Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The Complete Eighth Doctor Adventures


Blood of the Daleks: A juicy dramatic production to kick start the eighth Doctor’s new series. It starts rather weakly (the first 15 minutes are a little awkward) but as soon as the Daleks arrive it just gets better and better, adding layers to the apocalypse storyline and truly driving home their dislike for the unlike. In fact it is a fabulous story for the Daleks because they are absolute evil bastards, indiscriminate murderers, perverse plotters and genocidally evil. The pace is extraordinary after the ponderous, overlong chapters of the Divergent Universe arc so it feels like an action packed breath of fresh air, unpretentious and exciting. Paul McGann and Sheridan Smith get to butt heads furiously throughout but there are hints of the magic to come and this is certainly an intriguing take on the usual orphan companion introduction. Attention grabbing which was exactly the right note to start this series on: 9/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2010/11/blood-of-daleks-written-by-steve-lyons.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/11-Doctor-Who-Blood-of-the-Daleks-Part-1 and http://www.bigfinish.com/12-Doctor-Who-Blood-of-the-Daleks-Part-2

Horror of Glam Rock: What an odd, rather wonderful story! I cannot understand the purpose of such a story but to wrap us up in a warm glow of nostalgia for the 70’s and yet it achieves that beautifully whilst also providing a big snowy cuddle on a winter’s night. The cast are superb and give the warm material some real oomph and the story concludes nicely never forgetting the musical theme. I always get a rush of sadness when I listen to this story because of Steven Gately’s untimely death and in a story about broken dreams that seems even more poignant. Its not going to appeal to everybody but as another example of how this new series of eighth Doctor adventures are not going to play by the rules, it is a real breath of fresh air: 7/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2010/11/horror-of-glam-rock-written-by-paul.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/13-Doctor-Who-Horror-of-Glam-Rock

Immortal Beloved: A story with a morally ambiguous concept at its heart which the Doctor and Lucie condemn and Zeus and Hera defend. It’s the first story of the year where I feel a longer running time would benefit to explore its dramatic ideas (in particular the ending feels very rushed) but because it is condensed the story feels really punchy and thoughtful. Its Lucie Miller’s coming of age story and Paul McGann continues to impress as the tougher Doctor. Immortal Beloved flies by for me and had just enough set pieces and moments of discussion to really drive home its intriguing idea. Highly enjoyable: 8/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2010/11/immortal-beloved-written-by-jonathan.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/14-Doctor-Who-Immortal-Beloved

Phobos: Phobos is the first casualty of the eighth Doctor series. It lacks substance; odd from the usually reliable pen of Eddie Robson but this story is a tedious experience of action and melodrama with little intelligence to keep it interesting. There’s a snowy backdrop which seems to be the default Big Finish location these days and I’ve lost count of how many stories feature against a background of screaming winds and brilliant white. There is a bucket load of tack as well which is ripe for piss taking; a lovers tiff between an hairy beast and squeaky girl, a blink and you’ll miss the embarrassment gay romance and lots of hip kids speak (‘I feel the need for speed!’). The creature turns out to be nothing worth getting excited about and the Headhunter turns up again like a bad smell and fails to generate any tension (she’s a bit rubbish actually): 4/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2010/11/phobos-written-by-eddie-robson-and.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/15-Doctor-Who-Phobos

No More Lies: A story about the past coming back to haunt you, No More Lies is a class act. I much prefer these character based tales in the 45 minute format, there was just enough time here to set up the situation and give it some meat before revealing why the time loop had been set up and finish on a tear jerking ending. The direction is extremely polished and with Havers, Chadbon and McKenzie on board the story pretty much sells itself although Eddie Robson’s script is more than up to the job. The story hits the ground running and there is a tasty cliffhanging ending that leaves me hungry for the next instalment. Very pleasing on the ear: 8/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2010/11/no-more-lies-written-by-paul-sutton-and.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/16-Doctor-Who-No-More-Lies

