Audio and radio play reviews

Review: The Companion Chronicles 4×10 – The Time Vampire

The Time VampireOoh, another one of these double-header Companion Chronicles where we get not one but two former companions: in this case, fourth Doctor companions Leela and K9, as voiced by Louise Jameson and John Leeson.

Now, as soon as I heard it was a Leela story, my heart sank. This isn’t because I dislike Leela – actually, I quite liked her. No, the trouble is that Louise Jameson is pals with regular Big Finish writer and slaughterer of the Sapphire and Steel range Nigel Fairs. And so far, he’s written all the Leela Companion Chronicles.

The Time Vampire is no different in that respect, and despite the presence of K9, is largely no different in other regards, too: it also includes the forgettable Z-nai (Ed: who?), it’s overly complicated and despite initial promise it turns out to be painfully bad.

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Audio and radio play reviews

Review: Doctor Who – 134 – The Wreck of the Titan

Wreck of the TitanHere we are again in the middle of another Big Finish trilogy. In City of Spires, the sixth Doctor returns to 18th century Scotland where he bumps into former travelling companion James Robert McCrimmon (aka Jamie), who has no recollection of the second Doctor, the TARDIS or anything else. More than that, Scottish history’s gone a bit weird: Edinburgh and Glasgow have been destroyed and replaced with what seems like an oil refinery. What could be happening?

Well, we never found out at the end of City of Spires. With The Wreck of the Titan, though, we’re starting to get a few clues.

Here, the Doctor and Jamie land on board the RMS Titanic, which is heading for an iceberg. Or should be. Except the moon’s all wrong, the crew aren’t the ones recorded by history, and most of the doors just lead to blank bulkheads.

More mysteries to solve. But will there be answers this time?

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Audio and radio play reviews

Review: The Companion Chronicles 4×9 – Shadow of the Past

Shadow of the PastLiz Shaw: brilliant companion from the brilliant seventh season of Doctor Who. Yet it’s been over three years since she last featured in one of the Companion Chronicles, The Blue Tooth. Hooray, she’s back!

Doubly hooray, it’s Simon Guerrier who’s writing for her, Guerrier being responsible for the brilliant Home Truths and The Drowned World. Can so much excellence all in one place lead only to excellence or is this going to be a letdown?

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Audio and radio play reviews

Review: The Companion Chronicles 4×11 – Night’s Black Agents

Night's Black AgentsAs has become something of a tradition round here, I’m reviewing yet another of the Companion Chronicles out of sequence. But I have a good reason. You see this Companion Chronicle follows on directly from City of Spires and precedes Wreck of the Titan, so if I’m to avoid falling horribly behind again (and I already have a Lost Story, two more Companion Chronicles and Wreck of the Titan to get through, so I’m probably already there), I have to do it now.

Anyway, when last we left James Robert McCrimmon, he was heading off to a castle with the Sixth Doctor to find the TARDIS. And in this story, he finds it, together with a really ugly bloke and his pretty wife.

Brace yourself: it’s a dull one.

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Audio and radio play reviews

Review: Doctor Who – The Lost Stories – 06 – Point of Entry

PointofEntry.jpg“Hello, bottom of the barrel. Big Finish here. We’ve come to scrape you.”

There was an almost a point to the Lost Stories range. Adapt the Doctor Who TV scripts that for one reason never got made into shows and turn them into audio plays with as much of the original cast as possible.

That’s fair enough.

Yet here we are on just the sixth entry in the range and what do we have? A script written by Marc Platt based on a one-page A5 story outline created by Barbara Clegg (Enlightenment) for a season or other that Big Finish can’t quite determine, for a Doctor and companion equally undetermined.

At this point, surely we have to say, is this truly a lost story if it never even got beyond the pitching stage?

Quibbling aside, do you really want to hear Christopher Marlowe getting inspiration for Doctor Faustus from some Aztec gods?

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