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 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
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)
Also, I don't know for sure but I would be willing to bet that "Sirens of Time" is the first, last and only time a Doctor Who story in any medium has used the term "sh*tload."
"Sirens of Time" is one of the few of them that I have. I always enjoyed it. I don't remember that word, though, I shall have to re-listen.
I listened to it twice before and I hadn't remembered it, either. (Could I have misheard it?) I think it was in part three. Ellie said it in connection with tourists, I think.
Last week when I said “They can’t all be winners” I didn’t mean to imply I was referring to “The Sirens of Time,” only that I didn’t fully appreciate it the first time I heard it due to my unfamiliarity with the source material at the time. Moving on to…
“REAL TIME” and the Blue Outfit :
I am now about to enter the “Blue Suit” era of the Sixth Doctor. The Doctor began wearing a hideous “technicolor dream coat” at the beginning of his sixth persona when he was travelling with Peri, and he was wearing it at the end while travelling with Mel. But while he was travelling with Evelyn, he wore a much more subdued blue version of the same outfit. The subdued color scheme was introduced in Real Time, which was originally broadcast on BBC Interactive’s Doctor Who website. (During the adventure, the same amount of time passes for the Doctor as does for the listener, hence the name.) It was later released on a CD which I know I have listened to twice and thought I had reviewed here at least once, but I can’t find it.
I’m not in the mood to listen to it a third time when I have several new discs to listen to, but here’s the lowdown on the blue jacket. The story begins with the Doctor and Evelyn returning from a funeral. Evelyn remarks she’s glad he wore something more somber for the occasion, and the Doctor explains that blue is the color of mourning on many planets (although not Earth). But didn’t she suggest that he wear a “mourning coat” to the funeral of her friend? No, she had suggested he wear a “morning coat,” and what’s more, she didn’t know the deceased, she thought the Doctor did. It turns out neither of them knew the man, but the Doctor continued to wear the blue suit throughout his travels with Evelyn.
Quite some time later, after Evelyn had stopped travelling with him, the Doctor, still wearing the blue suit, decided it was finally time to “meet” Melanie Bush for the “first” time. He becomes entangled in an adventure with his own past self (“The Wrong Doctors,” reviewed on page three of this discussion), who is still wearing the “technicolor” version. At the end of that adventure, the Doctor still hadn’t met Mel for the first time, but he nevertheless resolved to begin wearing the garishly color suit again in her honor, so, by the time he meets Charley Pollard (who had already travelled with the Eighth Doctor) for the first time, he was again wearing the original.
57. Arrangements for War – (Sixth Doctor & Evelyn):
“Onboard the TARDIS, nerves are strained.
“After escaping the Forge and the murderous clutches of Nimrod, the Doctor and Evelyn have things to talk about. The Doctor's attitude towards death is a subject that these days is too close to Evelyn's heart, and eventually she demands to be set down somewhere where she can be free of him for a while.
“And so they come to Világ, where the Doctor's meddling lands him in the middle of a truly dangerous liaison and Evelyn meets a man who wants to change the course of her life forever.
“Love is everywhere. But then war is too.
“Is it time for Evelyn to leave the Doctor? Or is the choice about to be taken out of her hands?
“And who is to say what is the beginning and what is the end of love?”
COMMENTARY: Except for “Real Time,” this is the earliest story featuring Evelyn that I have on CD. It’s not as good of an introduction to Evelyn as “The Reaping” was (on audio) for Peri. Evelyn’s first appearance was “The Marian Conspiracy,” now available only as a download. In fact, there were nine previous CDs (in addition to “Real Time”) featuring Evelyn, and “Arrangements for War” carries on directly from “Project: Lazarus” (also available only as a download). It begins on a somber note, with the Doctor and Evelyn lamenting the death of two allies from the previous story.
Evelyn is terminally ill from heart disease, but travelling with the Doctor has lightened that load. When she sees how seemingly easily he is able to move on from their friends’ deaths, though, she begins to feel her own mortality and wonder how quickly he will be able to move on after she dies. He takes her to a planet where they are not likely to be drawn into any sort of conflict. There are two great monarchies on this planet which have been at war for 100 years. Now, though, the conflict is at an end due to an impending royal wedding between the two kingdoms. But they end up getting involved anyway.
The girl is really in love with a peasant boy, not the prince she is to marry. Further complicating the matter, the planet is invaded by aliens and the kingdoms must learn to work together. [SPOILERS] To make a long story short, because of the Doctor’s involvement, both the princess and her boyfriend end up getting killed. The Doctor is so upset that he, uncharacteristically, resolves to pop back in time and set things right. It is Evelyn who has to talk him out of it. [END SPOILERS] Evelyn is a middle aged professional woman, a far cry from the companions cast to appeal to a TV audience in recent years and their “boyfriend” Doctors, but she has, nevertheless, developed feelings for him. As the Doctor puts it, he has travelled in the past with those who were his “intellectual equals” as well as those who were his “emotional superiors,” but, phrasing it the way a young
American he recently travelled with might have, Evelyn is “the whole kit and caboodle.”
This story has a sequel (#86, “Thicker Than Water”), which I will get to four stories from now.
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”).
