For a while now, I’ve been posting reactions to big “meaty” arcs such as The Eighth Doctor Adventures, Dark Eyes, Doom Coalition and The Collected War Doctor. Some of the stories I plan to listen to in the near future, though, are either one-off adventures or three story arcs. I thought it would be easier on the indexer (Hi, Bob!) if I started one “catch-all” thread and maintain the index in the initial post myself. I invite others to contribute to this discussion as well, and it doesn’t have to be strictly Doctor Who, either; anything from Big Finish will qualify. I’m going to start in a couple of days) with…
The Four Doctors - (Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Doctors) - p16
The Five Companions - (Fifth Doctor, Ian, Stephen, Sara, Polly and Nyssa) - p17
The Company of Friends - (Eighth Doctor)
Benny's Story - p1
Fitz's Story - p1
Izzy's Story - p2
Mary's Story - p2
The Transposition Trilogy
The Defectors - (Seventh Doctor and Jo Grant) - p2
Last of the Cyberman - (Sixth Doctor, Jamie and Zoe) - p2, 15
The Secret History - (Fifth Doctor, Stephen and Vicki) - p2
The Masters Trilogy
And You Will Obey Me - (Fifth Doctor and old Master) - p3
Vampire of the Mind - (Sixth Doctor and new Master) - p3, 15
The Two Masters - (Seventh Doctor and both Masters) - p4
Doctor Who "Bonus Releases"
Her Final Flight - (Sixth Doctor and Peri) - p4
Cryptobiosis - (Sixth Doctor and Peri) - p4
Return of the Daleks - (Seventh Doctor) - p5
Return to the Web Planet - (Fifth Doctor and Nyssa) - p5
Trial of the Valeyard - (Sixth Doctor) - p3
Doctor Who - Novel Adaptations
Love & War
Sixth Doctor Reunited with Peri
The Widow's Assassin - p4, 14
Masters of Earth
The Rani Elite
Eighth Doctor and Mary Shelley
The Silver Turk - p5
The Witch from the Well - p7
Army of Death - p7
The Third Doctor Adventures
Prisoners of the Lake - p5
The Havoc of the Empires - p5
The Tenth Doctor Adventures (Vol. 2)
Infamy of the Zaross - p6
The Sword of the Chevalier - p6
Cold Vengeance - p6
4.12. Solitaire - (Charlotte Pollard vs. The Celestial Toymaker) - p12
3. Whispers of Terror – (Sixth Doctor & Peri) - p16
6. The Marian Conspiracy – (Sixth Doctor & Evelyn) - p15
11. The Apocalypse Element – (Sixth Doctor) - p15
27. The One Doctor – (Sixth Doctor & Mel) - p16
40. Jubilee – (Sixth Doctor & Evelyn) - p17
46. Flip Flop – (Seventh Doctor & Mel) - p16
51. The Wormery – (Sixth Doctor) - p7
57. Arrangements for War – (Sixth Doctor & Evelyn) - p8
60. Medicinal Purposes – (Sixth Doctor & Evelyn) - p8, 12
65. The Juggernauts – (Sixth Doctor & Mel) - p8
68. Catch 1872 – (Sixth Doctor & Mel) - p8
73. Thicker Than Water – (Sixth Doctor, Mel & Evelyn) - p9
75. Scaredy Cat – (Eighth Doctor, Charley & C'rizz) - p9
77. Other Lives – (Eighth Doctor, Charley & C’rizz) - p9
78. Pier Pressure – (Sixth Doctor & Evelyn) - p9
80. Time Works – (Eighth Doctor, Charley & C’rizz) - p9
83. Something Inside – (Eighth Doctor, Charley & C’Rizz) - p9
84. The Nowhere Place – (Sixth Doctor & Evelyn) - p9
86. The Reaping – (Sixth Doctor & Peri) - p7
90. Year of the Pig – (Sixth Doctor & Peri) - p7
88. Memory Lane – (Eighth Doctor, Charley & C’rizz) - p10
94. I.D. – (Sixth Doctor) - p10
97. The Wishing Beast – (Sixth Doctor & Mel) - p10
100. 100 – (Sixth Doctor & Evelyn) - p11
