Monday, 30 March 2015

Big Finish licence renewed until 2020! More great stories...spin offs!

Bernice Summerfield:

Oh No It Isn't!: A delightful introduction to the world of Bernice Summerfield on audio. This is still one of my most listened to audios (along with The One Doctor, surprisingly…what do those two have in common?) because it cheers me up every time I listen to it. You have a fantastic cast who are clearly having the time of their lives with the witty, imaginative script and that enjoyment extends to the audience in waves. Paul Cornell has written a surprisingly thoughtful discourse on the nature of pantomime, looking at its conventions and (lack of) imaginative limitations whilst making us laugh until our sides hurt at the same time. Jac Rayner has cleverly taken all the best bits of the book and cut away all the flabby padding. The best fiction is clever, thoughtful and thoroughly entertaining and Oh No It Isn’t! scores on all three. At the heart of this play is Lisa Bowerman playing Bernice as we always imagined her to sound, funny and sweet, commanding and flawed, entertaining and easy on the ear. She has that Tom Baker ability of making any dialogue sound utterly convincing. Very few Doctor Who stories have given me as much pleasure as this one.

Full review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2010/02/oh-no-it-isnt-written-by-paul-cornell.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/11-Bernice-Summerfield-Oh-No-it-Isnt!

Just War: Hard-hitting and dramatic, if you have any doubt that the Bernice Summerfield series could not deliver the goods than go and listen to this story now. What you have here is a polished script written with drive and bursting with great character scenes and a director who allows the story room to breathe at a relaxed pace to bring out some extraordinary performances from his cast. Bowerman and Fewell do their best work from series one here, Benny and Jason have never felt more like real people and their reunion never more touching. The stifling atmosphere never lets up and the story manages to sell the idea that the Nazi’s might win the war, one of the most hackneyed ideas ever. On audio this is a superb production, never letting you forget where we are and what it means. I’ve heard this story ten times and every time I have come away astonished at how good it is. Extremely scary in places.

Full review here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2010/02/just-war-written-by-lance-parkin.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/15-Bernice-Summerfield-Just-War

Death and the Daleks: An epic, personal, unforgettable finale bringing together four seasons worth of audios, countless novels and assembling the impressive cast of the Bernice series and giving them all great material. The idea of kicking off this story with the gripping anthology Life During Wartime is inspired, giving the situation a great deal of depth as a novel before rounding off the story with numerous surprises as an exciting audio. There are lots of wonderful kisses to the past but Paul Cornell also manages to cement the latest develops in Bernice’s life as something that is unmissable. There is a wonderful drive to the story and no easy answers and lots of intriguing character threads to picked up in later stories. One of the highpoints in the Bernice Summerfield range.

The Judas Gift: Events on the Collection have not been this enthralling since Death and the Daleks and Nick Wallace taps it’s a rich seam of characterisation that sees Bev, Adrian, Brax and Benny getting some of their best ever moments. The Draconian/Mim conflict has been building for some time and now it explodes into warfare and the Collection finds itself in the middle trying to stay in one piece. We’ll be saying goodbye to the Collection at the end of the this season and it is fitting that its best storyline was saved for last. Everything that is great about this series comes into play – the regulars are on top form (Bev’s history allows the Draconians to gain a foothold on the Collection) and treated to some scorching dialogue, there is an intriguing archaeological mystery to solve, the universe building is first class and the running storyline is given some dramatic momentum with some heart-in-mouth twists forcing developments. If you are invested in these characters and this universe, The Judas Gift is about as riveting as it comes.

