Posted on December 18, 2007 | |
I don't remember the Patrick Troughton era of Doctor Who being particularly sh*t. There was a multitude of classics - Tomb of the Cybermen, Invasion, The Moonbase, Enemy of the World, The War Games, The Faceless Ones, and The Mind Robber to name but a few. Sh*t it was not.
So why then have Big Finish, when given two chances to finally put together a couple of Patrick Troughton stories through their Companion Chronicles range, decided that 'sh*t' was the defining characteristic of the era? In series one of the Companion Chronicles, we had the Zoe tale Fear of the Daleks, which was just painful to listen to. Now we have Frazer Hines reading another piece of rubbish. Oh dear.
Continue reading "Review: The Companion Chronicles - Helicon Prime"
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Posted on December 17, 2007 | |
As we all know, the Companion Chronicles is Big Finish's attempts at filling in the gaps in its Doctor Who range. With Doctors one to three now in the great big TARDIS in the sky, Doctor four fruitier than a wine gum and Doctor nine more likely to toast his manhood on an open fire than have anything to do with Doctor Who again, the chances of getting full cast productions of audio plays starring these particular Doctors is very small. Fortunately, many of the companions of these Doctors are alive and well and ready to get paid a reasonable sum of money for a day's work reading a short book into a microphone.
The first series of Companion Chronicles featured Vicki, Zoe, Liz Shaw and Romana II, to varying effect. Some were good, some weren't. Series two isn't too different and I'll be looking at some of the others over the next few days (the fourth's not out until January, unfortunately). The first, though, I'll be looking at right now. Ooh.
Continue reading "Review: The Companion Chronicles - Mother Russia"
Read other posts about: Liz Shaw
Posted on December 13, 2007 | |
It's quite funny listening to the documentaries on the end of these Big Finish audio plays. Some guy who sounds almost exactly like Russell T Davies (but isn't) tries to think up questions to ask the actors in the plays. Guest stars repeat like a mantra that their kids will love them for doing it and it's given them much kudos; regulars will trot out - with all the enthusiasm you can imagine someone asked the same question for 25 years can muster - what it means to them.
And of course the directors, producers and writers all proclaim how absolutely super wonderful and lovely it was to work with X, Y and Z and how the latest effort is more or less the best thing written down on paper since cuneiform was first invented.
Peter Davison is always a bit more refreshing and candid when questioned (as anyone who's ever listened to any of his DVD commentaries will know). Did you know, for example, that he almost never reads the script before coming into the Big Finish studios? Or that he'll record three plays in three days?
Still, he can get away with it most of the time. The double-bill of The Mind's Eye and Mission of the Viyrans is really very good - quite old school, clever and strong on characterisation for the regulars. Yes, it's got Owen Teale hamming it up something chronic as an evil scientist and Rebecca Front as one of the most uncommitted baddies in recent history. But they both work pretty well.
Continue reading "Review: Doctor Who - The Mind's Eye/Mission of the Viyrans"