Big Finish Folly, Part 15f – Dalek Soul, by Guy Adams
On the Dalek-occupied world of Mojox, a group of rebels is engaged in a futile fightback against the invaders – but at last they’ve found an ally, in the form of the mysterious Doctor. Elsewhere, however, the Daleks’ Chief Virologist is seeking to perfect a biological weapon to wipe out the Mojoxalli, once and for all.
Her name… is Nyssa.
The flip side of Alien Heart, this is another two-part story. And I’ll be talking possible spoilers below the cut, so beware… (more…)
Big Finish Folly, Part 15e – Alien Heart, by Stephen Cole
In the TARDIS, the Doctor and Nyssa stumble across a trail of ten destroyed worlds, all of them obliterated by means of some utterly monstrous but utterly unknown device. The planet Traxana would seem to be next in line to suffer the same fate. But when the TARDIS lands on an outpost on Traxana’s moon, Nyssa is carried away by a tide of giant green arachnoids, leaving the Doctor behind…
And the coming menace is closer than he thinks.
Now, here’s an oddity. Big Finish have decided to experiment in the Main Range with the same format of stories that they have previously employed with both the Fourth and the Eighth Doctors – hour-long, two-episode stories. This means condensed, faster paced storytelling, sharp set-ups, less room to lay out and get overly indulgent, perhaps. Sometimes, it can be a good thing. Your mileage may vary. Since the Main Range releases are double-disc, four episode releases however, that means we get two stories for the price of one. Hence Alien Heart and Dalek Soul on the same cover picture over there. And hence the thematic echo of the story titles. We’ve had three-episode stories in the Main Range before, and single-episode stories too – but how well do the Legacy Doctors fit into this particular mode of storytelling?
And – the big question, of course – is it any good?
Big Finish Folly, Part 0E – Zaltys, by Matthew J Elliott
In the Vortex, the TARDIS comes under a form of psychic attack – resulting in the abductions of first Adric, then Tegan. Following their trail, the Doctor and Nyssa arrive under the lurid skies of the planet Zaltys, whose entire population has vanished in strange circumstances. Soon, they discover that Zaltys is now the target of treasure seekers, come to scavenge this so-called Planet of the Dead…
Meanwhile, deep below the planet’s surface, Adric learns the earth-shattering reason why the people of Zaltys disappeared… and why they were wise to do so. And Tegan is, quite literally, in the dark – enduring interrogation by the mysterious Clarimonde. Any friend of the Doctor’s is Clarimonde’s enemy… because theirs is a blood feud! (more…)
Big Finish Folly, Part 0D – The Contingency Club, by Phil Mulryne
London, 1864 – where any gentleman befitting the title ‘gentleman’ belongs to a gentlemen’s club: The Reform, The Athenaeum, The Carlton, The Garrick… and, of course, The Contingency. Newly established in St James’, The Contingency has quickly become the most exclusive enclave in town. A refuge for men of politics, men of science, men of letters. A place to escape. A place to think. A place to be free.
The first rule of the Contingency is to behave like a gentleman. The second is to pay no heed to its oddly identical servants. Or to the horror in its cellars. Or to the existence of the secret gallery on its upper floor… Rules that the Doctor, Adric, Nyssa and Tegan are all about to break. (more…)
I’m going to break from the Seventh Doctor’s adventures here to catch up with some of the other incarnations. It’s all relative, you see…
Oh – and Adric. In the Main Range. GET IN.
Big Finish Folly, Part 0C – The Star Men, by Andrew Smith
Astronomical navigation is a tricky business. To help Adric with his studies, the Doctor sets course for Gallius Ultima – a planet on the edge of the Milky Way, housing one of the most impressive observatories ever constructed.
But the TARDIS arrives to find Gallius U in a state of emergency, tracking the return of the Explorer-class ship Johannes Kepler from its mission into the heart of the mysterious Large Magellanic Cloud. A mission that met with disaster…
To find out what overtook the crew of the Johannes Kepler, the Doctor and his companions must journey into the heart of the Cloud… and beyond, into the darkness of another reality altogether. The universe of the Star Men. (more…)
Big Finish Folly, Part 18b – The Peterloo Massacre, by Paul Magrs
“They say there’ll be thousands pouring into Manchester tomorrow. From all over the county, north and south. It’ll be a piece of history. People will remember this!”
