Blood of the Daleks Part 2
Audio / August 14, 2017

Released February 2007 With the introduction of Lucie Miller and her mysterious recent past with connections to the Time Lords firmly in place and the tale of a burgeoning Dalek race about to collide with their forebears taking precedence, ‘Blood of the Daleks Part 2’ quickly and confidently picks up the threads of the first part with the Daleks as an integral component as the Doctor tries to prevent his recurring nightmare from playing out before him once again. As a conclusion to the opening serial of a brand new range designed to bring in a new audio audience while bridging the gap between televised eras, it makes perfect sense that ‘Blood of the Daleks Part 2’ follows a rather traditional storyline. However, it nonetheless allows for a fantastically brutal exploration of the Daleks’ devotion to racial purity in the process. This is a topic that has, of course, been touched upon in the television and audio stories many times previously with elements such as the human factor and hybrids, but the notion of a group of Daleks halting hostilities in another war to destroy a planet on which a new race of Daleks is being created more directly emphasizes…

Blood of the Daleks Part 1
Audio / August 12, 2017

Released January 2007 Big Finish is an undeniably important component of Doctor Who history, keeping the classic series firmly alive between the failed 1996 TV movie and the ultra-successful 2005 relaunch by employing the original Doctors and companions since 1999 and still going strong today. With Paul McGann joining the company in 2001, Big Finish suddenly became the place to go for ‘new’ Doctor Who beyond the brief tease of his one-off appearance, further fleshing out this romantic, kind, and determined incarnation with a series of spectacular and experimental tales that took him to all corners of this universe and beyond. Yet with the arrival of Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor in ‘Rose,’ that unbridled freedom was given at the very least a vague endpoint, and Big Finish found themselves in the position of having the opportunity to form a bridge between their audio adventures and the those on television, and so The Eighth Doctor Adventures arrives, blending sensibilities of both the classic and modern series to offer something wholly unique with the BBC’s full blessing. Designed originally for BBC7 broadcast, the structure of the episodes in The Eighth Doctor Adventures is very much in line with the norms…

Lords of the Red Planet
Audio / August 9, 2017

Released November 2013 The final Second Doctor instalment of The Lost Stories range again comes from the mind of Brian Hayles, returning to his most enduring creations and offering an origin story of sorts for the Ice Warriors. Landing on Mars in a time that should be before the Ice Warriors roamed its surface, the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe soon discover a plan beneath the surface that will result in the creation of a terrifying army composed of a very familiar foe. As the true lords of Mars emerge and the secret within the Gandoran mines is revealed, both the bonds of friendship and of loyalty to command will be tested. ‘Lords of the Red Planet’ was originally intended for season six following the previous season’s successful introduction of the foes in ‘The Ice Warriors,’ but it was ultimately bypassed in favour of ‘The Seeds of Death.’ Within that context, it’s quite interesting that a genesis story was already a consideration for the Ice Warriors, especially since even the mighty Daleks had not received one at that point. Of course, with the implication that the beings created here are possibly not the true first Ice Warriors, what is instead presented…

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…