Full Review Here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/10/judas-gift-written-by-nick-wallace-and.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/82-Bernice-Summerfield-The-Judas-Gift

Jason Kane: The End of the World: Dave Stone is another standout writer in the Bernice Summerfield range and here he does the audience a huge service by intelligently tying up years of plotting into Jason’s investigations of Braxiatel. It is entirely appropriate that the Jason’s creator should write his final story and tie in lots of continuity that has weaved in and out of his story over the years and remind us just how far he has come. This is the point of no return for Braxiatel – he has lied, manipulated and cheated his friends but murdering Jason because he has gotten to close to the truth is one kick in the gut too far for Bernice and Brax has stepped over the line from uneasy ally to enemy. And the fireworks haven’t even begun because she doesn’t know…yet. This is a beautifully written piece and that sees Jason at his intellectual and emotional best and allows Stephen Fewell to give one last, triumphant, performance. Lisa Bowerman’s direction is sublime because she understands that this piece needs to be all about Jason and so she strips away any sound effects during Fewell’s monologues to give them maximum impact. The last scene of this play is one of the most vital moments in any Big Finish production and I was slack jawed throughout as all the answers came spilling out of Braxiatel’s mouth. Spellbinding drama and the end of a very important chapter in Benny’s life.

Ressurecting the Past: ‘We’re changing the future…’ Exciting, epic and bringing so much of the last ten years of adventures up to date and relevant again, Resurrecting the Past had a massive amount to achieve and it succeeds in pretty much all of its goals. You might think that this would wind up being a box ticking exercise but this is anything but. We’re planet hopping, privy to Braxiatel’s machinations, dodging BPM’s, reunited with this ranges brilliant cast and introduced to a spanking new menace. It has that wonderfully dizzying Army of Ghosts/The Stolen Earth/The Pandorica Opens feel of pulling together many narrative threads into a cohesive and fulfilling opening act of a finale without any of the messy business of having to tie it all up at the end. The pace is relentless and its such a joy to be in the midst of adventure with Adrian, Bev, Hass, Joseph and all the others. I’d be lying if I said that I hadn’t missed them all. Robson very cleverly manuveres everybody into a position so the plot can finally be spelt out but via three different speakers so Brax, Doggles and Robyn it feels less like exposition and more like an exquisite masterplan that is reaching fruition. The story is also injected with real wit and creativity and the cliffhanger promises exciting things to come. On every level this is the Bernice Summerfield range firing on all cylinders, aiming high and shooting off into the stratosphere. I’m foaming at the mouth for the conclusion.

Escaping the Future: ‘Bernice your brilliance has cleaned up my mess admirably. You have been remarkable…’ Unpredictable and seeded with great ideas, the conclusion to this two hour blockbuster wasn’t at all what I was expecting and is all the better for it. What’s great about Escaping the Future is that it doesn’t go down the obvious path of telling a war story (the anthology Present Danger has already filled a lot of the messy, violent blanks during the Deindum invasion plus we have already explored a war setting on the Collection in the Life During Wartime/Death and the Daleks double bill and it was hardly going to better that) but instead uses its time to spoil us with long overdue confrontations, the joy of seeing enemies turn into allies and experience this team working together to create a plan of monumental importance to defeat the Deindum. What I thought was going to be a depressingly shallow combat tale instead becomes a hugely imaginative and triumphant piece about these characters we have come to know and love triumphing against all the odds even at the cost of their lives. There’s exciting moments (missile alert!), performance pieces (the riveting Bernice/Braxiatel confrontation which sees Bowerman and Richardson at their best) and a real atmosphere of doom as the entire population of the Collection try and provoke a conflict between two evolutionary stages of the same race and manipulate the timelines. They are literally playing God. It’s a story where Bernice gets to scrub an entire war out of history (it might be one that could have been avoided but that is a moot point now since it has happened) and even as she puts her plan in motion she understands (as do we) that it will mean consequences. Consequences for her and consequences for the range. This two parter has been triumph in both re-igniting interest in the series and polishing off over ten seasons worth of storytelling. It has managed to be epic and intimate, exciting and involving, clever and creative. Its all the things I have come to expect from this range at its best with the added excitement of knocking down the house of cards once and for all. Who knows what the future will hold but at least we had the chance to play with all these wonderful toys one last time. The last scene is brilliantly climactic and unforgettable.