Human Resources: Just as the season opened with a longer, more dramatic tale featuring an old enemy so it closes in the same way. Human Resources, like Blood of the Daleks, takes a little while to get going but when it kicks into gear after the stunning revelation about the Cybermen the second episode is non stop thrills and excitement. I love the idea that these are older Cybermen fleeing from the events in The Tenth Planet and its in this story that you realise they are the ultimate victims of Doctor Who. The set up featuring a war machine posing as an office gives this story a unique identity of its own. Just when you are recovering from the revelations about the Cybermen shock information about Lucie and Karen provides a dramatic conclusion. At the head of all this both Paul McGann and Sheridan Smith give extremely confident performances and Lucie has already surpassed Charley as best companion for the eighth Doctor. An engaging thrill ride: 9/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2010/12/human-resources-written-by-eddie-robson.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/17-Doctor-Who-Human-Resources-Part-1 and http://www.bigfinish.com/18-Doctor-Who-Human-Resources-Part-2



 Dead London: An imaginative concept of slipping through London in various time zones just about works thanks to some colourful scenes in the first half but the mystery that shrouds the story is answered far too quickly and solution feels effortless. Unfortunately this ranges strongest aspect, the Doctor/Lucie relationship is neglected and they are kept apart for most of its running time which isn’t so bad for the former but leaves the latter unmemorable which is unthinkable. What could have been a afar meatier story is skipped through in record time leaving little time for exploration of the various glimpses at history and fun set pieces aside it is pretty disposable. Entertaining but too brisk: 6/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/02/dead-london-written-by-pat-mills-and.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/21-Doctor-Who-Dead-London

Max Warp: A non-murder murder mystery, Max Warp takes its Top Gear in Space premise and wanks off some crazy fun with it! It’s a hilariously unsubtle parody, a fun mystery tale, a great chance to see the Doctor and Lucie at their sparkling best and a story packed with wonderful characters and very funny gags. There isn’t one part of this that isn’t firing on all cylinders. Barnaby Edwards provides some very memorable set pieces and the cast have an absolute ball. There is so much packed into this 50 minute episode but it all slots together with dazzling exuberance: 9/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/02/max-warp-written-by-jonathan-morris-and.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/22-Doctor-Who-Max-Warp

Brave New Town: Just like his season one adventure Jonathan Clements has thought up a very interesting scenario and explores it with some depth in his limited running time. The opening scenes pile mystery on top of mystery, Android Invasion style but have a silent menace of their own. I really like how the story subverts its location and its monster with some clever twists and there is an interesting argument in there about the Autons merely being the slaves of their controller and they could be a force for good. All this plus a number of exciting set pieces, some quirky dialogue, and an interesting open ended conclusion. I have been asking for more substance in season two and Brave New Town has it in abundance: 8/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/02/brave-new-town-written-by-jonathan.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/23-Doctor-Who-Brave-New-Town

The Skull of Sobek: Not one of Marc Platt’s better efforts on audio, The Skull of Sobek is a confused and humourless tale that sits uncomfortably within its single episode format. There isn’t the space to tell an engaging story and explore this world in any great depth and both are neglected and as soon as we hear that the ages old battle is going to be re-enacted it is painfully predictable that the Doctor and Lucie will play opposing roles. Barnaby Edwards gives his usual sterling effort and the sound effects are very striking (the horn and Crocodilian voices are especially dramatic) and Lucie is as wonderful as ever but ultimately I found it hard to engage with the material and kept expecting something more…thoughtful from this particular writer: 5/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/02/skull-of-sobek-written-by-marc-platt.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/24-Doctor-Who-The-Skull-of-Sobek

Grand Theft Cosmos: Stylishly written and directed, Grand Theft Cosmos matches Max Warp as the most brilliantly irreverent and pleasurable release of the year. I love heist stories when they are done well and Eddie Robson gets the gleeful tone of this story perfect and his witty and clever script is matched by a very impressive, elegant cast. The pace is relentless and the comedy flows beautifully from the characters and their history but there are also some very tasty original ideas floating about as well. Enjoy these times with the wonderfully fun eighth Doctor and Lucie team because it wont last forever and their partnership sees Big Finish produce another unforgettable, unmissable series of adventures. The Headhunter whisks away in a romantic fashion and I desperately want her to return! A comic heist tale that always leaves me blissfully happy: 9/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/02/grand-theft-cosmos-written-by-eddie.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/25-Doctor-Who-Grand-Theft-Cosmos

