The Eighth Doctor: The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller (Big Finish)Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 17 August 2019 - Reviewed by Ken Scheck
The Eighth Doctor: The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller (Credit: Big Finish)
Starring Paul McGann & Sheridan Smith
Written by Nicholas Briggs, Alice Cavender, Eddie Robson, & Alan Barnes
Directed by Nicholas Briggs

Released by Big Finish - July 2019

Once upon a time, it was not as accepted to be a nerd in the mainstream.  In college, I was slowly rediscovering my love for such nerdy things as Star Trek, when I discovered Doctor Who. Tennant was still the Doctor, just about to start his second series in the role, and I watched and rewatched his debut series and then the preceding one with Eccleston over and over again.  But because being a nerd was still not something that people proudly declared to the world, I would tell myself that I only liked the new series, I wasn't someone who would get sucked into that old show. Of course, I got sucked in and went back and watched the entire classic run as well. But I'd never be such a nerd that I'd listen to those audio stories.  

But Big Finish released the first adventures with Lucie Miller, and for whatever reason, I gave them a listen.  They were easily digestible, made in the style of the new series, and they had a Doctor that hadn't much of a TV run, so why not listen to these stories to see if maybe beyond his rather bad movie he could actually be good.  And McGann was great...and Lucie Miller was a fun companion to have along for the ride.  Eventually, I gave up trying to convince myself I wasn't "that big of a nerd" and just listened to the whole back catalogue of Eighth Doctor adventures, starting with Storm Warning on, and I became a massive fan of anything Eighth Doctor.  But every time a new series with Lucie Miller came out, I was always ready and excited.  As good as some of the early Charley stuff was, as good as epic boxsets that have come out since can be...nothing comes close to the Lucie Miller run in terms of consistent quality for me.  

Sheridan Smith has returned for this boxset, set in between her first and second series, and it sees her reunion with the McGann, eight years since Lucie departed in To the Death. In the set the get trapped in a black hole with some confused Daleks, take down an evil mega-corporation with Roller Derby, help some people trapped in a warped Downton Abbey nightmare planet, and finally take on the return of the evil Fendahl.  It's a fun set, and while all the stories are fun and well written, it is the return of Smith and McGann's rapport that is the star of the show.  They play off each other well, and they don't feel like they have missed much of a beat.

If you were a fan of the Lucie Miller era of the Eighth Doctor audio adventures, you no doubt want to get this already.  As a sampler for new fans looking to dip their toe in with the duo, it is decent.  I think it probably more fun for fans who already loved this team.  If you really want to see if you like them together, I suggest just starting with their first series.  Obviously, it is more cost-effective to buy this, and if you want a taste of this dynamic I can tell you that it does not rely heavily on continuity, and you won't be lost. 






Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor - Issue #10 (Titan Comics)Bookmark and Share

Friday, 16 August 2019 - Reviewed by Ken Scheck
hirteenth Doctor - Issue #10 (Credit: Titan)Writer: Jody Houser
Artist: Roberta Ingranata
Colourist: Enrica Eren Angiolini & Viviana Spinelli

32 Pages

Published by Titan Comics July 2019

In the latest issue of the Thirteenth Doctor, we get to know the Cosair, the Doctor’s old Time Lord friend first mentioned in “The Doctor’s Wife.” She is essentially a thief with a heart of gold, and while the Doctor initially tries to get the Cosair to return the item she stole in the previous issue, the Cosair convinces the Doctor that she us stealing items for the right reasons, returning artifacts to their original homes for a third party. 

The previous issue gave the loosest of set ups for this story, with the Doctor accused of theft and then tracking the real thief. This installment sets up the real plot of the storyline, which is that it is going to be a heist story of some kind, with the Doctor probably having conflicts with her old friend in order to pull it off. 

It is a fine issue, even if I have so far found the Cosair to be a fairly generic swashbuckling anti-hero type. Perhaps more layers to the character will arrive as the issues come. 





Big Finish - Doctor Who - Short Trips 9.7 : Battle ScarsBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 13 August 2019 - Reviewed by Matt Tiley
Doctor Who: Battle Scars (Credit: Big Finish)

Narrator: Nicholas Briggs;
Director: Alfie Shaw
Written by: Selim UlUg

Nightmarish memories of the Boer War. Crippling debts. An unconscious stranger in the garden. Arthur Daniels is beset with problems. Little does he know that his proposed solution could be the biggest problem of them all: a voyage to America aboard the RMS Titanic.
 
Battle Scars fits into the Who timeline somewhere before Rose, and features a battle scared 9th Doctor, turning up injured in the Daniel’s family’s garden in April 1912, it’s not until he is nursed back to health by them that he discovers they have tickets to the US on the Titanic.
 
There might be a vague backstory about sabotage, and an alien gun found in Cardiff bay, but the main drive of the story is the Doctor struggling with a choice. Does he let the Daniels family go ahead with their trip on the Titanic to America, or does he bend the rules of time, and save them?
 
I’d not read anything at all on the story before I listened, but knew as soon as I heard iin the narration that it was set in April 1912 that this was quite an important month in history, so immediately knew where things were heading. Because of this, Selim Ulug’s writing did seem a bit ‘story by numbers’, but I have to say this tale of time travelling morals was both engaging and very enjoyable.
 
Nicholas Briggs himself is on narration duty, and I must say that his impression of Eccleston is pretty much spot on, and helps lift the story above what it might have been. 
 
Overall Battle Scars is a very welcome addition to the Short Trip series. I just wish it would have included a reference to THAT picture on Clive's website in Rose.
 
Battle Scars is available to download HERE.
 

 





9.5. Doctor Who - Short Trips: Under ODIN's EyeBookmark and Share

Friday, 2 August 2019 - Reviewed by Matt Tiley
Under ODIN's Eye (Credit: Big Finish)
Narrated by: Nocola Bryant;
Written by: Alice Cavender
Directed by: Helen Goldwyn  

 

Sad about your local market shutting down? Don’t worry about it! Come on down to ODIN Megastore, where we have everything you’ll ever need. Enjoy our Hygge atmosphere. Browse stylish new ODIN wardrobes. Relax with friends on our new ODIN sofas. Friends gone missing? Meet new ones at our food-hall, where you can chill out and live happily ever after.

Welcome to ODIN Megastore, where everything is for sale. Even your planet.

For me, at some point during the sixth Doctor's tenure, the show started to feel a bit embarrassing to watch. I would have been in my mid teens, and moving away from more 'childish' things. However revisiting the series years later, I have a fondness for Colin Baker's Doctor. 

In Alice Cavender's latest Big Finish entry, he is about as loud and abrasive as he got. Full of puffed up self importance and ego. Prime sixth Doctor then!

The Doctor takes Peri to what he remembers as a quiet, unspoilt little planet. Full of old fashioned markets, and friendly locals. When they arrive he sees that all of this has changed, thanks to the giant ODIN Megastore, somewhere that sells anything you could possibly want. As always things aren't quite what they seem, and there is of course an alien threat behind the new retail conglomerate.

Under ODIN's Eye is a thinly veiled swipe at consumer giants such as IKEA and Amazon. It's an enjoyable enough story, played out perfectly by the wonderful Nicola Bryant, who captures Peri and the blustering sixth Doctor perfectly.....however I did prefer Kablam!

Under ODIN's Eye is available from Big Finish HERE.