For what I plan to be my last review for this blog, I thought it would make an interesting change of pace to review a book about audio. This is the first volume of a new guide by Richard Dinnick to the releases of Big Finish, the company that since 1999 has been making licensed Doctor Who audio plays featuring the characters from the show’s classic television years between 1963 and 1989 as well as Paul McGann’s sole stab at the role in 1996. But they have made much more besides …
The Plot: On nineteenth Century Earth artist Edvard Munch hears an infinite scream pass through nature. Centuries later his painting of that Scream hangs in a gallery on the barren dust world Duchamp 331. Why is there a colony of artists on a planet that is little more than a glorified garage? What is the event that the passengers of the huge, opulent pleasure cruiser ‘Gallery’ are hoping to see? And what is hidden in the crates that litter the cargo hold?
The Doctor’s diary indicates that the painting is about to be destroyed in ‘mysterious circumstances’, and when he and Ace arrive on Duchamp 331, those circumstances are well underway.
“It’s like Camden market gone mad!” - Ace
The Plot: Caught in the inevitable path of its own history, the TARDIS arrives on the planetoid Grace Alone, where the Doctor, Steven and Oliver expect to face their fate. What they don’t expect to find is a massacred crew – and a race of alien invaders known as the Vardans. When the Doctor is apparently killed, his companions attempt to survive against the odds. But those odds are narrowing. Their borrowed time has expired.
“The Doctor is gone – and we’re finished!”
The Plot: In the remnant of a shattered satellite, far above the ruined planet Earth, Steven Taylor and Oliver Harper are dying. As time runs out, they face their pasts … and a secret long kept is revealed. The borrowed time is elapsing, and they realize they are facing an enemy that cannot be defeated. The cold, hard facts of science.
“Perhaps you should tell me your secret now”
The Plot: A shrieking, killing nightmare erupts from an overgrown well, hidden in the grounds of an old house, Tranchard’s Folly – and Mary Shelley, the Doctor’s latest travelling companion, rescues teenage twins Finicia and Lucern from the clutches of the monster. But a TARDIS trip in search of the origin of the horror goes terribly wrong when the Doctor, Mary and their two new friends find themselves stuck in the middle of a seventeenth century witch scare.
While the Doctor investigates the strange lights at Vetter’s Tor, and the twins go in search of an artefact from the Hecatrix Dimension, Mary confronts the secrets of her past… and her future. The truth will out: Master Kincaid, the terrible Witch-Pricker himself, commands it!
“You’ll have to excuse Mary, she tends to side with the monster”
The Plot: When the TARDIS materializes in a familiar junkyard in the 1960s, the Doctor and Steven are soon embroiled in a mystery in the City of London. Who are the mysterious bowler-hatted businessmen with their deadly umbrellas? And what secret is young Oliver Harper desperately trying to conceal?
Contracts have been signed. A deal is in place. And the Doctor discovers that perhaps not even he can stop a terrible business…
“Fungibility … you know, I love that word.”
The Plot: Millions of years ago, the noble Ice Warriors fled to Deimos, moon of Mars, hoping to sit out the radioactive death throes of their home planet. When the TARDIS lands on Deimos, the Doctor discovers that the Warriors’ ancient catacombs are now a popular stop for space tourists. But the Martian dynasties are more than history, and the Warriors are far from extinct. It’s not for nothing that ‘Deimos’ is the ancient word for ‘dread’ …
“The Martian terraforming project was regrettably brought to a premature end due to the advent of the great recession”