The Fearmonger
Audio / February 17, 2016

Released February 2000 ‘The Fearmonger,’ Big Finish’s fifth entry into its main Doctor Who range and the first proper outing for the Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh Doctor, is a great return to form after the misstep of ‘The Land of the Dead.’ Featuring lasting themes and strong performances, this is a great script laden with impact and perpetual relevance and the first to truly show how successfully Doctor Who can transition to the audio medium. McCoy and Sophie Aldred effortlessly slip back into the roles of the Doctor and Ace, respectively, as if no time has passed since the closing scene of ‘Survival.’ The characterizations of the two are perfect, melding some of the final televised series with some of the traits that developed a little later in The New Doctor Who Adventures novel range. The Doctor is calmly authoritative, unafraid to face any person or situation, and certainly has a few darker and more manipulative tendencies that he became known for later in his runn; Ace, on the other hand, is slightly more mature and proactive, still brimming with confidence and here even trying to take on some of the Doctor’s role for herself with varying effects and consequences. Their…

Flatline
Episode / February 17, 2016

Aired 18 October 2014 ‘Flatline’ is yet another episode whose ending is going to the main talking point. With the Doctor and Clara as friendly towards each other as thy have been all series, Missy- with only one line- throws everything the audience thinks it knows about the relationship into turmoil. There’s an unknown implication here as Missy says that she has chosen well with Clara, perhaps revealing that Missy has been the one continually bringing Clara into the Doctor’s lives or that Clara is in some fashion allied with Missy. This masked divulgement will assuredly manifest in broader terms later in the series. As has been a bit of a recurring theme with this series, though, the events leading up to the bombshell ending are just as worthy of discussion since ‘Flatline’ continues the trend of fantastic episodes. It’s been broadly apparent since Capaldi’s debut episode that Clara has been taking on more of a Doctor-like role, becoming more confident and decisive, and that reaches a whole new level in ‘Flatline.’ With the TARDIS shrinking and the Doctor caught on the inside, it is up to Clara to carry on the investigation in the real world, going so far…

The Land of the Dead
Audio / February 17, 2016

Released January 2000 A new series can be expected to have some inconsistencies in quality early on, but Big Finish’s main range continued to improve with each of its three first successive releases. Written by Stephen Cole, the fourth entry ‘Land of the Dead’ looks to extend that pattern. While it’s not a perfect story and ultimately doesn’t have much lasting impact, the wanderings of plotlines and inconsistent performances that have manifested in the earlier releases have at least been improved upon greatly. In 1964, the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa happen to see a plane take off from the Alaskan wilderness and, whether by chance or design, they then land at a cottage in roughly the same area thirty years later. Here they come upon a rather diverse group of characters: the wealthy Shaun Brett, the disagreeable Inuit Gaborik, the sassy interior designer Monica Lewis, and the half-Native/half-American Tulung. Introductions aside, the Doctor quickly discovers that the fathers of both Brett and Tulung were part of an archaeological expedition thirty years ago, one that cost Tulung’s father his life. The secret behind that expedition and the effect that is still present form the basis for the underlying mystery at hand.…