is poor Jo Grant who we meet right at the beginning of the book. This is Jo before she met the Third Doctor and she's gone feral and is pregnant. She loses her baby and then her life. Its a tragic twist but helps reinforce to the Seventh Doctor what he's lost and what he stands to lose if he doesn't set things right in this universe. Given how this is a Virgin New Adventures book, it is odd then how the guest characters fare a lot better than the established ones do. Bernice Summerfield is hardly in the book, turning up about half-way-through, having been captured by the Silurians and then forgotten about and her going missing seems to barely register with the Doctor and Ace. As such Bernice has to save herself. When Bernice does appear, she proves a great addition to the book, but leaving her out of the action for such a long time does make you wonder why Mortimore bothered to include her at all. And as for Ace, in her Virgin Books era, there is little you can do with her. She's got her space-suit and bombs and she isn't afraid to throw herself into a fight, but there is little to her character here anymore. She's still haunted by the death of her friend Manisha, who she mentions in Ghost Light and across this range of books and she gets a nice moment here where she gets to meet her again and finally say goodbye. Otherwise, she's just the same Ace as she's ever been. Putting aside the Silurians in this book, we do get the first hints that things aren't right and that someone is manipulating the events currently happening in the Doctor's life. I'm curious to find out who when I get to No Future, though I do have my suspicions! And like I stated above, this is the book where the sick-TARDIS arc is wrapped up with the Seventh Doctor's TARDIS sinking into tar and then the Doctor, Ace and Bernice leaving this universe in the dead-Third Doctor's TARDIS. It's something a little confusing to get my head around but I know this new TARDIS will be with us for a while, so hopefully, I'll finally understand all the things going on at some point! And the Doctor is contemplating giving up time-travel, though perhaps a universe as dark as this isn't the best place to do that, and he, of course, can't help but solve the situation and bring peace. It was also fun to hear from established Silurian characters like Morka from The Silurians and Icthar from Warriors from the Deep. And the Sea Devils put in a nice appearance towards the end, trying to stop a nuclear submarine. Blood Heat is a bold and enjoyable book and Jim Mortimore makes sure to keep things interesting, throwing in enough twists and turns to keep you on the wrong foot, that sense of genuinely not knowing what's going to happen lends the book some excitement. However there is something that holds this book back and I think that a lot of the world-building on offer feels more like a summary, rather than a genuine exploration. And there is a few strange narrative choices and the style its told to us in that made me feel like I'd missed something important and despite a number of beloved Third Doctor characters, there was no one I felt genuinely concerned about, despite the few shocking moments Mortimore litters the script with. I know that there is an extended directors-cut out in the wild now and I'll track it down at some point which does offer a different take of this story, once again written by Jim Mortimore. For now, though, Blood Heat satisfied me, even if there were one or two missteps along the way. It gives us a brilliant What-If kind of story and things in Doctor Who and the Silurians were certainly uncertain for a while. But this book is nothing more than a cool answer to the question of what if the Doctor hadn't defeated them?

The Dimension Riders: Written by Daniel Blythe

For the first act of Daniel Blythe's The Dimension Riders, you'd be forgiven for mistaking it for an adaptation of Douglas Adams' Shada. We've got an ancient time-lord myth, a spaceship from the far future, a setting at a university and some scary monsters. Blythe himself has admitted to borrowing ideas from Shada and the book itself has lines where the Doctor references how he shouldn't be surprised that other time-lords are hiding in Earth universities and then a line about the Skagra-business. And later mention of The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey. It wasn't a surprise then to see other people refer to this book as something of a sequel to Shada, I don't think I would go quite far, as the book is much different from Adams' unmade-classic. For one, I wouldn't say it stands up to Shada, The Dimension Riders isn't a bad book, but it's inconsequential and the villain is big and ostentatious but lacked any real threat for me. Blythe's prose isn't too shabby and is quite witty at times, in a similar vein as Adams' script. I quite like Blythe's writing and I quite enjoyed his other book, The Man in the Velvet Mask in the Virgin Missing Adventures range. He also gives the supporting characters little splashes of back story and does make them feel people, making it all the sweeter when some of them bite the dust. [caption id="attachment_8395" align="aligncenter" width="350"]Cover art for The Dimension Riders Cover art for The Dimension Riders[/caption] But all the witty dialogue and writing and surprisingly enjoyable supporting characters can't help but prove how weak the villain is, who is being controlled by the big bad for these next few books, who does nothing but theatrically shout. One wonders if this was a deliberate choice, trying to make him feel like a baddie from Tom Baker's series 17, but here, it just across as annoying. On the other hand, the baddies, I think are called Time Soldiers abilities to rapidly age someone to death or regress them back to being a baby is used well and sometimes to frightening effect. But one can't help but feel that aliens chasing and killing people on a space-ship in the far future is all a little bit middle-of-the-road. But there are also plenty of times when the witty dialogue and descriptions desert Blythe and can feel very jarring. We've got a character who to the surprise of herself and the Doctor gives us a monologue about her overly dark childhood, and Blythe seems to struggle with giving characters names. This was the biggest part of the book that kept making me checkout, the names like Vaik, Quallem and Romulus Terran were so bizarre that even after turning a page over, I was struggling to remember which one was which, and that might also go into the fact that many of them featured in the darkest parts of this book, which still managed to keep the idea that the Virgin books could be very adult, there is a fate of a pregnant crewman which I would rather forget too and probably shouldn't have been included. For me, the highlight of this book is all the stuff that takes place in Oxford. And that's mainly down to how well Blythe includes Bernice Summerfield in the narrative. I don't know why other writers seemed to struggle with her character when her dry sense of humour should easily bounce of the page. She is a great character and really amazing in her Big Finish audios, so I don't know why other writers struggled so much with her. Blythe gets her just right though and she helps push the narrative towards its conclusion like a companion should do. Ace, on the other hand, proves a little more of a problem, stuck on a space-ship in the future, she kind-of fancies one of the crewmen and there doesn't seem to be a book that's gone by since she came back in Deceit where the writers aren't trying to get her and someone else together. The Doctor does fair a little better but not much and his metaphysical journey through trust issues with Ace are just getting annoying now. And those trust issues certainly explain why the Doctor is just plain miserable through these books. I expect this new attitude Ace has is finally beginning to get on his nerves. The Dimension Riders will probably be a really fun read for people who aren't trying to read the whole series in one go. But for me, it was clever and quite witty but not really much all happens thanks to the arch-villain turning up and rendering the previous 200-odd pages completely inconsequential. Shame really, because there was a lot here to enjoy.]]>
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Big Finish 261.Doctor Who:The Psychic Circus review https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/big-finish-261-doctor-whothe-psychic-circus-review/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=big-finish-261-doctor-whothe-psychic-circus-review https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/big-finish-261-doctor-whothe-psychic-circus-review/#respond Tue, 31 Mar 2020 18:00:01 +0000 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/?p=7933 The Psychic Circus Review

