The Five Companions
Audio / June 3, 2017

Released December 2011 Whereas 2010’s Bonus Release ‘The Four Doctors’ took a rather novel approach to a multi-Doctor story by focusing on a new character traversing the Doctor’s personal timeline, 2011’s fuses different eras of Doctor Who together in an altogether more traditional fashion, though still with its own unique twist. As Ian, Steven, Sara, Polly, and Nyssa find themselves brought together and confronted with Daleks, Sontarans, and dinosaurs, ‘The Five Companions’ finds the Doctor directly confronting his past in a thrilling but also very personal tale of survival and reflection. Writer Eddie Robson borrows from ‘The Five Doctors’ and suggests that these past companions are in another part of that serial’s Death Zone on Gallifrey and that the Doctor has been pulled out of his transport to the Capitol to appear at that same area. However, though this is a Fifth Doctor story, the tale wisely focuses on the returning companions themselves, certainly not shying away from the fact that they have aged since leaving the Doctor and allowing moments of reminiscence while showcasing the unique element that each brought to the series while traveling aboard the TARDIS. Obviously Big Finish’s The Companion Chronicles range has kept the earlier…

The Four Doctors
Audio / June 1, 2017

Released December 2010 With Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, and Paul McGann all reprising their titular Doctor Who roles for Big Finish since 2001 or earlier, it’s surprising that there has yet to be a multi-Doctor release that encompasses these four eras of the franchise. While Big Finish may be warranted in its unwillingness to highlight multiple incarnations simultaenously, having only dabbled in bringing together various combinations of the lead actors in a select few releases and casting the the earlier three in different roles for the fortieth anniversary special, the audio universe finally gets this monumental inevitability in 2010’s subscription-only Bonus Release ‘The Four Doctors.’ Probably wisely and certainly intriguingly given the setup, writer Peter Anghelides tells four small tales that weave into a cohesive whole, beginning with the Eighth Doctor landing on a Jariden space station where his Fifth incarnation is attempting to stop a dangerous experiment with time. As the Daleks appear with one Colonel Ulrik in tow as they seek a device within a shrouded vault, the story takes an unexpected turn as David Bamber’s Ulrik is thrust into the role of flawed protagonist by becoming the narrative link for each of the four smaller…

Return of the Daleks
Audio / May 23, 2017

Released December 2007 The Third Doctor serial ‘Planet of the Daleks’ is hardly regarded as a classic, and it doesn’t instantly spring to mind as one of the tales most deserving of revisiting. However, as Nicholas Briggs takes over for Gary Russell in the role of producer and also takes on scripting duties for 2007’s Bonus Release ‘Return of the Daleks,’ he manages to seamlessly incorporate the more intriguing elements of that story into the expansive mythology of Big Finish’s own Dalek Empire series to great effect. It’s actually rather surprising that there has not been a story seeing the Daleks returning to Spiridon to reclaim their frozen army to this point, but now that they have once more arrived, Briggs also manages to integrate the light wave sickness that the planet’s natives’ natural state of invisibility causes them. While the Daleks’ motives here tie directly into Dalek Empire, the potential of the ensuing Dalek might also draws the attention and ire of the Seventh Doctor, here traveling alone but just as mysterious and enigmatic as ever as he tempts Karlendorf with secrets and snippets of the true reality around them. Even if it seemed odd to have such grandiose…

The Ninth Doctor Chronicles
Audio / May 13, 2017

Released May 2017 SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW Christopher Eccleston burst onto screens in 2005, instantly winning over fans with his confident, funny, and tormented incarnation of the ages-old titular Time Lord. Unfortunately, although his decision to leave the role after just thirteen episodes probably helped the viability of the franchise by allowing regeneration to be introduced and incorporated so early, it also left the Ninth Doctor as one of the most tragically unexplored incarnations to date. As of yet Christopher Eccleston has declined any invitations to reprise his role, but Big Finish has employed the stylings of its The Companion Chronicles range and Nicholas Briggs’s ability to channel the essence of the Ninth Doctor to once more bring 2005 to life with its The Ninth Doctor Chronicles. Cavan Scott’s ‘The Bleeding Heart’ opens the set, focusing on a very emotional and wounded Ninth Doctor fresh out of the Time War prior to his meeting with Rose. It seems natural that he would seek out a respite following the atrocities he both witnessed and committed in the name of the universe, and a planet of perpetual peace provides the perfect draw. However, when a mysterious death prefaces an increasing number of mysterious…

Alien Heart and Dalek Soul
Audio / April 28, 2017

Released April 2017 SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW It’s been quite some time since Big Finish’s Monthly Range has toyed with its format and offered stories of any length other than the traditional four parts. For three consecutive release, though, Big Finish is offering two two-part adventures, one pair featuring each of its stalwart Doctors. The two-part story has been used successfully in The Companion Chronicles, The Fourth Doctor Adventures, and The Eighth Doctor Adventures ranges, but Stephen Cole’s ‘Alien Heart’ and Guy Adams’s ‘Dalek Soul’ mark the first two-part entries in Big Finish’s longest-running range. The use of the Fifth Doctor to introduce this string of releases is particularly shrewd as well, as Peter Davison’s tenure featured the final three two-part stories of thirty minute episodes, stories that were by no means classic but that highlighted just how strong and versatile Davison was in the role. With Big Finish effortlessly transitioning from its trilogy with the boisterous introductory era of Nyssa, Tegan, and Adric to the more earnest era that never reached television featuring just Nyssa alongside the Doctor, this first pair of stories again spectacularly highlights Davison amidst events of surprising scope. In ‘Alien Heart,’ the Doctor and Nyssa discover…

