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. Fri, 16 Aug 2019 07:12:13 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 71078257 Sarah Jane Adventures – Ep239: Red Demon is Actually Nice https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/ep239/ https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/ep239/#respond Fri, 16 Aug 2019 05:30:24 +0000 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/?p=6263 The Big Blue Box Podcast - Episode 239

Hey Who fans. We're back! In this week's show...

The News

No decent news of any substance but we do chat about that so-called announcement that turned out to be a debunking of a rumour. Gotta love Who fandom at times, lol.

Merch Corner

An awesome new collection of short stories is out in October in the style of the old Target books titled "The Target Storybook" which has a couple of interesting authors and the next documentary DVD from Reeltime Pictures is out this November called "More Monsters".

"SJA - The Mad Woman in the Attic" Review

Poor old Rani, it looked like fate had dealt her a rotten hand and she was doomed to spend her days in the darkness in Bannerman Road but after some great storytelling, all's not what it seems and the future is not set. It's so great to be back on the SJA reviews so did this one continue our good vibes with the Attic crew?

On the next show, our review will be the 5th Doctor story - Arc of Infinity. Until then have a great couple of weeks and remember - Allons-y!

The post Sarah Jane Adventures – Ep239: Red Demon is Actually Nice appeared first on The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast.

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The Big Blue Box Podcast - Episode 239

Hey Who fans. We're back! In this week's show...

The News

No decent news of any substance but we do chat about that so-called announcement that turned out to be a debunking of a rumour. Gotta love Who fandom at times, lol.

Merch Corner

An awesome new collection of short stories is out in October in the style of the old Target books titled "The Target Storybook" which has a couple of interesting authors and the next documentary DVD from Reeltime Pictures is out this November called "More Monsters".

"SJA - The Mad Woman in the Attic" Review

Poor old Rani, it looked like fate had dealt her a rotten hand and she was doomed to spend her days in the darkness in Bannerman Road but after some great storytelling, all's not what it seems and the future is not set. It's so great to be back on the SJA reviews so did this one continue our good vibes with the Attic crew?

On the next show, our review will be the 5th Doctor story - Arc of Infinity. Until then have a great couple of weeks and remember - Allons-y!

The post Sarah Jane Adventures – Ep239: Red Demon is Actually Nice appeared first on The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast.

]]>
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The Great Virgin New Adventures Review: Timewyrm – Genesys + Exodus https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/the-great-virgin-new-adventures-review-timewyrm-genesys-exodus/ https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/the-great-virgin-new-adventures-review-timewyrm-genesys-exodus/#respond Thu, 08 Aug 2019 09:00:09 +0000 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/?p=6230

Recently I decided to read as many of the Virgin New Adventures novels as I possibly could, all in order. While some of the later novels you need to be a millionaire to buy, I thought it would be an interesting experiment to do, with these books confirmed at the time to be the continuation of the series at the end of Survival.

Virgin kicked the new series of books off with the opening set of four stories being linked by the titular Timewyrm, an alien being that hunts the Doctor and Ace throughout time and space. Here I'll talk about the first two, Timewyrm: Genesys and Timewyrm: Exodus, written by John Peel and Terrance Dicks. Even just a glance at the covers will confirm that these books are far removed from the television series but they give us a good glimpse into the face of Doctor Who in the 1990s. And it is fair to remember that these books kept the show alive, so no matter on how you feel about them, their importance can never be understated...

TIMEWYRM: GENESYS

Kicking the series off in 1991 was Genesys, written by John Peel, a name that will be familiar to fans of the show towards the late 1980s and into the 1990s as he not only novelised Power and Evil of the Daleks for the Target range which coming to its natural end, but a number of novelizations of other stories and brand new contributions for both the New Adventures and Missing Adventures from Virgin Books but also the Past Doctor Adventures and The Eighth Doctor Adventures from BBC Books ranges, two ranges which ran right up until the end of 2005.

I brought this book years ago but having heard so much negative feedback about it online, I was hesitant to read it, believing them all to be full of bad-language and other adult themes. And some of them are, but Genesys isn't really like that. In fact, the tone doesn't feel all that different from the later McCoy era on screen. With Ghost Light, Curse of Fenric and Survival taking on a much more adult vibe, Peel rightly keeps that tone going here but never goes too far overboard, even if there are a couple of passages that might upset people. And perhaps the book does go a little too far into the world of sex and violence, with Peel entering The Epic of Gilgamesh in a Doctor Who story without constraints.

[caption id="attachment_6235" align="aligncenter" width="350"]The Full Cover for Timewyrm: Genesys The Full Cover for Timewyrm: Genesys[/caption]

Where the book really succeeds though is in its characterisations, particularly the way that Peel handles Ace as throughout the novel he takes the time to give us insights into how she feels travelling in the TARDIS and the Doctor, the good and the bad things about it and it really works in making her a lot more relatable.

As I stated above, where the book doesn't quite succeed is in how far it is allowed to go in other directions. We've got people having their entrails being cut out, a teenage prostitute who walks around topless most of the time and Ace even has a couple of nude scenes which feel entirely out of place and take you out of the story. While it is clear that Peel had gone to great strengths to set up the feel of that time-period these elements don't have any place in a Doctor Who story, no matter how 'adult', the books were supposed to feel. I had similar feelings about the recent episode Rosa and the multiple usage of a terrible derogative word. Some things have no place in Doctor Who and unfortunately, this book has plenty of elements like this.

Peel's interpretation of the Seventh Doctor is a little strange too. While on screen he was manipulative and put Ace in danger and used her as a pawn against his enemies, he always knew when he had gone too far and always apologised for his actions when she called him out. Here though, while it isn't hard to imagine Sylvester McCoy delivering the lines, he just comes across as cold and uncaring, even calling Ace out for calling him out on pressuring her to spend time with a known rapist and murderer because it would just inconvenience him if she were around. It is a strange way to handle the Seventh Doctor and it just works as a way of keeping these novels out of the main continuity of the franchise.

The villain of the piece is interesting though. Ishtar as she is known here may come across as just another megalomaniac trying to conquer the Earth but she is honest about it. Peel doesn't waste any time in trying to convince us she is anything other than that and as a result she comes across a lot better than some of the other baddies we've seen over the years.

It is also interesting that she doesn't have any grand plans she just wants to cause pain to the people of Earth and she may be completely insane, she is methodical and intelligent and makes her more than a match for the Seventh Doctor. So much so it is a shame we never got a villain like her on the television series proper. As you might have guessed by now, the end of the book sees her becoming the titular Timewyrm but her transformation is unexpected and done rather well. She also manages to bring out a different side of the Doctor, one that is quite happy to sacrifice himself and Ace if it means Ishtar is stopped.

Genesys is a great way to kick the series off, even if it was a little controversial upon its release and even it sounds like I didn't enjoy it! I thought it was quite a good book when all things are said and done. It is certainly going to feel strange if you are heading into it believing it to be something akin to the television series, with its mature themes and language which will no doubt put some readers off.

But we can forgive it if it feels like it's trying too hard, this was the book that not only had to kick off a new series of novels but restart the Doctor Who franchise. And in that respect, it succeeds. If you can find it for a cheap price online it is definitely worth picking up, even if it just for curiosity value.

TIMEWYRM: EXODUS

The second book under the title of Timewyrm was Exodus, written by Doctor Who legend, Terrance Dicks, who takes us back to World War 2, just not the way we might remember...

Right off the bat, this book will challenge your knowledge of World War 2 and have your brain rushing to try and remember what you learnt at school. But Dicks seems to know that and the whole thing is written in a way that means you don't have to research the events that unfold here. What did surprise me here though was how readily the book was to have us meet the big players in WW2, including Hitler and Goering and Himmler. With the Classic Series seemingly avoiding the conflict altogether, even stories like Curse of Fenric felt far removed from the conflict it was set in, even the modern series has only just started to really show the horrors of the conflict so it might take some by surprise to see the Doctor and Ace have to pretend to be friends to the Nazi party.

But Dicks never once slips up, keeping the Nazi's as an evil force that almost conquered the world. Ace is disgusted by the whole thing, even if the Seventh Doctor here still feels a little strange and cold. But he doesn't tell her to shut up about the shocks of this time period. Instead, he works at manipulating Hitler and his posse into making sure the correct history is played out.

[caption id="attachment_6236" align="aligncenter" width="433"]Textless cover for Timewyrm: Exodus Textless cover for Timewyrm: Exodus[/caption]

Ishtar, or the Timewyrm as she goes by now has taken over Hitler's mind, going for the maddest person in the room. Her plan is still causing the most pain and misery to the planet as she can and with WW2 being the worst of the worst, she comes very close, especially when the real villains of the piece turn up. The War Lords.

Originally created by Dicks and Malcolm Hulke in the 1969 adventure, The War Games, the War Lords, once more lead by the War Chief, were defeated by The Doctor, Jamie, Zoe and the Time Lords and they headed back to this time to make sure that the history of planet Earth was radically changed. Whereas in the last story they wanted to create a massive army of the best soldiers, this time they use the Nazi army in their plans.

They are a brilliant inclusion and Dicks gets their characterisation just right and they really come into their own in the last part of the book with the War Chief coming across brilliantly. One wonders why they never turned up again in Doctor Who proper as this book proves how great they could have been as a proper invading force.

Ace would leave in a few books time with Love and War proving to be her last solo adventure with the Doctor, though she would travel with him once again with Bernice Summerfield later in the range. But the seeds of her departure are sown here with some of the Doctor's treatment of her, though he does apologise about it and Ace takes it in her stride. But the Doctor must have known the danger she was in, especially when they are in Nazi-Germany. But Ace is her usual brilliant self, throwing herself around and beating people up, even if she does break character once when does a traditional companion scream. But she was going to be sacrificed so I suppose we can forgive her for it!

Dicks also goes to some lengths to make Hitler, Himmler and Goering feel like characters and not just terrible historical figures and he once again shows us how deft his writing is as he doesn't humanize them, rightly keeping them as the horrible people they were but giving us some interesting takes on the reasons behind their actions. It might take some readers by surprise to see these three historical figures get such inclusion in a book, I did me, but overall it works reminding us that these events should never be forgotten so that nothing like that can happen ever again.

Timewyrm Exodus is another fine book, a lot stronger than its predecessor, mainly thanks to it being written by a Doctor Who legend like Terrance Dicks. But it is just a cracking book and one of the range's earliest successes.

And unlike its predecessor, Dicks manages to pull off the horrors of the time without it ever becoming lurid and truly nasty. He handles the subject of WW2 like a pro and for what was really the Classic Era's first proper foray into the period, it was a success with Dicks proving once again why he is held in such high regard by the Doctor Who community!

NEXT TIME: APOCALYPSE'S AND REVELATION'S: ALIEN PLANETS AND A VILLAGE ON THE MOON...

The post The Great Virgin New Adventures Review: Timewyrm – Genesys + Exodus appeared first on The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast.

