FWIW, I listened to the whole set in one go (I was on a long flight) and really enjoyed it. And not just in my regular ‘that was good standard Big Finish fun’ way, I think this is really a top-shelf release.
I've just finished this and am sorry to say I found it decidedly average. I really wanted to like it. Kingston is one of Big Finishes stand out performers and the River Song series is slipping into the mediocrity of one boring 'River meets...' episode after another. The actress deserves better and this sounded like it would be just that.
Let's start with the positives - the lead performances were first rate. Kingston was superb if a little stilted, Whitelock was endearing, Brown was brilliant but Wendy Craig blew them all away. Barbara Ross was a nasty, cold, calculating piece of work and I have to believe someone inspired Craig to play it that otherwise I'd have to think she was like that in real life. It was far too good a performance to be just made up. I just can't believe it was the lovely Ria from Butterflies! The rest of the actors felt like they were just going through the motions and the doubling up felt really obvious throughout.
Samantha Ross was a tough one to make out. As a psychotherapist she sucked big style - I'm glad I don't have to see her! There didn't seem to be much about her as a person. Things happened to her but she had no substance without those events. I found it hard to believe in her. Lucy, Barbara and even Marie had more going for them. Maybe that was the point and I missed it. But I don't mind the character being a drifter but she talked nothing of interests, and even showed no affection or concern for Sigmund!
That wasn't helped by a script that fell back on the same old tropes throughout - if the phone cut out once it cut out twenty times an episode! The repetition in the scripts was painful to endure. Part Five was basically a retread of Part Four and Robbie was completely superfluous to events. The showdowns in the last few episodes played along quite predictable lines and Barbara's change of heart a bit hard to swallow especially with Sam's reaction in Part Eight being more in keeping with what we had before. The only cliche avoided was that
I just finished it and it was fantastic. I got very emotional a few times, and was surprised by so much. I thought I knew what was happening, and then of course I was COMPLETELY wrong. And it was great hearing Alex Kingston do something other than River. She's just amazing. I first fell in love with her during ER and knew that as good as she is as River, she's capable of so much more. This is now my favorite of the BF Originals after ATA Girls, cause honestly nothing can beat that.
Tempting .... very tempting. Not sure I want to devote the time to it, but maybe I will order this anyway.
Having just finished Transference, I can safely say I enjoyed every moment. Joe Kramer's music sets the mood for 8 episodes of stylish, dark, twisting (and twisted!) adult drama. It's been unusual to take such a long time to complete a single release, but it is a rewarding experience. It requires concentration but there are some very good pay-offs. I recommend this to anyone who is still on the fence about taking the leap. A great story, cleverly written and wonderfully played.
'Surround yourself with yourself' - Kristeen Young.
This is a powerhouse first hour of drama. If anything, do yourself a favor and get it for free while you can. I'm hooked and want to hear the rest. Do I pick it up from BF or will this find its way to Audible? Hmm, decisions, decisions...
Reminding myself that patience is a virtue. Audible had sent me a "we miss you, come back!" 50% discount promo code, so I was able to score Transference for a whopping $6.95 USD! Can't wait to finally hear this!
Listened to this over several days while commuting and really got caught up in the fantastic performances and immersive sound design/music environment. The closest analogue I can think of was the experience I had watching Bodyguard - I really enjoyed the surprising twists and turns along the way. It felt like listening to BBC/Netflix drama. Having listened to BF output for 20 years, this is definitely operating at a different level (in a good way) and I'd love to have more productions like this.
Minor critiques - there was a male character with a very distinctive deep voice (so much so, that I wondered if it had been digitally manipulated). When a separate male character with a similar deep voice entered the story, I got a little turned around wondering if it was the same actor or meant to be the same character. I suppose that sort of thing comes with listening on car speakers while driving!
I also felt like it started to run a bit long. The final section made for challenging listening as I grew incredibly frustrated with the direction the story/characters seemed to be taking. I was too invested to stop listening and I'm glad for it, because the payoff was satisfying. Overall I think the journey was a lot more fun than the destination, but I'm glad I got to listen to this.
That said, to echo what I'd posted on another thread - I fully appreciate and respect the intense amount of work by a significant number of people to make this a reality and I genuinely want to support more productions like this. Unfortunately, I also happen to be a customer with limited disposable income and it's tough to justify the original asking price of $34 USD for one story in a competitive media landscape where I can get so much more entertainment for my spending dollar. I'm happy to have had a random discount option via Audible, otherwise I'd have missed out entirely. I hope BF can figure out a financial model to stay accessible to as many customers as possible, because this was great stuff and deserves a wider audience.