Teryl Rothery delivers another excellent turn as Dr. Janet Fraiser.
This is a story I can easily see being done while SG1 was on the air. A few tweaks to give it a bigger cast and this easily could have been an episode.
Big Finish once again rehabilitates a character that didn't really do much for me and gives her a nice tale to spend an hour to listen to. Teryl does an excellent job bringing her character back to life, and Chris Judge has a script that doesn't play on the weakness of Teal'c in an audio format.
Is it me, or does the story end very suddenly? I'll have to delete and redownload and see if it was an issue during the original download.
I'd forgotten how good the Stargate range was. It plays to the strengths of it's characters, and I would have loved later series in the range bringing back the top tier stars from the shows. Perhaps even down the line we'd have gotten universe audios. Alas, what could have been.
Post by Star Platinum on Dec 22, 2019 23:56:13 GMT
I'm split over this story. I find the Cannibalists themselves are rather annoying, some of the ideas and my reading of them make this some very good listening.
I've got about thirteen minutes left as I write this, and I can't remember the exact conclusion, but if it does lead towards the reset button there are some very deep ethical questions.
I like the idea of these robots gaining their own free will, they've eventually built their own cultures, lives and identities. This is why, as a Canadian, I'm terribly uncomfortable with the idea of the reset switch. As flawed as the Cannibalists are, using the reset switch is tantamount to cultural genocide, something that Canada has done in the past. given our history with it, wiping out these distinct cultures sits quite uncomfortably with me. Fortunately, this is doctor who, and while occasionally it's happened, the stories tend to veer from it.
It's unfortunate that the trigger is pulled on the cannibalists, but while they were inherently destructive, hopefully Servo does lead them to a better age.
I love it when Doctor Who, or any kind of media in general stops to give me pause for thought like that, while it isn't the most common thing, it's something I've treasured whenever I've found it.
Any story that causes me to question the ideas and concepts in them like this is always a win in my book.
This is one of the stargate stories that really sticks out to me, it's probably because it reminds me of the episode where they have to evacuate a planet with one of the ancient ships on it, This one has a fairly similar premise to it.
"Let's hope it's not the last" Sort of ironic, given that this is the last story for him at Big Finish, (not sure if it's his last story period, I'd have to look it up)
I know I've said it before, but I'm glad BF outsourced the writing for these to the writers that did the stargate novels. The authors are familiar with their characters and it keeps the characters on brand and easy to digest. It also means they have a very detailed knowledge of what they're writing about.
I like how Beckett stands up for the plauge victims, he's always been a beacon of morality and frankly a pleasure to watch in the show, he's not afraid to do the right thing, despite the difficulty. Archus is a great counterpoint, he's doing the wrong thing for the right reasons and he's not doing it to be evil or malicious, just to protect his people. The one thing I really do like is that he asks no more of his people than he would himself. He exiled his family to protect his village, many writers would have had him hide his family away.
I love that in defiance of scifi cliche, Beckett can't develop a cure because there is no cure. It's always been an oddity that these doctors in sci fi can cure diseases in a nice 45 minute period when in real life it can take years upon years of research and development to have a potential cure.
Only one more Atlantis release. I'll miss this range.
Post by Star Platinum on Dec 28, 2019 22:30:20 GMT
The Glorious Revolution
I've been looking forward to this one for some time.
This is really Jamie's version of the Aztecs, but it hits closer to home, Barbara meddled in the past of another society on the other side of the world, while Jamie's intervention was far more direct, this really makes it a personal intervention for Jamie.
I really like that this is a Jamie focused story. A lot of the stories for this Tardis team in particular are alien planets, and space stations. To give Jamie a chance to shine in a setting he's intimately familiar with is a particular master stroke. I'm not overly fond of this particular team as they can be overly harsh on Jamie, so seing him take the limelight is something that doesn't happen nearly enough for my liking.
A great story, with some fantastic writing and acting.