The Zygon Who Fell to Earth: The ultimate collision between the unreal and the domestic, The Zygon Who Fell to Earth enjoys the gorgeous premise of a fallen Zygon warlord opening up a B’n’B in the Lake District and falling in love. Now if that sounds like a lunatic premise too far be warned, this isn’t a ribbing at Doctor Who but rather a characterful and touching adventure that tiptoes confidently between embarrassment and genius. The Zygons are very well suited to audio as there are so many memorable and creepy sound effects to call upon that make them instantly recognisable and enjoyable. Paul Magrs never really lets me down, this was the one story of his that approached with caution and within I found some wonderful moments of warmth and laughter and an ending that left me holding back the tears. Bravo: 8/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/02/zygon-who-fell-to-earth-written-by-paul.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/26-Doctor-Who-The-Zygon-Who-Fell-to-Earth

Sisters of the Flame: Far too quiet and eventless for its own good, Sisters of the Flame does not feel like the prelude to an exciting season finale. There is all this talk of the direst of consequences and yet all we see here is the usual kidnap/escape/capture routine on an even smaller scale than usual. Lots of Lucie is always a good thing and Sheridan Smith’s performance is as rewarding as ever but rather than using her character to drive the plot there is no plot so most of the story is Lucie sitting in various prisons grunting at her captors. My favourite aspect of the story was Alexander Siddig’s Rostro, a genuinely appealing character who is great here but wasted in the finale: 5/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/02/sisters-of-flame-written-and-directed.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/27-Doctor-Who-Sisters-of-the-Flame

The Vengeance of Morbius: Lacking the imagination, confidence and style of The Brain of Morbius, Vengeance is a flat rehash of classic elements that adds nothing new to the mix and this two part season finale proves to be the first real misstep of the range. Two thirds of the story is all build up leaving the last 20 minutes to deal with Morbius’ resurrection and since we never get to see any of his devastation it feels like this is one villain who is all talk and trading on his reputation. In shocking contrast with the season 13 classic all of the characters are dull and unengaging from the returning Time Lord Straxus, to the Sisterhood and right the way through to Zarodnax and Morbius himself. The best moments belong to the regulars, Lucie in particular, but they cannot hold up this camp bit of old nonsense on their own. Even Nick Briggs’ direction lacks its usual panache. A damp squib of a finale at the end of an inconsistent year: 4/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/02/vengeance-of-morbius-written-and.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/28-Doctor-Who-Vengeance-of-Morbius



Orbis: A delightfully offbeat opener to series three, Orbis is about as close to a Disney movie Doctor Who story you will ever get (complete with talking jellyfish, attacking Molluscs, amnesiac heroes comic sidekicks) and its simply divine to listen to. Orbis is one of the most idiosyncratic of planets with some delightfully observed life forms in the Kelton and the Moscullari and I could happily have listened to more adventures with the carefree Doctor living amongst them. However in bowls Lucie Miller (on electrifying form) and the Headhunter (who has cemented herself as a welcome series regular) and chaos is unleashed on the planet. What a shame that it has to end in such a devastating way because I would have loved to visited Orbis again but it sets up things very nicely for the season long arc. A stylish, imaginative and very funny opening punch for this season: 9/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/04/orbis-written-by-alan-barnes-nicholas.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/31-Doctor-Who-Orbis

Hothouse: An eccentric millionaire obtains a Krynoid pod by covert means in a country house and cultivates the creature to scale down humanity but the creature grows to its full size and takes control. No I haven’t been watching The Seeds of Doom but you might be forgiven for thinking that I have. It pains me to see a writer with Jonathan Morris’ undeniable imagination reduced to rehashing old Hinchcliffe stories – I thought we had enough of that when a similar sort of homage/sequel/rip off was fudged at the end of the last season. Its not all bad, Morris does make some succinct points about the exploitative nature of humanity and Barnaby Edwards’ direction is as atmospheric as ever and the various sound effects used to convey the Krynoids is genuinely spine tingling in places. But this is a story that most fans have already seen and enjoyed and I’m not someone who enjoys the return of an old monster/villain just because which has dominated the last four episodes of the 8DAs. Entertaining but pointless: 5/10 (the lowest score I have ever given a Morris penned story – don’t let it happen again!)