101. Absolution – (Eighth Doctor, Charley & C’rizz) - p10
103. The Girl Who Never Was – (Eighth Doctor & Charley) - p11
107. The Haunting of Thomas Brewster – (Fifth Doctor & Nyssa) - p12
108. Assassin in the Limelight – (Sixth Doctor & Evelyn) - p11
110. The Boy That Time Forgot – (Fifth Doctor & Nyssa) - p12
113. Time Reef – (Fifth Doctor & Nyssa) - p12
123. The Company of Friends – (Eighth Doctor & Benny, Fitz, Izzy. Mary) - p1-2
140. A Death in the Family – (Seventh Doctor & Evelyn) - p12
143. The Crimes of Thomas Brewster – (Sixth Doctor & Evelyn) - p12
144. The Feast of Axos – (Sixth Doctor & Evelyn) - p12
145. Industrial Evolution – (Sixth Doctor & Evelyn) - p12
149. Robophobia – (Seventh Doctor & Liv Chenka) - p2
150. Recorded Time & Other Stories (Sixth Doctor & Peri) - p13
153. The Silver Turk – (Eighth Doctor & Mary Shelley) - p5
154. The Witch from the Well – (Eigth Doctor & Mary Shelley) - p7
155. Army of Death – (Eigth Doctor & Mary Shelley) - p7
156. The Curse of Davros – (Sixth Doctor & Flip) - p13
157. The Fourth Wall – (Sixth Doctor & Flip) - p13
158. Wirrn Isle – (Sixth Doctor & Flip) - p13
166. The Acheron Pulse – (Sixth Doctor) - p13
169. The Wrong Doctors - (Sixth Doctor & Mel) - p3, 14
170. Spaceport Fear - (Sixth Doctor & Mel) - p15
171. The Seeds of War - (Sixth Doctor & Mel) - p15
178. 1963: Fanfare for the Commonmen - (Fifth Doctor & Nyssa) - p14
179. 1963: The Space Race - (Sixth Doctor & Peri) - p14
180. 1963: The Assassination Games - (Seventh Doctor & Ace) - p14
182. Antidote to Oblivion - (Sixth Doctor & Flip) - p14
183. The Brood of Erys - (Sixth Doctor & Flip) - p14
184. The Scavenger - (Sixth Doctor & Flip) - p14
188. Breaking Bubbles & Other Stories - (Sixth Doctor & Peri) - p13
192. The Widow's Assassin - (Sixth Doctor reunited with Peri) - p4, 14
193. Masters of Earth - (Sixth Doctor reunited with Peri) - p15
194. The Rani Elite - (Sixth Doctor reunited with Peri) - p15
198. The Defectors - (Seventh Doctor & Jo) - p2
199. Last of the Cybermen - (Sixth Doctor, Jamie & Zoe) - p2
200. The Secret History - (Fifth Doctor, Stephen & Vicki) - p2
204. Criss-Cross - (Sixth Doctor & Constance)
205. Planet of the Rani - (Sixth Doctor & Constance)
206. Shield of the Jotunn - (Sixth Doctor & Constance)
211. And You Will Obey Me - (Fifth Doctor & Old Master) - p3
212. Vampire of the Mind - (Sixth Doctor & New Master) - p3
213. The Two Masters - (Seventh Doctor & both Masters) - p4
218. Order of the Daleks - (Sixth Doctor & Constance)
219. Absolute Power - (Sixth Doctor & Constance)
220. Quicksilver - (Sixth Doctor, Constance & Flip)
225. Vortex Ice / Cortex Fire - (Sixth Doctor & Flip)
231. The Behemoth - (Sixth Doctor, Constance & Flip)
232. The Middle - (Sixth Doctor, Constance & Flip)
233. Static - (Sixth Doctor, Constance & Flip)
One thing Big Finish excels at is taking things from the original series that don’t quite make sense and expounding upon them, explaining in the process why they do make sense. They do so not only without contradicting the original story but enhancing it. For example…
The Time Lords’ reason behind the Doctor’s mission to prevent the Daleks from coming into being (apparently without regard to the Web of Time) in “Genesis of the Daleks” is explained in “Ascension” (Gallifrey 6.3).
