Blood Of The Daleks, Part 1

Doctor Who: Blood Of The Daleks Part 1The Doctor finds himself unexpectedly saddled with a new companion, the aacerbic Lucie Miller, who’s not too happy to be with the Doctor, either. Unable to return her to her own time, the two mismatched companions find themselves on the planet Red Rocket Rising, where a natural catastrophe has pretty much destroyed the society. But hope seems to arrive in the form of friendly aliens called the Daleks, who ally themselves with Acting President Klint. The Doctor tries to stop the Daleks, but when they realize he is on Red Rocket Rising, they set a price for their cooperation: the Doctor.

Order this CDwritten by Steve Lyons
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by ERS

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Katarina Olsson (Headhunter), Anita Dobson (Eileen Klint), Hayley Atwell (Asha), Kenneth Cranham (Tom Cardwell), Nicholas Briggs (Daleks)

Notes: Producer/Director Nicholas Briggs has also voiced the Daleks in previous Big Finish productions, as well as the current BBC series.

Timeline: after The Girl Who Never Was and before Blood Of The Daleks Part 2

LogBook entry & review by Philip R. Frey Read More

Blood Of The Daleks, Part 2

Doctor Who: Blood Of The Daleks Part 2The Daleks begin to show their true colors while the mad scientist Martez (in the body of his assistant Asha) has revealed his own version of the Daleks, built from salvaged technology. The Doctor realizes that it is these “new” Daleks that are the reason the “true” Daleks have come to Red Rocket Rising. As an all-out war breaks out between the two factions, the Doctor finds himself with little choice but to choose sides in the battle, in the hopes that the lesser of the two evils wins out in the end.

Order this CDwritten by Steve Lyons
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by ERS

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Anita Dobson (Eileen Klint), Hayley Atwell (Asha), Kenneth Cranham (Tom Cardwell), Katarina Olsson (Headhunter), Nicholas Briggs (Daleks)

Timeline: after Blood Of The Daleks Part 1 and before The Horror Of Glam Rock

LogBook entry & review by Philip R. Frey Read More

Horror Of Glam Rock

Doctor Who: The Horror Of Glam RockThe Doctor tries to get Lucie back to her own time, but lands in 1974 in the middle of the Glam Rock fad. On a wintery night, they find themselves holed up in a diner with a variety of music-business types, including a manager and his up-and-coming young brother/sister act, Trisha and Tommy Tomorrow. But there’s also a never-was ex-singer with an odd connection to Lucie. And who are “The Only Ones”? And what do they want from Tommy Tomorrow?

Order this CDwritten by Paul Magrs
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Tim Sutton

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Bernard Cribbins (Arnold Korns), Una Stubbs (Flo), Stephen Gately (Tommy Tomorrow), Clare Buckfield (Trisha Tomorrow), Lindsay Hardwick (Pat), Katarina Olsson (Headhunter)

Notes: Bernard Cribbins previously portrayed Tom Campbell, the storyline replacement for Ian Chesterton, in the second Doctor Who theatrical film, Daleks – Invasion Earth 2150 AD. The title of this story is a play on The Horror Of Fang Rock, a popular Fourth Doctor story.

Timeline: after Blood Of The Daleks Part 2 and before Immortal Beloved

LogBook entry & review by Philip R. Frey Read More

Immortal Beloved

Doctor Who: Immortal BelovedThe Doctor and Lucie find themselves literally among the gods, as they land on a planet apparently ruled by Zeus, Hera and a host of other gods. But how did they get there? And given the fact that they clearly age, how do they maintain their immortality? When Zeus’ son Kalkin falls inlove with a young girl named Ararti, it sets in motion a chain of events that will alter the landscape forever.

Order this CDwritten by Jonathan Clements
directed by Jason Haigh-Ellery
music by ERS

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Ian McNeice (Zeus), Elspet Gray (Hera), Jennifer Higham (Sararti), Anthony Spargo (Kalkin), David Dobson (Tayden), Jake McGann (Ganymede)

Notes: Elspet Gray portrayed Chancellor Thalia in the original Doctor Who story Arc Of Infinity. Jake McGann is Paul McGann’s son. Ian McNiece would go on to play William Churchill in Doctor Who television episodes starring Matt Smith, and would return to audio in Big Finish’s fourth Doctor range in Renaissance Man.

Timeline: after Horror Of Glam Rock and before Phobos

LogBook entry & review by Philip R. Frey Read More

Phobos

Doctor Who: PhobosOn Phobos, one of the moons of Mars, tourists engage in a wide variety of extreme sports. Key to the thrillseekers is bungie-jumping into a wormhole found on the surface. But there’s a problem: tourists keep disappearing or winding up dead. Kai, who runs the place with his longtime girlfried Eris, says it’s all caused by monsters from the wormhole and tries to warn everyone away, to no avail. But tensions among the guests begin to run high and even Kai himself seems somehow tied in to the danger. When the Doctor and Lucie show up, things begin to come to a boil and it’s anyone’s guess who’ll come out alive.

Order this CDwritten by Eddie Robson
directed by Barnaby Edwards
music by ERS

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Katarina Olsson (Amy / Headhunter), Timothy West (Kai), Nerys Hughes (Eris), Ben Silverstone (Drew), John Schwab (Hayd), Tim Sutton (Farl)

Notes: Nerys Hughes previously appeared in the Doctor Who adventure Kinda.