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Recently I decided to read as many of the Virgin New Adventures novels as I possibly could, all in order. While some of the later novels you need to be a millionaire to buy, I thought it would be an interesting experiment to do, with these books confirmed at the time to be the continuation of the series at the end of Survival. Virgin kicked the new series of books off with the opening set of four stories being linked by the titular Timewyrm, an alien being that hunts the Doctor and Ace throughout time and space. Here I'll talk about the first two, Timewyrm: Genesys and Timewyrm: Exodus, written by John Peel and Terrance Dicks. Even just a glance at the covers will confirm that these books are far removed from the television series but they give us a good glimpse into the face of Doctor Who in the 1990s. And it is fair to remember that these books kept the show alive, so no matter on how you feel about them, their importance can never be understated...

TIMEWYRM: GENESYS

Kicking the series off in 1991 was Genesys, written by John Peel, a name that will be familiar to fans of the show towards the late 1980s and into the 1990s as he not only novelised Power and Evil of the Daleks for the Target range which coming to its natural end, but a number of novelizations of other stories and brand new contributions for both the New Adventures and Missing Adventures from Virgin Books but also the Past Doctor Adventures and The Eighth Doctor Adventures from BBC Books ranges, two ranges which ran right up until the end of 2005. I brought this book years ago but having heard so much negative feedback about it online, I was hesitant to read it, believing them all to be full of bad-language and other adult themes. And some of them are, but Genesys isn't really like that. In fact, the tone doesn't feel all that different from the later McCoy era on screen. With Ghost Light, Curse of Fenric and Survival taking on a much more adult vibe, Peel rightly keeps that tone going here but never goes too far overboard, even if there are a couple of passages that might upset people. And perhaps the book does go a little too far into the world of sex and violence, with Peel entering The Epic of Gilgamesh in a Doctor Who story without constraints. [caption id="attachment_6235" align="aligncenter" width="350"]The Full Cover for Timewyrm: Genesys The Full Cover for Timewyrm: Genesys[/caption] Where the book really succeeds though is in its characterisations, particularly the way that Peel handles Ace as throughout the novel he takes the time to give us insights into how she feels travelling in the TARDIS and the Doctor, the good and the bad things about it and it really works in making her a lot more relatable. As I stated above, where the book doesn't quite succeed is in how far it is allowed to go in other directions. We've got people having their entrails being cut out, a teenage prostitute who walks around topless most of the time and Ace even has a couple of nude scenes which feel entirely out of place and take you out of the story. While it is clear that Peel had gone to great strengths to set up the feel of that time-period these elements don't have any place in a Doctor Who story, no matter how 'adult', the books were supposed to feel. I had similar feelings about the recent episode Rosa and the multiple usage of a terrible derogative word. Some things have no place in Doctor Who and unfortunately, this book has plenty of elements like this. Peel's interpretation of the Seventh Doctor is a little strange too. While on screen he was manipulative and put Ace in danger and used her as a pawn against his enemies, he always knew when he had gone too far and always apologised for his actions when she called him out. Here though, while it isn't hard to imagine Sylvester McCoy delivering the lines, he just comes across as cold and uncaring, even calling Ace out for calling him out on pressuring her to spend time with a known rapist and murderer because it would just inconvenience him if she were around. It is a strange way to handle the Seventh Doctor and it just works as a way of keeping these novels out of the main continuity of the franchise. The villain of the piece is interesting though. Ishtar as she is known here may come across as just another megalomaniac trying to conquer the Earth but she is honest about it. Peel doesn't waste any time in trying to convince us she is anything other than that and as a result she comes across a lot better than some of the other baddies we've seen over the years. It is also interesting that she doesn't have any grand plans she just wants to cause pain to the people of Earth and she may be completely insane, she is methodical and intelligent and makes her more than a match for the Seventh Doctor. So much so it is a shame we never got a villain like her on the television series proper. As you might have guessed by now, the end of the book sees her becoming the titular Timewyrm but her transformation is unexpected and done rather well. She also manages to bring out a different side of the Doctor, one that is quite happy to sacrifice himself and Ace if it means Ishtar is stopped. Genesys is a great way to kick the series off, even if it was a little controversial upon its release and even it sounds like I didn't enjoy it! I thought it was quite a good book when all things are said and done. It is certainly going to feel strange if you are heading into it believing it to be something akin to the television series, with its mature themes and language which will no doubt put some readers off. But we can forgive it if it feels like it's trying too hard, this was the book that not only had to kick off a new series of novels but restart the Doctor Who franchise. And in that respect, it succeeds. If you can find it for a cheap price online it is definitely worth picking up, even if it just for curiosity value.

TIMEWYRM: EXODUS

The second book under the title of Timewyrm was Exodus, written by Doctor Who legend, Terrance Dicks, who takes us back to World War 2, just not the way we might remember... Right off the bat, this book will challenge your knowledge of World War 2 and have your brain rushing to try and remember what you learnt at school. But Dicks seems to know that and the whole thing is written in a way that means you don't have to research the events that unfold here. What did surprise me here though was how readily the book was to have us meet the big players in WW2, including Hitler and Goering and Himmler. With the Classic Series seemingly avoiding the conflict altogether, even stories like Curse of Fenric felt far removed from the conflict it was set in, even the modern series has only just started to really show the horrors of the conflict so it might take some by surprise to see the Doctor and Ace have to pretend to be friends to the Nazi party. But Dicks never once slips up, keeping the Nazi's as an evil force that almost conquered the world. Ace is disgusted by the whole thing, even if the Seventh Doctor here still feels a little strange and cold. But he doesn't tell her to shut up about the shocks of this time period. Instead, he works at manipulating Hitler and his posse into making sure the correct history is played out. [caption id="attachment_6236" align="aligncenter" width="433"]Textless cover for Timewyrm: Exodus Textless cover for Timewyrm: Exodus[/caption] Ishtar, or the Timewyrm as she goes by now has taken over Hitler's mind, going for the maddest person in the room. Her plan is still causing the most pain and misery to the planet as she can and with WW2 being the worst of the worst, she comes very close, especially when the real villains of the piece turn up. The War Lords. Originally created by Dicks and Malcolm Hulke in the 1969 adventure, The War Games, the War Lords, once more lead by the War Chief, were defeated by The Doctor, Jamie, Zoe and the Time Lords and they headed back to this time to make sure that the history of planet Earth was radically changed. Whereas in the last story they wanted to create a massive army of the best soldiers, this time they use the Nazi army in their plans. They are a brilliant inclusion and Dicks gets their characterisation just right and they really come into their own in the last part of the book with the War Chief coming across brilliantly. One wonders why they never turned up again in Doctor Who proper as this book proves how great they could have been as a proper invading force. Ace would leave in a few books time with Love and War proving to be her last solo adventure with the Doctor, though she would travel with him once again with Bernice Summerfield later in the range. But the seeds of her departure are sown here with some of the Doctor's treatment of her, though he does apologise about it and Ace takes it in her stride. But the Doctor must have known the danger she was in, especially when they are in Nazi-Germany. But Ace is her usual brilliant self, throwing herself around and beating people up, even if she does break character once when does a traditional companion scream. But she was going to be sacrificed so I suppose we can forgive her for it! Dicks also goes to some lengths to make Hitler, Himmler and Goering feel like characters and not just terrible historical figures and he once again shows us how deft his writing is as he doesn't humanize them, rightly keeping them as the horrible people they were but giving us some interesting takes on the reasons behind their actions. It might take some readers by surprise to see these three historical figures get such inclusion in a book, I did me, but overall it works reminding us that these events should never be forgotten so that nothing like that can happen ever again. Timewyrm Exodus is another fine book, a lot stronger than its predecessor, mainly thanks to it being written by a Doctor Who legend like Terrance Dicks. But it is just a cracking book and one of the range's earliest successes. And unlike its predecessor, Dicks manages to pull off the horrors of the time without it ever becoming lurid and truly nasty. He handles the subject of WW2 like a pro and for what was really the Classic Era's first proper foray into the period, it was a success with Dicks proving once again why he is held in such high regard by the Doctor Who community! NEXT TIME: APOCALYPSE'S AND REVELATION'S: ALIEN PLANETS AND A VILLAGE ON THE MOON...

The post The Great Virgin New Adventures Review: Timewyrm – Genesys + Exodus appeared first on The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast.

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Big Finish Review: Legacy of Time https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/big-finish-review-legacy-of-time/ https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/big-finish-review-legacy-of-time/#respond Wed, 07 Aug 2019 13:00:23 +0000 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/?p=6215

It's hard to believe that its been 20 years since Big Finish began to produce the fantastic audio adventures that we take for advantage these days. From Bernice Summerfield: Oh No It Isn't! and The Sirens of Time, there were many years when Big Finish were the only major contributors outside of BBC Books who were putting out brand new adventures for the many Doctor's and his many, many friends. But their popularity didn't dwindle when the show came back in 2005. In fact, it was the complete opposite, with the company going from strength to strength, not only producing Doctor Who audio adventures anymore but adventures from many other properties.

Nowadays it is hard to imagine a time without Big Finish but in 1999, they were just budding fans, dipping their toes in the waters of Doctor Who. Nowadays they are veterans of the franchise giving us some of the best Doctor Who adventures out there.

It was only proper then that they should release something to celebrate the occasion and the result is a hefty tome-like release, bigger than any other boxset that Big Finish has ever put out. We've got six brand new adventures, plenty of Doctors, reunions, companions, friends, cameos and punch the air moments to explore. So let's get into The Legacy of Time.

(As much as I'll try to avoid them, there may be spoilers ahead.)

[caption id="attachment_6217" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Doctor Who: The Legacy of Time Doctor Who: The Legacy of Time[/caption]

LIES IN RUINS BY JAMES GOSS

The set kicks off in high gear with a brilliant adventure from James Goss. Lies in Ruins sees the return of Big Finish's first lady, Bernice Summerfield and another meeting with Professor River Song. From the beginning, the pairing is excellent, with Bernice and River both rubbing each other up the wrong way, despite actually having a tremendous amount of respect for one another.  Goss adds a great layer of character when he says that Bernice actually taught River at the Luna University which we know she studied at in a couple of flashbacks in Series 6 of the modern era. For some listeners, it might just be a throwaway line. But for listeners like myself, who relish these little winks and nods to both eras of the show, it is a brilliant moment.

Niftily avoiding the catfight that Rose and Sarah-Jane had when they met, Goss instead decides to allow the pair to learn from each other and they really come together in how they handle the Eighth Doctor, a completely different man than we know and love. This is because Goss has set this story right in the middle of the Time War and the Doctor has had enough of it. Travelling with his new companion, Ria, someone who might seem annoying at first but plays a big part in the second half of it and actually gets to be one of the major twists and emotional moments, concerning how desperate the Doctor is at this point in his life, the story poses the question of will the Doctor finally go too far this time.