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/04/hothouse-written-by-jonathan-morris-and.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/32-Doctor-Who-Hothouse

The Beast of Orlok: Witty, macabre and literate, Barnaby Edwards writes a beautiful fairytale in the Doctor Who mould. A bewitching cast tackle the intelligent script with some skill and the resulting piece is very entertaining to listen to. This might be the shortest review I have ever written because I really don’t have a great to criticise or discuss – the script isn’t the most thoughtful but its a jolly good romp that washes over you with excitement, atmosphere and a big wallop of fun. Well written, well directed and well performed, a little gem: 8/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/04/beast-of-orlok-written-and-directed-by.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/33-Doctor-Who-The-Beast-of-Orlok

Wirrn Dawn: I didn’t need to look at the sleeve to see that Jamie Robertson was responsible the sound designer and music, I could tell by the end of the first track so effective was the audio experience. A story that is practically told in real time and has a relentless pace making Wirrn Dawn a gripping action feast. Some people might find this quite serious and po faced but in a range that has gone for laughs far more than scares of late it is a welcome reminder of how violent and nasty an audio experience can be. Spaceships are destroyed, insects slice up bodies, guns fire, bloody wounds are gouged, creatures are electrified, people beg to be killed…this story is like a nasty piece of grit between your teeth. Big macho dialogue and some real scares, this is an attention-grabbing stab in the gut with some impressive set pieces and a poignant ending: 8/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/04/wirrn-dawn-written-and-directed-by.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/34-Doctor-Who-Wirrn-Dawn

The Scapegoat: Gloriously twisted, full of ghoulish characters and laced with some piquant black humour, this is my favourite eighth Doctor adventure of the season thus far. The heady theatrical atmosphere brewed up by the dark script is right up my street and the story managed to shock me on several occasions which audio rarely achieves. This is exactly the atmosphere Pat Mills was attempting to create in Dead London but it fell way short of the mark but he has perfected his recipe (one part sick jokes, one part grotesque characters and one part musical theatre!) and The Scapegoat provides a blistering good time. Bullish Gestapo officers, goat people, theatre de macabre, Lucie Miller dazzling on the stage, Byronesque Baroques and repugnante theatrical assassinations, The Scapegoat is a brutal and delicious taste of gothic horror that once again proves the 8DAs are at their best when they dabble with the original: 9/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/04/scapegoat-written-by-pat-mills-and.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/35-Doctor-Who-The-Scapegoat

The Cannibalists: Huge fun and much more to my tastes than Morris’ Hothouse earlier in the season. If I thought Orbis was akin to a Disney movie then The Cannibalists takes the idea even further with the delightful concept of a bunch of robots abandoned by their human masters and forced to create a civilisation of their own. The exemplary performances and eccentric dialogue makes these robotic characters come alive and you feel appalled for them, as they are ripped apart by the Cannibalists. There are some quirky observations on humanoid constructs (I nearly choked on my coffee when Lucie’s breasts were called unorthodox protuberances!) and Phil Jupitus’ Servo and Phil Davis’ Titus are brilliantly realised characters, one touching and the other a fantastic snarling villain. This story was incredible fun but also surprisingly emotional in places, another winner in this insanely eclectic season: 9/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/04/cannibalists-written-by-jonathan-morris.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/36-Doctor-Who-The-Cannibalists

