The Dark Husband
Audio / June 30, 2016

Released March 2008 Consenting to Hex’s request for a holiday, the Seventh Doctor agrees to take his companions to The Festival of the Twin Moons of Tuin. Unbeknownst to the companions initially, though, is that Tuin is caught in the middle of a millenium-old war between the Ri and the Ir, the only momentary peace existing during the Festival. Yet while Ace and Hex try to make the best of their moment of respite, the Doctor is determined to put a much larger scheme into motion as he tries to bring about a peaceful accord through any means necessary- even his own marriage. Intriguingly, although also in staying true to the character, the Seventh Doctor does not follow through on his promise from ‘Nocturne’ to keep his companions more aware of his plans, pamphlets that he just happens to find being the impetus for him suggesting Tuin as their destination. And while the Doctor spends the majority of the story trying to find a peaceful resolution for the two longtime enemy races, he never lets his companion know what he does and does not know himself. His secrecy does have some near-fatal consequences here, but it will be interesting to…

Father’s Day
Episode / June 28, 2016

Aired 14 May 2005 While Doctor Who has always been known for its ingenious concepts and stories, rarely has the programme purposefully tried to bring emotions to the forefront. There are, of course, some exceptions, but Doctor Who has usually been about the stories first with the characters’ emotions and motivations second. That changes with ‘Father’s Day,’ though, a story in which the typical script is flipped and the usual alien invasions and grander storylines takes a back seat to a very personal crisis, the death of Rose Tyler’s father, Pete. Rose finally realizes the opportunities that time travel could afford her, and she asks the Doctor to take her to learn more about the man who was her father. The Doctor even- against his better judgment- agrees to take her to the day in which her father was run over by a speeding car so that she could be by his side when he passed. Of course, the reality of seeing the situation is different that an abstract thought, and Rose can’t help but intervene and save his life, causing havoc in the timelines. With the Doctor still hurting by Adam’s betrayal in ‘The Long Game,’ he berates Rose…

The Condemned
Audio / June 27, 2016

Released February 2008 ‘The Condemned’ represents the beginning of a big risk for Big Finish, albeit one full of potential and intrigue. After her attempt to stop the Cybermen left her marooned in the distant future, Charlotte Pollard never gave up hope that someone would rescue her. Believing that her Eighth Doctor had answer that beckon when the familiar TARDIS arrived, she was surprised to instead find an unfamiliar control room and the Sixth Doctor inside, and he was instantly suspicious that she seemed to be not entirely forthcoming with information. Fortunately, the Charlotte Pollard on display here is an incredibly intelligent one and she knows the danger of revealing her own past and the Doctor’s own future to the Doctor who had never made any mention of traveling with her before meeting her in his eighth incarnation. Accordingly, she acts amazed as she experiences the size of the console room for the first time, though the Doctor is still suspicious at how easily she accepted a police box appearing in front of her. The Sixth Doctor is no fool, though, and he eventually confronts Charley directly when her story changes a bit too much for her liking, leading to…

The Long Game
Episode / June 24, 2016

Aired 7 May 2005 ‘The Long Game’ is not the best episode of this series of Doctor Who so far, but it unequivocally the most ambitious, trying to juggle an incredible number of storylines while proving once and for all that the programme can remain loyal to the past while still remaining socially relevant in the present. There is a lot to commend in ‘The Longest Game,’ and even if some of the story’s aspects fail to live up to their full potential, it’s hard to fault a bold science fiction story that is unafraid to tackle bigger issues like media corruption and its effect on the public at large. This may be the second episode set far in the future, but the drama within the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire here fits much more in line with a traditional Doctor Who story than ‘The End of the World’ managed, the stakes and mystery being so much bigger here than the characters themselves. Christopher Eccleston continues to do wonders in the role of the Ninth Doctor, his bitter anguish possibly making him the most humanized of the Time Lord’s many incarnations yet. In fact, one of the Ninth Doctor’s…

The Bride of Peladon
Audio / June 23, 2016

Released January 2008 Big Finish delves into the depths of Doctor Who by offering a return journey to the planet of Peladon, a planet not visited since the Third Doctor era on television. This story will best be remembered for departure of Erimem from the TARDIS, but ‘The Bride of Peladon’ is a very rich story on its own merits, full of intriguing characters and celebrating the vibrant history of the programme. An arranged marriage has been proposed between Peladon and Earth in order to form an alliance in order to ensure the safety and continued success of Peladon, but Peladon is soaked in internal confusion and strife as the King’s mother has recently died in a riding incident and the trisilicate miners are threatening to stop work after several strange deaths. The original ‘The Curse of Peladon’ is regarded as somewhat of a classic, full of interesting concepts, a strong script and atmosphere, and plenty of unique alien species. While the sequel ‘The Monster of Peladon’ fails to live up to those lofty standards, often recycling similar ideas, ‘The Bride of Peladon’ learns from both of those previous stories to offer something similar but unique at the same time.…

