The Keys of Marinus
Episode / July 18, 2016

Aired 11 April – 16 May 1964 Doctor Who continues to experiment with its format and showcase the wide diversity of storytelling styles possible, ‘The Keys of Marinus’ setting the TARDIS travelers on a quest to recover a set of keys that will restore justice. Written by Terry Nation, the creator of the Daleks, ‘The Keys of Marinus’ introduces the Voord, a somewhat less successful enemy race that wisely only features at key moments. Each different threat is for the most part self-contained in one episode under the collecting and questing arc set to them by the Keeper of the Consciousness of Marinus, giving a bit of a superficial and disjointed feel to proceedings. One of the recurring themes of early Doctor Who adventures is the disillusion of perception, and that highlights arguably the strongest questing segment involving the Morphotron in which Barbara sees the decaying reality for what it really is while the others experience quite lavish surroundings. It’s quite disconcerting to see the Doctor so easily affected by this ploy as well, further showcasing that he is just as flawed as anyone and not some all-powerful intelligent being. ‘The Keys of Marinus’ also has the distinction of working…

Domain of the Voord
Audio / April 7, 2016

Released September 2014 ‘Domain of the Voord’ launches a new range for Big Finish’s line of Doctor Who, The Early Adventures, a replacement for the beloved The Companion Chronicles line that intends to offer a longer story experience more in line with the televised adventures of the First and Second Doctors. The Voord race is an interesting one to bring back, let alone for the initial launch of a new range. Featuring only once in the First Doctor story ‘The Keys of Marinus,’ the Voord certainly have a distinctive look to them but never quite managed to reach the pantheon of such successful villains that further exploration was required. However, with the audio medium, the Voord are finally able to reach their fuller potential; while remaining true to the 1960s version, their backstory and purpose has been re-imagined and infuses them with the potential to become interesting recurring villain now. With the lengthier running time this range affords, events are allowed to proceed at a much more typical pace for the Hartnell era. The TARDIS lands on a ship that is part of a group trying to evade an enemy quickly revealed to be the Voord over the watery planet…

Doom Coalition 2
Audio / March 10, 2016

Released February 2016 Doom Coalition 2, the second set of four stories in this sixteen-story epic to be released over four box sets, continues the adventures of the Eighth Doctor, Helen, and Liv, as they hunt for and battle the renegade Time Lord villain the Eleven. Nicholas Briggs’s ‘Beachhead’ starts the set off with the Doctor looking to take a bit of holiday following the events of Doom Coalition 1, taking Helen and Liv to the quiet English village of Stegmoor in 2017. As is increasingly the case in Doctor Who, though, water works against the TARDIS team, a sudden flood knocking the Doctor out and leaving Helen and Liv to piece the puzzle of a mysterious energy source together. This provides a good premise for listeners to get re-acquainted with these companions and shows that they are both sensible and reasonable as they discuss what actions to take once they discover an uncovered black rock on the beach that might just be a spaceship. Helen, in particular, comes off as being much more confident here than she did in her initial adventures, but Liv is portrayed quite strongly as well as she eventually heads to the village to see…