Post by Star Platinum on Dec 30, 2019 20:38:26 GMT
At last, the keystone story for a number of future releases.
This story is one that has a lot of influence over several releases both before and after it. The virus one shots in the pre 100 main range. The end of the EDAs and Dark Eyes, Blue Forgotten Planet and the Charlotte Pollard Range. This story brings everything together and then scatters it across the four corners of Big Finish.
I think that this stories greatest strength is it’s breaking from Dalek traditions. This is unlike any invasion from them we’ve seen or heard before. That coupled with the introduction of the Dalek Time Controller, gives this a more dangerous edge to their plans.
Fratterlin is wonderfully alien. I think the real lack of any human characters really does give this story a very strong sense of strangeness. It’s a very cold and clinical story.
I do like the Viyrans, Briggs does an excellent job of building their mystery. The voice synthesizer used works very well and using the voice of the various characters is a nice creepy touch.
Jess Robinson does a good job as Mila, coming off as some kind of crazy but India does her extremely well. There’s just enough wrong with her that you can put your finger on it.
I truly think this is one of Briggs’ best Daleks scripts and he kicks off the end of the Charley arc with a bang.
I’m so glad I got this story autographed by Colin Baker.
Post by Star Platinum on Dec 30, 2019 21:33:07 GMT
I’m pulling this one ahead a bit. With the prisoner zero trilogy kicking things up in a major way, and Blue Forgotten Planet tying things up for Charley and the Sixth Doctor, Paper Cuts has always felt like a filler story. Like the other two stories in this trilogy were commissioned first, and this one was made to fill a gap. I’m pulling this one ahead to give it a fair shot without it being overshadowed by its two counterparts.
At a first glance, the cover art is gorgeous, the colors and the Saxon is particularly good looking. I do wish Big Finish would put their monsters on the covers more.
Platt plays to his strengths, he always excels at world building and draconian nobility starts off as a fairly blank canvas for him to work with.
It doesn’t really do too much to advance the charley arc. Mila doesn’t do too much to differentiate herself from charley aside from the odd word here and there (she’s a tiny bit more out going if anything. I think the biggest moment when you can tell it isn’t charley is right at the end with Gomori. Aside from that, there’s really only one other instance.)
The monsters are clever, giving them an origami styling is clever and I don’t think that Big Finish has done paper monsters before (at least not until the story of extinction.)
The Draconians are pretty good, but their gender politics do reek of the 70’s.
Honestly, it’s a little on the boring side, but it’s not a bad story at all.
Post by Star Platinum on Dec 31, 2019 19:55:16 GMT
Prisoner of Peladon
I think it’s a very brave to do a Companion Chronicle to feature the The Doctor traveling solo. I do enjoy the return to Peladon though.
David does an excellent job returning to his role, there’s been an interesting growth applied to the character, there’s a new wisdom to the character but he does feel like the king Peladon from the 70’s.
The criticism leveled at the doctor is something that’s only really appeared since the Moffatt era. I find it difficult to levy against the classic series as it was rare for the doctor to ever be alone.
The last line naming Thalia’s is a nice choice, it really ties the two Peladon stories together.
Nicola Bryant, I hadn’t realized she was interested in directing. I wonder if she’s done any more since this story. I hadn’t realized the chronicles were Nicks idea. I thought they were David Richardson’s baby.
It’s not the strongest companion chronicle, but I admire that it was a story that took its chances.
Post by Star Platinum on Jan 10, 2020 20:03:58 GMT
Blue Forgotten Planet
You know, the run for Charley has been a fantastic one.
We’ve had twists and turns, peaks and Valleys. Hell they even regenerated the Doctor on her! (Sort of) Her story is one that took an incredible amount of risks and one that really couldn’t have been done in any other version of Doctor Who media. I truly think that this unique story of hers is why she shines so brightly.
Blue Forgotten Planet is her grand finale, and it juggles both versions of her, and everything else quite well all things considered.