[caption id="attachment_6219" align="aligncenter" width="744"]Alex Kingston and Lisa Bowerman Alex Kingston and Lisa Bowerman[/caption]

It is that knife-edge that we find River and Bernice trying to keep the Doctor from walking across and it's great to hear them both trying to stop the Doctor from going too far, despite both of them being characters who have made incredibly tough and dark decisions in the past.

With a number of great twists and turns, some of which you might see coming, some you won't, Lies in Ruins is a great way to kick the set off and one that will leave you wanting to devour the rest of the set right away. And make sure you listen to after the credits as it gives us the return of one of Big Finish's oldest adversaries...

THE SPLIT INITIATIVE BY JOHN DORNEY

The Counter-Measures team has always been one of my favourite Big Finish series and so I was very excited to find out that the gang would be returning for a new adventure that bridged the gap between their two eras with the Seventh Doctor and Ace.

While the blurb might make this adventure sound slightly confusing, it is actually a great way to structure the story, allowing us to play around with time a little bit in the process. It also sees the return of the classic Big Finish villains, the Rocket Men, a group I wasn't that keen on, to begin with but found myself wanting to hear more of their past appearances by the time this story wrapped up.

[caption id="attachment_6220" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Sophie Aldred, Simon Williams, Pamela Salem, Karen Gledhill and Hugh Ross Sophie Aldred, Simon Williams, Pamela Salem, Karen Gledhill and Hugh Ross[/caption]

What really makes The Split Initiative a great way to spend an hour is its cast. The Counter Measures gang have always been great and this gives each member a time to shine. As a spin-off its hard to understand why these guys never got another television appearance and Dorney goes to great lengths to try and tie up one of the biggest continuity niggles the show has ever had with an amusing result.

I've often wondered why Counter Measures never did too well in terms of sales because they have been one of the strongest series to be put out. And The Split Initiative is another great example of why we need more from the Counter-Measures team in the near future.

THE SACRIFICE OF JO GRANT BY GUY ADAMS

The third adventure of the set is perhaps the most emotional because not only does it feature, as the title suggests, the sacrifice of Jo Grant but a reunion between and man and his daughter.

Using the older version of Jo Grant/Jones, Adams builds on the story of Jo and Osgood becoming great friends and Jo actually bringing Osgood out of her shell a little and as such, the story kicks off at a water park and the pair are planning to go paintballing in the future. But when fractures in time open up across a quiet village, UNIT finds themselves called in.

[caption id="attachment_6221" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Katy Manning and Jemma Redgrave Katy Manning and Jemma Redgrave[/caption]

But in traditional Doctor Who fashion, things go wrong and Jo and Kate find themselves transported back to the early seventies where we get a reunion between Jo and the Doctor, once again played by Tim Trelor. I took a while to warm to Trelor's performance as the Third Doctor, to begin with, but over the years he has done a great job of both honouring Jon Pertwee and making the character his own. Adams makes sure he gets plenty of Third Doctor action here and gives Osgood and Nicolas Briggs as a Captain in present-day UNIT plenty to do with dinosaur skeletons coming back to life.

But the main bulk of the story rightly takes place in the seventies and Jo is constantly telling Kate to use a walkie-talkie to talk to her father. Kate is worried about the fabric of time but we get a great moment when The Third Doctor works out who Kate is, pleased that UNIT is in safe hands in the future. And we get a brilliant moment with Jon Culshaw making another appearance as the Brigadier. The resulting reunion, of sorts, feels completely earned and is surprisingly effective in its emotional impact. And Jo's sacrifice is played excellently too by Katy Manning and Tim Trelor who really sell the moment. To say any more to be to spoil a tremendous story but this is one not to be missed.

RELATIVE TIME BY MATT FITTON

We've got another father and daughter reunion in Relative Time, in more ways than one. The story features real-life parent and child Peter Davison and Georgia Tennant playing the Fifth Doctor and his future-daughter, Jenny. Fitton brings back another Big Finish villain, the Nine, the mad Time-Lord who houses all the personalities of his previous regenerations in his brain. A Kleptomaniac, he sees something pretty to steal, but there are fractures all-around time and there is a ship that is travelling through them, to witness the deaths of universes.

[caption id="attachment_6222" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Father and Daughter: Georgia Tennant and Peter Davison Father and Daughter: Georgia Tennant and Peter Davison[/caption]

It's another fun story with a strong script from Fitton. The fractures in time come into play more from now on, playing big parts in the last two adventures and the use of them is an interesting one. What really makes this adventure worth the listen is the performances from Davison and Tennant and the pair are clearly having a whale of a time playing against one another.

A lot of the fun comes from the Doctor working out who Jenny is in relation to him and it is surprisingly emotional when he does so. The story also ends on a sort-of cliff-hanger which will probably lead into a future Jenny set. The Nine once again, as he did in Companion Piece, proves to be an effective baddie and another great creation to the Doctor Who mythos from Big Finish!

AVENUES OF POSSIBILITIES BY JONATHAN MORRIS

Avenues of Possibilities brings back a number of Big Finish favourites most notably the pairing of the Sixth Doctor with Charley Pollard and DI Patricia Menzies, played by Anna Hope. With more fractures in time opening around London and people from the past stepping into the future and vice-versa, Menzies has her work cut out for her. Luckily the Doctor is also on the case.

With a great guest cast, Morris plays this one as one part, exciting run-around and the other an interesting history lesson with the founders of the modern-day police force, playing a big part in the proceedings. It is also the story where the true villain is finally revealed with Charley coming face to face with them.

[caption id="attachment_6224" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Anna Hope, Colin Baker and India Fisher Anna Hope, Colin Baker and India Fisher[/caption]

But in typical Doctor Who fashion, as if that wasn't enough, it is also a story that deals with parallel universes and alternative pasts/futures. With a fun nod to the title of Brigade Leader from Inferno and some mentions of Dodo and Peri, Morris makes sure to keep us continuity mad-fans happy. We also get some sweet references to the late-great Maggie Stables with the villain of the piece being named after her. No doubt if she was still with us, this would have been a Six-Evelyn tale, but Charley Pollard was every bit as great as Evelyn so it is a happy trade.

Morris makes sure to keep Menzies the same funny, intelligent and inquisitive Detective Inspector as she always was and it makes for an interesting dynamic with a character who likes the Doctor to be included but doesn't want to actually travel with him. All this leads nicely into the final story of the set.

COLLISION COURSE BY GUY ADAMS

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

It is all down to Guy Adams to bring this smashing set to a conclusion, something he does brilliantly in Collision Course. With the time-fractures having reached Gallifrey, Romana and Leela find themselves talking about one of their travels with the Doctor and find out they went to the same planet. While there is nothing really strange in that, what is strange is that they both describe the planet differently. Almost as if it went down an alternate future...

What ensues is a rip-roaring adventure which goes all the way back to the first trial test of a TARDIS and the first meeting of the Sirens and the Time-Lords. As you might have guessed, and the trailer did brilliantly, we get the inclusion of many Doctors, as well as Romana, Leela and Bernice Summerfield who is brilliantly annoyed at having to have gathered all the Doctors together. And when I mean all the Doctors, I mean pretty much every single one. Towards the end of this one, we get cameos from the First, Second and Tenth Doctors, played by David Bradley, Frazer Hines and David Tennant.

The Tenth Doctor's reunion with Leela and Bernice was a punch the air moment, which had tears forming in my eyes!

[caption id="attachment_6225" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Louise Jameson and Lalla Ward Louise Jameson and Lalla Ward[/caption]

But Adams makes sure the keep things light enough to be enjoyed in the same vein as the other multi-Doctor stories, with plenty of bickering between them all. We've got some really funny lines about the Doctor's many faults including one about how it took the Fifth Doctor a year to get Tegan back to the biggest airport in the UK!

As the story and the set wraps itself up, we get some nicer quiet moments between the cast which genuinely feels like the actors are saying thank-you to Big Finish for the years they have gotten to play the Doctor again!

OVERALL

The Legacy of Time is truly a great way to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Big Finish. Not only does it tie into things that have happened on audio but also to events that have happened on television. We get references to things past and present, including Jodie Whittaker's era and plenty of cameos to keep everyone happy.

Avengers: Endgame was one of the biggest crossover events of the year and no-doubt The Legacy of Time will go down in history as one of Doctor Who's Endgame moments.

This set is truly not to be missed!

The post Big Finish Review: Legacy of Time appeared first on The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast.

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It's hard to believe that its been 20 years since Big Finish began to produce the fantastic audio adventures that we take for advantage these days. From Bernice Summerfield: Oh No It Isn't! and The Sirens of Time, there were many years when Big Finish were the only major contributors outside of BBC Books who were putting out brand new adventures for the many Doctor's and his many, many friends. But their popularity didn't dwindle when the show came back in 2005. In fact, it was the complete opposite, with the company going from strength to strength, not only producing Doctor Who audio adventures anymore but adventures from many other properties. Nowadays it is hard to imagine a time without Big Finish but in 1999, they were just budding fans, dipping their toes in the waters of Doctor Who. Nowadays they are veterans of the franchise giving us some of the best Doctor Who adventures out there. It was only proper then that they should release something to celebrate the occasion and the result is a hefty tome-like release, bigger than any other boxset that Big Finish has ever put out. We've got six brand new adventures, plenty of Doctors, reunions, companions, friends, cameos and punch the air moments to explore. So let's get into The Legacy of Time. (As much as I'll try to avoid them, there may be spoilers ahead.) [caption id="attachment_6217" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Doctor Who: The Legacy of Time Doctor Who: The Legacy of Time[/caption]

LIES IN RUINS BY JAMES GOSS

The set kicks off in high gear with a brilliant adventure from James Goss. Lies in Ruins sees the return of Big Finish's first lady, Bernice Summerfield and another meeting with Professor River Song. From the beginning, the pairing is excellent, with Bernice and River both rubbing each other up the wrong way, despite actually having a tremendous amount of respect for one another.  Goss adds a great layer of character when he says that Bernice actually taught River at the Luna University which we know she studied at in a couple of flashbacks in Series 6 of the modern era. For some listeners, it might just be a throwaway line. But for listeners like myself, who relish these little winks and nods to both eras of the show, it is a brilliant moment. Niftily avoiding the catfight that Rose and Sarah-Jane had when they met, Goss instead decides to allow the pair to learn from each other and they really come together in how they handle the Eighth Doctor, a completely different man than we know and love. This is because Goss has set this story right in the middle of the Time War and the Doctor has had enough of it. Travelling with his new companion, Ria, someone who might seem annoying at first but plays a big part in the second half of it and actually gets to be one of the major twists and emotional moments, concerning how desperate the Doctor is at this point in his life, the story poses the question of will the Doctor finally go too far this time. [caption id="attachment_6219" align="aligncenter" width="744"]Alex Kingston and Lisa Bowerman Alex Kingston and Lisa Bowerman[/caption] It is that knife-edge that we find River and Bernice trying to keep the Doctor from walking across and it's great to hear them both trying to stop the Doctor from going too far, despite both of them being characters who have made incredibly tough and dark decisions in the past. With a number of great twists and turns, some of which you might see coming, some you won't, Lies in Ruins is a great way to kick the set off and one that will leave you wanting to devour the rest of the set right away. And make sure you listen to after the credits as it gives us the return of one of Big Finish's oldest adversaries...