As a huge fan of the 7th Doctor story Greatest Show in the Galaxy broadcast in December and January 1986 I really looked forward to hearing this new audio adventure. Its described as a prequel and a sequel. In Greatest Show in the Galaxy story Bellboy, the creator of the robots and kites of the Psychic Circus had his mind broken by the evil that had controlled the circus people. He blamed the people who ran the Circus led mainly by the Chief Clown. But Bellboy also remembered earlier better times when the circus began with Flowerchild, Panpipe, Juniper Berry and Kingpin. So in this story, we are taken back in time to before the circus arrived at Segonax to see the roots of how the circus came into being.
Lots of fun for the family, at the Greatest Show in the Galaxy!When a junkmail robot invades the TARDIS, the Doctor gets led down an unnervingly familiar path. Meanwhile, space beatniks Kingpin and Juniper Berry just want to hitch rides and busk – until a greater purpose calls.The Doctor’s past and Kingpin’s future are entangled by malevolent forces. The Psychic Circus is just beginning: it may lack clowns, but it already has a Master…

The 7th Doctor returns to Segonax

Stephen Wyatt treads familiar ground with this story as he revisits some characters we already know. It's nice also to see that he plays with time, as the same Doctor visits Segonax at two different periods even though it may affect crossing his own timeline. This is the first Sylvester McCoy I’ve personally listened to from Big Finish and although he isn’t a favourite Doctor of mine it really is as if I’ve stepped back in time to Seasons 25 and 26 of classic Who. Sylvester McCoy revels in playing the interested affable Doctor with the touch of the showman. He starts literally learning to juggle lots of balls but using that as a shield to hide his vast intelligence when confronted with old enemies. As the Doctor has vague memories of his first visit to the circus it is set after Ace leaves and I quite like the fact he is on his own for this adventure as it gives him more interaction with our characters. The junk mail beacon robot becomes his focus into the story becomes his companion of sorts, a mystery to be solved. The robot starts as an annoying salesman personality but then deviates between devious, childlike, pleading and goading until it becomes apparent that the robot is being controlled by a far more powerful malignant influence. [caption id="attachment_8337" align="aligncenter" width="1170"]The Psychic Circus from Big Finish The Psychic Circus from Big Finish[/caption]

The Master and his masters

I must admit that I didn’t know that the Master was in the story ( I don't read every synopsis I have to be honest as I'd rather discover things on my own!) I haven't heard James Dreyfus before and I rather enjoyed his sinister interpretation of the old foe although his involvement felt a bit small league for his character. The early connection with Kingpin and the way the origins of the circus was set in motion had me intrigued initially. However, my interest tailed off a bit like the Master’s motivation for being in the story seems questionable aside from being unable to resist annoying and playing with the Doctor. His involvement with the Gods of Ragnarok could have been expanded upon a bit more and also how the use of the psychic energy created the changes that occurred.

The origins of the Psychic circus

As an origins story, I suppose it is right it starts with Kingpin and Juniper Berry who are the characters who together create the circus. Both free-spirited wanderers dropped off on a planet called Zamyatin which is where their troubles begin. I rather enjoyed Chris Jury resurrecting Kingpin, who in Greatest Show in the Galaxy, seemed rather side-lined for much of the story as Deadbeat. Kingpin is happy to spread the ideals of universal peace and love without worrying too much about the motives of others. So much the global hippie and far more trusting and idealistic than his girlfriend Juniper Berry. He’s a reluctant leader in waiting and I enjoy the way the Master’s influence changes him and affects the direction of the circus and the relationship with Juniper Berry.
We travel the universe with our songs, magic tracks and we like to make people happy – Kingpin
Juniper Berry is a character who is mentioned very briefly by Bellboy in Greatest Show but here she is expanded on to show she is far more intuitive to the reactions of others and grounded than Kingpin. She loves the ideals of peace and love as much as Kingpin and when she tries to persuade Panpipe to be a part of the "collective" circus its meant as a positive gesture, the creation of something good. Her uneasiness at being on Segonax and staying there, however, becomes more palpable as she has "bad vibes". Her final conversation with Kingpin is a favourite moment of mine. It feels so true of troubled relationships. Juniper Berry is far more suspicious than Morgana, who also appears in the story. Morgana was the fortune teller in Greatest Show and here sees the success of the circus grow but seems a little wearier as she sees the original aims of the circus become slowly subverted by others. I really liked Morgana, played by Sioned Jones, who has had the empathic gift of foresight since a child. She is looking to belong somewhere, make people happy too and is swept up in the excitement of what the circus could be. Sioned Jones also plays the Minister of High Seriousness on the planet Zamyatin who is a tyrant of order and when Kingpin in his vernacular inappropriately calls her “hey lady” and “hey babe" it’s not going to end well as both Kingpin and Juniper Berry are sent for retraining as model citizens. I think I would have liked to have seen a bit more on the planet Zamyatin showing the clash of a dictatorship and peaceful universal belonging but the escape from there is all resolved quite efficiently.

The Clown with dreams

Ian Reddington returns as the Chief Clown and he is one of the highlights being brilliantly creepy. He is able to convey here with his voice all the eeriness he originally exhibited visually with the make-up, costume and hand gestures in Greatest Show. The Doctor meets him in a strangely familiar place and the clown is even then totally bonkers because of his desire to be the greatest clown that ever lived. There is a lovely touch with the mention of the poster for the psychic circus when the clown first sees it and then later Juniper Berry. There is something damaged shown in the level of mania and fixation the clown has which Ian Reddington brings hauntingly out. The clown explains why he is as he is but he still gives me the shivers. We see his progression from clown to Chief clown where he is ripe for manipulation as he rises up the ranks and guides the circus folk along a path where all the original values of the circus become twisted.
I don’t want to go on doing the same things. I want to surprise, amuse and yes sometimes scare somebody a little- Chief Clown

The incidental music

The synthesiser beats music by Steve Foxon harks back to the original score by Mark Ayres and is rather marvellous. I wanted to relisten straightaway.

Highlights

The 7th Doctor first meeting the Chief Clown. The junk mail robot develops a split personality. The Doctor and Master first meeting. The neat joining of this story with the tv serial.