I know Briggs loves endings and he ensures this one is a spectacle. Earth is pushed to its breaking point with the actions of the Viyrans but this really takes a back seat once we get to the Viyrans ship.
Aboard their ship is where things come to a head. Charley and Mila square up against each other, but Briggs wisely chooses not to stop the plot in order to sort out who is who. Mila herself has grown, she’s not quite the psycho we saw in Patient Zero. She’s grown a fair bit. I really think she wasn’t malicious in the end. She just wanted to travel properly.
I think the ending is bitter sweet. It’s the end of an era. Moving forward visits from Charley are few and far between and personally I don’t think they do her the justice she deserves.
Overall, it's a very simple story. Zelenka and Loci must work together in order to escape a situation with their lives.
It's an effective two hander between these two characters, with Zelenka trying to build bridges with Loci and yet neither still not trusting each other. The plot is simple enough with a nice twist at the end of it.
I really don't have too much to say about this one, other than it's a nice way to spend an hour with Atlantis without being tied down to a TV.
Of the two stories in this finale, I certainly think this is the weaker one.
The eightfold truth excels at it's set up, but personally it feels like Worldwide doesn't quite stick the landing.
The eigth legs gethering the minds of those they posessed really reminds me of what Missy ended up doing in Dark Water/Death in Heaven, but it doesn't really pull it off in the same way. Honestly it feels like a place just to dump Lucie so the Doctor can pick her up.
Honestly what really grinds my gears in this one is how the Headhunter is written out. She's a fantastic character, but she feels so under utilized that it makes you wonder why she even bothered to show up. I think that's why I end up looking at this pair of stories so badly.
It's also a really bittersweet ending, the Doctor and Lucie heading to blackpool, not knowing what lies in wait for them. Retrospectively, this is the last time they'd really be happy together.
It's an alright story that doesn't quite stick the landing. Some nice callbacks to Planet of the Spiders don't quite help the story get to where it wants to be.
8/10 for the The eightfold truth, but 6/10 for this one.
To put it simply, this has been simply a delight all around.
It doesn’t take itself too seriously, but when it wants to it carries its weight well. It pulls off its jokes and everyone feels like they’re having a good time. The blackadder tone contrasts well. The comedy gives the drama strength, and it completely avoids undercutting the tension.
Davison and Sutton aren’t pulling their punches. Nyssa in particular absolutely shines in this story.
The Rutans are a great, if under utilized monster, and it makes sense if a war carries on as long as theirs has with the Sontarans, they’d try a few of their enemies tricks.
I’ve never been a fan of Middle Ages stories. I couldn’t tell you anything about the monarchs or what they did in their respective reigns. But this one and its humor work so well I can’t help but enjoy it.
The entire cast are great. The writing is superb and the sound design works spectacularly. I really think that the stars aligned for this one.
It’s no spare parts, but it sure as hell gives it a run for its money.
Post by Star Platinum on Jan 13, 2020 22:18:42 GMT
The Pyralis Effect
I've been hearing a lot of Jess Robinson lately, she really impressed someone at Big Finish, she's in a whole bunch of stories in 2009.
Overall, I'm not quite sure what I think of this. I like the cultural impact the Doctor had on the the Pavonians but the story really struggled to keep my attention.
it's funny listening to this after watching Spyfall, I couldn't help but Picture them as the aliens from that episode.
Overall, I think the story can't decide where it wants to be, a few lines place it explicitly pre Horns of Nimon, but the tone and Romana's reflections of home make it feel like it would be at home in season 18.
It won't win any awards, but I think it's a solid 7/10.
Post by Star Platinum on Jan 13, 2020 22:21:20 GMT
And the Claws of Santa
I enjoyed the first few minutes, it’s nice to see Iris play something relatively straight. It’s part of why I enjoyed looking for a friend so much.
The karkus wasn’t a reference I was expecting, not to mention the monster of Peladon.
