Review: Time War – Cass

Review by Jacob Licklider


What’s always fascinating for a range is what happens when a cast member cannot return for a range.  Time War: Cass is one such release, continuing the Eighth Doctor releases from Time War: Volume Four but without the character of Bliss due to scheduling conflicts with Rakhee Thakrar.  Luckily, unlike the issues that arose with Dark Eyes and the scheduling conflicts Ruth Bradley faced, the setting of Time War: Cass is one where due to the universe being in a constant state of flux due to the Time War.  This is something that the writers of this box set are keenly aware of with each of the three stories featured doing something with the ‘time’ element of the Time War which is already a recipe for success when dealing with this era.  There is a clear reason (or at least an appearance of a reason) for why Bliss isn’t there, though the details of this are not given to the listener partially for intrigue and partially because there is not a guarantee that she will be available to record with Big Finish anytime soon.  Instead this set picks up some time after the cliffhanger ending of Time War: Volume Four with the Doctor traveling with Alex Campbell, once again played by Sonny McGann, with an unspecified amount of time having past and this is an interesting premise since when we last saw Alex he was dead. Continue reading

Big Finish announce eight-part multi-Doctor audio drama series celebrating the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who

Big Finish marks 60 years of Doctor Who with a mammoth eight-part full-cast audio drama series beginning in May 2023.

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Review: The Eighth Doctor Adventures – What Lies Inside?

Review by Jacob Licklider


So what happens when your production company switches to a box set structure but doesn’t necessarily have themes for every set?  Well that has been something that the past ten months of Big Finish Productions’ output has been, switching away from numbering their sets as to not overboard potential new listeners with so much content they would have to catch up on.  It is with this in mind that the Eighth Doctor Adventures range was changed from the four box set arc model to integrate it with the other releases which had some interesting side effects.  This meant that this year Big Finish have scheduled four sets featuring the Eighth Doctor, the conclusion to Stranded, the two now standard 3-disc Eighth Doctor Adventures, and a special fourth set featuring Charley Pollard.  The two standard sets were scheduled for the last two months of the year, most likely to have a gap for actual production of the sets, the first being What Lies Inside? released this month while the second, Connections, is out in December.  What’s especially intriguing is that while there isn’t any sort of story arc, Rafe Wallbank crafted connected covers almost reminiscent of the Eighth Doctor Adventures novels covers (Interference in particular comes to mind).  What Lies Inside? is the first set that falls into the category of 2022 sets where each of the stories has been completely standalone, following Silver and Ice and The Outlaws, and like those sets the structure is a two hour adventure and a one hour adventure, though here each episode is an hour long.

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Review: Classic Doctors New Monsters 3: The Stuff of Nightmares

Written by Cavan Gilbey


‘Classic Doctors, New Monsters’ has been a novel concept for a range, both previous boxsets have been inventive with their match ups and often taken their chosen monsters into new and exciting territories; Judoon in Chains being the easy stand-out from those first sets with how it creatively uses it’s monster of choice. Weeping Angels, Sycorax, Racnoss and Carrionites are all obvious choices for the range but this third volume does plumb the depths a little bit; I mean who is really asking for Balhoon or Tivolian stories? Although I must admit a two parter involving the Dream Crabs is pretty inspired as you have the potential to create some truly surreal audio landscapes. But that aside, the four stories we get are all great fun thus making this a set that really is more the ‘Stuff of Dreams’ rather than Nightmares.

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Review: Doctor Who – Stranded 4

Review by Jacob Licklider


Just over one year ago, in March 2021, the Main Range ended from Big Finish Productions as the box set format took root before being firmly established for 2022. Now, one other long running institution from Big Finish Productions is at an end, the 16 part, four disc set, Eighth Doctor miniseries which has been the format of Eighth Doctor releases for nearly a decade. Dark Eyes, Doom Coalition, Ravenous, and Stranded have all been released to acclaim and here we are with Stranded 4, the final set in this style.

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Review: Charlotte Pollard – The Further Adventuress

Review by Jacob Licklider


My first Big Finish Audio Drama was Storm Warning, it was 2014, and Big Finish had at some point previously put the first fifty main range on sale for $2.99. Charlotte Pollard was my first companion and now, twenty years later, Big Finish are releasing Charlotte Pollard: The Further Adventuress to commemorate India Fisher’s Charley Pollard and taking the Eighth Doctor back to his early days. Paul McGann is clearly having a blast in all four stories, giving life to an Eighth Doctor unblemished by the loss of friends or the Time War, something which we haven’t seen since Big Finish revisited the Lucie Miller era in 2019. Whenever they decide to revisit this version of the Eighth Doctor, McGann breathes a new life into the character and reuniting him with India Fisher helps the nostalgia of that era bleed into the tone of each of the stories. None of the stories are particularly dark or disturbing, they all at least reference the arc of the time that Charley Pollard should have been killed on the R-101, but most importantly they allow two friends a chance to perform together for the first time in nearly a decade since the 50th Anniversary in The Light at the End.