If you are a fan of Stephen Wyatt and the Greatest Show in the Galaxy this is a simple treat - 7/10

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The Psychic Circus Review

As a huge fan of the 7th Doctor story Greatest Show in the Galaxy broadcast in December and January 1986 I really looked forward to hearing this new audio adventure. Its described as a prequel and a sequel. In Greatest Show in the Galaxy story Bellboy, the creator of the robots and kites of the Psychic Circus had his mind broken by the evil that had controlled the circus people. He blamed the people who ran the Circus led mainly by the Chief Clown. But Bellboy also remembered earlier better times when the circus began with Flowerchild, Panpipe, Juniper Berry and Kingpin. So in this story, we are taken back in time to before the circus arrived at Segonax to see the roots of how the circus came into being.
Lots of fun for the family, at the Greatest Show in the Galaxy!When a junkmail robot invades the TARDIS, the Doctor gets led down an unnervingly familiar path. Meanwhile, space beatniks Kingpin and Juniper Berry just want to hitch rides and busk – until a greater purpose calls.The Doctor’s past and Kingpin’s future are entangled by malevolent forces. The Psychic Circus is just beginning: it may lack clowns, but it already has a Master…

The 7th Doctor returns to Segonax

Stephen Wyatt treads familiar ground with this story as he revisits some characters we already know. It's nice also to see that he plays with time, as the same Doctor visits Segonax at two different periods even though it may affect crossing his own timeline. This is the first Sylvester McCoy I’ve personally listened to from Big Finish and although he isn’t a favourite Doctor of mine it really is as if I’ve stepped back in time to Seasons 25 and 26 of classic Who. Sylvester McCoy revels in playing the interested affable Doctor with the touch of the showman. He starts literally learning to juggle lots of balls but using that as a shield to hide his vast intelligence when confronted with old enemies. As the Doctor has vague memories of his first visit to the circus it is set after Ace leaves and I quite like the fact he is on his own for this adventure as it gives him more interaction with our characters. The junk mail beacon robot becomes his focus into the story becomes his companion of sorts, a mystery to be solved. The robot starts as an annoying salesman personality but then deviates between devious, childlike, pleading and goading until it becomes apparent that the robot is being controlled by a far more powerful malignant influence. [caption id="attachment_8337" align="aligncenter" width="1170"]The Psychic Circus from Big Finish The Psychic Circus from Big Finish[/caption]

The Master and his masters

I must admit that I didn’t know that the Master was in the story ( I don't read every synopsis I have to be honest as I'd rather discover things on my own!) I haven't heard James Dreyfus before and I rather enjoyed his sinister interpretation of the old foe although his involvement felt a bit small league for his character. The early connection with Kingpin and the way the origins of the circus was set in motion had me intrigued initially. However, my interest tailed off a bit like the Master’s motivation for being in the story seems questionable aside from being unable to resist annoying and playing with the Doctor. His involvement with the Gods of Ragnarok could have been expanded upon a bit more and also how the use of the psychic energy created the changes that occurred.

The origins of the Psychic circus

As an origins story, I suppose it is right it starts with Kingpin and Juniper Berry who are the characters who together create the circus. Both free-spirited wanderers dropped off on a planet called Zamyatin which is where their troubles begin. I rather enjoyed Chris Jury resurrecting Kingpin, who in Greatest Show in the Galaxy, seemed rather side-lined for much of the story as Deadbeat. Kingpin is happy to spread the ideals of universal peace and love without worrying too much about the motives of others. So much the global hippie and far more trusting and idealistic than his girlfriend Juniper Berry. He’s a reluctant leader in waiting and I enjoy the way the Master’s influence changes him and affects the direction of the circus and the relationship with Juniper Berry.
We travel the universe with our songs, magic tracks and we like to make people happy – Kingpin
Juniper Berry is a character who is mentioned very briefly by Bellboy in Greatest Show but here she is expanded on to show she is far more intuitive to the reactions of others and grounded than Kingpin. She loves the ideals of peace and love as much as Kingpin and when she tries to persuade Panpipe to be a part of the "collective" circus its meant as a positive gesture, the creation of something good. Her uneasiness at being on Segonax and staying there, however, becomes more palpable as she has "bad vibes". Her final conversation with Kingpin is a favourite moment of mine. It feels so true of troubled relationships. Juniper Berry is far more suspicious than Morgana, who also appears in the story. Morgana was the fortune teller in Greatest Show and here sees the success of the circus grow but seems a little wearier as she sees the original aims of the circus become slowly subverted by others. I really liked Morgana, played by Sioned Jones, who has had the empathic gift of foresight since a child. She is looking to belong somewhere, make people happy too and is swept up in the excitement of what the circus could be. Sioned Jones also plays the Minister of High Seriousness on the planet Zamyatin who is a tyrant of order and when Kingpin in his vernacular inappropriately calls her “hey lady” and “hey babe" it’s not going to end well as both Kingpin and Juniper Berry are sent for retraining as model citizens. I think I would have liked to have seen a bit more on the planet Zamyatin showing the clash of a dictatorship and peaceful universal belonging but the escape from there is all resolved quite efficiently.

The Clown with dreams

Ian Reddington returns as the Chief Clown and he is one of the highlights being brilliantly creepy. He is able to convey here with his voice all the eeriness he originally exhibited visually with the make-up, costume and hand gestures in Greatest Show. The Doctor meets him in a strangely familiar place and the clown is even then totally bonkers because of his desire to be the greatest clown that ever lived. There is a lovely touch with the mention of the poster for the psychic circus when the clown first sees it and then later Juniper Berry. There is something damaged shown in the level of mania and fixation the clown has which Ian Reddington brings hauntingly out. The clown explains why he is as he is but he still gives me the shivers. We see his progression from clown to Chief clown where he is ripe for manipulation as he rises up the ranks and guides the circus folk along a path where all the original values of the circus become twisted.
I don’t want to go on doing the same things. I want to surprise, amuse and yes sometimes scare somebody a little- Chief Clown

The incidental music

The synthesiser beats music by Steve Foxon harks back to the original score by Mark Ayres and is rather marvellous. I wanted to relisten straightaway.

Highlights

The 7th Doctor first meeting the Chief Clown. The junk mail robot develops a split personality. The Doctor and Master first meeting. The neat joining of this story with the tv serial.