Timeline: after Immortal Beloved and before No More Lies

LogBook entry & review by Philip R. Frey Read More

No More Lies

Doctor Who: No More LiesThe Doctor and Lucie are entangled with a rogue time traveller named Zimmerman who escapes, leaving them at the mercy of an group of angry aliens, bent on finding the cause of the time trouble, no matter the cost. But when the Doctor and Lucie finally catch up to Zimmerman, they find him happily married and enjoying a garden party that seems to go on forever. Only Zimmerman can end the time loop and thereby save the space/time continuum. But even though he has denounced his former life, he is disinclined to help, as ending the time loop would cause the death of his beloved wife, leading to a standstill between the Doctor, Zimmerman and the Tar-Modowk, who get ever closer.

Order this CDwritten by Paul Sutton
directed by Barnaby Edwards
music by Tim Sutton

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Nigel Havers (Nick), Julia McKenzie (Rachel), Tom Chadbon (Gordon), Tim Hudson (Tar-Modowk Leader), Katarina Olsson (Headhunter)

Notes: Tom Chadbon previously appeared in the Doctor Who stories City Of Death and The Mysterious Planet, as well as playing a major role in the second “season” of Sarah Jane Smith audios, also produced by Big Finish Productions.

Timeline: after Phobos and before Human Resources Part 1

LogBook entry & review by Philip R. Frey Read More

Human Resources – Part 1

Doctor Who: Human Resources Part 1The Headhunter has finally gotten Lucie and puts her to work…in an office. Of course, it’s in Telford and she thought she was going to work in London, but it’s a nice enough place and she settles in quickly, having easily gotten over her dreams of travelling through time. Meanwhile, the Doctor finds that his TARDIS won’t work without Lucie (handiwork of the Time Lords) and accepts a time ring as a means to locating her. But Lucie is already finding trouble and even once she gets her memory back via the Doctor, she can’t keep from getting fired. As this involves her finding herself in the middle of an alien jungle during major hostilities, its hardly back to the dole queue on Monday. When the Doctor learns the sinister truth behind the “company” for whom Lucie was working, he tries to throw a spanner in the works only to be thrown himself by who is trying to do business with them. They’re a group with whom the Doctor has had plenty of experience and they give new meaning to the term “hostile takeover”.

Order this CDwritten by Eddie Robson
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by ERS

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Katarina Olsson (Headhunter), Roy Marsden (Hulbert), Nickolas Grace (Straxus), Owen Brenman (Jerry), Louise Fullerton (Karen), Andrew Wisher (Malcolm), Nicholas Briggs (Cybermen)

Notes: Roy Marsden later appeared in the 2007 TV story Smith And Jones.

Timeline: after No More Lies and before Human Resources Part 2

LogBook entry & review by Philip R. Frey Read More

Human Resources – Part 2

Doctor Who: Human Resources Part 2With the Doctor and Lucie embroiled in a conflict with warmongers on one side and the inhuman Cybermen on the other, the Doctor isn’t sure who he should back. But even as he noodles his way through that question, many more are raised. Who is responsible for this war being fought? Why is it being run in such a peculiar fashion? And what was so important about Lucie that so many people were making so much fuss about her? The answers lead all the way back to the Doctor’s home planet of Gallifrey and, as usual, he’s not going to like them…

Order this CDwritten by Eddie Robson
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by ERS

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Katarina Olsson (Headhunter), Roy Marsden (Hulbert), Nickolas Grace (Straxus), Owen Brenman (Jerry), Louise Fullerton (Karen), Andrew Wisher (Malcolm), Nicholas Briggs (Cybermen)

Timeline: after Human Resources Part 1 and before Dead London

LogBook entry & review by Philip R. Frey Read More

Dead London

Doctor Who: Dead LondonThe Doctor and Lucie travel to 21st century London so Lucie can conquer her most dangerous foe yet: her urge to go shopping. But when London changes around them, both of the time travelers are in danger. Lucie finds herself in London at the height of World War I, with zeppelin bombing runs an imminent danger, while the Doctor’s court appearance for a TARDIS parking violation becomes a more deadly affair when he winds up in an 18th century court. What’s even stranger than the time shifts is the fact that the residents of London are not only aware of them, but take them in their stride. With the Doctor sentenced to be hanged, time is running out to find out what’s happened to London, in the past and the present.

Order this CDwritten by Pat Mills
directed by Barnaby Edwards
music by Simon Robinson

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Rupert Vansittart (Sepulchre), Clare Buckfield (Spring-Heeled Sophie), Richard Laing (Clerk), Katarina Olsson (Yellow Beryl)

Timeline: after Human Resources Part 2 and before Max Warp

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

Max Warp

Doctor Who: Max WarpThe Doctor and Lucie arrive at a live taping of the hit spacecraft hot-rodding show, Max Warp… just in time to see the show’s seasoned test driver plunge to his apparent death when he loses control of a Kith ship and it slams into a nearby moon. Immediately the Doctor is convinced that the ship was sabotaged, and its pilot murdered. He and Lucie split up to try to narrow down the list of suspects – and Lucie ends up with the unenviable task of going undercover as a new host of Max Warp, and while the regular hosts think she’s just providing something for the dads to watch, she’s trying to figure out of either of them is a killer. The Doctor focuses on the intrigue between the humans and the Kith, who exist in an uneasy truce, with some on both sides ready to resume a state of war. An assassination attempt on the contentious Kith ambassador may be the last straw before shots are fired… until the Doctor realizes that something else has been happening all along.