At a glance, there’s a glaring similarity between this and panda invasion. Granted, The Panda invasion didn’t really focus on the swarms of Pandas.
The cast is fairly solid. I had Sarah Douglass pegged right away, but I hadn’t realized that ST58 was Conrad Westmaas. Douglass is clearly having fun as the jilted lover. I never thought I would see Santa and Mrs. clays having domestic spats.
Giving Santa time travel capabilities is an interesting choice, but it works in the context in the story.
It’s not bad, and a nice seasonal treat, but it’s definitely a marmite story like all Iris’ are.
I have to give Magrs credit, the Novelizers are a perfect creation for the Companion Chronicles. They allow for him to completely bypass the framing story and build the narration into the narrative itself. Well done.
I like the first half of the story better, it feels like the story moves forward better there, the second half splits it’s narrative into three separate strands and as such, the story doesn’t pace as well.
The cast in this story are particularly good Mark Strickson slips back into Turlough’s shoes absolutely effortlessly, especially considering that it’s been a number of years since singularity. Alex Lowe shines as Huxley, he’s annoying and obnoxious, but he comes off quite well for it. All things considered I don’t mind spending an hour with this particular Novelizer.
I’d never noticed that this story was so short. I wonder why, cut in the script? Not long enough?
I’ve been looking forward to this. Especially having watched the season 23 bluray. I wish I’d gotten here sooner to compare it to the televised season 23. I’ll have to revisit it soon to compare.
I do like how the doctor and peri are enjoying themselves at the park. With how the last season went for peri, she deserves a break.
Overall, I think this story struggles a bit. The Doctor seems to spend the majority of the story locked up, while the pacing seems to drag the story out, despite its short run time.
I think this is a story that exemplifies one of the larger problems of the JNT run. When your continuity advisors (Ian Levine) has you bringing back old foes for the sake of bringing them back, sack your continuity advisor. Granted the back story for the toymaker is a nice touch.
David Bailey is a highlight as the Toymaker and I wish Big Finish would use him more often.
Over all it’s a slow plod, but one with some good moments. 6/10
Post by Star Platinum on Jan 20, 2020 22:16:36 GMT
The Eternal Summer
For the second time in a row the Stockbridge trilogy delivers a hit!
While i don't think it's quite as strong as it's predecessor, I do think that this is another excellent release by Big Finish. It manages to evoke The Chimes of Midnight, while being completely distinct from it. (I'm always wary of stories that try to do things like that, it can fall flat on it's face leaving me to wonder why I'm listening)
The writing here is excellent, Johnny Morris is an expert at this point and his sense of the timey-wimey works so well. The Eternal Summer of stockbridge is a fantastic Montage of the lives of those in this sleepy village and it works incredibly well. I think it falters a bit with it's handling of The Lord and lady of the manor. I think that they'd have been better off played a little more like the vampires of State of Decay. I think that Viridios felt shoved in to absolve the Lord and Lady.
Maxwell is an interesting character, when he first showed up I did feel like I had missed something at some point, but a little bit of research after I finished the story explained just about everything. I hadn't realized it was Mark Williams playing him, he did an exceptional job with the role.
The lord any lady were played well, but I think they were under utilized. I'd have like them to have taken a more active roll in the plot.
All in all it's a great release, and I see why it's so highly regarded. Shame Plauge of the Daleks will let the story down.
I can’t say I’ve been looking forward to this. It’s not a bad range by any means, but I think that Cyberman and Dalek empire don’t have quite enough for me to latch onto as someone coming from the main range. I. Think I need more than just monsters to really grab me.
I do like the stealth invasion. Everyone is so obsessed with androids they don’t see the threat manning the checkpoints. A brilliant twist on the invasion genre.
Honestly this story feels like it’s really just re-establishing the characters and the status quo. The story does a good job of setting up where the set will go.
We have Paul Hunt working with the Cyberman, Richter going absolutely nuts and Sam making a break for it. All in all it sets up the set nicely.
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