THE SPLIT INITIATIVE BY JOHN DORNEY

The Counter-Measures team has always been one of my favourite Big Finish series and so I was very excited to find out that the gang would be returning for a new adventure that bridged the gap between their two eras with the Seventh Doctor and Ace. While the blurb might make this adventure sound slightly confusing, it is actually a great way to structure the story, allowing us to play around with time a little bit in the process. It also sees the return of the classic Big Finish villains, the Rocket Men, a group I wasn't that keen on, to begin with but found myself wanting to hear more of their past appearances by the time this story wrapped up. [caption id="attachment_6220" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Sophie Aldred, Simon Williams, Pamela Salem, Karen Gledhill and Hugh Ross Sophie Aldred, Simon Williams, Pamela Salem, Karen Gledhill and Hugh Ross[/caption] What really makes The Split Initiative a great way to spend an hour is its cast. The Counter Measures gang have always been great and this gives each member a time to shine. As a spin-off its hard to understand why these guys never got another television appearance and Dorney goes to great lengths to try and tie up one of the biggest continuity niggles the show has ever had with an amusing result. I've often wondered why Counter Measures never did too well in terms of sales because they have been one of the strongest series to be put out. And The Split Initiative is another great example of why we need more from the Counter-Measures team in the near future.

THE SACRIFICE OF JO GRANT BY GUY ADAMS

The third adventure of the set is perhaps the most emotional because not only does it feature, as the title suggests, the sacrifice of Jo Grant but a reunion between and man and his daughter. Using the older version of Jo Grant/Jones, Adams builds on the story of Jo and Osgood becoming great friends and Jo actually bringing Osgood out of her shell a little and as such, the story kicks off at a water park and the pair are planning to go paintballing in the future. But when fractures in time open up across a quiet village, UNIT finds themselves called in. [caption id="attachment_6221" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Katy Manning and Jemma Redgrave Katy Manning and Jemma Redgrave[/caption] But in traditional Doctor Who fashion, things go wrong and Jo and Kate find themselves transported back to the early seventies where we get a reunion between Jo and the Doctor, once again played by Tim Trelor. I took a while to warm to Trelor's performance as the Third Doctor, to begin with, but over the years he has done a great job of both honouring Jon Pertwee and making the character his own. Adams makes sure he gets plenty of Third Doctor action here and gives Osgood and Nicolas Briggs as a Captain in present-day UNIT plenty to do with dinosaur skeletons coming back to life. But the main bulk of the story rightly takes place in the seventies and Jo is constantly telling Kate to use a walkie-talkie to talk to her father. Kate is worried about the fabric of time but we get a great moment when The Third Doctor works out who Kate is, pleased that UNIT is in safe hands in the future. And we get a brilliant moment with Jon Culshaw making another appearance as the Brigadier. The resulting reunion, of sorts, feels completely earned and is surprisingly effective in its emotional impact. And Jo's sacrifice is played excellently too by Katy Manning and Tim Trelor who really sell the moment. To say any more to be to spoil a tremendous story but this is one not to be missed.

RELATIVE TIME BY MATT FITTON

We've got another father and daughter reunion in Relative Time, in more ways than one. The story features real-life parent and child Peter Davison and Georgia Tennant playing the Fifth Doctor and his future-daughter, Jenny. Fitton brings back another Big Finish villain, the Nine, the mad Time-Lord who houses all the personalities of his previous regenerations in his brain. A Kleptomaniac, he sees something pretty to steal, but there are fractures all-around time and there is a ship that is travelling through them, to witness the deaths of universes. [caption id="attachment_6222" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Father and Daughter: Georgia Tennant and Peter Davison Father and Daughter: Georgia Tennant and Peter Davison[/caption] It's another fun story with a strong script from Fitton. The fractures in time come into play more from now on, playing big parts in the last two adventures and the use of them is an interesting one. What really makes this adventure worth the listen is the performances from Davison and Tennant and the pair are clearly having a whale of a time playing against one another. A lot of the fun comes from the Doctor working out who Jenny is in relation to him and it is surprisingly emotional when he does so. The story also ends on a sort-of cliff-hanger which will probably lead into a future Jenny set. The Nine once again, as he did in Companion Piece, proves to be an effective baddie and another great creation to the Doctor Who mythos from Big Finish!

AVENUES OF POSSIBILITIES BY JONATHAN MORRIS

Avenues of Possibilities brings back a number of Big Finish favourites most notably the pairing of the Sixth Doctor with Charley Pollard and DI Patricia Menzies, played by Anna Hope. With more fractures in time opening around London and people from the past stepping into the future and vice-versa, Menzies has her work cut out for her. Luckily the Doctor is also on the case. With a great guest cast, Morris plays this one as one part, exciting run-around and the other an interesting history lesson with the founders of the modern-day police force, playing a big part in the proceedings. It is also the story where the true villain is finally revealed with Charley coming face to face with them. [caption id="attachment_6224" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Anna Hope, Colin Baker and India Fisher Anna Hope, Colin Baker and India Fisher[/caption] But in typical Doctor Who fashion, as if that wasn't enough, it is also a story that deals with parallel universes and alternative pasts/futures. With a fun nod to the title of Brigade Leader from Inferno and some mentions of Dodo and Peri, Morris makes sure to keep us continuity mad-fans happy. We also get some sweet references to the late-great Maggie Stables with the villain of the piece being named after her. No doubt if she was still with us, this would have been a Six-Evelyn tale, but Charley Pollard was every bit as great as Evelyn so it is a happy trade. Morris makes sure to keep Menzies the same funny, intelligent and inquisitive Detective Inspector as she always was and it makes for an interesting dynamic with a character who likes the Doctor to be included but doesn't want to actually travel with him. All this leads nicely into the final story of the set.

COLLISION COURSE BY GUY ADAMS

Warning: Spoilers Ahead It is all down to Guy Adams to bring this smashing set to a conclusion, something he does brilliantly in Collision Course. With the time-fractures having reached Gallifrey, Romana and Leela find themselves talking about one of their travels with the Doctor and find out they went to the same planet. While there is nothing really strange in that, what is strange is that they both describe the planet differently. Almost as if it went down an alternate future... What ensues is a rip-roaring adventure which goes all the way back to the first trial test of a TARDIS and the first meeting of the Sirens and the Time-Lords. As you might have guessed, and the trailer did brilliantly, we get the inclusion of many Doctors, as well as Romana, Leela and Bernice Summerfield who is brilliantly annoyed at having to have gathered all the Doctors together. And when I mean all the Doctors, I mean pretty much every single one. Towards the end of this one, we get cameos from the First, Second and Tenth Doctors, played by David Bradley, Frazer Hines and David Tennant. The Tenth Doctor's reunion with Leela and Bernice was a punch the air moment, which had tears forming in my eyes! [caption id="attachment_6225" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Louise Jameson and Lalla Ward Louise Jameson and Lalla Ward[/caption] But Adams makes sure the keep things light enough to be enjoyed in the same vein as the other multi-Doctor stories, with plenty of bickering between them all. We've got some really funny lines about the Doctor's many faults including one about how it took the Fifth Doctor a year to get Tegan back to the biggest airport in the UK! As the story and the set wraps itself up, we get some nicer quiet moments between the cast which genuinely feels like the actors are saying thank-you to Big Finish for the years they have gotten to play the Doctor again!

OVERALL

The Legacy of Time is truly a great way to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Big Finish. Not only does it tie into things that have happened on audio but also to events that have happened on television. We get references to things past and present, including Jodie Whittaker's era and plenty of cameos to keep everyone happy. Avengers: Endgame was one of the biggest crossover events of the year and no-doubt The Legacy of Time will go down in history as one of Doctor Who's Endgame moments. This set is truly not to be missed!

The post Big Finish Review: Legacy of Time appeared first on The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast.

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Big Finish Review: Memories of a Tyrant https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/big-finish-review-memories-of-a-tyrant/ https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/big-finish-review-memories-of-a-tyrant/#respond Wed, 07 Aug 2019 10:30:26 +0000 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/?p=6211

It seems like ages since we last had a proper Sixth Doctor and Peri adventure. We've had the occasional Short Trip but not a nice four-part main range adventure since The Rani Elite, all the way back in December 2014! But this year Big Finish have given us a special trip, not only have we got a brand new trilogy running up to September, we've got a new Lost Adventure in November and a Christmas adventure, which I believe will feature the Sixth Doctor and Peri, called Blood on Santa's Claw. After years of waiting, we've finally got one of Big Finish's best pairings back together again!

I've really enjoyed Roland Moore's writing with Big Finish, mainly from my listening to The Omega Factor range where his stories always had more than one layer and were always human pieces about human desires, beliefs and lives. And this story is no different with Memories of a Tyrant focusing nicely on the horrors of war, people who are affected by it and even poses the question, should people be punished for things they don't remember doing when its all over?

One wonders if it might be a topic that is a little too heavy for Doctor Who but that is what this show's always been great at doing, taking heavy topics and giving them a sci-fi spin that really makes you think about the topics it is talking about. Doctor Who has also always done stories with war criminals and tyrants but Garius Moro feels very different from a lot of the other evil-doers we've met over the years. I think this is because Moore makes sure that Moro is a rather unassuming fellow. Crippled by the onset of dementia and being forced to remember he genuinely doesn't, this is where Moore's message really kicks in as to whether he should still be punished for doing an evil act he doesn't remember committing.

It's an interesting question to explore and Moore takes great delight in exploring both sides of it. We've got a fun return from the Space Security Services. For those who don't know, Sara Kingdom, one of William Hartnell's companions was an operative of the organisation. And we've got aliens on both ends of the spectrum, ones who suffered at the hands of Moro and ones who benefitted from his actions. But when Moro is the victim of an attempted assassination, one has to wonder if he really deserves it but at the same time, it makes you feel sorry for him as he doesn't know the kind of man that he is. It puts the characters in an interesting position and also the listener as one has to ponder on the ethical questions this story raises through its two-hour runtime.

[caption id="attachment_6213" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Memories of a Tyrant by Roland Moore Memories of a Tyrant by Roland Moore[/caption]

The Sixth Doctor and Peri are used excellently too. Set before Peri's original departure in Mindwarp, Nicola Bryant get a lot of the best scenes. When the pair arrive at the aptly named Memory Farm, Peri wonders if she can use the machine to try and remember her father, who passed away when she was young. But the pair are thrown into the story's main mystery before she gets a chance to use the machine. But it is Peri who figures out the mystery in the final two episodes, separated from the Doctor, she figures out who the real baddie is, their motives and why they did it.