The reason behind Romana’s regeneration in “Destiny of the Daleks” is explained in “Lies” (Gallifrey 2.1).
The reason behind the Sixth Doctor’s regeneration into the Seventh in “Time and the Rani” is explained in “The Last Adventure.”
There is a real sense of continuity between the original series and the audios, much more than exists between the original series and the new.
The First Doctor (voiced by Peter Purves) and the Second Doctor (voiced by Frazer Hines) meet for the first time in the next set of Early Adventures, “contrasting the fun and frolics of the Troughton years with the darker days of the late Hartnell era,” but what I’m really excited about is “The Legacy of Time” (celebrating 20 years of Big Finish, due later this month) which features six Doctors and a multiplicity of companions from all eras. Notable pairings include: the Fifth Doctor and Jenny, River song and Bernice Summerfield, the Fourth Doctor, Romana and Leela…
Oh, just listen to the preview.
“Remember when the First and Second Doctors met in an exciting adventure with the Daleks to mark Doctor Who’s fifth anniversary? What do you mean, ‘No’?! Well, that’s the thing about time travel, you see. These things happen, but not necessarily in the right order…”
That’s all I had to read about the upcoming “Daughter of the Gods” to know I wanted to listen to it.
Peter Purves plays the First Doctor (and Stephen)
Frazer Hines plays the Second Doctor (and Jamie)
Somebody sold his Big Finish Doctor Who collection t one of the local Half Price Books. Most of what he sold is between 130 and 220 of the main range. They’re selling them for $5 a piece (which gives me an indication of what they’d pay for mine if I ever decide to sell them). The ones in that range I don’t already own (mostly Fifth and Seventh doctor stories) aren’t ones I was particularly dying to own, but at that price I can’t really pass them up. (They usually go for around $20.) I need to put together a list of what have and what I don’t (in addition to my nearly filled list of what I want).
I am now the owner of considerably more Doctor Who audios than I was a week ago. I’ve spent the past couple of days organizing them on my shelf… not as easy of a task as one might expect. I can’t just shelve them in numerical order because the main range alternates Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctor releases. Even “within Doctors,” the release dates do not necessarily follow a strict chronological timeline. For example, a “Sixth Doctor and Mel” story may be followed by a “Sixth Doctor and Peri” one.
So, I decided to shelve them by companions. But some companions have convoluted timelines of their own. (I’m looking at you, Evelyn Smythe!) Other companions (such as Peri and Mel) had two separate stints travelling with the Doctor. And sometimes, companions from two different eras meet each other (such as the time the Sixth Doctor took his then-new companion, Melanie Bush, to meet his previous companion, Evelyn Smythe). Speaking of Evelyn, although she travelled exclusively with the Sixth Doctor, it was during a Seventh Doctor story that she met her final fate. And on one occasion, two different versions of the same Doctor interacted with two different versions of the same companion. Plus, Charlotte Pollard (“Charley” to her friends) travelled for a time with the Sixth Doctor after she spent many months travelling with the Eighth.
So, on my shelf, all of my Fifth Doctor and Peri stories are shelved directly next to my Sixth Doctor and Peri stories, and all my Sixth Doctor and Mel stories are shelved directly next to my Seventh Doctor and Mel stories. I haven’t yet decided where to shelve Peri and Mel’s respective second stints with their respective Doctors.
Standing next to each Doctor’s section, slightly taller than the CDs themselves, is the doll of that Doctor. I have also affixed small post-it notes to the shelves themselves to differentiate the change(s) in companion(s). I am even considering taping little pieces of string from one shelf to another to illustrate when certain Doctors or companions jump their own timelines, but that’s pretty anal, even for me.
“I really wish they'd bring her back at least once in the TV show.”
They probably don’t want to “confuse the casual fan.”