The Eight Truths: Exciting but flawed, The Eight Truths has enough intriguing elements to want me to listen to its conclusion but in trying to emulate a New Series finale it lacks the unique identity that has sparkled throughout this multi-faceted season. The good stuff all comes with the exciting appearance of the stellar manipulator, the introduction of the very fun Kelly Westwood and the return of the Metebelies Spiders who I think have the most wonderful voices. The bad stuff mostly centres around the Doctor and Lucie (sacrilege!) since he is forced into technobabble corner and she is taken over and bled of all her usual warmth and humour. The production is bolstered by a strong atmosphere of growing menace and a stirring musical score and there is a real drive to the direction which ensures even through the duller moments you feel as this is an event. Not quite on par with Robson’s Human Resources but an impressively contemporary slice of traditional Doctor Who: 8/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/04/eight-truths-written-by-eddie-robson.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/37-Doctor-Who-The-Eight-Truths

Worldwide Web: Just like the new series two part finales, the build up is far more engaging than the conclusion and Worldwide Web (great title) proves that the eighth Doctor adventures simple have not got the hang of closing their seasons well (this isn’t quite as offensive as The Vengeance of Morbius but it isn’t much better). Its problems are manifold; a plot that lacks surprises because they were all used up in the two episodes, a badly written battle of wits between Lucie and the Queen that fails to convince, confusing plotting that hops about randomly and fizzles out at the climax (both the Headhunter and Karen get disappointing endings), trading character work for a wealth of technobabble and failing to develop the spiders beyond what we already knew about them (making me wonder…what was the point once again?). Again the saving graces comes from Martin Johnson’s evocative soundscapes and bombastic score but when he is bringing to life such an unengaging story its only superficially enjoyable. In a season that gave us stories as imaginative, amusing and downright delightful as Orbis, The Scapegoat and The Cannibalists, this two part damp squib climaxes the season on a disappointing note: 5/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/04/worldwide-web-written-by-eddie-robson.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/38-Doctor-Who-Worldwide-Web


Death in Blackpool: An unusually melancholic Christmas episode that despite the tragic events still manages to capture the magic of the normality of a family Christmas. This is character drama of the highest order with the eighth Doctor series returning to the dramatic events of an earlier story and letting its consequences spiral out of control and devastate the relationship between the Doctor and Lucie. Christmas is not always mince pies and laughter and Death in Blackpool taps into the darker side of the season that really appealed to me, its far more thoughtful than the usual twee muck. The last scene is a Big Finish highlight, proof that these audio adventures have taken on a life of their own because I always burst into tears when the Doctor and Lucie are torn apart. A story that means a lot to me in many, many ways: 10/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/04/death-in-blackpool-written-by-alan.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/401-Doctor-Who-Death-in-Blackpool

Situation Vacant: A comic gem with a premise to die for, the fourth series of the EDAs has gotten off to a great start. Paul McGann works so well in the funnier stories (Max Warp, Grand Theft Cosmos) it is a wonder that they torture him as much as they do! The four potential companions are a lot of fun and all have distinct, equally inept personalities and are well cast so you think that any of them could potentially act as Lucie Miller’s replacement. The first episode really plays up to its X-Factor/Apprentice roots with the Doctor hilariously walking in on his wannabes inept attempts to solve a mystery and the second episode comes up with one brilliantly insane twists after an another to kick each one of them out of the running. Eddie Robson has written a sparkling script packed full of memorable lines for everybody and deserves kudos for making such a crowd-pleasing premise work so intelligently. I was secretly hoping for Joe Thomas to become the companion because he was such a disillusioned rogue but as the season progresses you can see that Niky Wardley’s Tamsin/Juliet was the only real candidate: 9/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/04/situation-vacant-written-by-eddie.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/402-Doctor-Who-Situation-Vacant

