I think it took my fourth listen to this recently for me to realize how much it's possible for me to like this. I've upgraded my usual opinion from a valiant but understandably slow start for the Monthly Range, to a good start.
I was late coming to BF but I've heard a LOT of BF by now and a lot of early BF too (I'm into the 30s on the MR listening in order and many of the other early stories out of order) but I tried my best to imagine it was 1999 and I'd never heard any 'official' DW since my Doctor had his last adventure with Sarah and the Brig on Radio 4 a few years previously...
I liked the structure of three separate stories then the 'meet-up', which showcased each Doctor and gave variety to the first (of course as I'm in 1999 it's the only ) BF DW.
Comparing the individual stories, my favourite script was the Fifth Doctor's - I do enjoy historicals and a U-boat captained by Mark Gatiss is my kind of story for the Doctor to land in! And Peter Davison was right back in character from the outset, as expected.
I know Sylvester McCoy will (time-shift to 1999 breaking down here for a moment) go on to give amazing performances in unforgettable Seven stories - the Hex arc from 'The Magic Mousetrap' especially - so this was a low-key start for him in what I though was the weakest script of the three, but he's back with the umbrella and that's what really mattered here - and he's really back in the finale.
My favourite Doctor was (predictably) Sixie: I thought Colin Baker was absolutely perfect from the first syllable - a Sixie taking his second chance with both hands (and hearts) and relishing every minute. And it was a good space-action story for Sixie to take charge of, or at least to try...
And then the finale: for me this is why the story overall got a 3* rather than the 4* I thought it was heading for. Hearing 'The (Other) Three Doctors' together was well worth waiting for, but I thought there was a lot of talk from Elena and the pace seemed very slow for a lot of the time; also splitting Five away from Six and Seven for much of the episode was a mistake imo. The best bits were their interactions: Sixie grappling with the guard while Seven tried to shoot his weapon in the right direction was so well done I could almost see them in action!
The sound design and music did the job well in terms of a 1990s radio play, but (back to 2019 now) my goodness aren't BF's musicians and designers incredible now - and thinking of the back catalogue, they have been for a very long time.
A good start which must have been so thrilling for everyone who was really there at the beginning to hear the Doctors return.
It took me many years to find BF, but now I'm so pleased to be along for the ride as the fabulous BF Whoniverse expands outwards - from this one small atom where it all began, 20 years ago...
Sirens is a "great" story in terms of what it is in the overall history of Dr Who but at the same time it's not actually all that good (to be fair, it still stands up pretty well and is not that bad either)
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