For the past couple of years, I’ve been adding my “main range” reviews to this discussion, but it occurs to me now that, because I’ve recently acquired so many new (to me) Fifth and Seventh Doctor stories, I might want to break new discussions up by Doctor (such “Eighth Doctor Adventures”) or even by companion (such as “Travels with Charley”). Before I get to that, though, I’ve been listening to a few random adventures I’m interested in for one reason or another, such as…
WHISPERS OF TERROR: This is the first Big Finish audio (from November 1999) to feature the Sixth Doctor, and only the third audio CD overall. I was curious how it introduced the Doctor/companion dynamic to a potentially new audience. It features Peri Brown and is typical of a “pre-trial” television episode, meaning that the Doctor is brusque in tone and manner. (Perhaps Peri gets a few more sarcastic rejoinders than she did on TV.) The story itself takes full advantage of the audio medium, featuring a creature of sentient sound waves.
THE ONE DOCTOR: This is the first Sixth Doctor story to feature Melanie Bush as his companion. It is typical of a television episode and does not deal with how the two really first met. As you may or may not know, the television episode “Dalek” (Ninth Doctor and Rose) was based on the audio episode “Jubilee.” At first blush, “The One Doctor” seems to be the basis of the Tenth Doctor special “The Next Doctor” except, in this case, the “one” Doctor is a con man. He and his companion/accomplice, Sally-Anne, set up a fake threat, “save” the populace, then “modestly” accept a reward.
He travels in a “STARDIS” and carries a “psychic screwdriver.” The STARDIS is actually a “porta-loo” built atop a short-range materialization platform. When it travels, it makes flushing noises. At one point, all four main characters squeeze inside and Mel remarks, “It’s actually smaller on the iside than it appears outside!” Obviously this is a light-hearted episode played for laughs, but the threat they face is seriously dangerous. When an alien race appears and threatens the planet, the fake Doctor thinks it’s a scam being run by the real Doctor. I think maybe “The One Doctor” was used as a springboard for “The Next Doctor” (and perhaps for certain aspects of “The Christmas Invasion,” too).
FLIP-FLOP: This is a Seventh Doctor and Mel story designed to be listened to in any order (or I should say “in either order”). Most Doctor Who audios are four episodes on two discs, but instead of being numbered “disc one” and “disc two,” these are labeled “black” and “white.” When watching television episodes based around a single theme (say, “Torchwood”), the view can choose to watch the episodes chronologically from the Doctor’s POV, or chronologically as they happened. I thought that was going to be the case here. If only it were that simple.
The Doctor and Mel arrive on a planet whose leaders was assassinated 30 years ago. They are recognized, despite have never visited this planet before. The obvious conclusion is that they will visit this planet’s past at some point in their future, right? Not exactly. Before going any further, I would like to use an example from the original television run of Dark Shadows that wasn’t thought out as well.
In 1968, Collinwood is being haunted by the ghost of Quentin Collins, who lived there in the late 19th century. The ghost communicates with young David Collins and Amy Jennings via an old, disconnectd telephone. The children eventually discover the corpse of Quentin Collins sealed in a room of a closed off wing of the mansion. Barnabas Collins and Julia Hoffman attempt to contact the ghost of Quentin Collins to find out what his problem is, but inadvertently are transported to the year 1897 instead.
They remain stuck in the past for almost a year, but the practical upshot is that they not only prevent the death of Quentin Collins, they are present for the events which make him a virtual immortal. When they return to the present, it cannot be the same present they left, because Quentin never died to haunt Collinwood in the first place.
Back to the Doctor and Mel. They are forced into the planet’s past during which the planet’s despotic ruler is killed. When they return to the “present,” it is not the same present because they have created a reality in which the leader was killed 30 years ago. They do, however, meet different “versions” of characters they met the first time. The ones who forced the Doctor into the past in the first place find the new reality to be even worse that the one they left. They then insist that the Doctor take them far enough into the past so that they can convince themselves not to go into the past the first time. The Doctor insists that doing so is not possible, but they insist.
The Doctor finally relents (due to an in-story threat), and they find themselves in an alternate reality. (They never went back to assassinate the leader in the first place because, due to the changes in the timeline, she was already dead.) The story goes on like this for a while, with the Doctor explaining things to Mel (and the listeners!) as they go. By the end of the first disc (whichever one you choose to listen to first), Mel raises a point the Doctor (and the listener) hadn’t considered: if all of the other characters had counterparts in the alternate timeline, what about the other Doctor and Mel?
The other disc tells the story from their point of view.