If you are a fan of Stephen Wyatt and the Greatest Show in the Galaxy this is a simple treat - 7/10

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Donna Noble: Kidnapped – Review https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/donna-noble-kidnapped-review/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=donna-noble-kidnapped-review https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/donna-noble-kidnapped-review/#respond Tue, 31 Mar 2020 14:08:29 +0000 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/?p=8364 Donna Noble - Kidnapped Review from Big Finish

For me, Series 4 of the modern era is one of my favourite eras of the show. Not only does it have a largely great set of stories, with not really one weak one in its thirteen-episode run, but it also features one of my favourite companions of all time, Donna Noble. So when Big Finish announced they were going to give Donna her own series I was excited, even if I did wonder why they were doing it. But I shouldn't have been worried, as Donna is just as brilliant away from the Doctor as she is by his side! [caption id="attachment_8367" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Donna Noble: Kidnapped! Donna Noble: Kidnapped![/caption] A lot of people were wondering how this series could be pulled off given how Donna departed, but this is set right after the events of Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead and Donna needs some downtime away from her friend when her seemingly happy life in the Library was ripped away from her. Out of this World, written by Jaqueline Raynor opens the series nicely with Donna firmly back on Earth and trying to live with her mother. Sylvia Noble was never one of the world's best mums on the series and while this series doesn't shy away from that, she does prove on a number of occasions that she, in fact, loves and cares for her daughter deeply. Out of this World gives us a story where she tries to help her daughter by sending Donna and her old school friend, Nat, played by Catherine Tate's comedy partner, Niky Wardley, to a speed-dating evening. Of course, this is Doctor Who and nothing is ever simple. It transpires that aliens who are trying to harvest organs, in a very Torchwood twist for stories to be told at 6-7pm on a Saturday evening, are kidnapping people close to those at the speed-dating evenings. Catherine Tate quickly shows us how capable she is of leading a cast and proves to be as great as the Doctor himself, foiling the evil plan of the Collectors and saving the planet. Donna quickly adjusts to the role of 'The Doctor' taking her companion in the form of Nat under her wing and accidentally brings her along as she saves the TARDIS from the clutches of the Collectors. Out of this World is a great pilot episode for the set and sets up the characters nicely, leading into the next story, Spinvasion brilliantly. [caption id="attachment_8368" align="aligncenter" width="384"]Some of the cast for Donna Noble: Kidnapped Some of the cast for Donna Noble: Kidnapped[/caption] John Dorney's story, Spinvasion is gloriously satirical, though a little more serious than the show I learnt about PR from, Absolutely Fabulous! In fact, Spinvasion has a lot to say about the media and the way they spin-stories to either keep people pacified or frightened. In this case, Donna and Nat find themselves on an alien world which has been conquered and the locals are kept happy as slaves because of the PR they are being given. Being a temp, Donna has some experience in these areas but its Nat who outshines Donna and finds herself in a job in an office, while Donna is sent to work in mines. Given the overall tone of the series, none of these stories is too series, though Spinvasion is perhaps the one that has higher stakes than the others and while it can sometimes veer towards being a little too blunt and satirical, Dorney does a great job at keeping it fresh and fun to listen too. It's a great way to showcase the chemistry between real-life friends Tate and Wardley and quickly helps establish Nat as a strong character in her own right, even though we never saw on her screen, she feels like she's been there all the way through Donna's journey. You might have guessed that Wardley doesn't join the TARDIS team at the end of the set but I really wish she had done, she was a great character, hopefully, if Big Finish does more Ten/Donna stories, Wardley will return to the role. Following on from a fun scene were Donna flies the TARDIS, and no one is more surprised than her that she can do it, the TARDIS brings Donna and Nat to the Middle Ages for James Goss' story, The Sorcerer of Albion. Right off the bat, we get some Who-references for eagle-eared listeners, with Donna being mistaken for Merlin and someone running around shouting "Grandfather!" It's not Susan but it was a fun little nod, intentional or not, anyway. The Sorcerer of Albion, which you think is about Donna being Merlin actually focuses more on Nat and her getting to grips with the life of a time-traveller as she used modern medicine to save another sorcerer, Parval's life. Donna finds herself locked up for much of the story, really until the final act and, though Spinvasion did much the same thing, this story really lets Nat shine, proving that she might not like travelling through time and is looking forward to going home, she does have what it takes to be a companion to the Doctor and Donna. This is a quiet little story, which had similar vibes to a previous Tenth Doctor/Donna audio adventure, Death and the Queen. But its a fun little story, even if it doesn't quite reach the heights of the rest of the series. [caption id="attachment_8369" align="aligncenter" width="1170"]David Tennant and Catherine Tate at Big Finish David Tennant and Catherine Tate at Big Finish[/caption] The series wraps up with The Chiswick Cuckoos from Matt Fitton. Anyone familiar with the movie, The Stepford Wives will figure out the structure of this story, but that doesn't make it any less fun, picking up the threads of the Collector storyline from the rest of the series and tying them up nicely. It also features a small appearance at the end from David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, where he apologises to Donna for not realising what had happened to her in the Library. There was a brilliant scene, which felt like Russell T. Davies had written it with an argument between Donna and the Doctor communicating to her through the Psychic Paper. We learn that the TARDIS is greatly distressed from the way Donna has been piloting her and is almost in a state of shock! Donna's reaction is comedy-gold and once again not only reinforces the chemistry between Tate and Wardley but also Tate and Tennant, despite him not actually being in the scene. Fans of the UNIT series will be pleased to note that this story features an appearance from Josh Carter and its a nice way to connect the Davies era with Big Finish and the UNIT from the Moffat era. The Chiswick Cuckoos is much like other earth alien invasion stories from Davies tenure but that isn't a bad thing because they were some of the best stories ever told in Doctor Who. This is another corker of a story. It also gives Sylvia some nice touching moments and it's always nice to hear Jaqueline King in these audios. While Sylvia won't be winning any mum-of-the-year awards, she does have some touching moments and its nice to hear Big Finish making her a little more sympathetic than she was on the television series. Sylvia gets some nice moments here, much as she did in Out of this World and it proves that like Donna, she is also changing her outlook on things, its a great way to develop her character. Donna Noble: Kidnapped is a hell of a lot of fun. From four exceptional scripts to the fantastic direction from Barnaby Edwards to the winning pairing of Catherine Tate and Niky Wardley. It also continues the legacy of the Davies era perfectly, proving that ordinary people can be fantastic and they came no more ordinary than Donna. What will win you over with this series is the way it continues to show Donna in a great way, and proves why she was such a good character, to begin with.]]>
Donna Noble - Kidnapped Review from Big Finish