The War Doctor – Casualties of War
Audio / March 5, 2017

Released February 2017 SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW The introduction of the War Doctor in ‘The Name of the Doctor’ opened up an incredible wealth of potential development and drama for an ever-changing lead character centuries old and fifty years in the public consciousness. A shrouded incarnation who had forsaken the moniker of the Doctor because of his chosen life embroiled in the almighty Time War, Sir John Hurt brought a gravitas and sorrow to the role in ‘The Day of the Doctor’ that added incredible nuance to his resolute determination and desire to do good and instantly made the War Doctor an undisputedly worthy addition to the canon. However, the fiftieth anniversary special would- by necessity- be the only televised episode to delve into this past incarnation’s exploits, offering a tantalizing glimpse of just what could have made his future incarnations shun him so fiercely. Fortunately Big Finish was willing and able to better fill that void in continuity, commissioning four three-story box sets to better highlight the character and era in question. With the release of The War Doctor – Casualties of War and the unhappy passing of Sir John Hurt, the War Doctor era officially comes to a close…

All-Consuming Fire
Audio / February 25, 2017

Released December 2015 With the recent resurgence in popularity of both Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes, two of Great Britain’s greatest cerebral heroes, there has been a public yearning for the two franchises to cross over and intersect. As Big Finish’s latest novel adaptation is keen to remind enthusiasts, though, this seeming impossibility already gloriously happened in 1994’s ‘All-Consuming Fire’ by Andy Lane during the height of The New Adventures range. The audio adaptation is very faithful to the source material and will no doubt please those with an open mind, though, understandably, the notion of having Sherlock Holmes deal with aliens may upset Holmesian purists and the notion of having a Doctor Who adventure unfold through the first-person journal narration of Doctor Watson- and in some instances Bernice- may prove somewhat disconcerting for Doctor Who purists. However, the decision to tell the tale as a Holmes mystery that the Doctor and his companions happen to wander into works incredibly well and adds an air of Conan Doyle authenticity while the mystery unfolds in a very unique manner. Indeed, beginning the story with Big Finish’s Sherlock Holmes theme sets the scene for what is to come and, though some of…

The Final Phase
Audio / January 31, 2017

Released July 2013 ‘The Final Phase’ carries with it a sense of finality in many ways, concluding events set out in ‘The Dalek Contract’ which hearken back to the earlier Laan stories, concluding the second run of The Fourth Doctor Adventures, and also concluding Mary Tamm’s direct contributions to the franchise as her final story recorded before her unfortunate passing. With Cuthbert’s plan for the Proxima system and his plan to control reality progressing to its final phase and with the Daleks beginning to reveal their true intentions while holding Romana and K9 prisoner as the opening of the Quantum Gateway begins, the scene is set for a bombastic finale after ‘The Dalek Contract’ played it rather safe. The premise for this story is a great one, and the thought of the Quantum Gateway being a tear in the fabric of space and time but requiring enough energy to destroy the universe to open it is chillingly visual and dramatic. At the same time, while it’s inevitable that the Daleks have a secret plan and are simply acting subservient to Cuthbert in order to achieve their own means, it’s quite intriguing that they have been punching holes through the Gateway,…

Energy of the Daleks
Audio / January 15, 2017

Released April 2012 It was an inevitability that arguably the most iconic Doctor would cross paths with the Daleks, his most iconic foes, when The Fourth Doctor Adventures audio range was announced with Nicholas Briggs’s involvement. After all, the Daleks have been a recurring force for evil almost since the very beginning of Doctor Who itself, and the Fourth Doctor was quite literally present at the very beginning of the Dalek menace as he considered destroying their threat before it could even manifest. ‘Energy of the Daleks’ finally gives Leela an opportunity to confront the universe’s ultimate evil, creating a successful- if rather straightforward- Dalek entry in this fledgling range. The Doctor and Leela land in 2025 London where protests against the GloboSphere Corporation are intensifying. The company has successfully set up solar panels on the Moon that are capable of generating all of Earth’s energy needs, but it has since made deals with terrestrial energy companies to delay utilizing them. As the protests are broken up and the Doctor and Leela are separated, Leela soon discovers that the Daleks are behind the technological advancements and that they plan to use the vast power supplies to against an unsuspecting Earth.…

Daleks Among Us
Audio / November 16, 2016

Released September 2013 ‘Daleks Among Us’ wraps up the fiftieth anniversary season’s Seventh Doctor trilogy, bringing to an apparent close the Elizabeth Klein and Will Arrowsmith era in the process. Unfortunately, the end result is an overly long story that revels in exposition rather than drama, requiring its listeners to have a firm grasp on the history of both Klein and Davros as well as of the current story arc, and even then it seems unsure of what type of story it wants to be and what its focus truly is. To be fair, there are some intriguing ideas in play that create a fascinating backdrop for the events portrayed here. The Lemurian culture being so obsessed with punishing criminal wrongdoing that it compiled all of the universe’s criminals’ DNA, only to take so long doing so that the remnants of their culture must exact punishment against the original criminals’ descendants is an intriguing concept. So, too, is the erection of a statue of Ace after intimated events in which she was instrumental in the freeing of colonists on Azimuth from alien enslavement. After a bevy of exposition, ‘Daleks Among Us’ seems uncertain about which plot it wants to follow.…