So it’s not events separated by 30 years which circle around one another (which would be relatively easy to understand), it one story which occurs simultaneously in two realities! Flip Flop is guaranteed to make your head hurt if you think about it too hard, easily one of the most delightfully confusing Doctor Who stories I have ever experienced.
THE FOUR DOCTORS: This one was a subscription exclusive originally released in December 2010. The way these “subscription exclusives” work is that they are available only when subscribing to the main range, then, after a year has passed, they are available for purchase. Nine years ago I was just starting to accumulate audios, I was primarily interested in the Eighth Doctor at the time, and 12 months didn’t seem too long to wait. The thing is, after a year “The Four Doctors” remained a subscription exclusive, and remains so to this day. Now that I have acquired all (or most) of the older releases I am interested in, I’m ready to subscribe.
“The Four Doctors” is quite similar to “Flip Flop” (just above) except it is a bit more streamlined due to the facts that 1) the different versions of the Doctor are actually different Doctors, and 2) it is one disc instead of two. Despite the fact there are four Doctors (Five, Six, Seven and Eight) instead of one (Seven), “The Four Doctors” is easier to follow. The Doctors do interact, but not face-to-face (until briefly at the very end). The Eighth and the Fifth communicate, through an intermediary, via a communicator. The Eighth is aware of who the Fifth is, but the Fifth knows only that he is speaking with another Time Lord. We get to see that scene played out twice, once from each Doctor’s point of view.
As I mentioned, they interact face-to-face only briefly at the end, but only the Eighth Doctor will retain any memory of their meeting. Quite satisfying.
Listened to this over the last couple of days. I had heard of Burke and Hare, mostly because their story was one that my father was particularly interested in. If you had no clue who they were, I could see that this story might have been a bit confusing. Overall, I found it enjoyable.
It seemed to me that a large part of the first two episodes involved the Doctor and Evelyn discussing stuff, without any real hints as to what was going on.
The sound was a little overdone. The scene with the barfight sounded like Godzilla was attacking the city, which threw me a bit.
I enjoyed the interaction between the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn. Baker and Stables had good chemistry together, and I like the idea of the Doctor having an occasional Not-A-Pretty-Young-Thing companion.
It was amusing hearing a pre-Doctor David Tennant chewing the scenery as Daft Jamie.
Overall, a good listen. It felt like they were setting up "Knox" for a return. Did he ever show up again?
Jeff of Earth-J said:
60. Medicinal Purposes – (Sixth Doctor & Evelyn):
“The infamous body snatchers William Burke and William Hare are at large. The local prostitutes dull their fear with cheap whisky. The graveyard owls are hooting. Business is good.
“When accidental tourists the Doctor and Evelyn Smythe stumble upon one of Britain's most lurid, illuminating chapters in history, a simple case of interest in the work of dedicated man of science Doctor Robert Knox, quickly turns sour.
“Just what is that time bending Scots mist? Whatever it is may put the very fabric of the universe under threat.
Doctor Who is continually introducing me to historic events, such as the Great Storm of 1703 and the Airship R101 disaster, with which I was previously unaware. This time it’s the “infamous body snatchers William Burke and William Hare.” (Here’s the Wikipedia link.) I have a feeling I would have gotten more out of this one had I been more familiar with the historical context, but all of the information I needed to enjoy the story was contained therein.
Robert Knox was an historical figure, but he has been replaced in this story by an alien time traveler. He has a TARDIS, but he is not a Timelord. “Knox” originally came to Earth to use humans in this time period to use human beings as guinea pigs in order to develop a vaccine for a planet ravaged by plague. (His motives were mercenary, not altruistic.) Unfortunately (for him), humans of this era were immune to the disease’s effects in part because of the copious amounts of alcohol they consumed. He managed to turn a profit, though, by creating a loop in time and locking it so that it could be played as a more-than-virtual-reality by voyeuristic aliens.
The Doctor puts time back on its proper course and infects Knox with his own disease. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him, though. Who is he? Who does he work for? Where did he get a TARDIS?
NOTE: If you’ve never heard these before, “Evelyn” is pronounced with a long E (as in “Eve”) and “Smythe” with a long I (as in “tithe”).