Order this CDwritten by Jonathan Morris
directed by Barnaby Edwards
music by ERS

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Graeme Garden (Geoffrey Vantage), James Fleet (O’Reilley), Duncan James (Timbo), Nick Brimble (The Kith), Samantha Hughes (President Varlon), Katarina Olsson (Judd Gilbride)

Timeline: after Dead London and before Brave New Town

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

Brave New Town

Doctor Who: Brave NEw TownSeptember, 1991: the TARDIS brings the Doctor and Lucie to a town which seems to be frozen in time. With no electricity, nothing here has been cleaned for years, and the friendly locals have no problem with the idea that yesterday’s date was the same as today’s – just like tomorrow’s will be. Surrounding the town is a bleak desert, though everyone living there swears that the tide is out. One thing disrupts the calm here: armored vehicles routinely patrol the area, crossing the desert that shouldn’t be there, and all the locals have to do to avoid detection is stand still. Lucie is captured by one of the patrols, and discovers that their occupants seem fairly certain that it’s 2008. The Doctor, trying to track down a missing local girl, discovers that the town – and the desert – are actually deep inside the borders of Uzbekistan, and that the locals are anything but. They’re Autons who, without control from the Nestene Consciousness, have blended in to the point that they think they’re human. But somewhere in the desert, a Nestene control unit is trying to re-establish contact with its Auton army, and the innocuous townsfolk may justify the armed presence patrolling their home.

Order this CDwritten by Jonathan Clements
directed by Jason Haigh-Ellery
music by ERS

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Derek Griffiths (Jason Taylor), Adrian Dunbar (McCarthy), Lorna Want (Sally Taylor), Nick Wilton (PC Sharp / Karimov), Katarina Olsson (Margaret / Vitas)

Notes: This marks the Autons’ first appearance in a Big Finish audio production; they had already appeared as both the first villain and the first classic villain in 2005’s Rose, the first episode of the new TV series. The Autons also inspired a trilogy of fan-made video productions in the 1990s, though the interpretation of them seen there is very different from either Rose or Brave New Town.

Timeline: after Max Warp and before The Skull Of Sobek

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

The Skull Of Sobek

Doctor Who: The Skull Of SobekOn the very blue planet Indigo 3, the Doctor and Lucie find a monastery in the midst of the planetary desert – and they find themselves beseiged within its wills when someone starts shooting at them. The monks and nuns there, however, are too busy trying to cover up a grisly murder – possibly more than one – to really extend any hospitality to the time travelers. When reptilian warriors begin to manifest themselves in the lower levels of the monastery, the Doctor deduces that they are the killers – and that they’re just warming up to doing something really nasty. It turns out that the warriors represent two factions who have been at each other’s throats for hundreds of years, dating back to the beginnings of their hostilities on the feudal planet Sobek. One of the alien combatants decides that the Doctor will be his chosen champion, whether he wants to be or not. The other picks an even more unlikely champion – Lucie – and pits the two against each other in a ritual fight to the death.

Order this CDwritten by Marc Platt
directed by Barnaby Edwards
music by ERS

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Art Malik (Abbot Absolute), Barbara Flynn (Sister Chalice), Giles Watling (The Old Prince); Sean Biggerstaff (Snabb), Mikey O’Connor (Dannahill), Katarina Olsson (Sister Thrift)

Timeline: after Brave New Town and before Grand Theft Cosmos

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

Grand Theft Cosmos

Doctor Who: Grand Theft CosmosThe Doctor and Lucie are aboard a train bound for Sweden in the 1800s; also on the train are priceless artifacts by an artist named Tardelli. This piques the Doctor’s interest: he has followed Tardelli through time and space, removing his artwork, which has a psychically active component that tends to manifest itself as a malign influence wherever it takes root. But two other old acquaintances are aboard the train as well: the Headhunter and Karen, Lucie’s former co-worker who seems to have been liberated from a dark destiny to serve as the Headhunter’s sidekick. They’re also there to pilfer Tardelli’s latest masterpiece, a hefty black diamond, until the Doctor and Lucie intervene in their plans. The two sets of time travelers are in a race to see who can steal the diamond first: the Doctor wants to prevent it from depositing an evil psychic influence on Earth, and the Headhunter’s motive is pure profit… but she hasn’t even told Karen what the real job is, or who they’re really working for.

Order this CDwritten by Eddie Robson
directed by Barnaby Edwards
music by ERS

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Michael Maloney (Simonson), Christopher Benjamin (Tardelli), Colin Spaull (Henrik), Sebastian Armesto (Anders), Katarina Olsson (The Headhunter), Louise Fullerton (Karen)

Timeline: after The Skull Of Sobek and before The Zygon Who Fell To Earth

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green

Review: Doctor Who is infinitely adaptable, capable of stretching to encompass nearly any story format. But Grand Theft Cosmos may well be a Doctor Who first: I don’t think anyone’s ever tried to do an Ocean’s Eleven-style caper story (albeit scaled down to TARDIS’ Two) with the Doctor and company. Read More

The Zygon Who Fell To Earth

Doctor Who: The Zygon Who Fell To EarthThe Doctor and Lucie travel to 1984 to pay another visit to Lucie’s Aunty Pat, and Lucie discovers that Pat’s married to a former folk singer and running a secluded hotel – a marriage that Lucie’s never heard of before. Two other visitors to the hotel also catch the Doctor’s eye; Lucie tries to spy on them, and discovers that they’re Zygons – aliens who can shapeshift to resemble any human that they kidnap and put into their equipment… a fate that Pat’s husband Trevor has suffered, and a fate that now awaits Lucie. The duplicated Lucie tries to throw the Doctor off-course, but even with her interference, he soon discovers that Lucie’s Uncle Trevor is a Zygon warlord who has defected to Earth, taking with him the secrets needed to launch a terrifying new Zygon invasion. Trevor’s fellow Zygons want those secrets, and they’ll do anything, from exposing Trevor’s true identity to killing the human woman he has fallen in love with, to get them.