Peri has always been one of the best Big Finish companions, thanks to Big Finish always being great at character work and it is clear how much Bryant has appreciated this over the years she has worked with them. Listening to this story, it felt very reminiscent of the early days for the pair at BF and Roland Moore has a great handle on the pair. I'd be very happy to see him writing for the pair sometime in the future.

We also get an interesting look at the Sixth Doctor who thanks to the machinations of the real baddie, believes himself to be Moro and is thrown into a mining planet until he gets a trial. Thanks to Moore's writing and Colin Baker's brilliant performance, you do really believe that he might be a genocidal intergalactic menace. So good it is the performance, one almost wishes he spent more of the story in this darker persona but this plot device is played for the perfect amount of time, giving Peri just the right amount of time to really shine as the person who works the whole plan out.

As a return for the pairing of the Sixth Doctor and Peri, Memories of a Tyrant is a great adventure, really showing us how brilliant Peri, was and is. She will always be one of my favourite companions and it is great to see Nicola Bryant getting great stories like this. But Memories of a Tyrant is also brilliant because of the ethical questions that it poses, a staple of Roland Moore's work. It is handled brilliantly, not really giving a definitive answer, either way, instead of leaving it up to the characters and the listener to decide for themselves.

The theme of moral questions and ethics seems to be what will tie this trilogy loosely together as the next adventure, which I'm really looking forward too, Emissary of the Daleks promises to ask more ethical quandaries. And as long as they are handled as well by Andrew Smith, which I'm sure they will, as they were as Roland Moore, we'll have another stone-cold-classic on our hands!

The post Big Finish Review: Memories of a Tyrant appeared first on The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast.

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It seems like ages since we last had a proper Sixth Doctor and Peri adventure. We've had the occasional Short Trip but not a nice four-part main range adventure since The Rani Elite, all the way back in December 2014! But this year Big Finish have given us a special trip, not only have we got a brand new trilogy running up to September, we've got a new Lost Adventure in November and a Christmas adventure, which I believe will feature the Sixth Doctor and Peri, called Blood on Santa's Claw. After years of waiting, we've finally got one of Big Finish's best pairings back together again! I've really enjoyed Roland Moore's writing with Big Finish, mainly from my listening to The Omega Factor range where his stories always had more than one layer and were always human pieces about human desires, beliefs and lives. And this story is no different with Memories of a Tyrant focusing nicely on the horrors of war, people who are affected by it and even poses the question, should people be punished for things they don't remember doing when its all over? One wonders if it might be a topic that is a little too heavy for Doctor Who but that is what this show's always been great at doing, taking heavy topics and giving them a sci-fi spin that really makes you think about the topics it is talking about. Doctor Who has also always done stories with war criminals and tyrants but Garius Moro feels very different from a lot of the other evil-doers we've met over the years. I think this is because Moore makes sure that Moro is a rather unassuming fellow. Crippled by the onset of dementia and being forced to remember he genuinely doesn't, this is where Moore's message really kicks in as to whether he should still be punished for doing an evil act he doesn't remember committing. It's an interesting question to explore and Moore takes great delight in exploring both sides of it. We've got a fun return from the Space Security Services. For those who don't know, Sara Kingdom, one of William Hartnell's companions was an operative of the organisation. And we've got aliens on both ends of the spectrum, ones who suffered at the hands of Moro and ones who benefitted from his actions. But when Moro is the victim of an attempted assassination, one has to wonder if he really deserves it but at the same time, it makes you feel sorry for him as he doesn't know the kind of man that he is. It puts the characters in an interesting position and also the listener as one has to ponder on the ethical questions this story raises through its two-hour runtime. [caption id="attachment_6213" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Memories of a Tyrant by Roland Moore Memories of a Tyrant by Roland Moore[/caption] The Sixth Doctor and Peri are used excellently too. Set before Peri's original departure in Mindwarp, Nicola Bryant get a lot of the best scenes. When the pair arrive at the aptly named Memory Farm, Peri wonders if she can use the machine to try and remember her father, who passed away when she was young. But the pair are thrown into the story's main mystery before she gets a chance to use the machine. But it is Peri who figures out the mystery in the final two episodes, separated from the Doctor, she figures out who the real baddie is, their motives and why they did it. Peri has always been one of the best Big Finish companions, thanks to Big Finish always being great at character work and it is clear how much Bryant has appreciated this over the years she has worked with them. Listening to this story, it felt very reminiscent of the early days for the pair at BF and Roland Moore has a great handle on the pair. I'd be very happy to see him writing for the pair sometime in the future. We also get an interesting look at the Sixth Doctor who thanks to the machinations of the real baddie, believes himself to be Moro and is thrown into a mining planet until he gets a trial. Thanks to Moore's writing and Colin Baker's brilliant performance, you do really believe that he might be a genocidal intergalactic menace. So good it is the performance, one almost wishes he spent more of the story in this darker persona but this plot device is played for the perfect amount of time, giving Peri just the right amount of time to really shine as the person who works the whole plan out. As a return for the pairing of the Sixth Doctor and Peri, Memories of a Tyrant is a great adventure, really showing us how brilliant Peri, was and is. She will always be one of my favourite companions and it is great to see Nicola Bryant getting great stories like this. But Memories of a Tyrant is also brilliant because of the ethical questions that it poses, a staple of Roland Moore's work. It is handled brilliantly, not really giving a definitive answer, either way, instead of leaving it up to the characters and the listener to decide for themselves. The theme of moral questions and ethics seems to be what will tie this trilogy loosely together as the next adventure, which I'm really looking forward too, Emissary of the Daleks promises to ask more ethical quandaries. And as long as they are handled as well by Andrew Smith, which I'm sure they will, as they were as Roland Moore, we'll have another stone-cold-classic on our hands!

The post Big Finish Review: Memories of a Tyrant appeared first on The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast.

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Big Finish Review: Torchwood – Serenity https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/big-finish-review-torchwood-serenity/ https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/big-finish-review-torchwood-serenity/#respond Wed, 07 Aug 2019 09:25:07 +0000 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/?p=6206

Have you wondered what would happen if Torchwood had met Desperate Housewives? The perfect lawns, the white picket fences and happy families, aliens, guns, innuendoes and swearing. You'll be forgiven if you hadn't but as the recently released story, Serenity proves, it would have been a match made in heaven!

James Moran is no stranger to Torchwood and the Doctor Who world, though it might surprise you know that this is his first proper entry into the franchise with Big Finish. Having previously penned The Fires of Pompeii for Doctor Who and two entries for Torchwood: Sleeper and Children of Earth: Day Three, Moran is certainly very at home here.

As well as the cover which sees the reunion of John Barrowman as Captain Jack and Gareth David Lloyd as Ianto Jones for the first time in a while, Serenity is also a terrific story, which suits the Torchwood framework brilliantly. Rather than creating a new alien for the piece, Moran rightly uses his original creations from Sleeper, the Cell 114.

As villains, they work brilliantly here because Sleeper ended with a possible rematch somewhere down the line. Unfortunately, that didn't happen on screen but here, Captain Jack and Ianto find themselves coming up against them once more.

What was so brilliant about the Cell 114 was that they had false memories and identities implanted into their minds until they were needed for the invasion. This led to some terrifying visuals on screen and I can vividly remember watching their trail of destruction when the original story aired in 2008. I was so scared of the guy who Jack and Gwen track to an army barracks and the destruction he causes. They also proved to have some rather interesting visual effects designs with arms that turned into long blades and had cogs and workings that you could see through the human skin. They certainly terrified me on screen but on audio, not so much.

[caption id="attachment_6208" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Torchwood: Serenity Torchwood: Serenity[/caption]

Perhaps the problem with them on audio is that for some reason they were given strange voices. I understand why this was done, to help the listener, who might not know them from the television series, differentiate who was a sleeper agent and who wasn't but for me, it wasn't needed. Half the reason they were so scary in the original format was that they still had human voices, though they dead to all emotion. They were just senseless killing machines looking for another planet to inhabit. And while their plans haven't changed here, they were a very visual creation but that doesn't mean that we can't have fun in getting to this point in the story.

Indeed a lot of the appeal in this story is seeing how Captain Jack and Ianto could have lived together and it proves to be an interesting look at how their lives could have panned out had the show gone down a different path altogether. Half the fun is hearing how the pair fit into the lifestyle at Serenity Plaza. Barrowman seems to fit in perfectly, though standing out because he's Captain Jack but Lloyd is brilliant at showing Ianto's frustrations about the whole thing. He regularly gets angry and makes a number of hilarious and sarcastic comments that Lloyd absolutely nails in a pitch-perfect performance.

James Moran also creates a number of great supporting characters, some of whom you really feel sorry for as the story rattles towards its conclusion and if you are familiar with shows like Desperate Housewives which was everywhere in the mid-2000s, then you'll no doubt see all the little references and appreciate the tone. Listening to this adventure it isn't hard to picture Teri Hatcher, Dana Delany and Felicity Huffman strutting down Wisteria Lane with blades for arms, stabbing everyone they come into contact with!

Captain Jack and Ianto come across brilliantly too, giving them a taste at what martial bliss could be like and as Barrowman says in the extras, it would have been interesting to see this story on the screen back in 2008/9 as attitudes towards same-sex relationships have really changed since even then. Moran makes sure the pair get plenty to do and it really helps that the pair could be together in the recording sessions rather than one in Cardiff and the other in LA. It really added to the feel of this story being a cooperative piece.

Overall, Serenity is a great way to spend an hour. While the villains aren't so strong here as they were in their television persona, if you were as terrified of them as I was back in the day, then you'll still get something out their inclusion so in that sense they still work brilliantly. But the main attraction is the reunion of Captain Jack and Ianto who have always been brilliantly brought to life by John Barrowman and Gareth David-Lloyd. This is another one not to be missed!

The post Big Finish Review: Torchwood – Serenity appeared first on The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast.