For me, Series 4 of the modern era is one of my favourite eras of the show. Not only does it have a largely great set of stories, with not really one weak one in its thirteen-episode run, but it also features one of my favourite companions of all time, Donna Noble. So when Big Finish announced they were going to give Donna her own series I was excited, even if I did wonder why they were doing it. But I shouldn't have been worried, as Donna is just as brilliant away from the Doctor as she is by his side! [caption id="attachment_8367" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Donna Noble: Kidnapped! Donna Noble: Kidnapped![/caption] A lot of people were wondering how this series could be pulled off given how Donna departed, but this is set right after the events of Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead and Donna needs some downtime away from her friend when her seemingly happy life in the Library was ripped away from her. Out of this World, written by Jaqueline Raynor opens the series nicely with Donna firmly back on Earth and trying to live with her mother. Sylvia Noble was never one of the world's best mums on the series and while this series doesn't shy away from that, she does prove on a number of occasions that she, in fact, loves and cares for her daughter deeply. Out of this World gives us a story where she tries to help her daughter by sending Donna and her old school friend, Nat, played by Catherine Tate's comedy partner, Niky Wardley, to a speed-dating evening. Of course, this is Doctor Who and nothing is ever simple. It transpires that aliens who are trying to harvest organs, in a very Torchwood twist for stories to be told at 6-7pm on a Saturday evening, are kidnapping people close to those at the speed-dating evenings. Catherine Tate quickly shows us how capable she is of leading a cast and proves to be as great as the Doctor himself, foiling the evil plan of the Collectors and saving the planet. Donna quickly adjusts to the role of 'The Doctor' taking her companion in the form of Nat under her wing and accidentally brings her along as she saves the TARDIS from the clutches of the Collectors. Out of this World is a great pilot episode for the set and sets up the characters nicely, leading into the next story, Spinvasion brilliantly. [caption id="attachment_8368" align="aligncenter" width="384"]Some of the cast for Donna Noble: Kidnapped Some of the cast for Donna Noble: Kidnapped[/caption] John Dorney's story, Spinvasion is gloriously satirical, though a little more serious than the show I learnt about PR from, Absolutely Fabulous! In fact, Spinvasion has a lot to say about the media and the way they spin-stories to either keep people pacified or frightened. In this case, Donna and Nat find themselves on an alien world which has been conquered and the locals are kept happy as slaves because of the PR they are being given. Being a temp, Donna has some experience in these areas but its Nat who outshines Donna and finds herself in a job in an office, while Donna is sent to work in mines. Given the overall tone of the series, none of these stories is too series, though Spinvasion is perhaps the one that has higher stakes than the others and while it can sometimes veer towards being a little too blunt and satirical, Dorney does a great job at keeping it fresh and fun to listen too. It's a great way to showcase the chemistry between real-life friends Tate and Wardley and quickly helps establish Nat as a strong character in her own right, even though we never saw on her screen, she feels like she's been there all the way through Donna's journey. You might have guessed that Wardley doesn't join the TARDIS team at the end of the set but I really wish she had done, she was a great character, hopefully, if Big Finish does more Ten/Donna stories, Wardley will return to the role. Following on from a fun scene were Donna flies the TARDIS, and no one is more surprised than her that she can do it, the TARDIS brings Donna and Nat to the Middle Ages for James Goss' story, The Sorcerer of Albion. Right off the bat, we get some Who-references for eagle-eared listeners, with Donna being mistaken for Merlin and someone running around shouting "Grandfather!" It's not Susan but it was a fun little nod, intentional or not, anyway. The Sorcerer of Albion, which you think is about Donna being Merlin actually focuses more on Nat and her getting to grips with the life of a time-traveller as she used modern medicine to save another sorcerer, Parval's life. Donna finds herself locked up for much of the story, really until the final act and, though Spinvasion did much the same thing, this story really lets Nat shine, proving that she might not like travelling through time and is looking forward to going home, she does have what it takes to be a companion to the Doctor and Donna. This is a quiet little story, which had similar vibes to a previous Tenth Doctor/Donna audio adventure, Death and the Queen. But its a fun little story, even if it doesn't quite reach the heights of the rest of the series. [caption id="attachment_8369" align="aligncenter" width="1170"]David Tennant and Catherine Tate at Big Finish David Tennant and Catherine Tate at Big Finish[/caption] The series wraps up with The Chiswick Cuckoos from Matt Fitton. Anyone familiar with the movie, The Stepford Wives will figure out the structure of this story, but that doesn't make it any less fun, picking up the threads of the Collector storyline from the rest of the series and tying them up nicely. It also features a small appearance at the end from David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, where he apologises to Donna for not realising what had happened to her in the Library. There was a brilliant scene, which felt like Russell T. Davies had written it with an argument between Donna and the Doctor communicating to her through the Psychic Paper. We learn that the TARDIS is greatly distressed from the way Donna has been piloting her and is almost in a state of shock! Donna's reaction is comedy-gold and once again not only reinforces the chemistry between Tate and Wardley but also Tate and Tennant, despite him not actually being in the scene. Fans of the UNIT series will be pleased to note that this story features an appearance from Josh Carter and its a nice way to connect the Davies era with Big Finish and the UNIT from the Moffat era. The Chiswick Cuckoos is much like other earth alien invasion stories from Davies tenure but that isn't a bad thing because they were some of the best stories ever told in Doctor Who. This is another corker of a story. It also gives Sylvia some nice touching moments and it's always nice to hear Jaqueline King in these audios. While Sylvia won't be winning any mum-of-the-year awards, she does have some touching moments and its nice to hear Big Finish making her a little more sympathetic than she was on the television series. Sylvia gets some nice moments here, much as she did in Out of this World and it proves that like Donna, she is also changing her outlook on things, its a great way to develop her character. Donna Noble: Kidnapped is a hell of a lot of fun. From four exceptional scripts to the fantastic direction from Barnaby Edwards to the winning pairing of Catherine Tate and Niky Wardley. It also continues the legacy of the Davies era perfectly, proving that ordinary people can be fantastic and they came no more ordinary than Donna. What will win you over with this series is the way it continues to show Donna in a great way, and proves why she was such a good character, to begin with.]]>
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Report: The Talons of Weng Chiang BFI London Southbank Special Event Saturday 14th March 2020 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/report-the-talons-of-weng-chiang-bfi-london-southbank-special-event-saturday-14th-march-2020/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=report-the-talons-of-weng-chiang-bfi-london-southbank-special-event-saturday-14th-march-2020 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/report-the-talons-of-weng-chiang-bfi-london-southbank-special-event-saturday-14th-march-2020/#respond Tue, 31 Mar 2020 09:00:00 +0000 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/?p=8382 Report - The Talons of Weng-Chiang - BFI

Doctor Who The Collection – Season 14 of classic Who is released on Blu-ray on Monday 4th May and to celebrate the BFI (British Film Institute) on the London Southbank ran a special event showing the Talons of Weng Chiang which is one of the best-regarded serials from season 14. In retrospective, we were very lucky that the event went ahead as what a difference a few days makes.

The BFI, following the government’s updated advice of the 16th March, regarding the crisis of coronavirus COVID-19 closed the Southbank with immediate effect. There were guests which the BFI had kept as a surprise for this screening who were unable to attend.

Usually, these events are fully booked and well attended but there were some empty spaces for this event and it felt slightly subdued. Expected guests unable to attend were Christopher Benjamin who played Henry Jago and producer Philip Hinchcliffe but they sent their very best wishes. Justin Johnson (Lead Programmer for BFI) was able to read out a note from Philip Hinchcliffe before the first episode of Talons of Weng Chiang aired.