Order this CDwritten by Paul Magrs
directed by Barnaby Edwards
music by ERS

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Steven Pacey (Trevor), Malcolm Stoddard (Urtak), Tim Brooke-Taylor (Mims), Lynsey Hardwick (Aunty Pat), Katarina Olsson (Grakus)

Notes: This is the first Big Finish audio appearance for the Zygons, who made their TV debut in the Tom Baker four-parter Terror Of The Zygons (which established the ground rules involving Zygon shape-shifting and the Zygon’s monstrous pet Skarasen creatures). Guest star Steven Pacey has had a long career on the musical stage in Britain, but he also has a science fiction pedigree as well, having starred as the impetuous Del Tarrant in the third and fourth seasons of the BBC space opera Blake’s 7.

Timeline: after Grand Theft Cosmos and before Sisters Of The Flame

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green

Review: Doctor Who doesn’t do too many stories of doomed love, but The Zygon Who Fell To Earth is a good one, with one of the best casts Big Finish has assembled for an eighth Doctor / Lucie story and an exciting pace that doesn’t let down the emotional turning points of the story. There’s also a humdinger of a twist at the end. Read More

Sisters Of The Flame

Doctor Who: Sisters Of The FlameAfter a near-miss with the TIme Lords’ time scoop in the vortex, the TARDIS materializes in the cargo hold of a space freighter. The Doctor and Lucie are immediately ambushed the moment they set foot on the ship; Lucie awakens in a prison cell, with no idea who took the Doctor or where he was taken, and is questioned by a large, centipede-like police officer named Rosto, who doesn’t seem inclined to believe a word she says. Straxus appears, asks Lucie about the Doctor’s whereabouts, and then infuriates her by leaving her stranded in Rosto’s custody. A woman appears and attempts to kidnap Lucie, but when her cover story slips, Rosto comes to the rescue. Lucie’s would-be kidnapper vanishes into thin air, but not before Rosto identifies her as the leader of the raiding party that took the Doctor. Rosto and Lucie follow the clues and discover that the woman was a member of an obscure mystic sect called the Sisterhood of Karn. Rosto and Lucie travel to Karn, hoping that they’ll find the Doctor there, unaware that a much larger crisis looms, endangering the whole universe.

Order this CDwritten by Nicholas Briggs
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by ERS

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Kenneth Colley (Zarodnix), Alexander Siddig (Rosto), Nickolas Grace (Straxus), Barry McCarthy (Bulek / Eurelz Captain), Nicola Weeks (Haspira / Trell), Katarina Olsson (Orthena / Trell), Barnaby Edwards (Galactinet)

Notes: The Sisterhood of Karn was last encountered in 1976’s The Brain Of Morbius, where they helped and hindered the Doctor in his fourth incarnation as he battled the revived Time Lord dictator, Morbius. Guest star Alexander Siddig is practically a household name among science fiction fans, having co-starred as Dr. Julian Bashir in all seven seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; after returning to Britain from America, Siddig (the stage name of Siddig El Fadil) has returned to theater and TV work.

Timeline: after The Zygon Who Fell To Earth and before The Vengeance Of Morbius

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green

Review: In the tradition of the new TV series, the eighth Doctor / Lucie audio adventures here begin the build-up to an epic end-of-season adventure. With this second “season” having been released directly to CD before being licensed to BBC7 for radio broadcast, Big Finish had a somewhat freer hand in deciding which classic series villains to revive (the first “season” commissioned by BBC Radio stuck with the somewhat obvious Daleks and Cybermen). Read More

The Vengeance Of Morbius

Doctor Who: The Vengeance Of MorbiusThe Doctor and Lucie are reunited by the Sisterhood of Karn, but the Sisters plan to summarily execute them both, eliminating the Doctor as a potential subject for gene-splicing experiments to revive Morbius. However, the Sisters have miscalculated: the Doctor isn’t the only Time Lord available to become an unwitting DNA donor to revive Morbius. Forced down on Karn, Straxus becomes the donor and Rosto is enslaved. The new reign of Morbius begins. The Doctor and Lucie are whisked away to Gallifrey, already under siege from Morbius’ forces. Unsurprisingly, the Time Lords respond to the crisis by going into hiding, while the Doctor and Lucie use the TARDIS to go to Karn. With the Time Lords cowering, the Doctor is ready to take Lucie’s advice: he plans to cross his own timeline and prevent Morbius’ rebirth from taking place. But with Gallifrey’s Eye of Harmony faltering under attack from Morbius, the Doctor’s TARDIS misses the intended temporal destination and arrives ten years into Morbius’ new reign of terror.

