big finish

Big Finish: Jago and Litefoot Series 10

Jago and Litefoot Series 9 was great, but not amazing if truth be told. A nice bunch of stories but nothing ground-breaking: almost as if the franchise were treading water a bit, waiting for the someone to turn on the metaphorical wave machine in the swimming pool of Supernatural Steampunk Shenanigans (gone a bit Jago, sorry).

Well, hold onto your hats, Ladies and Gents, because if that metaphor serves at all then Series 10 is a veritable tsunami!

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The series opens with Simon Barnard and Paul Morris’s The Case of the Missing Gasogene. The writers’ names may be familiar from the Cosmic Hobo/Bafflegab Scarifyers series – and their script certainly will be. It is immediately recognisable as from the same stable, populated as it is with plummy, infeasibly-named aristocrats and their servants, suffused with gags, and possessing of an ingeniously off-the-wall plot. (more…)

Big Finish – Torchwood 1.3: Forgotten Lives

BF TW 103 Forgotten Lives

Do you ever wonder as you get older where the time has gone, that it just seems to accelerate so that what seemed like just a few weeks ago was in fact much longer? Well, since last month’s Fall to Earth it seems that several years has passed to when we pick up with Gwen and Rhys in Forgotten Lives.

It’s been half a decade since the Miracle, and Torchwood’s surviving couple seem to be comparatively settled – such as they can be – raising their daughter and quietly avoiding attention. But a strange phonecall draws them northwards to the isolation of the Bryn Offa Nursing Home, and before you can say Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyndrobwyllllantysiliogogogoch it’s clear that there’s something unnatural going on – that laundry is going to have to wait…

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Big Finish – Torchwood 1.2: Fall To Earth

Torchwood 1.2 Fall To Earth - Big Finiah

Time again for new Torchwood, and the second part of the new Big Finish series heralds the return of everyone’s favourite tea boy – Ianto Jones is here! Well, I say “here”, does the edge of the atmosphere count? He’s headed this way at least… what, under control? Bah, some people want everything…

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Big Finish – Torchwood 1.1: The Conspiracy

BF TW 101 The Conspiracy

Oh yes, Jack is back! I’m a bit late catching the recently released first episode of Big Finish’s new Torchwood series, and there’s a tinge of nervousness approaching it given the high standard of other ranges – can it stand by itself with a similar level of quality?

It doesn’t take long to get an answer (if the tagline next to the BF logo wasn’t telling in itself), with a cracking evolution of the Torchwood theme by Blair Mowat that feels the same kind of natural progression as a new series – which this is of course! (more…)

Big Finish – Doctor Who Main Range 203 – Terror of the Sontarans

An alien base, deserted.  Well almost deserted. Something is giving out a distress signal and the Doctor and Mel have arrived to offer assistance.  But what is behind the cry for help is the last thing the Doctor would ever have expected. And it’s not just our heroes who are investigating. A force of Sontarans have landed, searching for survivors from their research team.  Will the Doctor and Mel last long enough against the Galaxies greatest warriors to find the mysterious cause of madness that afflicts everyone on the planet?  Sontarans don’t feel terror or worry about death…  until now!

Terror of the Sontarans (more…)

Big Finish – Wildthyme Reloaded

How have I managed to not hook up for an Iris Wildthyme, starring Doctor Who Legend Katy Manning, before!?! Sadly aurally only but she’s still larger than life in audio!  I’ve never avoided this series but I’ve never quite had the time or been in line to review them.  I’m quickly rectifying that situation after listening to her latest adventures in her time traveling double decker. Wildthyme Reloaded

You get a lot of bang for your buck with this set as there are eight really strong stories – the first one seeing the return of one of the most inventive, irrepressible and downright fun Doctor Who villains ever to be created by Big Finish, the Scorchies!  As well as being the musically endowed comedy romp you’d expect it also brings up some unexpected past history for Iris.