…above all I would like fans to consider the screening as a tribute to Bob Holmes without whose imagination, hard work and genius none of our collaborations would have had a lasting appeal. For me, Talons showcases all his talent, clever storytelling, sardonic humour, memorable characters, dark fantasy seamlessly woven into rich haunting entertainment – Philip Hinchcliffe, Producer

Extract of the note from Philip Hinchcliffe Producer of Doctor Who 1974-1976

As part of these BFI screenings, the audience is treated to extracts from the bonus features for these new releases. There was an intriguing interview snippet as Matthew Sweet chatted to producer Philip Hinchcliffe. In the short clip, Hinchcliffe described feeling fortunate and ambitious. He saw himself as “an outlaw from ITV” coming with the perceived “brashness “of commercial television to be able to express what he wanted to do.

Intro sequence - Tom Baker
Intro sequence - Tom Baker
Intro sequence - The TARDIS
Intro sequence - The TARDIS
Intro sequence - Story title
Intro sequence - Story title
Intro sequence - Part One - Here we go!
Intro sequence - Part One - Here we go!

Other bonus clips came from “Behind the Sofa” with Doctor Tom Baker, Louise Jameson, Philip Hinchcliffe, plus companions Sophie Aldred and Peter Purves. There was a lovely montage of quotes from a feature-length documentary tribute for Elisabeth Sladen Tribute called Our Sarah Jane which looks as if it will be as much a tear-jerker in the way of the recent JNT documentary.

Neil Bushville Interview

Interviewed by Justin Johnson Neil Bushville was responsible for the CGI updated effects for the boxset. Neil talked about how he approached deciding which effects he wanted for the Talons of Weng Chiang. He logged all the shots onto what he described as a “boring” spreadsheet (I love a big old Excel spreadsheet myself) and then set about deciding on those which would fit into the existing scene and not be jarring. His favourites were the subtler ones and he covered a couple of them.

There is a lovely shot of the Doctor on a boat going across the Thames and Neil repositioned the skyline so you can clearly see St Paul’s Cathedral in the distance. There were also other subtle CGI effects such as changing the hypnosis eye effect that Li H’sen Chiang used which was done by removing the original effect, tracking the eyes and adding a new effect and matching up the sound.

Louise Jameson Interview

Louse Jameson who played Leela was in attendance which was greeted by warm enthusiastic clapping from the audience. In a solo interview with Justin Johnson, she managed to enchant the audience as she discussed her career just before Doctor Who as a graduate from the RADA acting academy to the present and thoughts about her autobiography which we won’t see soon because she doesn’t want to embarrass her children!

How she got the role: Louise had created a strong career in theatre but her agent felt she needed to be put forward for a tv series. She was unlucky missing out on two or three tv roles, including the BBC series Angels and getting down to the last ten for the role of Purdey in the New Avengers. In one of the tv series Survivors, she had been interviewed by Pennant Roberts who liked her and called her back for Leela. Part of the reason Louise revealed she got the role was when Pennant read in on her audition she was told by him that she made him work to react to her responses.

Louise Jameson actress and Interviewer Justin Johnson (Lead Programmer for BFI)
Louise Jameson actress and Interviewer Justin Johnson (Lead Programmer for BFI)

Recognition: Louise revealed the Evening Standard newspaper got hold of the story that she was the new companion very quickly. She recalled that she had already started filming and had a very busy day to get into makeup, then have a photocall, followed by recording in the studio and then had to do another photocall which lasted until 10.30pm at night.

Playing Leela: Louise highlighted how much she enjoyed playing Leela (except for the costume!) and how she envied Leela’s ability to be able to just say things without any self-filter. Most people are quite self-conscious but Leela isn’t and her character doesn’t understand sarcasm or subtlety. Leela reacts instinctively and Louise considered that a gift for the character.

The new series and what happened to Leela’s knife:  Louise seemed very amused and excited that Leela might be a Cyberman now and said: “Bring it on”. She also revealed that her knife had made £1000 in a charity auction and the proceeds went to Romanian orphans.

Reviewing the Talons of Weng Chiang and the racism row

This event had invited a guest panel to discuss the issues this story raises regarding racism hosted by writer Matthew Sweet, who has written Doctor Who Jago and Litefoot audio dramas, Samira Ahmed, writer and broadcaster, Kevin Fong, doctor and broadcaster and Emma Ko, a member of the British East Asians Theatre and screen organisation. Understandably the guests were worried to attend with the coronavirus attention, more for their relatives than themselves and so the panel didn’t go ahead. However, BFI hosts Dick Fiddy (BFI Archive Television Programmer) and Justin Johnson still wanted to review the issues it raises, prior to the first episode being shown, using comments given to BFI from the panel who had watched the serial.

There were various issues raised by the panel, one being some of the language used in the script. English characters in the story do talk about the Chinese in a derogatory way. Litefoot uses the term ‘Chinks’, and the Doctor doesn’t rebut him but himself uses ‘little men’ which Matthew Sweet “attributes to his “aloof nature and selfish desire to get on with the adventure”. There is some merit to that view given that some forty years later the 12th Doctor would punch Sutcliffe for racism in “Thin Ice” suggesting it is the particular nature of the 4th Doctor being rather dispassionate about social niceties. I think Talons can be defended in that it does probably reflect some of the attitudes and sensibilities of Victorian English of the 1870s.

I was rather intrigued by the idea raised about whether the serial and other “problematic” broadcast material, should be buried away and not shown? Dick Fiddy discussed how the role of the BFI wasn’t to be apologists for the past but to give context to that past. As someone who was a child when this story first came out and was probably more concerned by seeing a giant rat, I think it is far more truthful to show the episodes as they were made whilst understanding the context of the late 1970s for a modern audience. Louise Jameson noted in her interview that there wasn’t any discussion regarding racism during the production of the serial and they wouldn’t have deliberately created a racist programme.

Emma Ko commented she felt the storyline is of its time but was still “dehumanising as the criminal gang’s motivation hangs only on being Chinese. It avoids exploring the narrative of fully realised characters and generalising a culture tends to keep it at a distance” There is justification for Emma Ko’s point but as Dick Fiddy pointed out that the story does call to another tradition of what are known as penny dreadful “blood and thunder “Fu Manchu novels by Sax Rohmer.

It is historically accurate that there was a Chinese community in Limehouse and Sax Rohmer used ethnic identities to add an exotic mysteriousness to his characters which Robert Holmes would have been aware of. In my opinion, the Chinese gang characters aren’t dehumanised as such but, as in much of classic and new Doctor Who, the recognisable plot uses to push the story on.

Actor John Bennett
Actor John Bennett
As Li H'sen Chang
As Li H'sen Chang

It is a complex subject as there is a central Chinese character Li H’sen Chang but as Emma Ko further commented she found it problematic and hard to watch as John Bennett is “a white man-made up with make-up, to look a yellow face” Chinese. Li H’sen Chang has an exaggerated forehead, eyelids”. There has been a history of yellow facing in theatre with make-up and costume which has been seen as a caricatured representation of Asian dress.