The Bellova Doll: Alan Barnes has written an extremely intelligent script which cleverly takes a supernatural premise of a man rising from the grave and then plots a story with cunning details that convinces the reader it is genuinely so before revealing how we have been hoodwinked with a magicians flourish. Much like The Mahogany Murderers the pair of intrepid investigations regale us with their individual but equally compelling tales, they approach storytelling from very different angles but together make a very fulsome tale. The direction is faultless, never shying away from the terrifying reality of the Club and its member’s deception and the production values continue to shine (especially the music which really gives these stories a style of their own). The Bellova Doll provides an hour of shocks and thrills and another exemplary piece of entertainment with our two chums.


The Theatre of Dreams: Innovative and unpredictable, Theatre of Dreams is a surreal and inventive piece of character drama that kept me guessing until the last scene. Its brilliant to be able to explore Jago & Litefoot’s dreams and nightmares because it allows us to get even closer to the characters. Jonathan Morris deconstructs the reality of theatre and makes insightful observations on the nature of dreams. It’s the standout story of this consistently excellent season and the best the series has been since The Bellova Doll. Expertly put together by Lisa Bowerman who keeps things gripping and unreliable whilst guiding us to the truth with some judicious editing. Subversive storytelling at its best, Theatre of Dreams is packed with great imagery and is one of the most audacious audio productions Big Finish have released. 


Beautiful Things: Beautiful Things is an example of business as usual in the world of Jago & Litefoot but I don’t mean that in a negative way because this is about as perfect a representation of this series as you could find. It’s a gorgeous homage to The Picture of Dorian Grey which starts out resembling the SJS audio The TAO Connection (a sick man, his male companion and young men dying by supernatural means) but soon becomes an enthralling mixture of labyrinthine concepts and artistic criticism with some delicious Sapphire and Steel ideas thrown in for good measure. What makes this so Mary Poppins (that’s practically perfect in every way) is that the essentials of this series are so strong and well realised by writer John Dorney they simply add the finishing touches of sublimity to an already sensational script. You’ve got the joyous coming together of Jago and Oscar Wilde, Claudius Dark making his presence felt more keenly, Leela continuing to shine in this setting with her animal instincts at their sharpest and Litefoot back to his investigative ways showing off his deductive skills and brilliance. The dialogue throughout is acuminous, the interplay between all the characters had me howling with laughter and imagination that has gone into creating library that eats peoples imaginations has to be applauded. The inclusion of Wilde ensures there are some intelligent comments about his work and reminds us that this period of history had its own memorably famous characters – I wonder which one the intrepid investigators will look up next? It’s a confident, polished production that could happily have slipped into any of the first three seasons with a little tweaking but that isn’t a bad thing. Thisisn’t generic Jago & Litefoot and yet Beautiful Things is the epitome of why the series continues to shine.


Point of Entry: Wow. Astonishingly mature storytelling and the pinnacle of the lost stories season; Point of Entry combines theatrics and devilry to create an unsettling, dark mood with moments of genuinely chilling horror. This is the story of Marlowe bewitched by the Devil, looking for a sinister muse to shape Faustus and bringing an alien menace to fruition that is laced into Earth’s bloody history. Marc Platt has written his best script yet, an ominous historical atmosphere of storms, screams and sacrifices and John Ainsworth direction offers moments of spine chilling terror. Barbara Clegg’s pitch was the perfect change of scene for this science fiction heavy season and gives Peri her best material yet. People have bemoaned that this story is too long but I wouldn’t lose one second of its brooding piquancy.

Full Review Here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2011/02/point-of-entry-written-by-marc-platt.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/106-Doctor-Who-Point-of-Entry