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Have you wondered what would happen if Torchwood had met Desperate Housewives? The perfect lawns, the white picket fences and happy families, aliens, guns, innuendoes and swearing. You'll be forgiven if you hadn't but as the recently released story, Serenity proves, it would have been a match made in heaven! James Moran is no stranger to Torchwood and the Doctor Who world, though it might surprise you know that this is his first proper entry into the franchise with Big Finish. Having previously penned The Fires of Pompeii for Doctor Who and two entries for Torchwood: Sleeper and Children of Earth: Day Three, Moran is certainly very at home here. As well as the cover which sees the reunion of John Barrowman as Captain Jack and Gareth David Lloyd as Ianto Jones for the first time in a while, Serenity is also a terrific story, which suits the Torchwood framework brilliantly. Rather than creating a new alien for the piece, Moran rightly uses his original creations from Sleeper, the Cell 114. As villains, they work brilliantly here because Sleeper ended with a possible rematch somewhere down the line. Unfortunately, that didn't happen on screen but here, Captain Jack and Ianto find themselves coming up against them once more. What was so brilliant about the Cell 114 was that they had false memories and identities implanted into their minds until they were needed for the invasion. This led to some terrifying visuals on screen and I can vividly remember watching their trail of destruction when the original story aired in 2008. I was so scared of the guy who Jack and Gwen track to an army barracks and the destruction he causes. They also proved to have some rather interesting visual effects designs with arms that turned into long blades and had cogs and workings that you could see through the human skin. They certainly terrified me on screen but on audio, not so much. [caption id="attachment_6208" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Torchwood: Serenity Torchwood: Serenity[/caption] Perhaps the problem with them on audio is that for some reason they were given strange voices. I understand why this was done, to help the listener, who might not know them from the television series, differentiate who was a sleeper agent and who wasn't but for me, it wasn't needed. Half the reason they were so scary in the original format was that they still had human voices, though they dead to all emotion. They were just senseless killing machines looking for another planet to inhabit. And while their plans haven't changed here, they were a very visual creation but that doesn't mean that we can't have fun in getting to this point in the story. Indeed a lot of the appeal in this story is seeing how Captain Jack and Ianto could have lived together and it proves to be an interesting look at how their lives could have panned out had the show gone down a different path altogether. Half the fun is hearing how the pair fit into the lifestyle at Serenity Plaza. Barrowman seems to fit in perfectly, though standing out because he's Captain Jack but Lloyd is brilliant at showing Ianto's frustrations about the whole thing. He regularly gets angry and makes a number of hilarious and sarcastic comments that Lloyd absolutely nails in a pitch-perfect performance. James Moran also creates a number of great supporting characters, some of whom you really feel sorry for as the story rattles towards its conclusion and if you are familiar with shows like Desperate Housewives which was everywhere in the mid-2000s, then you'll no doubt see all the little references and appreciate the tone. Listening to this adventure it isn't hard to picture Teri Hatcher, Dana Delany and Felicity Huffman strutting down Wisteria Lane with blades for arms, stabbing everyone they come into contact with! Captain Jack and Ianto come across brilliantly too, giving them a taste at what martial bliss could be like and as Barrowman says in the extras, it would have been interesting to see this story on the screen back in 2008/9 as attitudes towards same-sex relationships have really changed since even then. Moran makes sure the pair get plenty to do and it really helps that the pair could be together in the recording sessions rather than one in Cardiff and the other in LA. It really added to the feel of this story being a cooperative piece. Overall, Serenity is a great way to spend an hour. While the villains aren't so strong here as they were in their television persona, if you were as terrified of them as I was back in the day, then you'll still get something out their inclusion so in that sense they still work brilliantly. But the main attraction is the reunion of Captain Jack and Ianto who have always been brilliantly brought to life by John Barrowman and Gareth David-Lloyd. This is another one not to be missed!

The post Big Finish Review: Torchwood – Serenity appeared first on The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast.

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Big Finish Review: The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller Volume. 1 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/big-finish-review-the-further-adventures-of-lucie-miller-volume-1/ https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/big-finish-review-the-further-adventures-of-lucie-miller-volume-1/#respond Mon, 22 Jul 2019 09:00:50 +0000 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/?p=6178 Big Finish Review - The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller

In the month of Big Finish's 20th anniversary, it's interesting to note just how many outings there have been for the 8th Doctor this year. We've heard him team up with his nemesis, the Eleven to do battle with the Ravenous, spar with Derek Jacobi's War Master, he's about to team up with Professors Song and Summerfield and later this year he'll meet the Valeyard on the battlefields of the Time War.

And quite right too, it's no exaggeration to pinpoint the 8th Doctor range as the key to Big Finish's success since 2001's Storm WarningPersonally, I rather miss those earlier carefree days of the 8th Doctor, free from the shackles of on-screen continuity and Time War portent. Luckily, the other key to Big Finish's success is their ability to tap into nostalgia for Classic Doctor Who in all its forms. So, imagine my delight when they announced four new adventures for Paul McGann's Doctor and his beloved companion Lucie Miller, played by beloved national treasure Sheridan Smith.

Pleasingly, listening to these four stories is like stepping back in time to those halcyon days of 2007 where we had new Big Finish on the radio. Those original Lucie Miller stories were a clear attempt to better reflect the TV series. Shorter, snappier hour-long stories, a mixture of new and old monsters, history, the future, alien planets and planet Earth.

[caption id="attachment_6195" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Will Brooks' slipcase artwork for The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller Will Brooks' slipcase artwork for The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller[/caption]

The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller, therefore, takes us from the centre of a black hole to a strange pagan community via a futuristic roller derby and a manor house on a meteor. The overall result is a whirlwind of a boxed set which is full of variety, re-energises Paul McGann's 8th Doctor and places Lucie Miller front and centre of the action.

Nevermore so than in Nicholas Briggs' The Dalek Trap which, after some clunky exposition to reintroduce the character and place these adventures within her established timeline, isn't even about the Doctor and the Daleks.  Stranded in the centre of a black hole with a catatonic Doctor and some oddly compliant Daleks, Lucie is forced to use her wits and her wit to cure the Doctor and rescue some stranded astronauts. This is a proper bleedin' Lucie Miller story where following battles with Daleks and Cybermen she's afforded the opportunity to display everything she's learned as a companion thus far.

It's a strong opener and the focus on Lucie rather than on yet another battle between the Doctor and the Daleks allows Briggs to write and perform some truly bizarre Dalek characters. It's a story that, like many of the original run, could easily slot into televised Who, invoking Asylum of the Daleks and Into the Dalek by being a story that is about character rather than extermination and explosions, though of course, there's some of that too. It also has an unnerving ending that this listener had to return to in order to confirm or deny some suspicions that there was a wider arc being hinted at.

If there is, there's no evidence of it in Alice Cavender's The Revolution Game, a breezy romp of a story which would have fit neatly into a mid-season slot during the RTD years. So much so that I'm sure I can hear Russell hoot "Doctor Who does roller derby! Fantastic!" on an old episode of Doctor Who Confidential. The story finds Lucie's birthday upstaged by a conflict between subjugated natives and their corporate overlords set against the backdrop of an intergalactic roller derby championship. This is Cavender's first full-cast Doctor Who audio, and I hope to hear more from her in the future.

Impeccably plotted, this is a simple Doctor Who story that never feels simplistic, Paul McGann gets some killer lines in his confrontation with company man Clegg, played with a sort of insidious charm by Jonathan Keeble. If there's a criticism, it's that it feels like Lucie is slightly under-served. Without spoiling too much of the plot, she commits an act of misdirection which results in her being largely absent from a lot of the big plot reveals.

If this were a television story, it wouldn't have mattered as the nature of Lucie's act would have provided some amazing set-pieces, on audio, however, it feels like she fades into the (excellent) sound design. Far from being the cringey 'down with the kids' story, it could have been indifferent hands, The Revolution Game is the big surprise of the set, a well-written and entertaining slice of proper comfort blanket Doctor Who that manages to feel fresh and new as well as comment on the current state of capitalism. A tall order, but Cavender and her cast certainly deliver.

[caption id="attachment_6196" align="aligncenter" width="1170"]Nicholas Briggs, Paul McGann & Sheridan Smith AKA The Doctor & Lucie Bleedin' Miller Nicholas Briggs, Paul McGann & Sheridan Smith AKA The Doctor & Lucie Bleedin' Miller[/caption]

Eddie Robson's The House on the Edge of Chaos, however, is less fresh, cribbing on some of his earlier Big Finish plays such as The Condemned. In it, the Doctor and Lucie land on an unfinished planet called Horton's Orb, where the only sign of civilisation is a vast manor house beset on all sides by deadly static and an interior decorated with multiple pictures of the same mysterious woman. In the stronger moments, it's a beguiling, atmospheric piece of high concept sci-fi which also manages to feel like a Daphne Du Maurier novel.

In the weaker moments, it does begin to feel like a Children in Need sketch where Sapphire & Steel are assigned to Downton Abbey. That being said, these upstairs, downstairs scenes of second dessert and arranged marriages is elevated by Sheridan Smith's performance as Lucie, her boldness and brashness cutting through the (not very convincing) cut-glass tones of her hosts. Ultimately, The House on the Edge... is a sharp class satire about status and one's position in society.

Rupert Vansitartt is excellent as the mysterious Mr Horton, whose solution to the howling chaos outside is to imprison people in pre-defined roles determined by their societal position. It's just unfortunate that the denouement feels incredibly familiar and the performances by the rest of the Horton family grate somewhat, but it's an intriguing enough story that once again brings a sense of variety to this set.

Rounding things off is another completely different sort of Doctor Who story and, bizarrely, the second Fendahl audio from Big Finish this year! You don't make it 20 years in the Doctor Who audio market without taking a few risks I suppose. Alan Barnes' Island of the Fendahl, begins as Doctor Who's take on The Wicker Man but spins off into something quite different in the last quarter. It's a bold move to write a sequel to Image of the Fendahl, let alone do it on an audio medium, but of course, the real threat of the Fendahl is the cult that it attracts and this is realised to rather a creepy degree by Barnes' script. And what a script it is, full of black comedy, evocative dialogue about the mysterious Fandor isle, some wonderfully tart and dismissive lines for McGann's Doctor, and a rather brilliant bit of business involving the Doctor and Lucie being stuck between two warring collectives of weirdos.

Once again, due to various plot contrivances, Lucie Miller is the one driving the action; calling for medical assistance, investigating the possible kidnapping of a young girl, saving the world and shouting at seagulls. As much as this is a play about ritual, meaning, death and giant caterpillars, it's also a play that hinges on the Doctor and Lucie's friendship. These are two people who (almost) know exactly what the other would do, who are absolutely loyal to each other and are also one of the funniest TARDIS teams ever.

Big Finish has spent the past 20 years giving us new adventures for our favourite Doctors, companions, monsters, spin-off properties, recurring characters, and one-off guest stars so I would very much like to request even further adventures of Lucie Miller. That "Volume 1" tag gives me a great deal of hope.

The post Big Finish Review: The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller Volume. 1 appeared first on The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast.