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Review: Doctor Who – Stranded 3

Review by Jacob Licklider


Stranded as a miniseries ended its second set with the Doctor being thrust into the future with companions Liv, Helen, Tania, and Andy where the Earth has come under a fascist dictatorship run by Divine Intervention. Stranded 3 picks up where Stranded 2 left off and with any of the multi-set series from Big Finish, and especially for the Eighth Doctor Adventures, this is not going to be a set aimed at newcomers. It continues the character driven nature of the other sets and the general Earthbound nature of the previous two sets, but the TARDIS is now working enough so the Doctor can actually travel in time, none of the episodes being set in a normal 2020/2021, the closest we get being John Dorney’s finale dealing with some of Divine Intervention and setting up the final box set. As with the final story having the gimmick of starting at the end and going back to the beginning, that is how this review will be structured. We will be starting at the end and working our way back to the beginning as Stranded 3 brings something very different to the standard box set, even by the standards of Stranded making it some of the more interesting sets from Big Finish. Continue reading

Review: Time Lord Victorious- Echoes Of Extinction

Review by Jacob Licklider


Echoes of Extinction is a release with a troubled history. Originally announced for a November 2020 release with the final Big Finish release for the Time Lord Victorious event as a download and vinyl exclusive at certain UK supermarkets, boasting Paul McGann and David Tennant both portraying the Doctor before the COVID-19 pandemic delayed it, making the vinyl exclusive to Big Finish’s own website. Now it is April 2021 and Echoes of Extinction has finally been released, making it the final installment in the event to actually be released in the event. It is also interesting as being made for vinyl, it is essentially two interconnected stories, each approximately 28 minutes to accommodate the vinyl’s limitations. This is also a multi-Doctor story in the vein of Heart of TARDIS, where each Doctor’s plot affects the other’s while never actually meeting each other. The story follows the same format as the main range story Flip Flop which each disc could be listened to individually and in either order. For full transparency, I listened to the story in the order they were presented in the Big Finish app, with the Eighth Doctor’s story first followed by the Tenth Doctor’s story, rounded off with the customary bonus interviews as is with these ranges.

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Review: Doctor Who – The End Of The Beginning

Review by Jacob Licklider


So here we are. March 2021 and the end of The Monthly Range of Doctor Who. Over 20 years and 275 releases, and Big Finish Productions have decided to give their flagship range on final multi-Doctor send-off adventure. Relative newcomer Robert Valentine was given the task of writing The End of the Beginning, a story which harkens back to the very first release in the range, The Sirens of Time, telling three connected adventures for three Doctors before bringing them together for the final episode in one big overarching plan. Each episode adds to the drama and ends with the Doctor (and this time companion) in some sort of danger while everything builds towards some universe breaking danger. The production of The End of the Beginning is put in the hands of Ken Bentley, one of the range’s most prolific directors, and the sound design and music by Wilfredo Acosta. This is an entire story based on making an homage to the range; including appearances from range exclusive characters for one last hurrah before Big Finish moves into a new era of box-sets and new adventures with different Doctors and companions. There is at least one Monthly Range release which is still coming as it was delayed, but this truly is the end of an era for Big Finish Productions.

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Review: Doctor Who – Stranded 2

Review by Jacob Licklider


Stranding the Eighth Doctor on Earth was by no means a new idea, it had been done in the Eighth Doctor Adventures novels, but making him a landlord with Liv and Helen made for an interesting change. Stranded 1 was released way back in June 2020 when we were all in lockdown and the future releases were sadly delayed, with Stranded 2 moving from its original November release date to March 2021. Stranded 1 was one of those releases while where I enjoyed it quite a bit, I felt slightly underwhelmed by the premise as it was very much Doctor Who does a soap opera, but sitting down to listen to Stranded 2 made me acutely aware of how I have missed this ensemble cast and their interactions. Like Jon Pertwee’s second season bringing some time travel back, Stranded 2 still contains four earthbound stories, it is the first to actually bring these new companions and residents of Baker Street into the TARDIS and exploring their history and interpersonal relationships. This premise allows it to stand out from the first set and the Pertwee era in a number of ways which makes it incredibly fun. As Stranded 2 is still kind of like Doctor Who does a soap opera, this review may contain minor spoilers for certain plot developments in the characters. This review was also written with each section right after listening, so each section may not reflect how any story arcs happen.

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