Farewell Great Macedon: A great loss to the TV series but a huge gain to The Lost Stories range, Farewell Great Macedon is a stunning six-part epic that only the format less Hartnell era would attempt. Like Marco Polo the story takes place on an impress canvas with months passing during the episodes and visiting some extraordinarily vivid locations. A huge round of applause should go to William Russell, Carole Ann Ford and John Dorney without whom this blistering tale would not be brought to life so vigorously and the mixture of narrators (I especially love how scenes are cut up dramatically with different voices) makes this a heady, memorable experience. I just happen to find the Hartnell historicals the pinnacle of Doctor Who’s televised achievements so this feels as though it has been made specifically for my tastes. The regulars are treated to some great material, the Doctor is grumpy, morally ambiguous and gets the wonderful sequence of walking on hot coals, Barbara enthuses about being able to experience history and enjoys a strong and affecting relationship with Alexander, Ian is the picture of bravery and protects his friends to the nth degree and Susan emotes like an emotional firework. Lisa Bowerman has been one of the standout directors to have emerged from Big Finish in the past few years (A Thousand Tiny Wings, Jago & Litefoot) but her work on this story is nothing short of masterful. She extracts all the sensuality and emotion from the script and encourages the blissful performances of the cast. Her work should be recognised for its incredible consistency and quality. Honestly at some points during this story you will think you are listening to a wiped story recording, that’s how authentic it feels.


Gallifrey: 

A Blind Eye: How could Alan Barnes and Gary Russell be responsible for perhaps the greatest travesty in the Doctor Who canon (yeah you know I’m talking about) and then follow it up with something as intelligent, clever, twisted and heartbreakingly climatic as this? It beggars belief! A Blind Eye ends a nourishing first year of Gallifrey on a real high dishing out brilliant twists that prove how intricately this season has been plotted. What’s more it gives Lalla Ward, Louise Jameson and India Fisher the chance to really impress with some top dramatic material. I’ve always thought there was a great story waiting to be told in the Doctor Who universe set on a moving train and it proves to be as atmospheric as I imagined. I loved the spoilt bitch fascist Sissy Pollard. I loved the timey wimey madness with the two Torvald’s. I loved Romana’s bossy, angry tirade. And I really loved the truth about Andred. I was gripped from the first moment to the last.

Full Review Here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.com/2010/09/gallifrey-blind-eye-written-by-alan.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/14-Gallifrey-A-Blind-Eye

Renaissance: A fascinating listen and pretty much everything I have wanted since the end of series three. Renaissance provides a foothold back onto Gallifrey Prime in a way that keeps everybody happy; those who wanted the series to pick up after series three can pretend that series four and five never happened because that is pretty much what this story does. And yet those who did like the two interim seasons have their faith justified because we witness the devastation on Gallifrey Prime and see that it was absolutely necessary to leave for a time to escape a terrifying fate. Win/win. James Goss is rapidly becoming one of my favourite of the current Big Finish contributors because he seems to understand the audio medium perfectly, that this is a world of dialogue (of which he has a good ear for memorable lines) and ideas (his imagination seems to be boundless). These were always Gallifrey’s strengths as well so handing him this assignment seems to have been the perfect union of series and author. Justin Richards is the other perfect Gallifrey writer, a man whose creative juices have been flowing in the Whoniverse for nearly two decades and guess who is writing the finale? Goss also understands that we cannot have an emotional connection to the concepts without relationships that appeal, excite and frustrate and characterisation is tops too. Leela and Romana haven’t been written this well in many years. Renaissance is the first opportunity to experience the new Romana that Big Finish are introducing and I am pleased to report she is a delight. Freshly played by Juliet Landau and hugely different from her predecessors, Romana III is a tactile and slightly kooky incarnation and all the more intriguing for it. With kisses to An Unearthly Child, The Dalek Invasion of Earth, The Three Doctors, The Face of Evil and Logopolis and daring to look forward to the Time War, this is both nostalgic and innovative. It builds to a climax that gave me goosebumps in a move that promises to change the fate of one character forever. What is so sad is that after flouncing around for two season that Gallifrey is coming to end in the next story just when the range has really found it’s groove again. Still at least they can say they went out on a high. Finally the events mean something again. 

Unbound: 

Auld Mortality: Proof that not all stories set on Gallifrey have to be stuffy political dramas; Auld Mortality is one of the most sensual and emotional dramas yet. Bristling with imagination and intelligence and taking the idea of ‘what if?’ to its most extreme (what if the Doctor never left Gallifrey?), I was impressed how this unique production sucked me in so completely. The potential for this to stretch into a series of adventures is irresistible with the gorgeous Geoffrey Bayldon giving a beautiful performance as the Doctor and accompanied by Carole Ann Ford who gives her best ever performance as Susan. The line between fantasy and reality is one that we all have to face and I have rarely seen it handled in such an optimistic and creative manner. The last scene splits the drama two ways that really shows that the possibilities truly are endless and it remains one of the best scenes in Doctor Who. Ever.