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Big Finish Review - The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller

In the month of Big Finish's 20th anniversary, it's interesting to note just how many outings there have been for the 8th Doctor this year. We've heard him team up with his nemesis, the Eleven to do battle with the Ravenous, spar with Derek Jacobi's War Master, he's about to team up with Professors Song and Summerfield and later this year he'll meet the Valeyard on the battlefields of the Time War. And quite right too, it's no exaggeration to pinpoint the 8th Doctor range as the key to Big Finish's success since 2001's Storm WarningPersonally, I rather miss those earlier carefree days of the 8th Doctor, free from the shackles of on-screen continuity and Time War portent. Luckily, the other key to Big Finish's success is their ability to tap into nostalgia for Classic Doctor Who in all its forms. So, imagine my delight when they announced four new adventures for Paul McGann's Doctor and his beloved companion Lucie Miller, played by beloved national treasure Sheridan Smith. Pleasingly, listening to these four stories is like stepping back in time to those halcyon days of 2007 where we had new Big Finish on the radio. Those original Lucie Miller stories were a clear attempt to better reflect the TV series. Shorter, snappier hour-long stories, a mixture of new and old monsters, history, the future, alien planets and planet Earth. [caption id="attachment_6195" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Will Brooks' slipcase artwork for The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller Will Brooks' slipcase artwork for The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller[/caption] The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller, therefore, takes us from the centre of a black hole to a strange pagan community via a futuristic roller derby and a manor house on a meteor. The overall result is a whirlwind of a boxed set which is full of variety, re-energises Paul McGann's 8th Doctor and places Lucie Miller front and centre of the action. Nevermore so than in Nicholas Briggs' The Dalek Trap which, after some clunky exposition to reintroduce the character and place these adventures within her established timeline, isn't even about the Doctor and the Daleks.  Stranded in the centre of a black hole with a catatonic Doctor and some oddly compliant Daleks, Lucie is forced to use her wits and her wit to cure the Doctor and rescue some stranded astronauts. This is a proper bleedin' Lucie Miller story where following battles with Daleks and Cybermen she's afforded the opportunity to display everything she's learned as a companion thus far. It's a strong opener and the focus on Lucie rather than on yet another battle between the Doctor and the Daleks allows Briggs to write and perform some truly bizarre Dalek characters. It's a story that, like many of the original run, could easily slot into televised Who, invoking Asylum of the Daleks and Into the Dalek by being a story that is about character rather than extermination and explosions, though of course, there's some of that too. It also has an unnerving ending that this listener had to return to in order to confirm or deny some suspicions that there was a wider arc being hinted at. If there is, there's no evidence of it in Alice Cavender's The Revolution Game, a breezy romp of a story which would have fit neatly into a mid-season slot during the RTD years. So much so that I'm sure I can hear Russell hoot "Doctor Who does roller derby! Fantastic!" on an old episode of Doctor Who Confidential. The story finds Lucie's birthday upstaged by a conflict between subjugated natives and their corporate overlords set against the backdrop of an intergalactic roller derby championship. This is Cavender's first full-cast Doctor Who audio, and I hope to hear more from her in the future. Impeccably plotted, this is a simple Doctor Who story that never feels simplistic, Paul McGann gets some killer lines in his confrontation with company man Clegg, played with a sort of insidious charm by Jonathan Keeble. If there's a criticism, it's that it feels like Lucie is slightly under-served. Without spoiling too much of the plot, she commits an act of misdirection which results in her being largely absent from a lot of the big plot reveals. If this were a television story, it wouldn't have mattered as the nature of Lucie's act would have provided some amazing set-pieces, on audio, however, it feels like she fades into the (excellent) sound design. Far from being the cringey 'down with the kids' story, it could have been indifferent hands, The Revolution Game is the big surprise of the set, a well-written and entertaining slice of proper comfort blanket Doctor Who that manages to feel fresh and new as well as comment on the current state of capitalism. A tall order, but Cavender and her cast certainly deliver. [caption id="attachment_6196" align="aligncenter" width="1170"]Nicholas Briggs, Paul McGann & Sheridan Smith AKA The Doctor & Lucie Bleedin' Miller Nicholas Briggs, Paul McGann & Sheridan Smith AKA The Doctor & Lucie Bleedin' Miller[/caption] Eddie Robson's The House on the Edge of Chaos, however, is less fresh, cribbing on some of his earlier Big Finish plays such as The Condemned. In it, the Doctor and Lucie land on an unfinished planet called Horton's Orb, where the only sign of civilisation is a vast manor house beset on all sides by deadly static and an interior decorated with multiple pictures of the same mysterious woman. In the stronger moments, it's a beguiling, atmospheric piece of high concept sci-fi which also manages to feel like a Daphne Du Maurier novel. In the weaker moments, it does begin to feel like a Children in Need sketch where Sapphire & Steel are assigned to Downton Abbey. That being said, these upstairs, downstairs scenes of second dessert and arranged marriages is elevated by Sheridan Smith's performance as Lucie, her boldness and brashness cutting through the (not very convincing) cut-glass tones of her hosts. Ultimately, The House on the Edge... is a sharp class satire about status and one's position in society. Rupert Vansitartt is excellent as the mysterious Mr Horton, whose solution to the howling chaos outside is to imprison people in pre-defined roles determined by their societal position. It's just unfortunate that the denouement feels incredibly familiar and the performances by the rest of the Horton family grate somewhat, but it's an intriguing enough story that once again brings a sense of variety to this set. Rounding things off is another completely different sort of Doctor Who story and, bizarrely, the second Fendahl audio from Big Finish this year! You don't make it 20 years in the Doctor Who audio market without taking a few risks I suppose. Alan Barnes' Island of the Fendahl, begins as Doctor Who's take on The Wicker Man but spins off into something quite different in the last quarter. It's a bold move to write a sequel to Image of the Fendahl, let alone do it on an audio medium, but of course, the real threat of the Fendahl is the cult that it attracts and this is realised to rather a creepy degree by Barnes' script. And what a script it is, full of black comedy, evocative dialogue about the mysterious Fandor isle, some wonderfully tart and dismissive lines for McGann's Doctor, and a rather brilliant bit of business involving the Doctor and Lucie being stuck between two warring collectives of weirdos. Once again, due to various plot contrivances, Lucie Miller is the one driving the action; calling for medical assistance, investigating the possible kidnapping of a young girl, saving the world and shouting at seagulls. As much as this is a play about ritual, meaning, death and giant caterpillars, it's also a play that hinges on the Doctor and Lucie's friendship. These are two people who (almost) know exactly what the other would do, who are absolutely loyal to each other and are also one of the funniest TARDIS teams ever. Big Finish has spent the past 20 years giving us new adventures for our favourite Doctors, companions, monsters, spin-off properties, recurring characters, and one-off guest stars so I would very much like to request even further adventures of Lucie Miller. That "Volume 1" tag gives me a great deal of hope.

The post Big Finish Review: The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller Volume. 1 appeared first on The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast.

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Doctor Who – Ep238: Listeners of Ours, it’s Full On John Smith https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/ep238/ https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/ep238/#respond Fri, 19 Jul 2019 13:34:36 +0000 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/?p=6185 The Big Blue Box Podcast - Episode 238

Hey Who fans. In this week's show...

The News

It's that time of year again when San Diego Comic Con is upon us and lovers of artwork will want to check out portraits of all 14 Doctors by artist Jeremy Enecio which will be on display all weekend.

Merch Corner

A bunch of SDCC exclusives are available, a new blu ray set "The Complete David Tennant" is releasing in the US in September and Donna Noble is returning to Big Finish next year.

"Human Nature and The Family of Blood" Review

An often loved two-parter and a story we've spoken about fondly but after a recent re-watch are we still into this one, listeners of ours?

Next week our review will be the SJA story - The Mad Woman in the Attic. Until then have a super week and remember - Allons-y!

The post Doctor Who – Ep238: Listeners of Ours, it’s Full On John Smith appeared first on The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast.

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The Big Blue Box Podcast - Episode 238

Hey Who fans. In this week's show...

The News

It's that time of year again when San Diego Comic Con is upon us and lovers of artwork will want to check out portraits of all 14 Doctors by artist Jeremy Enecio which will be on display all weekend.

Merch Corner

A bunch of SDCC exclusives are available, a new blu ray set "The Complete David Tennant" is releasing in the US in September and Donna Noble is returning to Big Finish next year.

"Human Nature and The Family of Blood" Review

An often loved two-parter and a story we've spoken about fondly but after a recent re-watch are we still into this one, listeners of ours?

Next week our review will be the SJA story - The Mad Woman in the Attic. Until then have a super week and remember - Allons-y!

The post Doctor Who – Ep238: Listeners of Ours, it’s Full On John Smith appeared first on The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast.

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Big Finish Review: Torchwood: Sargasso https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/big-finish-review-torchwood-sargasso/ https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/big-finish-review-torchwood-sargasso/#respond Fri, 19 Jul 2019 08:21:41 +0000 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/?p=6166 Torchwood Review - Sargasso

Wrapping up the interesting series of Torchwood VS Doctor Who monsters is Sargasso, a claustrophobic tale about plastic pollution featuring Rhys Williams and the Autons!

Right off the bat, Sargasso feels different from the previous releases. In much the same way the previous Rhys-solo adventure, Visiting Hours worked, Rhys is a character who didn't work closely with Torchwood but someone who was dragged into it by Gwen. Stuck in the middle of the ocean without any form of communicating with the outside world and no way to get a message to his wife, Rhys has to work it all out by himself with no idea of the real threat he is facing.

Also from the word-go, author Christopher Cooper, makes commentary on the plastic pollution but like all the best Doctor Who-ecological stories, it isn't a message that's front-and-centre, its something that is gradually drawn out, a warning about what might happen if we don't stop dumping plastic in our oceans. Of course, a giant Nestene won't really come out of the ocean, (that we know of) and convert people in plastic replicas but the idea of plastic coming back to kill us is a great way of getting the point across, especially now that we know there are traces of plastic in the fish we eat.

To his credit, Cooper comes up with some rather interesting ways of utilising the Autons, the big one being rubber-ducks popping up across the Sargasso. We've got keyboards that melt and the ocean spitting back everything we've dumped into it. It is a little upsetting that there weren't any proper-proper Autons here as I think more of the fantastic gun-sound design could have been used and I had an image of Rhys running through a ship swearing his head off and dodging Auton-gunfire. But what we have is great and another brilliant example of how anything plastic can be used as a weapon. Cooper even throws in a few amusing lines about previous methods of attack including living telephone wire.

[caption id="attachment_6168" align="aligncenter" width="600"]The Cover for Sargasso The Cover for Sargasso[/caption]

I've always liked Rhys in Torchwood, especially as he really came into his own in Series 2 and Children of Earth on television, proving to be an unconventional yet invaluable asset to the team, saving their collected bacon many times and Cooper keeps him a strong character here. While he acknowledges it would be better if Torchwood, Jack or Gwen were there instead, Rhys doesn't try to hide the fact that he's got no idea what's going on and it makes a change to hear an audio adventure where the listener knows more than the main characters do from the beginning.

As with all the Torchwood single-releases, there is only a small cast and Rhys is paired with Kaitlin, played by Sydney Feder, who when you listen to the extra's, clearly had a ball here. And she is a great character, a self-proclaimed Eco-Warrior, her character is given plenty of depth when she explains that her father runs a company that dumps its plastic waste into the sea. And the way she plays into the plans of the Nestene Consciousness is pretty interesting and leaves the story with perhaps a promise of a sequel. Feder does a brilliant job here as a newcomer to the Big Finish world, she works brilliantly with Kai Owen and the pair form quite the dynamic duo over the course of the story.

