Doctor Who

Illuminate! Illuminate!

Big Finish Folly, Part 106e – Order of the Daleks, by Mike Tucker

Order of the DaleksWe’re still on our semi-regular peregrinations around the previous incarnations here, before carrying on with the Seventh Doctor’s Main Range adventures. And the Dalek stories are turning up like buses at the moment. Ol’ Sixey and Mrs Clarke feature against the most intriguing Dalek concept we’ve seen in the last few years…

In the Galactic Census, idyllic Strellin is recorded as a Grade Three planet – its inhabitants possessing neither advanced technology, nor knowledge of other worlds. Accordingly, Strellin is protected: landings by off-worlders are strictly prohibited. Unless, of course, those off-worlders are officials of the Galactic Census itself, come to investigate the origin of a mysterious sub-space signal – a signal no native of Strellin should be able to send…

Breaking all local by-laws, the time-travelling Doctor and his companion L/Wren Mrs Constance Clarke (AWOL) have only just landed on Strellin, too. But they and the Census officials aren’t the only off-worlders to have come here. Inside a nearby monastery, the monks of the reclusive Brotherhood of the Black Petal are guarding a strange and terrible secret. Something that might bring disaster not just to Strellin, but to every civilised world in the galaxy! (more…)

Mirror (Dalek) Empire

Big Finish Folly, Part 15f – Dalek Soul, by Guy Adams

Alien Heart / Dalek SoulOn 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…)

Spiders From… Traxana?

Big Finish Folly, Part 15e – Alien Heart, by Stephen Cole

Alien Heart / Dalek SoulIn 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?

Well…

(more…)

Vampires on the Beach

Big Finish Folly, Part 0E – Zaltys, by Matthew J Elliott

ZaltysIn 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…)

Join Our Club

Big Finish Folly, Part 0D – The Contingency Club, by Phil Mulryne

The Contingency ClubLondon, 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…)

Starry-Eyed

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

The Star MenAstronomical 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…)

HP Sourced

Big Finish Folly, Part 163 – Lurkers at Sunlight’s Edge, by Marty Ross

Lurkers at Sunlight's Edge1934: the TARDIS lands on a snowy island off the coast of Alaska – one that wasn’t there four years, three months and six days ago, according to the Doctor. The island is dominated by a vast, twisted citadel. Inside it, the Lurkers lie dreaming.  It’s said when they wake the world will end…

Led by the ruthless Emerson Whytecrag, an expedition has come to the citadel to exploit the horrors in its ebon-dark interior. Horrors just like those published in the pages of the pulp magazine Shuddersome Tales, where a hero’s only reward is madness, death… or worse.

Horrors that the Doctor and his companion are about to wake up. (more…)

Nobody Can Live Forever

Big Finish Folly, Part 162 – A Death in the Family, by Steven Hall

A Death in the Family“The future folds into the past.  The homeless hero has fallen.  Now begins the time of three tales: The Tale of the Herald, The Tale of the Hidden Woman and The Tale of the Final Speaker.  When the last tale is told, all the lights shall fail.  The world will end.”

21st century London: Nobody No One, the extra-dimensional Word Lord, is again running amok.  Only this time, he’s unbeatable, and a terrible tragedy is about to unfold… (more…)

Project: Destiny

Big Finish Folly, Part 161 – Project: Destiny, by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright

Project: Destiny1999: Leaving her infant son behind, a young mother named Cassandra Schofield departs Bolton, seeking a better life amid the lights of London.

2004: Despite the best efforts of the time-travelling Doctor, ‘Cassie’ Schofield dies on Dartmoor, a vampirised victim of the sinister organisation called The Forge.

2021: All grown up, and a nurse at St Gart’s Hospital, Thomas Hector Schofield – known as ‘Hex’ – meets, and becomes a companion to, that time-travelling Doctor… but remains unaware that his alien friend knew his mother, and watched her die.

1854: In the Crimean War, Hex takes a bullet, and is seriously injured. The Doctor promises to return him to St Gart’s.

2025: Now. In a London ravaged by a deadly contagion… destiny awaits. (more…)

Crimea River

Big Finish Folly, Part 160 – Angel of Scutari, by Paul Sutton

The Angel of ScutariOctober 1854: As the British Army charges into catastrophe in the Crimea, the Minister for War sends Miss Florence Nightingale to take charge of the field hospital at Scutari. But there’s already an angel of mercy working with the wounded at Scutari. A first-rate fellow who’s turned up out of the blue. Goes by the name of Schofield; Thomas Hector Schofield…

With the Doctor and Ace lost in the siege of Sebastopol, Hex has rediscovered his calling. But there’s cannon to the left of him, cannon to the right of him – and a deranged spycatcher-in-chief on his case. (more…)