I didn’t mention any of the supporting characters. There was one role, a mentally challenged street performer named “Simple Jamie” who was particularly well-performed. After listening to to disc I read the liner notes and discovered he was played by a pre-Doctor (2004) David Tennent. I understand Tennent also has a recurring role on the “Gallifrey” series. I have heard it reported that he was willing to reprise his role of the Tenth Doctor on audio despite his being in high demand as an actor because Big Finish used to give him work when he was a hungry up-and-coming actor.
65. The Juggernauts – (Sixth Doctor & Mel):
“In a small mining colony on the dark and distant planet of Lethe, events are occurring the results of which could dramatically affect things on a universal scale. For within the dingy corridors of the artificial biosphere, the lone survivor of a devastating crash has expertly wormed his way into the lives of the colony's personnel. A scientist known as Davros.
“Separated from one another across space and time, the Doctor and Mel find themselves in very different predicaments: Mel has been employed on Lethe, while the Doctor has been imprisoned aboard an alien spacecraft. Both situations are inexorably linked, however, and at the apex of the two sits Davros and the terrifying possibility of a new threat even more powerful than the Daleks!
“Rescuing Mel and stopping Davros should be the Doctor's primary goals, but could it be that this time, Mel does not wish to be rescued? And might Davros actually be working on something for the benefit of the civilized galaxies?”
This is the earliest “Sixth Doctor & Mel” audio that I own, but it’s not the first Sixth Doctor and Mel story. The first Sixth Doctor and Mel story released by Big Finish was #27 (“The One Doctor,” now available only as a download), but I don’t think that’s the story of their first meeting, either. An online chronology I found places “The One Doctor” after “The Juggernauts,” but according to the liner notes, “The Juggernauts” occurs after “The One Doctor.” In either case, I think the story of their first meeting has yet to be told (although “The Wrong Doctors” came close). I will be covering #68 & #73 next, and #73 features both Mel and Evelyn. But I digress.
Big Finish had previously done a Davros story without the Daleks (#48, “Davros”). This one not only throws in the Daleks, but the Mechanoids (from Terry Nation’s TV21 comic strips) as well. “The Juggernauts” is the sequels to “Davros,” and the two together bridge the gap between the TV serials “Revelation of the Daleks” and “Remembrance of the Daleks,” explaining how Davros went from being a Dalek prisoner in one to being enmeshed inside the casing of the Emperor Dalek in the other. The writer describes it as “a somewhat darker tale than what one might expect from the Sixth Doctor and Mel: a fairly ‘traditional’ Doctor Who story of manipulation, lies, cruelty, morality and love (in that order).”
The Mechanoids first appeared in the TV story "The Chase". I gather that at one point, it was hoped that they would be the next "Daleks". They seem to have had a longer lifespan in the comics than on TV.
Yes, I got that bit about the TV21 comic from the liner notes, but I recognize them on the CD cover from TV but I couldn't remember which serial. Thanks!
Can't imagine why these guys never caught on.
68. Catch 1872 – (Sixth Doctor & Mel):
“When the Doctor and Mel visit the National Foundation for Scientific Research as it celebrates its centenary, Mel expects only to be able to catch up with her uncle. She doesn’t expect to meet her own ancestors...
“What is buried in the grounds of the Foundation? What secret has Henry Hallam kept from his descendants for three hundred years? Can Mel escape her own past?
“Visiting your relatives can sometimes be trying, but surely it should never be this difficult?”
This is a fairly straightforward story, very easy to follow. Mel and the Doctor visit her uncle on the occasion of the burial of a time capsule. The prototype metal reacts to timey-wimey stuff, and the proximity of the TARDIS makes it unstable. When Mel gets too close, she is shunted into the past, where she loses her memory. Before that, though, she and her uncle discussed their shared history. Their ancestor William, was a widower. There is mention in the family history about a family member who arrived mysteriously in 1782, and who died in 1811, but his personal journal has every page from 1782 ripped out. There is also a portrait of a woman no one can identify.
Mel arrives Christmas 1781. She is disoriented, and the local doctor treats by keeping her drugged on laudanum. When asked her name, she mumbles a response William misunderstands as “Nel,” short for Eleanor, the mysterious house guest who stayed for 30 years. Six months pass. In 2003, the Doctor deduces Mel’s whereabouts and he and Mel’s uncle travel to the past to retrieve her. They get her off the laudanum, and she begins to respond to treatment. Meanwhile, William has fallen in love with Mel, partially because she bears such a striking resemblance to his deceased wife. But the Doctor point out that Mel cannot return to the present because the family history records that “Nel” died in 1811.
Complicating matters is that the housekeeper, Mrs. McGregor, has herself fallen in love with William. [SPOILERS] When he finds out that Mel is from the future, William, still very much in love with his late wife as well, has a mental breakdown. The Doctor deduces that all of the 1782 pages have been torn out of William’s journal because that’s when he was suffering from his breakdown. The unidentified woman in the portrait is revealed to be Mrs. McGregor, who William took for his second wife. Furthermore, the family history has been faked, so it’s safe for Mel to leave after all. (I guess faking the family records was the thing to do in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.) [END SPOILERS] This story is very much like Dark Shadows in that respect.