Also delivering a really enjoyable performance here is Chloe Ewart as Captain Anika Banaczik, who, as well as playing the Captain of the Cargo ship, is ultimately the mouth-piece for the Nestene Consciousness. While it is clear that she is pretty obviously the baddie from the beginning, the reveal is pretty brilliant and she plays all her scenes brilliantly, never once stepping over the line into 'moustache-twirling' villain mode, instead rightly choosing to play the moment with a cool and calm conviction. As a result, she is much more terrifying.

And it is great to see Robert Jezek's name back in the Big Finish catalogue. He played the companion Frobisher, a shape-changing alien who stayed in the form of a Penguin and travelled with Colin Baker in Big Finish's early years. Does this mean we might be getting some more Frobisher adventures Big Finish? Pretty please?! And he does a brilliant job here too, proving why he is such a missed audio contributor.

But what of the leading man himself? Well, Kai Owen is brilliant as always, playing terrified, confused and down-right hilarious brilliantly, sometimes in the same sentence! As I said above, I've always really liked Rhys and any release with Owen in will be a must-buy from me. He doesn't disappoint here either, easily leading the cast and really gelling with the other members of the cast to bring home a story with a fantastic ensemble. He is clearly delighting in getting a solo-outing, as great as he is with the rest of the main Torchwood cast, it is still a great thing when he gets one of his own.

Overall Sargasso is another hit from the Torchwood range. Written with a brilliant concept from Christopher Cooper and some tight direction from Scott Handcock, the whole cast brings together another great story. And like The Green Life a few months ago, it proves that Torchwood can deliver messages on ecological problems just as well as its parent show can and like The Green Life, it promises to stand out from the rest because of those messages!

The post Big Finish Review: Torchwood: Sargasso appeared first on The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast.

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Torchwood Review - Sargasso

Wrapping up the interesting series of Torchwood VS Doctor Who monsters is Sargasso, a claustrophobic tale about plastic pollution featuring Rhys Williams and the Autons! Right off the bat, Sargasso feels different from the previous releases. In much the same way the previous Rhys-solo adventure, Visiting Hours worked, Rhys is a character who didn't work closely with Torchwood but someone who was dragged into it by Gwen. Stuck in the middle of the ocean without any form of communicating with the outside world and no way to get a message to his wife, Rhys has to work it all out by himself with no idea of the real threat he is facing. Also from the word-go, author Christopher Cooper, makes commentary on the plastic pollution but like all the best Doctor Who-ecological stories, it isn't a message that's front-and-centre, its something that is gradually drawn out, a warning about what might happen if we don't stop dumping plastic in our oceans. Of course, a giant Nestene won't really come out of the ocean, (that we know of) and convert people in plastic replicas but the idea of plastic coming back to kill us is a great way of getting the point across, especially now that we know there are traces of plastic in the fish we eat. To his credit, Cooper comes up with some rather interesting ways of utilising the Autons, the big one being rubber-ducks popping up across the Sargasso. We've got keyboards that melt and the ocean spitting back everything we've dumped into it. It is a little upsetting that there weren't any proper-proper Autons here as I think more of the fantastic gun-sound design could have been used and I had an image of Rhys running through a ship swearing his head off and dodging Auton-gunfire. But what we have is great and another brilliant example of how anything plastic can be used as a weapon. Cooper even throws in a few amusing lines about previous methods of attack including living telephone wire. [caption id="attachment_6168" align="aligncenter" width="600"]The Cover for Sargasso The Cover for Sargasso[/caption] I've always liked Rhys in Torchwood, especially as he really came into his own in Series 2 and Children of Earth on television, proving to be an unconventional yet invaluable asset to the team, saving their collected bacon many times and Cooper keeps him a strong character here. While he acknowledges it would be better if Torchwood, Jack or Gwen were there instead, Rhys doesn't try to hide the fact that he's got no idea what's going on and it makes a change to hear an audio adventure where the listener knows more than the main characters do from the beginning. As with all the Torchwood single-releases, there is only a small cast and Rhys is paired with Kaitlin, played by Sydney Feder, who when you listen to the extra's, clearly had a ball here. And she is a great character, a self-proclaimed Eco-Warrior, her character is given plenty of depth when she explains that her father runs a company that dumps its plastic waste into the sea. And the way she plays into the plans of the Nestene Consciousness is pretty interesting and leaves the story with perhaps a promise of a sequel. Feder does a brilliant job here as a newcomer to the Big Finish world, she works brilliantly with Kai Owen and the pair form quite the dynamic duo over the course of the story. Also delivering a really enjoyable performance here is Chloe Ewart as Captain Anika Banaczik, who, as well as playing the Captain of the Cargo ship, is ultimately the mouth-piece for the Nestene Consciousness. While it is clear that she is pretty obviously the baddie from the beginning, the reveal is pretty brilliant and she plays all her scenes brilliantly, never once stepping over the line into 'moustache-twirling' villain mode, instead rightly choosing to play the moment with a cool and calm conviction. As a result, she is much more terrifying. And it is great to see Robert Jezek's name back in the Big Finish catalogue. He played the companion Frobisher, a shape-changing alien who stayed in the form of a Penguin and travelled with Colin Baker in Big Finish's early years. Does this mean we might be getting some more Frobisher adventures Big Finish? Pretty please?! And he does a brilliant job here too, proving why he is such a missed audio contributor. But what of the leading man himself? Well, Kai Owen is brilliant as always, playing terrified, confused and down-right hilarious brilliantly, sometimes in the same sentence! As I said above, I've always really liked Rhys and any release with Owen in will be a must-buy from me. He doesn't disappoint here either, easily leading the cast and really gelling with the other members of the cast to bring home a story with a fantastic ensemble. He is clearly delighting in getting a solo-outing, as great as he is with the rest of the main Torchwood cast, it is still a great thing when he gets one of his own. Overall Sargasso is another hit from the Torchwood range. Written with a brilliant concept from Christopher Cooper and some tight direction from Scott Handcock, the whole cast brings together another great story. And like The Green Life a few months ago, it proves that Torchwood can deliver messages on ecological problems just as well as its parent show can and like The Green Life, it promises to stand out from the rest because of those messages!

The post Big Finish Review: Torchwood: Sargasso appeared first on The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast.

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Torchwood – Ep237: Tissues at the Ready https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/ep237/ https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/ep237/#respond Fri, 12 Jul 2019 06:00:07 +0000 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/?p=6173 The Big Blue Box Podcast - Episode 237

Hey Who fans. In this week's show...

The News

A bunch of guests have already been announced for next year's The Capitol event from the DWAS in April (as well as the ruddy good read The Cosmic Masque VIII) and sadly actor Glyn Houston who played Professor Watson in "The Hand of Fear" and Colonel Wolsey in "The Awakening" has passed away aged 93.

Merch Corner

The modern series steelbooks continue to roll forward as the Series 4 - The Specials has been announced and a great looking book titled "Target Trawl" is now available from Nick Mellish at LuLu.com where Nick reviews every Target book released to date.

"Torchwood - Out of Time" Review

Ah Torchwood Series 1, you've been a strange beast for us so far. Some stories are ok, some are not great and a few have been great. This one changes the tone and formula quite a bit and brings an emotional wallop. Is the Hub crew back on form or are the tissues wasted on this one?

Next week our review will be the 110th Doctor two-part story - Human Nature and Family of Blood. Until then have a great week and remember - Allons-y!

The post Torchwood – Ep237: Tissues at the Ready appeared first on The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast.

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The Big Blue Box Podcast - Episode 237

Hey Who fans. In this week's show...

The News

A bunch of guests have already been announced for next year's The Capitol event from the DWAS in April (as well as the ruddy good read The Cosmic Masque VIII) and sadly actor Glyn Houston who played Professor Watson in "The Hand of Fear" and Colonel Wolsey in "The Awakening" has passed away aged 93.

Merch Corner

The modern series steelbooks continue to roll forward as the Series 4 - The Specials has been announced and a great looking book titled "Target Trawl" is now available from Nick Mellish at LuLu.com where Nick reviews every Target book released to date.

"Torchwood - Out of Time" Review

Ah Torchwood Series 1, you've been a strange beast for us so far. Some stories are ok, some are not great and a few have been great. This one changes the tone and formula quite a bit and brings an emotional wallop. Is the Hub crew back on form or are the tissues wasted on this one?

Next week our review will be the 110th Doctor two-part story - Human Nature and Family of Blood. Until then have a great week and remember - Allons-y!

The post Torchwood – Ep237: Tissues at the Ready appeared first on The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast.

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Doctor Who – Ep236: Arrest the Scarf https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/ep236/ https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/ep236/#respond Fri, 05 Jul 2019 06:00:03 +0000 https://www.bigblueboxpodcast.co.uk/?p=6154 The Big Blue Box Podcast - Episode 236

Hey Who fans. In this week's show...

The News

On Sat 20th and Sun 21st July, Big Finish is running a 20-hour live stream to celebrate their 20th Anniversary over on their YouTube channel and this Sat 6th July, BBC Radio 4 Extra is running a special Jon Pertwee centenary program hosted by his son Sean.

Merch Corner

Danilo has released their new 2020 Doctor Who calendars which are available over on Amazon or their site directly consisting of the usual wall hanging calendar and the small desk block style.

"The Leisure Hive" Review

A chance for us to bust out the Season 18 blu ray set and check out that opener with the longest panning shot ever! As you know Tom Baker is a favourite here but does this story that kicked off the JNT era with lots of changes maintain that classic "Tom" charm?

Next week our review will be the Torchwood story - Out of Time. Until then have a great week and remember - Allons-y!

The post Doctor Who – Ep236: Arrest the Scarf appeared first on The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast.

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The Big Blue Box Podcast - Episode 236

Hey Who fans. In this week's show...

The News

On Sat 20th and Sun 21st July, Big Finish is running a 20-hour live stream to celebrate their 20th Anniversary over on their YouTube channel and this Sat 6th July, BBC Radio 4 Extra is running a special Jon Pertwee centenary program hosted by his son Sean.

Merch Corner

Danilo has released their new 2020 Doctor Who calendars which are available over on Amazon or their site directly consisting of the usual wall hanging calendar and the small desk block style.

"The Leisure Hive" Review

A chance for us to bust out the Season 18 blu ray set and check out that opener with the longest panning shot ever! As you know Tom Baker is a favourite here but does this story that kicked off the JNT era with lots of changes maintain that classic "Tom" charm?

Next week our review will be the Torchwood story - Out of Time. Until then have a great week and remember - Allons-y!

The post Doctor Who – Ep236: Arrest the Scarf appeared first on The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast.

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