Order this CDwritten by Nicholas Briggs
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by ERS

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Samuel West (Revenant), Kenneth Colley (Zarodnix), Alexander Siddig (Rosto), Nickolas Grace (Straxus), Barry McCarthy (Bulek / Eurelz Captain), Nicola Weeks (Haspira / Trell), Katarina Olsson (Orthena / Trell), Barnaby Edwards (Galactinet)

Timeline: after Sisters Of The Flame and before Orbis

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green

Review: The idea of a rematch with Morbius, possibly the most unhinged member of the rather crowded pantheon of unhinged Time Lords, was a promising one; the fourth Doctor, after all, had only survived a previous battle with Morbius by the skin of his teeth. Add Gallifrey-under-siege to the mix, and surely The Vengeance Of Morbius couldn’t disappoint. Read More

Orbis

Doctor Who: OrbisLucie has resumed her boring, pre-time-travel life in Blackpool; after all, there’s no way anyone the Doctor could’ve survived his battle with Morbius on Karn. But the Headhunter seems to disagree, strongly enough that she appears at Lucie’s door and shoots her. The Headhunter also has the TARDIS in her possession, and with Lucie aboard, sets the timeship on a course for the planet Orbis – a world where she says the Doctor is very much alive. Lucie finds the Doctor living among the Celtans, a jellyfish-like-race which exists in an uneasy truce with the warlike Molluscari…and she also finds that the Doctor has spent six centuries here and has completely forgotten her. Despite this, Lucie tries to help him save the Celtans from a new Molluscari attack. And in the background, the Headhunter is playing all sides against the middle, regardless of how many lives will be lost as a result.

Order this CDwritten by Alan Barnes and Nicholas Briggs
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Andy Hardwick

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Andrew Sachs (Crassostrea), Laura Solon (Selta), Katarina Olsson (Headhunter), Beth Chalmers (Saccostrea), Barry McCarthy (Yanos)

Notes: The “time bullets” used by the Headhunter seem to have a similar effect to the slow-motion gunshot wound suffered by Gwen in the Torchwood episode They Keep Killing Suzie. The Doctor admits here that he’s lost track of his own age, and in any case he’s guilty of rounding it up or down to account for relativistic time, which is a handy throwaway explanation for why the tenth Doctor is only 900 years old, while the seventh Doctor – in his first adventure – was 953 years old, and the third Doctor was “over a thousand years old”.

Timeline: after The Vengeance Of Morbius and before Hothouse

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

Hothouse

Doctor Who: HothouseThe Doctor and Lucie are undercover, having arrived on a drought-stricken future Earth where former music star Alex Marlowe is using his wealth and influence to lead a radical environmentalist movement that has increasingly become associated with violent protests and acts. Lucie has wormed her way into Marlowe’s organization, while the Doctor poses as a member of the World Ecology Bureau for a surprise inspection. What the Doctor discovers at Marlowe’s facility is horrifying: Krynoid seed pods have been acquired and genetically re-engineered. Marlowe is aware of the Krynoid’s killer instincts to consume all nearby life, and hopes that the Doctor will help him continue his experiments to create, among other things, a rainforest that can “fight back.” To ensure the Doctor’s cooperation, Marlowe decides that Lucie should be the next human to “volunteer” to be infected by one of his genetically altered Krynoid seed pods. Unfortunately for Earth, however, Marlowe’s attempts to change the Krynoids becomes a battle against nature that he can’t win.

Order this CDwritten by Jonathan Morris
directed by Barnaby Edwards
music by Martin Johnson

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Nigel Planer (Alex Marlowe), Lysette Anthony (Hazel Bright), Adna Sablyich (Christina Ondrak), Stuart Crossman (Stefan Radek), Barnaby Edwards (Newsreader)

Notes: The Krynoids were last encountered in The Seeds Of Doom (1976), which is where the Doctor – in his fourth incarnation – encountered both the World Ecology Bureau and Sir Colin Thackeray, both of whom get a mention in Hothouse.

Timeline: after Orbis and before The Beast Of Orlok

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

The Beast Of Orlok

Doctor Who: The Beast Of OrlokThe Doctor and Lucie arrive in Germany in 1827, just in time to find the wreckage of a coach, its passengers wounded or dead and its horses literally torn to pieces. One of the passengers is dazed, but not actually hurt; this man is introduced as Baron Teufel, obviously a lucky survivor of whatever happened. Naturally, the local constabulary believes that the Doctor and Lucie are the most likely suspects, though the Baron blames the incident on the legendary beast of Orlok, a piece of local folklore. As the Doctor tries to get to the bottom of the attack, which clearly shows signs of a power beyond current human technology, Lucie teams up with a particularly bright philosophy student and does some investigating of her own. The Doctor finds a lab loaded with technology beyond the 19th century, and discovers the Baron is behind it… and the Baron also somehow knows that the Doctor is a Time Lord.

Order this CDwritten by Barnaby Edwards
directed by Barnaby Edwards
music by Andy Hardwick

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Miriam Margolyes (Frau Tod), Samuel Barnett (Hans), Peter Guinness (Baron Teufel), Nick Wilton (Otto Pausbacken), Trevor Cooper (Judah), Alison Thea-Skot (Greta), Nicholas Briggs (Lugner)

Timeline: after Hothouse and before Wirrn Dawn

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

Wirrn Dawn

Doctor Who: Wirrn DawnThe Doctor and Lucie find themselves in immediate danger when the TARDIS lands aboard a human warship in the distant future; not only does the bedraggled crew find the newcomers supicious, but the ship is under attack by Wirrn. Having encountered them before, the Doctor is able to lend a hand, but it’s too late: the ship is critically damaged, and the time travelers have to don space suits to abandon ship – and hope that the TARDIS will make its way to the planet below with the wreckage of the ship. On the planet, a thriving Wirrn colony awaits its new prey, but the Doctor suspects that there’s more to this conflict than meets the eye. Left on her own with a wounded admiral and a paranoid, trigger-happy soldier, Lucie is about to discover if she’s learned enough from the Doctor to keep herself alive.

