Embrace the Darkness
Audio / March 16, 2016

Released April 2002 The second run of Big Finish stories featuring the Eighth Doctor and Charley continues with ‘Embrace the Darkness,’ finding the duo in the Cimmerian System after attempting to avoid an unknown presence in the time vortex. The system’s sun has mysteriously vanished, and as the Doctor’s curiosity gets the better of him, he investigates the cause, coming across a troubled scientific base on the fourth planet as well as an evil lurking in the darkness along the way. Nicholas Briggs serves as both writer and director for ‘Embrace the Darkness,’ and the result is a truly disturbing production that focuses on its own story rather than tying into the larger narrative or continuing on with events from the previous release. The setup for the story is absolutely perfect; the scenes with the Doctor and Charley aptly creating a sense of mystery about why the sun disappeared like it did and the scenes aboard the base with its three main characters beginning to reveal the plight they find themselves in now that darkness is omnipresent. Plunging the characters into complete darkness actually proves to be a masterstroke not only as a plot device but as a scripting device…

The Peterloo Massacre
Audio / March 16, 2016

Released March 2016 Something of an increasing anomaly in the Doctor’s travels, a pure historical adventure is on offer in ‘The Peterloo Massacre.’ Quite simply, this is a throwback to the First Doctor’s era. There are no spaceships or invading alien threats to be seen; instead the Doctor and his companions are trapped in a certain time and forced to react to the situation around them, no matter how detestable or deplorable. Paul Magrs, completely veering away from the more fantastical ideas and humour he is known for, pens a very dark and serious script, focusing on a the incredibly important and tragic Peterloo Massacre of Manchester, an event that most people do not know. Perhaps because of his outwardly friendliness and his seeming combination of the everyman as well as aristocracy, the Fifth Doctor is a natural choice as the star of this historical. Both he and Nyssa have an inherent calm and refinement to their characters, and so it’s fascinating to see both of them become so emotional and enraged about the events surrounding them, events that they cannot change due to their importance in history. Following a TARDIS malfunction, the Doctor, Nyssa, and Tegan land in Manchester…