Nevermore: A story that definitely needs several listens to bring all of its riches to the surface. On my first listen I was confused by the insane deluge of crazy sounds and the incomprensibly dense storytelling but upon my second listen I was shocked to discover a very clever Poe inspired tale marbled with clever, twisted ideas and an incredible soundscape and musical score. Nevermore wont work for everybody but if you like a touch of dark poetry in your science fiction and moments of genuine horror and surrealism you will definitely get a lot from Alan Barnes’ experimental piece. Some have commented that this wasn’t a great introductory story for Tamsin but I disagree, she gets to be funny, cute, sympathetic and appalled and sees the Doctor’s adventures close up for the terror they can bring. I have a few issues about disguising the incredible guest cast behind American accents but that aside I found Nevermore to be an engaging and brave story, for once trading a jolly adventure for something a bit more disturbing: 8/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/04/nevermore-written-by-alan-barnes-and.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/403-Doctor-Who-Nevermore


The Book of Kells: Barnaby Edwards writes a terrifically entertaining historical exploit with lots of witty material for the four main characters. It is great fun having the Doctor, the Abbot, Tamsin and Lucianus all trying to out each other as imposters – this is precisely how The Mark of the Rani should have played out, having some fun with all these time travellers turning up in history. The Book of Kells is not the most famous historical document which makes this an educational journey and I really enjoyed how Edwards weaved these events of his story into history as it is documented. It’s a clear indicator of how the season is going to progress but makes for a delicious slice of pleasure in its own right. Make sure you listen to this story twice because once you have enjoyed the surprises a re-listen makes this a whole new experience: 8/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/04/book-of-kells-written-and-directed-by.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/404-Doctor-Who-The-Book-of-Kells

Deimos: Dramatic and pacy but really just a scene setter for the second half, Deimos takes a little too long to get to its cliffhanging dilemma considering the Ice Warriors wake up in the pre titles sequence. The hostage scenario is played for real and there are plenty of opportunities for the Doctor and Tamsin to shine but again you feel that all the really juicy stuff is coming up. Strong direction and terrific performances hold this story together although the Ice Warriors feel less of a threat in themselves and more of a threat in the morally impossible circumstances they have trapped the Doctor in. But you just know all the juicy stuff is coming in the second half…: 7/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/04/deimos-written-by-jonathan-morris-and.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/405-Doctor-Who-Deimos

The Ressurection of Mars: A blistering conclusion to the events built up in Deimos, The Ressurection of Mars is up there with the best of this season. The first episode is a mini tale in its own right with the Monk taking Tamsin away to show her the consequences of the Doctor’s actions and providing a commentary whilst he makes one of his biggest mistakes in years leading to a tragic, unforgettable cliffhanger. Hard decisions are considered and made and relationships are broken and forged in this impressive drama. The fourth season of eighth Doctor adventures comes to fruition here with all of the elements that have been bubbling under the surface coming to the surface and setting up events for the devastating finale. The moral dilemma that splits the Doctor and Tamsin works so beautifully because they are both right – if he prevented the destruction of Halcyon it could have catastrophic consequences but at the same time he could do something and it could be for the better. A blockbusting mid season spectacular and this conclusion is a riveting thrill ride that has real heart: 9/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/04/ressurection-of-mars-written-by.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/406-Doctor-Who-The-Resurrection-of-Mars

Relative Dimensions: Get the duvet out, light some candles and settle down for a heart-warming Christmas with the Doctor’s family. Marc Platt deserves kudos for tackling what could have been a potentially horrific slice of soap opera and making it something special that develops its characters and creates a stirring emotional atmosphere. Relative Dimensions is the perfect Christmas treat, a slap up dinner, lots of presents, bickering, tall tales and real sense of family. Oh and a giant pan dimensional space fish as well. The music is very emotive throughout and there are some well-chosen carols to accompany scenes of family fun. A wonderful story and another gem in what is definitely proving to be the most consistently jewel laden season for the EDAs. What I will really remember this story for though is bringing Susan home and reminding us why we love the Doctor so much. Well done, Mr Platt: 9/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/04/relative-dimensions-written-by-marc.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/407-Doctor-Who-Relative-Dimensions