To be fair, regardless of the makeup as an actor John Bennett puts in an absolutely mesmerising performance as Li H’sen Chang. He’s a fully rounded man at times fascinating as the theatre performer, terrifying when hypnotising people or abducting girls, but also charming and sympathetic at times. BFI hosts Dick Fiddy noted in trying to explain the historical context that this was a time where white men were cast in non-white roles, prevalent due to a lack of ethnic actors but where dissenting voices were few and far between.

I do remember growing up in the 1970s watching a then-popular BBC light entertainment show called The Good Old Days which recreated the authentic atmosphere of a Victorian theatre and it’s something that seems so very “British” so there is no surprise that I love the Talons of Weng Chiang despite the issues it raises. There is a familiarity with the use of the Victorian setting something the BBC do very well (as experts in costume drama). Robert Holmes delivers a wonderfully atmospheric, dark and witty script. His script draws on the seedier sides of Victorian life with allusions to Jack the Ripper, prostitution and takes the music hall theatre traditional setting and weaves an interesting story around it.

Robert Holmes also pulls in other elements of literature such as Sherlock Holmes (the Doctor’s costume) and Pygmalion as Leela is dressed in fine clothes as befits a lady but has no pretensions to be different to who she is. Both actors are on top form as Tom Baker’s Doctor broods and growl his way and Louise carves out her savage as brave and instinctive.

Special Postcard

To end the event there was a signing with Louise Jameson. As with previous recent releases, there was a special postcard produced by the BFI for the event showing the amazing cover for the Season 14 Blu-ray.

The Season 14 Postcard created by the BFI & BBC Studios plus the event information sheet
The Season 14 Postcard created by the BFI & BBC Studios plus the event information sheet

It didn’t matter that due to the concerns of COVID-19 we had to queue to see Louise Jameson observing social distancing and were told selfies weren’t allowed. We felt blessed that the event went ahead. Thank-you BFI and we look forward to coming back soon.

Doctor Who The Collection – Season 14 is released on 4th May 2020

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Report - The Talons of Weng-Chiang - BFI

Doctor Who The Collection – Season 14 of classic Who is released on Blu-ray on Monday 4th May and to celebrate the BFI (British Film Institute) on the London Southbank ran a special event showing the Talons of Weng Chiang which is one of the best-regarded serials from season 14. In retrospective, we were very lucky that the event went ahead as what a difference a few days makes.

The BFI, following the government’s updated advice of the 16th March, regarding the crisis of coronavirus COVID-19 closed the Southbank with immediate effect. There were guests which the BFI had kept as a surprise for this screening who were unable to attend.

Usually, these events are fully booked and well attended but there were some empty spaces for this event and it felt slightly subdued. Expected guests unable to attend were Christopher Benjamin who played Henry Jago and producer Philip Hinchcliffe but they sent their very best wishes. Justin Johnson (Lead Programmer for BFI) was able to read out a note from Philip Hinchcliffe before the first episode of Talons of Weng Chiang aired.

…above all I would like fans to consider the screening as a tribute to Bob Holmes without whose imagination, hard work and genius none of our collaborations would have had a lasting appeal. For me, Talons showcases all his talent, clever storytelling, sardonic humour, memorable characters, dark fantasy seamlessly woven into rich haunting entertainment – Philip Hinchcliffe, Producer

Extract of the note from Philip Hinchcliffe Producer of Doctor Who 1974-1976

As part of these BFI screenings, the audience is treated to extracts from the bonus features for these new releases. There was an intriguing interview snippet as Matthew Sweet chatted to producer Philip Hinchcliffe. In the short clip, Hinchcliffe described feeling fortunate and ambitious. He saw himself as “an outlaw from ITV” coming with the perceived “brashness “of commercial television to be able to express what he wanted to do.

Intro sequence - Tom Baker
Intro sequence - Tom Baker
Intro sequence - The TARDIS
Intro sequence - The TARDIS
Intro sequence - Story title
Intro sequence - Story title
Intro sequence - Part One - Here we go!
Intro sequence - Part One - Here we go!

Other bonus clips came from “Behind the Sofa” with Doctor Tom Baker, Louise Jameson, Philip Hinchcliffe, plus companions Sophie Aldred and Peter Purves. There was a lovely montage of quotes from a feature-length documentary tribute for Elisabeth Sladen Tribute called Our Sarah Jane which looks as if it will be as much a tear-jerker in the way of the recent JNT documentary.

Neil Bushville Interview

Interviewed by Justin Johnson Neil Bushville was responsible for the CGI updated effects for the boxset. Neil talked about how he approached deciding which effects he wanted for the Talons of Weng Chiang. He logged all the shots onto what he described as a “boring” spreadsheet (I love a big old Excel spreadsheet myself) and then set about deciding on those which would fit into the existing scene and not be jarring. His favourites were the subtler ones and he covered a couple of them.

There is a lovely shot of the Doctor on a boat going across the Thames and Neil repositioned the skyline so you can clearly see St Paul’s Cathedral in the distance. There were also other subtle CGI effects such as changing the hypnosis eye effect that Li H’sen Chiang used which was done by removing the original effect, tracking the eyes and adding a new effect and matching up the sound.

Louise Jameson Interview

Louse Jameson who played Leela was in attendance which was greeted by warm enthusiastic clapping from the audience. In a solo interview with Justin Johnson, she managed to enchant the audience as she discussed her career just before Doctor Who as a graduate from the RADA acting academy to the present and thoughts about her autobiography which we won’t see soon because she doesn’t want to embarrass her children!

How she got the role: Louise had created a strong career in theatre but her agent felt she needed to be put forward for a tv series. She was unlucky missing out on two or three tv roles, including the BBC series Angels and getting down to the last ten for the role of Purdey in the New Avengers. In one of the tv series Survivors, she had been interviewed by Pennant Roberts who liked her and called her back for Leela. Part of the reason Louise revealed she got the role was when Pennant read in on her audition she was told by him that she made him work to react to her responses.

Louise Jameson actress and Interviewer Justin Johnson (Lead Programmer for BFI)
Louise Jameson actress and Interviewer Justin Johnson (Lead Programmer for BFI)

Recognition: Louise revealed the Evening Standard newspaper got hold of the story that she was the new companion very quickly. She recalled that she had already started filming and had a very busy day to get into makeup, then have a photocall, followed by recording in the studio and then had to do another photocall which lasted until 10.30pm at night.