Order this CDwritten by Nicholas Briggs
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Jamie Robertson

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Colin Salmon (Trooper Salway), Daniel Anthony (DeLong), Liz Sutherland (Farroll), Ian Brooker (Winslet), Beth Chalmers (Queen)

Notes: Wirrn Dawn is the first Big Finish appearance of the parasitic, insectoid Wirrn, whose only TV appearance to date was in Tom Baker’s second story, the all-time Doctor Who classic The Ark In Space. The Wirrn have already appeared in spinoff audio dramas produced by BBV. Also making his Big Finish debut here is Daniel Anthony, the actor who fans of the Sarah Jane Adventures will recognize as gung-ho series regular Clyde Langer; with David Tennant’s appearance in that show’s third season, Anthony has now worked alongside two Doctors.

Timeline: after The Beast Of Orlok and before The Scapegoat

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

The Scapegoat

Doctor Who: The ScapegoatThe TARDIS brings the Doctor and Lucie to Paris for a night on the town, but turbulence in the time vortex alters the date of their arrival, and the two time travelers beome separated in Nazi-occupied wartime Paris. The Doctor draws the attention of the Gestapo patrols, while Lucie is forced to begin her career on the theatre stage run by the eccentric – and very, very non-human – family Baroque. These goatlike creatures have the technology to disguise themselves as humans, but why hide at the epicenter of one of human history’s most violent conflicts? And why must their grotesque show go on each night, climaxing with the grisly death of one of their own? In the meantime, the Doctor is accused by the Nazis of being an enemy spy with a top-secret aircraft capable of disguising itself. The Doctor finds this notion amusing, until he realizes that he can’t locate the TARDIS either…

Order this CDwritten by Pat Mills
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Jamie Robertson

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Samantha Bond (Mother Baroque), Clifford Rose (Major Treptow), Christopher Fairbank (Doc Baroque), Paul Rhys (Max Paul), Thorston Manderlay (Lieutenant), Beth Chalmers (Helene)

Notes: Another Sarah Jane Adventures actor appears here; Samantha Bond has appeared several times as one of Sarah’s arch enemies, Mrs. Wormwood, in the series pilot Invasion Of The Bane and Enemy Of The Bane.

Timeline: after Wirrn Dawn and before The Cannibalists

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The Cannibalists

Doctor Who: The CannibalistsThe TARDIS brings the Doctor and Lucie to a space city which, according to the TARDIS sensors, is devoid of life. That doesn’t mean it’s completely uninhabited, however – the time travelers are quickly cornered by a band of marauding robots. A barrier separates the two, allowing Lucie to escape to safety, while the Doctor has to talk his way out of danger with a little help from his sonic screwdriver and a helpful cleaning robot who hasn’t joined his savage brethren. Lucie finds herself in the company of the Assemblers, a band of elder robots so pacifistic that they’re in constant danger from the Cannibalists, the all-consuming robots who see any other robot or life form as a source of spare parts. In the middle of the seemingly endless conflict between these two groups are Servo, a meek maintenance droid who simply wants to carry on the work of tending to the city’s needs, and Minerva, an access point for the city itself who could grant immense power to anyone, even to the point of resetting the entire system. Soon, the race is on to see who can control Minerva and rule the city… and the Doctor isn’t sure that either group has earned that power.

Order this CDwritten by Jonathan Morris
directed by Jason Haigh-Ellery
music by Andy Hardwick

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Phil Davies (Titus), Phill Jupitus (Servo), Nigel Lambert (Domitian/Diode), Teddy Kempner (Macrinus/Crusher), Oliver Senton (Probus/Ripper), Charlotte Fields (Minerva), Beth Chalmers (Elevator Voice)

Timeline: after The Scapegoat and before The Eight Truths

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The Eight Truths

Doctor Who: The Eight TruthsThe Doctor and Lucie visit Earth a few years into Lucie’s future, at a time when a new religion called the Eightfold Truth has gained a foothold in Britain. The Doctor goes to assist scientists with a space probe that has mysteriously gone silent, while Lucie goes shopping and encounters her old nemesis, Karen, last seen with the Headhunter. Karen has joined the Eightfold Truth and says it has turned her life around, and at her urging, Lucie goes along to meet the other members of the Truth… and with the help of a blue crystal, they somehow make Lucie “realize” that her travels with the Doctor have been aimless, without purpose, and perhaps even part of a larger, sinister plan on the Doctor’s part. She turns her back on the Time Lord, though he’s not aware of the Eightfold Truth until he sees a TV interview with a journalist who hopes her new book will expose the movement as a cult built on a fraud. Gradually, the Doctor realizes that there’s a link between the Eightfold Truth and the failed space probe – and it’s only then that he discovers that Lucie has joined the Truth. Within that religious movement, an alien presence is gathering the power it will need to take over Earth… an old enemy who is working for an even older enemy of the Doctor, setting a trap for humanity and its constant defender.