Prisoner of the Sun: A very different take on the Doctor helping the rebels scenario with the Doctor working as part of the system and the rebels coming to rescue him and topple the oppression! The second half of the story gets blissfully complicated, everybody trying to convince the Doctor that he has to leave via various means but he comes up trumps seeing through all the deceptions but even I have to admit that for a moment I was convinced, which provided some real tension. It might feel a little lightweight compared to the fireworks elsewhere in the season buy this is a clever little piece, well written and well performed. In any other season this would stand taller but because the standard is so high here: 7/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/04/prisoner-of-sun-written-by-eddie-robson.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/408-Doctor-Who-Prisoner-of-the-Sun

Lucie Miller: Extremely uncomfortable to listen to but positively gripping at the same time, Lucie Miller takes us intimately closer to an invasion of Earth like never before and doesn’t shy away from any of the horrors. It’s practically a companion chronicle for Lucie Miller and whilst this would be captivating material regardless of the companion we care so much more about Lucie because of the journey we have taken with her. Sheridan Smith gives the performance of a lifetime allowing us closer to her character than ever before and the unjust pain that she experiences makes this distressing, anxiety producing material. Whilst he may not appreciate the comparison, the strength of the writing and the direction shows that Nick Briggs has truly upped his game since the Morbius two parter at the end of season two, this is blisteringly stirring material. The finale will have to be something very special to top this: 10/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/04/lucie-miller-written-and-directed-by.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/409-Doctor-Who-Lucie-Miller

To the Death: A devastating finale that will not be forgotten for a long, long time. The first half of To the Death is a protracted scene amongst the major players of the season and sees some of the most brutal character work the range has ever provided. It’s an astonishingly raw extended sequence and it maintains its edge throughout. The second half is a bloodbath the likes of which we haven’t seen since the finale of Blakes’ 7, the Doctor’s friends and family slaughtered by the Daleks and leaving our hero a battered man unsure of his place in the universe anymore. The links to Patient Zero are a wonderful touch, adding a lot of depth to both stories and the Daleks scheme this time is more brutal and devastating than even I could have imagined. To the Death rounds of this incredible season on a climactic, melancholic finish that proves this series was not afraid to take risks and make Doctor Who as exciting as it can be. Monumental: 10/10

Full Review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/04/to-death-written-and-directed-by.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/410-Doctor-Who-To-the-Death

 Artwork by Simon Hodges @ http://hisi79.deviantart.com/

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Essential blog. I recently discovered doctor Who on BBC, and finally, i don't want to know other doctors, the eight sounds perfect for me. the episode i love the most is Orbis and i follow you absolutely. "What a shame that it has to end in such a devastating way because I would have loved to visited Orbis again..."
And the scene with tights is so unexpected and so funny...
FH

jiffg711 said...

This 4th series of 8th doctor adventures really is the highlight of the Big Finish Doctor Who range even allowing for such stone cold classics as Spare Parts and Jubilee. Audio has never been so emotional.

Joe Ford said...

It really is a fantastic run of episodes, isn't it? My favourites are Death in Blackpool and To the Death but there isn't really a weak link here. I think they got the mix of characters just right too - the Doctor, Lucie, Susan, Alex, Tamsin and the Monk. Great stuff :-)

AFJQCornwall said...

Hello Doctor Oho, what a beautifully designed site. I loved the EDA series boxset mockups. I too loved these stories. Season 4 is brilliant. My all-time fav. from this series: Zygon who fell... funny, haunting, creepy Zygons and Paul Magrs finest leftfield plot. Best wishes Dr Oho,

AFJQCornwall

Joe Ford said...

Many thanks for your comment, AFJQCornwall. How are you finding the 8th Doctor in Dark Eyes?

Zagreus said...

Am I the only person who absolutely could not stand Lucie Miller?

To me she was nothing but a grating voice with an even more grating personality on top. Obnoxious, petulant, whiny, it was like a chav version of Tegan, minus any degree of likeability or whatsoever.

As such, she pretty much single handedly destroyed any chance I had of enjoying the Eighth Doctor adventures.

I tried to get past my hatred for her character and performance, but by God, she made that all but impossible for me. Never have I been so disappointed in a Big Finish Doctor Who range as I was with this one, thanks to that one character and performance. What a truly horrible, terrible, irritating waste of soundwaves she was.