Situation Vacant

Doctor Who: Situation VacantA classified ad is placed, seeking qualified applicants for companions to a traveler in time and space. The Doctor arrives for the final interviews, finding four people with wildly varying personalities and skills. When a crisis unfolds at a gathering of scientists, the Doctor’s potential new companions have their work cut out for them – and so does the Doctor himself, for he wasn’t the one who placed the ad to begin with.

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

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), James Bachman (Hugh Bainbridge), Shelley Conn (Asha Qureshi), Joe Thomas (Theo Lawson), Niky Wardley (Juliet Walsh), Sabina Franklyn (Wanda Rothman), Tony Millan (Leonard Pallister), Joanna Kanska (Rachel), Barnaby Edwards (Rafshaw)

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Nevermore

Doctor Who: NevermoreThe TARDIS – with some assistance from a mysterious cat who resets the coordinates – brings the Doctor and his new companion Tamsin to Nevermore, a world of poison mists and robotic ravens with an affinity for the works of Edgar Allan Poe. But the Doctor once knew it as Corinth Minor, and so did the Time Lords, shortly before they took drastic measures to alter the planet’s fate. Now Nevermore is home to a war criminal convicted of genocide, a small group of people tasked with overseeing her imprisonment, and now two time travelers whose arrival coincides with the sudden appearance of a deadly creature. Every event on Nevermore seems to take its cues from the works of Poe, but if the Doctor and Tamsin can’t find and stop whatever is bent on eliminating the planet’s small population, the result will be worse than Poe’s darkest imaginings.

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

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Niky Wardley (Tamsin Drew), Fenella Woolgar (Morella Wendigo), Michael J. Shannon (Senior Prosecutor Uglosi), Emilia Fox (Berenice), Eric Loren (Pilot), John Banks (Ravens)

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

The Book of Kells

Doctor Who: The Book of KellsThe TARDIS is dragged off course to the year 1006, a year in which no one on Earth should have technology capable of doing so. The Doctor and Tamsin find themselves near the Abbey of Kells, a site from which, according to history, the Book of Kells is about to be stolen. The Doctor and Tamsin immediately find signs that something is amiss: the remains of a vortisaur are found in the abbey, and murderous plots are overheard nearby. Worse yet, technology that shouldn’t exist on Earth for at a millennium is hidden away in the abbey’s secret passages. The Doctor realizes that they’re very near the point at which history records the theft of the Book of Kells, so he’s convinced that another time traveler is here to take the legendary religious artifact. While he does find another time traveler – and a familiar one at that – the true fate of the Book of Kells just isn’t that simple…

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

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Niky Wardley (Tamsin Drew), Jim Carter (Brother Bernard), Terrence Hardiman (King Sitric), Graeme Garden (Abbot Thelonious), Ryan Sampson (Brother Patrick), Nick Brimble (Olaf Eriksson)

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

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.

Logbook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

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.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

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.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

To The Death

Doctor Who: To The DeathThe Doctor miraculously survives the destruction of the Dalek ship on which he’s being held prisoner, but his brief time among the Daleks leaves him riddled with guilt: the Dalek Time Controller, who he thought he had destroyed in the distant future, has traveled back in time to lead the Daleks’ second invasion of Earth. The Doctor learns that the Dalek Time Controller was sucked into the time vortex and had an eternity to observe history and concoct a plan to wipe out all non-Dalek life using a combination of potent viruses, spreading disease through the universe by using Earth as a mobile plague planet. The Doctor plans to take a nuclear bomb that the Monk has stashed away forward in time to correct his error and prevent this chain of events from happening, but Lucie insists on using the nuke in the present to wipe out the Dalek invasion force. For once, the Doctor is in no position to save the world, but he will witness the death of many dear friends and family members as they battle the Daleks without him.

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

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

Timeline: between Lucie Miller and The Great War

Notes: This release wraps up the separate range of eighth Doctor audio stories that had been published by Big Finish since 2006, though the adventure would continue in a box set release also outside the main range, Dark Eyes, in 2012. The Doctor, then in his sixth incarnation (and traveling with the eighth Doctor’s former companion, Charley Pollard), encountered the Dalek Time Controller at Amethyst Station in Patient Zero. A sole Dalek plummeting through time (and driven insane as a result) would also prove to be a problem in the 2008 season finale The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End; Nicholas Briggs uses a similar voice treatment for both the Dalek Time Controller and Dalek Caan, which may indicate – without breaking Big Finish’s contractual obligation to avoid direct reference to the new series – that the two are intended to be the same character.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]