Order this CDwritten by Eddie Robson
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Martin Johnson

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Stephen Moore (Clark Goodman), Sophie Winkleman (Kelly Westwood), Sanjeev Bhaskar (Dr. Avishka Sangakkara), Katarina Olsson (The Headhunter), Kerry Godliman (Karen), Richard Earl (Rob), Anthony Spargo (David), Beth Chalmers (Queen), Barnaby Edwards (Newsreader)

Notes: Sophie Winkleman also guest starred on Red Dwarf, as the crew’s holographic nemesis in the 2009 revival miniseries Back To Earth. The Doctor mention’s NASA’s Messenger mission to Mercury, which is in fact a real mission to that planet, and one that’s still operating.

Timeline: after The Cannibalists and before Worldwide Web

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Worldwide Web

Doctor Who: Doctor Who: Worldwide WebThe giant spiders of Metebelis 3 have made their presence known as the power behind the Eightfold Truth, and the Queen of the spiders has taken possession of Lucie’s body. Lucie’s mind is still there, though, and she battles the Queen for control. The Doctor gathers an unlikely group of helpers, including Karen and the deposed leader of the Eightfold Truth, to strike back at the spiders and help the hypnotized masses regain their minds. In the process of fighting for control of her mind, Lucie learns key parts of the Queen’s plan to dominate Earth and then the entire universe, and soon she becomes the only weapon the Doctor has in the fight to free humanity.

Order this CDwritten by Eddie Robson
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Martin Johnson

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Stephen Moore (Clark Goodman), Sophie Winkleman (Kelly Westwood), Sanjeev Bhaskar (Dr. Avishka Sangakkara), Katarina Olsson (The Headhunter), Kerry Godliman (Karen), Richard Earl (Rob), Anthony Spargo (David), Beth Chalmers (Queen), Barnaby Edwards (Newsreader)

Notes: The Doctor last encountered the giant spiders of Metebelis 3 in the last adventure for his third incarnation, Planet Of The Spiders, although mentions of Metebelis 3 had been seeded into prior adventures, as far back as the last story of the previous season, The Green Death, in which the third Doctor acquired a blue crystal like the ones which help the spiders control humans’ minds in Worldwide Web.

Timeline: after The Eight Truths and before Death In Blackpool

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Death In Blackpool

Doctor Who: Death In BlackpoolHaving survived the adventure with the spiders of Metebelis 3, Lucie is ready for normalcy: Christmas at home with her family in Blackpool, including her Aunty Pat. The Doctor is surprised to see that Aunty Pat – actually the Zygon warlord Hagoth – has aged considerably, the result of a Zygon disease. But something is amiss: the TARDIS has landed in 2008, and Lucie is still at her home, not yet having begun her travels with the Doctor. A mysterious driver in a yellow car stalks the time travelers, and then finally strikes: Lucie ends up the victim of a hit-and-run, hospitalized and in a coma – but someone else is in her head with her, trying to rob her of her will to live… someone who’s there because Hagoth has made a critical error in judgement.

Order this CDwritten by Alan Barnes
directed by Barnaby Edwards
music by Howard Carter

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Helen Lederer (Aunty Pat), David Schofield (Billy), Jon Glover (Father Christmas / Security Guard), Harriet Kershaw (Natasha / Marika / Receptionist), Nicholas Briggs (Shopkeeper)

Timeline: after Worldwide Web and before Situation Vacant

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Deimos

Doctor Who: DeimosThe Doctor and Tamsin arrive in a human-built museum on Deimos, the largest of Mars’ two moons, and the site of a frozen enclave of the now-extinct Ice Warrior species. Only the Ice Warriors aren’t extinct: they’ve reawakened and have begun killing some of the tourists visiting the museum and taking others as hostages. Naturally, the moment that the human administrators on Deimos notice that something is going horribly wrong, it’s easiest to place the blame on the time travelers. The Doctor takes more decisive action, leaving the hapless humans with no choice but to trust him. He allows himself to be captured by the Ice Warriors so he can attempt to negotiate with them directly, but Ice Lord Ssladek is in no mood to talk – and he and his platoon are in a mood to kill indiscriminately. The body count mounts as the Doctor tries to keep either humans or Ice Warriors from being killed, but it all comes down to evacuating every human from Deimos so a last-resort failsafe – a man-made self-destruct mechanism that will destroy the entire moon – can be activated. But then a message is received from Deimos from a human who didn’t evacuate – a human who the Doctor didn’t even know was there. A human named Lucie Miller.

Order this CDwritten by Jonathan Morris
directed by Barnaby Edwards
music by Howard Carter

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Niky Wardley (Tamsin Drew), David Warner (Professor Boston Schooner), Nicky Henson (Gregson Grenville), Susan Brown (Margaret), Tracy-Ann Oberman (Temperance Finch), Nick Wilton (Harold), Nicholas Briggs (The Ice Warriors), Jack Brown (Pilot)

Notes: Phobos is mentioned as a “hippie retreat,” so it would seem that Deimos is set broadly in the same period as the eighth Doctor’s earlier visit to the other moon of Mars, though the two stories don’t necessarily happen in the same year or decade. The Doctor mentions having been present when the Ice Warriors had to abandon Mars; this is a reference to The Judgement Of Isskar, the first story in Big Finish’s Key 2 Time trilogy. There are also references to the Ice Warriors attack on Earth’s moon and takeover of T-Mat (The Seeds Of Death) as being somewhat ancient history.