Playing Leela: Louise highlighted how much she enjoyed playing Leela (except for the costume!) and how she envied Leela’s ability to be able to just say things without any self-filter. Most people are quite self-conscious but Leela isn’t and her character doesn’t understand sarcasm or subtlety. Leela reacts instinctively and Louise considered that a gift for the character.

The new series and what happened to Leela’s knife:  Louise seemed very amused and excited that Leela might be a Cyberman now and said: “Bring it on”. She also revealed that her knife had made £1000 in a charity auction and the proceeds went to Romanian orphans.

Reviewing the Talons of Weng Chiang and the racism row

This event had invited a guest panel to discuss the issues this story raises regarding racism hosted by writer Matthew Sweet, who has written Doctor Who Jago and Litefoot audio dramas, Samira Ahmed, writer and broadcaster, Kevin Fong, doctor and broadcaster and Emma Ko, a member of the British East Asians Theatre and screen organisation. Understandably the guests were worried to attend with the coronavirus attention, more for their relatives than themselves and so the panel didn’t go ahead. However, BFI hosts Dick Fiddy (BFI Archive Television Programmer) and Justin Johnson still wanted to review the issues it raises, prior to the first episode being shown, using comments given to BFI from the panel who had watched the serial.

There were various issues raised by the panel, one being some of the language used in the script. English characters in the story do talk about the Chinese in a derogatory way. Litefoot uses the term ‘Chinks’, and the Doctor doesn’t rebut him but himself uses ‘little men’ which Matthew Sweet “attributes to his “aloof nature and selfish desire to get on with the adventure”. There is some merit to that view given that some forty years later the 12th Doctor would punch Sutcliffe for racism in “Thin Ice” suggesting it is the particular nature of the 4th Doctor being rather dispassionate about social niceties. I think Talons can be defended in that it does probably reflect some of the attitudes and sensibilities of Victorian English of the 1870s.

I was rather intrigued by the idea raised about whether the serial and other “problematic” broadcast material, should be buried away and not shown? Dick Fiddy discussed how the role of the BFI wasn’t to be apologists for the past but to give context to that past. As someone who was a child when this story first came out and was probably more concerned by seeing a giant rat, I think it is far more truthful to show the episodes as they were made whilst understanding the context of the late 1970s for a modern audience. Louise Jameson noted in her interview that there wasn’t any discussion regarding racism during the production of the serial and they wouldn’t have deliberately created a racist programme.

Emma Ko commented she felt the storyline is of its time but was still “dehumanising as the criminal gang’s motivation hangs only on being Chinese. It avoids exploring the narrative of fully realised characters and generalising a culture tends to keep it at a distance” There is justification for Emma Ko’s point but as Dick Fiddy pointed out that the story does call to another tradition of what are known as penny dreadful “blood and thunder “Fu Manchu novels by Sax Rohmer.

It is historically accurate that there was a Chinese community in Limehouse and Sax Rohmer used ethnic identities to add an exotic mysteriousness to his characters which Robert Holmes would have been aware of. In my opinion, the Chinese gang characters aren’t dehumanised as such but, as in much of classic and new Doctor Who, the recognisable plot uses to push the story on.

Actor John Bennett
Actor John Bennett
As Li H'sen Chang
As Li H'sen Chang

It is a complex subject as there is a central Chinese character Li H’sen Chang but as Emma Ko further commented she found it problematic and hard to watch as John Bennett is “a white man-made up with make-up, to look a yellow face” Chinese. Li H’sen Chang has an exaggerated forehead, eyelids”. There has been a history of yellow facing in theatre with make-up and costume which has been seen as a caricatured representation of Asian dress.

To be fair, regardless of the makeup as an actor John Bennett puts in an absolutely mesmerising performance as Li H’sen Chang. He’s a fully rounded man at times fascinating as the theatre performer, terrifying when hypnotising people or abducting girls, but also charming and sympathetic at times. BFI hosts Dick Fiddy noted in trying to explain the historical context that this was a time where white men were cast in non-white roles, prevalent due to a lack of ethnic actors but where dissenting voices were few and far between.

I do remember growing up in the 1970s watching a then-popular BBC light entertainment show called The Good Old Days which recreated the authentic atmosphere of a Victorian theatre and it’s something that seems so very “British” so there is no surprise that I love the Talons of Weng Chiang despite the issues it raises. There is a familiarity with the use of the Victorian setting something the BBC do very well (as experts in costume drama). Robert Holmes delivers a wonderfully atmospheric, dark and witty script. His script draws on the seedier sides of Victorian life with allusions to Jack the Ripper, prostitution and takes the music hall theatre traditional setting and weaves an interesting story around it.

Robert Holmes also pulls in other elements of literature such as Sherlock Holmes (the Doctor’s costume) and Pygmalion as Leela is dressed in fine clothes as befits a lady but has no pretensions to be different to who she is. Both actors are on top form as Tom Baker’s Doctor broods and growl his way and Louise carves out her savage as brave and instinctive.

Special Postcard

To end the event there was a signing with Louise Jameson. As with previous recent releases, there was a special postcard produced by the BFI for the event showing the amazing cover for the Season 14 Blu-ray.

The Season 14 Postcard created by the BFI & BBC Studios plus the event information sheet
The Season 14 Postcard created by the BFI & BBC Studios plus the event information sheet

It didn’t matter that due to the concerns of COVID-19 we had to queue to see Louise Jameson observing social distancing and were told selfies weren’t allowed. We felt blessed that the event went ahead. Thank-you BFI and we look forward to coming back soon.

Doctor Who The Collection – Season 14 is released on 4th May 2020

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Podcasting on lockdown! Light news and our review of the 3rd Doctor story – Inferno https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/260/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=260 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/260/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2020 07:00:53 +0000 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/?p=8326 The Big Blue Box Podcast - Episode 260

The News

We sadly say goodbye to David Collings, the Rose 15th anniversary watch through should be good and Fantom Events put on a virtual fan event.

Merch Corner

No merch this week.

Review story this week is: Inferno

We have wanted to do Inferno for ages (in fact Adam thought we had done it!) and it's finally here. An often loved classic story but what do we think? Red hot or green sludge? Thank you all for listening this week. Next week our review is Torchwood - End of Days. Until then have a great week, take care of yourselves, stay healthy and remember – Allons-y!]]>
The Big Blue Box Podcast - Episode 260

The News

We sadly say goodbye to David Collings, the Rose 15th anniversary watch through should be good and Fantom Events put on a virtual fan event.

Merch Corner

No merch this week.

Review story this week is: Inferno

We have wanted to do Inferno for ages (in fact Adam thought we had done it!) and it's finally here. An often loved classic story but what do we think? Red hot or green sludge? Thank you all for listening this week. Next week our review is Torchwood - End of Days. Until then have a great week, take care of yourselves, stay healthy and remember – Allons-y!]]>
https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/260/feed/ 2 8326