Review: Doctor Who the Companion Chronicles – Home Truths

Home_TruthsBlurb: There’s a house across the waters at Ely where an old woman tells a strange story.

About a kind of night constable called Sara Kingdom. And her friends, the Doctor and Steven. About a journey they made to a young couple’s home, and the nightmarish things that were found there. About the follies of youth and selfishness. And the terrible things even the most well-meaning of us can inflict on each other.

Hear the old woman’s story. Then decide her fate.

Review: Of all the companions that Big Finish could work with, Sara Kingdom was the most likely. Since she only appeared in the final nine episodes of a single serial, The Daleks Master Plan, it didn’t seem possible for her to have any unseen adventures with the Doctor and Steven. Yet, Big Finish decided to exploit the fact that episode seven of The Daleks Master Plan does not contain a cliffhanger for episode 8. With Sara’s characterization changing somewhat in the later episodes, it seemed possible that maybe she did have a few more adventures with the Doctor and Steven than what had been seen on TV. It created a great opportunity for Big Finish, since Sara has a tremendous backstory to exploit. She started as a blindly obedient agent of the futuristic Space Security Service who doesn’t even question the order to murder her brother, Bret Vyon, when it’s given by the Guardian of the Solar System, Mavic Chen. Her obedience leads her to do the deed and to hunt the Doctor and Steven as criminals until they prove to her that Chen has sold out the human race to the Daleks. Then she swears vengeance on Chen even as she travels with Steven and the Doctor to protect the taranium core that the Daleks covet. Writer Simon Guerrier who had written a short story for Sara Kingdom was asked to write the story, and Big Finish prepared to reintroduce the character to modern audiences with Home Truths. Continue reading “Review: Doctor Who the Companion Chronicles – Home Truths” »

Review: Doctor Who The Early Adventures – The Sontarans

SontaransBlurb: The TARDIS arrives on a moon-sized asteroid orbiting two gas giants. With an amazing view, it’s a chance for the Doctor, Steven and Sara to unwind after their recent adventures.

But they quickly find themselves in the midst of battle – on one side: a familiar group of space-suited soldiers – members of the Space Security Service. On the other: strange, squat aliens in body armor.

Surviving the initial hostilities, the Doctor and his friends discover that the SSS squad is on a terrifying mission. With many lives at stake, they have to venture deep inside the asteroid in search of a hideous weapon. But who can they trust in the battle against these Sontarans? Continue reading “Review: Doctor Who The Early Adventures – The Sontarans” »

Review: Doctor Who the Companion Chronicles – The Anachronauts

AnachronautsBlurb: An experimental timeship smashes into the TARDIS, and the crews of both ships wake up on a desert island. Has the TARDIS been destroyed? And why doesn’t the Doctor want to escape?

Then, Steven and Sara find themselves on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall in 1966. And their only way back to the TARDIS is to betray the Doctor.

Review: Big Finish had wanted to reunite Peter Purves and Jean Marsh in an audio adventure for some time. Both Purves and Marsh had had successful trilogies in The Companion Chronicles range written by Simon Guerrier. With Purves expressing interest in working with Marsh again, it seemed obvious to put the two together sooner rather than later. A double-length Companion Chronicle was commissioned, but the author was unable to meet the deadline. Instead, fan favorite Simon Guerrier was asked to create a replacement at the last minute. The result was The Anachronauts. Continue reading “Review: Doctor Who the Companion Chronicles – The Anachronauts” »

Review: Doctor Who the Companion Chronicles – The Library of Alexandria

dwcc0710_thelibraryofalexandria_1417_cover_largeBlurb: The port of Alexandria, 5th Century AD.

The Doctor, Ian, Susan and Barbara have taken a break from their travels, and are enjoying a few weeks in the sunshine – and the chance to appreciate the magnificent Library of Alexandria.

Ian also takes the chance to enjoy friendship with the philosopher Hypatia – but things here will not last forever.

The time travelers know that the library will soon be lost to history.

What they are about to discover is the terrifying reason why…

Review: History, science, a strange man, his time traveling box, and the developing relationship of two schoolteachers. It doesn’t sound like much, but that’s the formula that propelled Doctor Who through it’s first season and into the giant franchise that it is today. At the time, the series was supposed to be education for the target audience of 10-14 year-olds, so the show alternated between stories that taught history and those that taught science. Through it all, the character of the Doctor was there to whisk the travelers from place-to-place, occasionally getting them into trouble and occasionally taking the role of the wise sage and solving the problems. Ian and Barbara were the viewer identification figures. They came from modern day Earth and responded to situations in a way that the viewers could understand. As the series progressed, so did their relationship. The two characters who started as friends and who chatted after school became very close, and it’s almost impossible to watch those old stories without feeling as if there’s a romance developing between the two of them. Continue reading “Review: Doctor Who the Companion Chronicles – The Library of Alexandria” »

Review: Doctor Who The Companion Chronicles – The First Doctor Volume 1

dwcc09_cover_1417sq_cover_largeBig Finish’s popular range of stories told from the point-of-view of the companions returns with this box set, focusing on companions that traveled with the first Doctor. The box set contains four stories told from the points of view of Susan, Vicki, and two from Steven. The reason for Steven getting two is that they wanted to wrap up the trilogy that started with The War to End All Wars. There are minimal extras with only The Locked Room having an interview at the end where the producer and writer sit down to discuss the story. The set also shows the versatility of the Companion Chronicles format by utilizing the narrative element in different ways in each story. As a result, this box is a representation of the Companion Chronicles as a whole and if a new listener finds these stories entertaining they definitely ought to go back and pick up the earlier releases in the range. From this point, the review will look at each story individually before summarizing the box as a whole. Continue reading “Review: Doctor Who The Companion Chronicles – The First Doctor Volume 1” »