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The Resurrection Of Mars

Doctor Who: DeimosAfter discovering Lucie Miller’s presence, the Doctor hesitates to detonate the charges that would destroy Ice-Warrior-infested Deimos – giving the Ice Warriors time to disable the charges. The human colonists and even Tamsin, the Doctor’s own companion, are shocked that he’d endanger them all on the mere possibility that Lucie is on Deimos. For her part, Lucie has no idea what’s going on, having been dumped on Deimos after a disagreement with the time-traveling Monk, another Time Lord whose interference the Doctor stopped at Kells Abbey. When the Monk pays Tamsin a visit, he begins to give her a very skewed version of his checkered history with the Doctor, changing her mind about traveling with him. To his dismay, the Doctor has to resort to a more forceful means of coercing the Ice Warriors back into their deep freeze hibernation, which only proves the Monk’s point.

Order this CDwritten by Jonathan Morris
directed by Barnaby Edwards
music by Howard Carter

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Niky Wardley (Tamsin Drew), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Nicky Henson (Gregson Grenville), Susan Brown (Margaret), Tracy-Ann Oberman (Temperance Finch), Nick Wilton (Harold), Nicholas Briggs (The Ice Warriors), Jack Brown (Pilot)

Notes: Big Finish’s web site displays an alternate cover for this story to preserve the surprise of Lucie’s return.

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Relative Dimensions

Doctor Who: Relative DimensionsDetermined to make amends for the Christmas that he ruined for her in 2009 – the Christmas that made her decide to leave the TARDIS – the Doctor offers to provide Lucie with a more relaxed Yuletide holiday, taking her to Earth’s future to celebrate with his family for a change. Susan Campbell, still helping to rebuild the Earth and raising her son Alex, is surprised to see the TARDIS show up on schedule. For his part, Alex is still coming to grips with the fact that his mother is an “alien,” and his great-grandfather travels through time and space in a police box. As Lucie dives headfirst into preparations for a perfect Christmas, Susan’s fears about Alex’s future come to the surface: she’s worried that he’ll want to travel with the Doctor instead of staying on Earth to take part in the reconstruction effort. And deep in the TARDIS, something dating back to Susan’s travels with the first Doctor is about to crash the party.

Order this CDwritten by Marc Platt
directed by Barnaby Edwards
music by Jamie Robertson

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Carole Ann Ford (Susan Campbell), Jake McGann (Alex Campbell)

Notes: The airborne fish creature that inhabits Susan’s old room in the TARDIS was picked up – in its infant form – by a much younger Susan in the Big Finish Companion Chronicles story Quinnis, which is set even before An Unearthly Child. The Doctor apparently keeps his former comapnions’ rooms “on file” in the depths of the TARDIS, and many of them are name-checked – though interestingly, the names mentioned include only former television companions rather than any companions who have appeared only in Big Finish audios (with the exception of the recently-departed Tamsin).

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Prisoner Of The Sun

Doctor Who: Prisoner Of The SunHaving left Lucie on 22nd century Earth with Susan and Alex, the Doctor has been imprisoned in a facility where he is charged with maintaining a notoriously unreliable system preventing the local star from destroying the planets in its solar system. He is given artificial “assistants” – all of whom he quickly programs with Lucie’s voice and personality – and has made several jailbreak attempts, but is always drawn back into captivity by the responsibility of keeping billions of people safe from their own sun. Elsewhere in the universe, the Doctor’s help is needed, but how much blood will be on his hands if he pursues his own freedom?

Order this CDwritten by Eddie Robson
directed by Jason Haigh-Ellery
music by Howard Carter

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Antony Costa (Hagan), Jeany Spark (Jelena), Richenda Carey (Gliss), Pandora Colin (Fash), Beth Chalmers (Shill / Computer)

Notes: The Doctor has been imprisoned for years on end in other audio adventures (Return Of The Daleks) and in print (“Seeing I”, which also saw the eighth Doctor locked up)

Timeline: at least six years after Relative Dimensions, and immediately before Lucie Miller

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Lucie Miller

Doctor Who: Lucie MillerLeft on 22nd century Earth to spend time with Susan and Alex, Lucie Miller is almost settling into a normal life of traveling around the world with Alex when the plague hits. A deadly disease wipes out entire countries around the world, though Alex and Susan are immune. Lucie contracts the illness and almost dies; the payoff for surviving is losing the use of her legs, and going blind in one eye. Just when things can’t get any worse, a Dalek invasion force arrives to retake Earth: the true source of the plague, the Daleks intend to finish the job that their first invasion of Earth never did. Alex becomes a leader in the resistance movement against the Daleks and plans a bold strike at the heart of the Daleks’ plan to remove Earth from the solar system. But after all this time, no one expects the Doctor to appear – and certainly no one expects him to appear aboard one of the Daleks’ own ships.

Order this CDwritten by Nicholas Briggs
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Andy Hardwick

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller), Carole Ann Ford (Susan Campbell), Jake McGann (Alex Campbell), Niky Wardley (Tamsin Drew), Graeme Garden (The Monk), John Banks (Seb Andrews), Nicholas Briggs (Daleks)

Timeline: between Prisoner Of The Sun and To The Death

Notes: The TARDIS key has been seen to glow with the return of the Doctor’s timeship (Father’s Day, 2005). The Doctor notes that he eliminated the Dalek Time Controller “two lifetimes ago” (the 2009 audio story Patient Zero), so he’s understandably surprised to see it reappear here. The Doctor and Lucie nickname their communications device an “interociter,” referring to the psychedelically colorful triangular viewscreen used to contact the aliens in the movie This Island Earth (195?, though perhaps better known to modern audiences as the movie lampooned in 1997’s Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie.

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