Dalek
Episode / June 22, 2016

Aired 30 April 2005 The Daleks are an institution, a phenomenon that managed to transcend Doctor Who itself during the early years of the programme and that have remained firmly int the popular consciousness ever since. With the aptly-titled ‘Dalek,’ the Doctor’s most iconic foe makes the leap to the modern series to once more wreak havoc and to instill fear into a whole new generation of fans as a deadly menace with no morals or feelings whatsoever. In that sense, ‘Dalek’ is a bit of an odd choice since there is only one single Dalek and it ends up showing the most emotion and character of any Dalek in the show’s long history; however, by the time the end credits roll, it has also proven itself to be one of the most effective explorations of the Dalek consciousness as well. In a bold move, the Dalek presented is a helpless prisoner, held captive by Henry Van Statten as the crown jewel of his extraterrestrial collection. Seeing a Dalek so helpless and so easily tortured by Van Statten’s staff is quite shocking, but it’s not until Van Statten sends the Doctor in to interrogate the creature that the episode really…

The Girl Who Never Was
Audio / June 21, 2016

Released December 2007 Ever story must come to and end, and ‘The Girl Who Never Was’ is the end to Charlotte Pollard’s travels with the Eighth Doctor. The Eighth Doctor is in a time of transition at Big Finish and, after just experiencing the loss of C’rizz in the ambitious but flawed ‘Absolution,’ Charley demands to leave in ‘The Girl Who Never Was,’ receiving a great sendoff for a beloved character with a solid script that provides tension and, more importantly, plenty of examples of the excellent chemistry between the two leads. The Doctor accidentally lands the TARDIS in 2008 Singapore rather than 1930 Singapore, causing further rancor for Charley, but the Doctor determines that there is some sort of anomaly in 1942 Singapore that is diverting the TARDIS and keeping them from reaching their intended destination. Charley learns from a stranger that there have been sightings of a mysterious ship near Singapore throughout the decades, one that originally disappeared in 1942 and one which the stranger is very interested in finding. The SS Batavia, a freighter that vanished in the Karimata Strait while fleeing the Japanese, provides a suitably atmospheric and creepy setting, and the legends of sightings during…

World War Three
Episode / June 20, 2016

Aired 23 April 2005 ‘World War Three’ is tasked with providing a satisfying resolution to the intriguing events set forth in ‘Aliens of London,’ but the results are mixed to say the least. As with the first part, this is not an episode for those looking for a dramatic and tense story, but the fluctuating tone and gaps in story logic further hinder the overall experience despite a quick pace that sufficiently covers a lot of ground. The Slitheen themselves proved to be a calculating menace in ‘Aliens of London, having arlready infiltrated top-ranking positions before staging a fake alien invasion, and here their physical menace is truly showcased. These are strong, powerful hunters that can move with surprising speed, and the danger they possess and exude contrasts nicely with the innocence that their wide-eyed and baby-like faces would otherwise imply. Unfortunately, the cumbersome physical models of the Slitheen simply don’t mesh well with the CGI effects of the blazing fast hunters, and the Scooby-Doo chase scene that ensues further minimizes their threat. One of the things that the modern series of Doctor Who has done well so far is in basing its more ludicrous concepts in realism, but that…

Aliens of London
Episode / June 20, 2016

Aired 16 April 2005 ‘Aliens of London’ represents the opening installment of the first two-parter of the modern Doctor Who series. Following the brilliant sequence of a beautifully-rendered spaceship crashing into Big Ben and splashing down in the Thames River in broad daylight, the bar is set high from the start for a modern-day alien invasion tale. Before delving into the alien events, though, Rose’s domestic life again takes centre stage, reaffirming that viewers are experiencing the madness of the Doctor’s world through Rose’s eyes. With the Doctor miscalculating the TARDIS’s arrival, though, and Rose being missing for a year from Earth’s linear perspective, she has the unexpected task of having to mend relationships with her mother and boyfriend, forced once again to consider the danger and absurdity of the situation she has put herself in by deciding to join the Doctor. Just as she’s pondering how she will ever be able to fully communicate with and explain what she has seen to mother, she witnesses the spaceship’s crash, not only giving her a frame of reference but forcing all of London and the world to suddenly accept that maybe aliens just are real. With an inspecting policeman asking Rose…

The Trouble with Drax
Audio / June 18, 2016

Released June 2016 This is quickly becoming the month of John Dorney at Big Finish. Having scripted the hotly-anticpated ‘The Two Masters’ in the main range, he is also the author of this month’s The Fourth Doctor Adventures tale ‘The Trouble with Drax,’ this time focusing on a lesser-known but nonetheless Time Lord acquaintance. Sadly, due to the untimely passing of Barry Jackson, the original Drax actor in ‘The Armageddon Factor,’ the role has been recast with Ray Brooks taking the mantle, and luckily he is able to effortlessly channel the cheeky roguishness perfectly, paying homage to Jackson’s version while making the role his own. ‘The Trouble with Drax’ evokes the tone of many classic caper tales, Drax forcefully enlisting the Doctor’s and Romana’s help to acquire some important information from Altrazar, a planet described as a mythical sort of temporal Atlantis. Apparently, by officially not existing, Altrazar has become the perfect place for the rich and powerful to hide their secrets, and businessman Charles Kirkland desperately wants to find way of destroying his rival in business, Galdron Cabot. With only time-sensitive races able to discern Altrazar’s existence, he enlists Drax as part of his team, setting events into motion.…