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The Time War Comes to Big Finish

Well, this author at least never saw this coming…

The War Doctor Only The Monstrous

Previously only the topic of myth and teasing references, the Time War becomes the setting for a new series from Big Finish, starring John Hurt as the War Doctor, and Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor.

Following the proven format of the popular Dark Eyes boxsets, and starting this December, Big Finish have lined up four boxsets starring John Hurt as the War Doctor as introduced during the 50th anniversary.  The Eighth Doctor will appear in a boxset in 2017 exploring the early days of the War prior to the events of Night of the Doctor.

The first boxset, Only the Monstrous, is out in a few short months in December 2015, followed by Infernal Devices in February and 2 more volumes currently in pre-production.

For full details and pre-orders, check out the announcement on the Big Finish website.

Doctor Who Magazine #491

THE FIRST FOUR EPISODES OF THE NEW SERIES OF DOCTOR WHO, PREVIEWED  IN DWM 491!

Doctor Who Magazine #491 Full Cover

Doctor Who Magazine exclusively previews the first four episodes of the new series: The Magician’s Apprentice & The Witch’s Familiar and Under the Lake & Before the Flood

Under the Lake and Before the Flood form Toby Whithouse’s first two-part Doctor Who story – and it hinges on time travel – and fairly mind-bending time travel at that. While plotting and writing, did Toby ever come to regret taking the wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey route?

“Oh never, I loved it! I’ve always wanted to do a timey-wimey episode,” he says. “In fact, it was going to be a lot more timey-wimey, but we lost some of that before we started filming. It’s enormous fun to deposit something in a script, then have the reason for it happen later.”

This is also the first story that Toby’s written to star Peter Capaldi as the Doctor.

“I think he’s the most ‘alien’ Doctor we’ve had since the show came back,” says Toby. “Even though the essentials of the character remain the same – his heroism, his brilliance, his enthusiasm – he feels to me like much more of an outsider than Chris Eccleston or David Tennant or Matt Smith were. He’s more strange and otherwordly. That’s really interesting to play with.”

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The Fourth Doctor Adventures – Return to Telos

It’s destination Telos for the TARDIS crew, but the Doctor and Leela are by themselves as K9 has upgraded to new masters!

What surprises are in store in the icy Tombs of the Cybermen? Can the Doctor escape from a Cyber-Controller and Planner who can strike across space and time? This isn’t a  pathetic bunch of tin soldiers skulking about the galaxy in an ancient spaceship, this is the Cybermen at their most devious. Can the fate of Krelos be reversed or are it’s people doomed to be the first recruits of a powerful Cyber army?

Return to Telos

When danger calls the Doctor needs a powerful warrior companion to help save the day but perhaps this time it’s not Leela who will fill the brief…

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Big Finish: The Omega Factor

Long story short, The Omega Factor is an awesome piece of work.

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For those who don’t know, The Omega Factor was a 1970s supernatural horror series that went out on BBC1 and starred, amongst others, one Louise Jameson. It was scheduled badly, and was on the receiving end of the wrath or Mary Whitehouse, and thus survived only a single season. However it was different to anything else at the time and pretty much since, and genuinely (in my humble opinion) had legs far stronger than the run it received .

Ms Jameson returns to the role of Dr Anne Reynolds. And she slips back into the role beautifully, just as she has the role of Doctor Who’s Leela – although this is far different, not least in the fact that unlike Leela the character Reynolds has been allowed to age with the actor. Hearing Jameson play a strong woman of her own age (differently strong to the journalist Jackie Burchill she plays in BF’s Survivors, at least) is a wonderful thing, with believable nuances of pathos and cynicism, anger and empathy, repeatedly jumping out in ways lesser actors would struggle to provide.

Jameson’s performance is complemented rather well by John Dorney’s Adam Dean, son of the original series’s Tom Crane and inheritor of the latter’s psychic ability. Again, a fine and believable performance that nicely illuminates the horror of the piece. (more…)

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