Full Review Here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/auld-mortality-written-by-marc-platt.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/auld-mortality-362

Deadline: What if Doctor Who never made it to the screen? One of the boldest, most subversive scripts to bear the Doctor Who logo which also rather brilliantly takes the time to insult the hell out of me. There are so many spine tingling breaths of genius to the writing it would impossible to list them all but as usual Rob Shearman has put a lot of thought into his material and ensured that there is much to think about after you have turned it off. Big Finish should be proud for producing something that is so clearly going to divide opinion and a lot of the continuity is used as a weapon that knifes you in the gut over and over. Want to hear the Doctor swearing at Susan? Want to listen to Barbara talking about her scummy ex Ian Chesterton? Want to imagine Doctor Who as the work of a failed man who cruises through life treating people like shit for the sake of his art? Want to hear the brains behind Doctor Who mistakenly appearing to molest a young boy in a cupboard under the illusion of taking him for a trip into time and space? Maybe not but I suggest that you do. This is button pushing at its best and practically every line is a gem. I can understand why I used to hate this story but now I love it and oddly its for exactly the same reasons.

Full Review Here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/deadline-written-by-robert-shearman-and.html
Buy it from Big Finish here: http://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/deadline-366

A Storm of Angels: Marc Platt has always enjoyed injecting a touch of poetry into Doctor Who but in A Storm of Angels he ups his game and conjures a story full of enchanting romantic imagery and ideas. A Steamship in space, cut treasures containing an alien intelligence, a tidal wave of flying Angels, an Elizabethan space station in orbit of the Earth, a man with a skin of jewels – yes its easy to fall under the spell of this dreamy brew of graceful creativity. Whilst the plot itself is quite thin there are simply a wealth of goodies to unearth; Geoffrey Bayldon’s masterful performance as the Doctor, Ian Hallard’s morally indignant Zeuro, gorgeous dialogue, stellar direction, an affecting musical score, dazzling imagery and set pieces and a hungry desire of what could have been. Every few minutes there is a moment that will take your breath away. It’s the rarest of things but A Storm of Angels is less of a story and more of an experience and it is best to switch off your critical faculties (because you wont find anything to feed on) and simply luxuriate into the beguiling atmosphere of the piece. Another favourite of mine. 

Dorian Gray: 

The Twittering of Sparrows: Speaking as somebody who is estranged from his sister and has experienced a great deal of hassle from her, a lot of this really resonated. I cannot believe that that is a Gary Russell script. Its tight (although typically the longest of the season…but I wouldn’t have lost a single word), restrained, atmospheric and to the point…it’s a gorgeous piece of writing from a man who I have always admired far his work as a director. The pairing of Handcock writing and Russell directing has always worked out rather well but reversing the roles is even more effective. The heavy narration is dumped in favour of a full cast drama (or as full cast as you are going to get with this series) and its refreshing change of scene. It’s the warmest portrayal of Dorian in this set of stories, contrasting him against his twisted, withered sister makes him even more personable in nature. The chance to explore a little of his family history is essential to his development and the scenes between Vlahos and Manning are loaded with tension, bitterness and ultimately affection. There’s something about sibling rivalry that brings the worst out in us and as this story continues we enter some very disturbing waters. This tops Beautiful Chaos as the best piece of writing to ever spring from Gary Russell’s pen and it pleases me to finally award something he has written full marks. It more than deserves it.

The Heart That Lives Alone: A vampire love story between two immortals…if you think you’ve crossed intoTwilight/Buffy territory then you are very much mistaken. Tobias is a mesmerising bloodsucker for Dorian to become infatuated with and their relationship walks that passionate line between fear and intimacy. You’ll never experience a romance quite like this again, one where we are privy to the romantic thoughts of both parties. In a way the audience is an almost voyeuristic third party to their liaison, experiencing all the emotional highs and the crashing lows that come with the curse of falling in love. Easily the horniest Big Finish drama I have ever listened to and one of the most tragic.

