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Published on January 19th, 2011 | by Meredith Burdett

Big Finish Catchup

Right before we start a brand new year with Big Finish and all the excitement that they have to offer us for the coming year let’s have a look at the most recent releases that have been released from the company and the audio adventures that the various Doctors and their friends have been going through.

The Lost Stories

First Doctor Box Set: Farewell, Great Macedon and The Fragile Yellow Arc of Fragrance by Moris Farhi

Doctor Who from Big Finish - Second Doctor boxsetSecond Doctor Box Set: Prison in Space by Dick Sharples and The Destroyers by Terry Nation (US Dalek pilot)

Up first are the Lost Stories box sets featuring the first and second Doctors and these are some real treats. The stories featuring the Doctor are a wonderfully varied mix of a Companion Chronicle, a reading of a Target novelisation and the narration to a lost televised story all rolled into one. The lead narrators are able to effectively read the story whilst acting out the parts with some utterly superb effects.

Music and sound direction are wonderful and theses stories really recapture the feeling of 1960’s Doctor Who. The amendments made to the scripts only help to flesh out the visual narrative that we never got to see.

Doctor Who - Relative DimensionsThe Eighth Doctor Adventures

Relative Dimensions by Marc Platt

Following the same structure as televised Doctor Who, this Eighth Doctor audio is something of a Christmas special, it even has a monstrous fish causing trouble for the Doctor, Susan, Jake and Lucie on board the TARDIS. Inviting his nearest and dearest to have an event free Christmas dinner aboard the TARDIS, the Doctor and his friends soon realise that all is not well and things never go quite to plan when a certain Time Lord is involved.

This solidly written piece sees the Eighth Doctor uncharacteristically opening up to a nostalgic side that you didn’t think he had, it’s a heart-warming play that spends a lot of time exploring the Eighth Doctor’s TARDIS with brilliant effect.

Doctor Who - The Demons of Red LodgeThe Demons of Red Lodge by Jason Arnopp, Rick Briggs, William Gallagher and John Dorney

This rather special offering from Big Finish sees four self contained adventures for the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa, the first episode-The Demons of Red Lodge is an especially creepy and atmospheric half hour of audio brilliance that is one to listen to late at night with the light off for full effect. The remaining three episodes The Entropy Composition, Doing Time and Special Features all offer a more lightweight adventure for the TARDIS travellers to endure. Whilst not as well held together as previous Big Finish offerings such as 100 or Circular Time this is still a great listen to get your ears into!

The Companion Chronicles

Quinnis by Marc Platt

Doctor Who - QuinnisMr Platt has been a busy man this month hasn’t he? Two audio plays in September is a rarity for Big finish authors but he pulls out the big guns to create yet another solid tale. Arriving on the planet Quinnis, the first Doctor and Susan soon find themselves in all sorts of trouble. But this isn’t the Doctor and Susan quite as we know them from the early years of Doctor Who, this is the family before they got stuck in Totter’s Lane, before the TARDIS’s chameleon circuit had broken and before the names Ian and Barbara would be constantly wailed out by Susan.

This is not only a touching and engaging story but also features yet another fantastic performance by Carol Ann ford as Susan. Somehow, this actress manages to sound exactly the same as she did back in 1963, the same energy and lilts in her voice. This really helps to set the scene for the piece and also bring back the waves of nostalgia for the early years of Doctor Who. It also helps that Platt is a brilliant writer, still way ahead of most.

December Special

Doctor Who - The Four DoctorsThe Four Doctors

The free gift that Big Finish subscribers  get this year is this rather neat little tale involving not only four (count ’em) Doctors but also the Daleks! To prepare you from the outset, this isn’t your typical multi Doctor story as in The Three Doctors, there’s no scenes of Doctor’s six and eight arguing or of five and seven getting to know each other, this is a fast paced and action packed piece that progresses through their various incarnations as the Daleks travel back through the Doctor’s timeline. But there are a few close calls along the way which leave the listener hanging onto the edge of their seat!

This is a well executed story that deserves repeat listening as the rewards speak for themselves-a wonderful gift from the Big Finish team.

Short Trips

Volume One by Various

Doctor Who - Short TripsFinally, we have the first in a collection of short stories that have been converted into audio. Again, these are alike to the Companion Chronicles in many ways but the difference here is that the rich and varied offerings all on one CD is a real “lip smacker” for fans. Stories of not include A Stain of Red in the Sand read by David Trougton, The Deep read by Peter Davison and Running Out of Time read by India Fisher.

The pick of the bunch however is the rather brilliant The Wings of a Butterfly which is read and written by old sixy himself Colin Baker. A labour of love, this story is told with a rare charm and elegance that only Colin Baker could bring to the piece. It’s beautiful and needs to be heard by all Doctor Who fans everywhere.

So, that takes us up to the newest releases (which we’ll be covering soon) that are available to buy or download. If you’re looking for recommendations, it’s a difficult one to choose as all of these plays have a special quality and none should be ignored. However at a push, Relative Dimensions is such a well told tale with a Christmas glow to it that does make it one of the stand out plays from Big Finish.

You can buy all these adventures on CD or download from www.bigfinish.com.

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What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!



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