The War Doctor – Only the Monstrous
Audio / February 3, 2016

Big Finish has had a fair share of important release over the years- recent notables including ‘The Light at the End’ to commemorate Doctor Who‘s fiftieth anniversary and ‘The Last Adventure’ to finally give Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor a proper farewell- but perhaps none have carried such a weight of anticipation as the first box set of the War Doctor saga, Only the Monstrous. With a truly mesmerizing performance in 2013’s ‘The Day of the Doctor,’ Sir John Hurt masterfully played the shrouded version of our Time Lord hero, in so doing almost demanding that he be brought back to further explore this character, the version that had gone to such lengths and done such deeds that his future incarnations chose to renounce him as if he never existed. Thanks to Big Finish, we are afforded that opportunity as the once untouchable Time War is entered as well. In a risky and bold move given the anticipation of the project, writer Nicholas Briggs decides initially to avoid the core of the Time War conflict itself and instead to focus on a different war. There is a slow burn to the opening story, and several parts are essentially a two-handed act…

The Last Adventure
Audio / February 3, 2016

Released August 2015 It took until 2015, but Big Finish has finally tied up the last lingering plot point from the classic run of Doctor Who, the Sixth Doctor’s swansong and regeneration. Whereas up until the release of The Last Adventure, fans had to settle for an inadequate explanation of the regeneration and were not even allowed to see Colin Baker properly regenerate. Much like 2013’s The Night of the Doctor provided a satisfying (and also overdue) send-off to Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor, The Last Adventure is a spectacular finale for a Doctor who has taken full advantage of the second life the audio medium has afforded him. ‘The End of the Line’ wastes no time with exposition and throws the Doctor and new companion Constance Clarke right into the proceedings. This is Constance’s first released adventure- although not the first in her timeline as her introduction will be saved for a later main release- and so it is a brave choice to limit information about her and to instead have her [rese as someone who has already earned the Doctor’s trust implicitly. This setup works wonderfully well, while still creating a sense of yearning to know more about the…

Doom Coalition 1
Audio / January 28, 2016

Doom Coalition 1 represents the next new starting point for the Eight Doctor, following the marvellous conclusion to the Dark Eyes epic. Like Dark Eyes, Doom Coalition will again comprise four four-disc boxsets, and while we have a returning companion in Liv Chenka, the enemies and circumstances are wholly new. ‘The Eleven’ kicks off the saga, set on Gallifrey and introducing us to the titular villain. The idea behind the Eleven is quite straightforward- and one surprisingly not used before- a Time Lord in his eleventh body who retains the personalities of his previous personas. Courtesy of an impressive and passionate cameo from Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor, we are given the impression right from the start that the Eleven is a very dangerous character, one on par with (or perhaps more dangerous than) the Master, the Daleks, or any of the other dozens of foes the Doctor has battled with in the past. The concept of the Eleven is a masterstroke, but Mark Bonnar really brings those differing personas to life with a nuanced yet ever-contrasting performance. It is through these shifting moments that we really get to gain insight into this fascinating character and learn about the…

UNIT: Extinction
Audio / January 26, 2016

With the release of the UNIT: Extinction boxset, Big Finish boldly enters the world of modern Doctor Who. Featuring both Kate Stewart and Osgood from the current incarnation of UNIT on-screen and pitting them against the classic Autons again bent on world domination, Extinction is a fantastic first venture that constantly ups the stakes and gives us more insight and background into these delightful characters. UNIT on television is not always portrayed as the most competent of organizations, often times giving way to the Doctor or his companion in order to showcase that individual’s strengths. In audio format, though, UNIT is rightfully and unabashedly portrayed as the strong group it is so clearly meant to be, a true last line of defense for an otherwise defenseless Earth. Of course, two members of UNIT alone cannot carry an entire four episodes that quickly build up a truly global threat and so we are necessarily introduced to several new characters. Captain Carter and Colonel Shindi, in particular, are striking additions to the team, and the writing helps give the sense that each and every member of UNIT is as important as the next. Right from the get-go, Extinction moves along at a…

The Diary of River Song
Audio / January 25, 2016

Big Finish’s recent foray into the worlds of ‘New Who’ continues with an exploration of one of the most central and yet also still one of the most enigmatic characters- River Song. Since her debut/finale in 2008’s ‘Silence in the Library’/’Forest of the Dead,’ River has flitted onto and off of our screens, becoming most prevalent alongside Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor but bleeding through into the adjoining regenerations as well. Stealing nearly every scene she has been in with her knowledge, wit, charm, and cheek, and hinting at so many untelevised adventures along the way, Big Finish now gives us a chance to better get to know River and to see some of those adventures when not in the presence of the Doctor. The first story in this four-part box set, ‘The Boundless Sea’ carries with it the necessity of setting up the overreaching story arc, and for the most part it succeeds wonderfully. One of the aspects we so rarely get to see on screen is the fact that River Song is an archaeologist, and so it is only fitting that the introductory story would focus on that chosen vocation. With as much charismas as Alex Kingston brings to…