Lost in the smog of the Industrial Revolution, the TARDIS crashes four miles south of Manchester, in the grounds of Hurley Hall – a grand mansion belonging to a local factory owner, a proudly self-made man. But while Hurley dreams of growing richer still on the wealth of secret knowledge locked up in the Doctor’s time and space machine, his servants hope only for a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. His young maid Cathy, for instance, whom Nyssa learns is looking forward to joining the working people’s march to St Peter’s Field, in the heart of the city. There’ll be speeches and banners and music. It’ll be like one big jamboree…
Or so she thinks. For the city’s establishment have called in their own private militia, to control the crowd. One of the darkest days in Manchester’s history is about to unfold – and the Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan are right in the thick of it. (more…)
Big Finish Folly, Part 18a – Aquitaine, by Simon Barnard and Paul Morris
Today should be much like every other day for Hargreaves, the computer consciousness that co-ordinates daily life aboard the spaceship Aquitaine, stationed on the outer fringes of a black hole. Water the plants, run the diagnostics, cook the Captain’s breakfast; then tidy the plates away, rotate the ship, clean the windows of the observation deck. When at last the day’s work is done, Hargreaves will dim the lights in the sleeping quarters. But no-one will sleep aboard the Aquitaine tonight. Because the Aquitaine’s crew is missing.
But today will be different. Today, a space/time ship called the TARDIS will materialise in the botanical section, bringing the Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan aboard the Aquitaine. Together, they’ll seek to discover the truth of what happened to Hargreaves’ crew…
We take a quick break from the Seventh Doctor’s continuing chronology to dip back into the adventures of Peter Davison’s Tardis Team. The Waters of Amsterdam is set between Time Flight and Arc of Infinity – so, in that nebulous space where all of Five’s solo adventures with Nyssa so far have been squeezed in – and therefore, in audio terms, just before The Elite. The other two stories in the trilogy can be comfortably placed post-Children of Seth. While it’s a shame not to have the entire crew aboard (no Turlough this time), The Entropy Plague did wrap up that particular storyline fairly definitively. Onwards, then!
Big Finish Folly, Part 16b – The Waters of Amsterdam, by Jonathan Morris
Reunited with the Doctor and Nyssa, Tegan joins them on a trip to Amsterdam’s Rijkmuseum to see a new exhibition of the work of Rembrandt van Rijn, featuring his drawings of “Vessels of the Stars”. The Doctor is astonished to discover that they are designs for spaceships that would actually work, and decides to pop back to the Dutch Golden Age for a quiet word with Rembrandt – but the world-weary artist is no mood to help.
Meanwhile, strange forces are swirling in the canals, creatures from ancient myth, the watery, goblin-like Nix. What is their connection to the mysterious Countess Mach-Teldak – and to the events of Tegan’s life during her year away from the Doctor? (more…)
First off, it’s worth saying congratulations to all at Big Finish for reaching 200 releases on the Main Range of Doctor Who audio adventures alone. The Main Range is the core of the continuing adventures of the “classic” Doctors, as well as the main focus of the Folly. It’s not the only range we dip into, of course – the Lost Stories, Companion Chronicles, Eighth Doctor Adventures (eventually…) and more recently the themed boxsets (the Fifth Doctor Box, for example) have all wormed their way into this chronology – but seriously: two hundred adventures. There is quite literally something for everyone, whether you want totalitarian pepperpots, dark manipulative shenanigans, light-hearted romps, or journeys through canon and time.
And speaking of the latter…
Big Finish Folly, Part ∞ – The Secret History, by Eddie Robson
The Doctor should be taking Steven and Vicki to Ravenna, where General Belisarius has just won a great victory for the Roman Emperor Justinian. But this young man in cricket whites and blazer isn’t the Doctor, is he? Who is the time-sensitive girl Sophia? And why has Steven been spirited away to Constantinople by the scholarly and faintly sinister Quintus? There’s more at stake here than just the Roman Empire – the Doctor himself may rise or fall before this race is run… (more…)