Full Review Here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/the-confessions-of-dorian-gray-reviews.html

The Immortal Game: 'This is our immortal game…’ Beautifully written, directed and performed, The Immortal Game is the highlight of season two thus far. You know with Nev Fountain you are always going to get something a bit special and out of the ordinary and for once he has discarded his trademark humour and produced a riveting half hour drama based around a game of chess and a terrifying sibling rivalry of the most unusual kind. It grips from the first scene, indulges in some dark games and fires one knockout line of dialogue after another. A have to make a quick mention of Scott Handcock’s direction of this series, which is exceptional. It must an impossible task to try and realise a story told in half an hour and make it unique enough to stand up in its own right and he manages to pace these narrative vignettes perfectly so they never feel rushed and yet at the same time get to the point quickly enough to fit everything in. Both Fountain and Handcock have outdone themselves in that respect here; and it is the most fulsomely structured and satisfying release of the season and yet comes in at several minutes less than the others. The twist ending is brilliantly handled, and yet well signposted for those in the know but it doesn’t stop the moment running up and down your spine thanks to Vlahos’ delivery and the stirring music. I would suggest you buy the entire run of Dorian Gray but if you were only purchase one from season two, this should be your choice. 

Running Away With You: ‘I want to be your friend again…’ Clever title. Clever story. I thought I knew exactly where Running Away With You was going from about ten minutes on and I couldn’t have been more pleased to have been wrong. With ten extra minutes to tell his tale, Scott Handcock writes a dazzling drama that takes a probing look at its three characters, one seemingly to come out of nowhere and yet brilliantly foreshadowed in the play. There are only three performers in this play but they all give a masterclass in acting on audio; Lalla Ward takes an outwardly clich├ęd character and gives her lashings of depth, Vlahos impresses with a dual performance as Dorian at two stages in his life and Geoffrey Breton aces quiet malevolence as the ace up the sleeve. Should this serve as the last regular story for Dorian Gray then Handcock marks the moment in spellbinding fashion with a flashback across the last two seasons, highlighting the moments that have led to his climactic actions in this story. As we reach the last act you come to realise just how much you have grown to care about this character, as flawed and as malevolent as he can be. A dark, unforgettable place to leave the season. Sublime, I want more.

Full Review Here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/the-confessions-of-dorian-gray-season.html

Dark Shadows: 

The House by the Sea: Flesh creeping terror brought to courtesy of Colin Baker, James Goss and Joe Lidster. Let's deal with each of these individuals in turn. Baker is one of the shining stars of Big Finish, a man who has taken his scant reputation with the majority of Doctor Who fans and has managed to become the most popular actor to play the role in this medium. He tackles The House by the Sea with unrestrained gusto, giving an extraordinary performance that tops some of his very best in the Doctor Who range. He kept me on tenterhooks throughout. James Goss is slowly becoming the most reliable pair of hands writing for Big Finish, his works have all been gripping, surprising and really get under the skin of the characters in an intimate way. The House by the Sea is magnificently written and characterised with some deft and chilling moments. There wasn't one point where Goss wasn't leading me on like a dog hankering for a stick. Finally we have Joe Lidster, the man responsible for this range and who encouraged me to give it a try. I'm truly pleased that he did. I have been hankering on about missing his subversive style of storytelling in the main range for some time now but what I didn't realise was just how skilful he would turn out to be in the directors chair. As a piece of audio, this is a fantastic piece of work with some stunning editing that had me lurching for the light switch as I sat here listening in the near dark. It's very easy to assault the listener with a variety of scary noises but it takes much more skill to send subtle goosebumps up the spine, to make you feel as if there is somebody in the room behind you, to make you wonder if those sound effects are in your headphones or somewhere in the far distance... Lidster has a bright future ahead of him in the directors chair if this is the sort of horror he can produce on audio. This is a slow burn mystery that gets under your skin and sinks deeper as the mystery thickens and the terrors emerge. This is exactly the sort of bone gnawing dread that I expected to experience with The Phantom Bride and its ghostly apparitions but there are number of important differences. The House by the Sea is an intensely personal experience and told from the point of view of somebody teetering on the edge of a breakdown, the attacks are far more subtle and thus make much more of an impact and the direction truly pulls you into the mystery of the house, allowing us to experience Gerald's foolishness along with him. That mixture of visceral thrills and psychological terror is a winning, horrific formula. Definitely do not listen to this one in the dark. You might just cack your pants. The ending is unforgettable. 

Full Review Here: http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/the-house-by-sea-written-by-james-goss.html

The Flip Side: 'You dance like a dead woman...' I love stories like this when the central character of a series is targeted for terror tactics. The New Avengers mastered it with Dead Men Are Dangerous. DS9 scored a winner with The Darkness and the Light. Doctor Who redefined the idea in Midnight. And now Dark Shadows has it's own masterclass to add to the list...and the target isn't even who you might think it would be. How awesome that Dark Shadows has the elasticity to take on massive science fiction concepts such as alternative realities and run with them. It's something that was played about with in some depth in both the New Adventures (Conundrum and Blood Heat aced the concept) and the EDAs (The Last Resort and Timeless took the idea to some imaginative and sinister places) and so you might think that I would be exhausted by the concept by now. Not a bit of it, The Flip Side shows that there are still stories to tell within the alternative universe format and that there are substitute versions of the Dark Shadows characters that are well worth exploring further. Many of my favourite stories in any franchise have been those that scale away the massive casts and focus on a couple of characters and explore storytelling possibilities in a highly intimate way. Cody Quijano-Schell has done a superlative job of that here, highlighting both Carolyn and Jonah as vivid, multi-faceted characters and using their history (both in this universe and others) to paint a much larger picture of the Dark Shadows universe. It's expertly done. Add to this melting pot a number of philosophical questions to ponder, the best acting you could ask for and the events of this story having a huge impact on potentially the most important character in this range and you have as close to a perfect Dark Shadows release as I have listened to so far. Sublime.

Full Review Here - http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/the-flip-side-written-by-cody-quijano.html

Beyond the Grave: 'It's going to make us do horrible things, Maggie...' Do not, I repeat, DO NOT listen to this in the dark on your own if you are of a nervous disposition. Beyond the Grave is a terrific culmination of many of the Dark Shadows stories I have listened to so far, a chance to gather all the characters inconspicuously in one narrative and bring their stories together. It also manages to have a smart and original story of its own that exploits the audio medium to its full potential and provides many skincrawling scares. That is a fine achievement. To be honest you can tell, even on a first listen, that this is a script that has been crafted with great care. I make it sound so precise which isn't the case at all whilst listening, Beyond the Grave sports a fun Most Haunted style scenario with a presenter visiting Collinswood and poking his nose into all the sinister goings on...and suffering the consequences of that. Mad Jack (for that is the name assigned) is the most disturbing nasty that this series has come up with yet, a genuinely terrifying presence that I'll probably be seeing in the mirror now. There are elements of the cult classic Ghostwatch in this story and lots of clever narrative jiggery pokery that comes with a found footage tale. There might be three directors helming this tale and they all deserve a round of applause because this much have been an absolute nightmare to put together into a cohesive story. The fact that they manage to put the pieces together in such a riveting fashion and have time for so many chilling atmospherics is worthy of some kudos. Beyond the Grave is genuinely innovative storytelling wrapped up in that insidiously creepy Dark Shadows atmosphere, it breaks my heart to think that thousands are buying Big Finish's less challenging ranges and are ignoring where the treasures lie. If you want to experience something more demanding than a nostalgia rush, pick up this experimental horror.

Full Review Here - http://docohobigfinish.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/beyond-grave-written-by-aaron-lamont.htm



1 comment:

Blogger said...

Did you know that you can create short links with AdFly and make $$$$$$ from every visit to your short urls.