Big Finish Reviews

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English Giraffe
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Big Finish Reviews

Post by English Giraffe »

During the lockdown, I've picked up the courage to listen to TruWho Big Finish again, as well as listening to some new stuff that I've been meaning to catch up on. As of recently, I've been listening to all 27 Main Range stories of my favourite Doctor for the 4th time and I've been loving them, possibly even more so than I did before. You can also post opinions about BF stories that you've also listened to as well.

Storm Warning- Enchanting story, despite being light on plot, and Charley is such a delight.
Sword of Orion- Doctor Who does Alien, which is both a positive and negative. Because the Cybermen are so creepy and immersive being in the shadows and dark that hadn't been presented since arguably Wheel in Space, but you can call the Alien-like plot twists from a mile off. Still great.
Stones of Venice- A brilliant worldbuilding story, with a captivating script and magical interactions with the side characters and the Doctor/Charley.
Minuet in Hell- Lots of problems, tries to be too mature, the American stereotypes are somehow worse than Tomb of the Cybermen and can be stupid. And yet I absolutely love it, the Brigadier is a good character for viewers to follow while the Doctor and Charley are figuring out their identities, I love the idea of a patient taking over the persona of the Doctor, and I thought that some American accents were surprisingly good, and I certainly wasn't bored. A guilty pleasure.
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Rob Filth
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Re: Big Finish Reviews

Post by Rob Filth »

Are you going through/reviewing all the McGann Big Finish stories in order?

I thought all of the first four were good apart from Stones of Venice which bored me a bit for some reason I can't quite put my finger on.
Rallying Against Rani's Repetitive Rhubarb and Rubbish.

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English Giraffe
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Re: Big Finish Reviews

Post by English Giraffe »

Rob Filth wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:46 pm
Are you going through/reviewing all the McGann Big Finish stories in order?

I thought all of the first four were good apart from Stones of Venice which bored me a bit for some reason I can't quite put my finger on.
Yeah, I'll try and review them in order. I'm definitely doing the Charley and Lucie eras, as well as a few stories in the Main Range.
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Rob Filth
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Re: Big Finish Reviews

Post by Rob Filth »

English Giraffe wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:05 pm
Rob Filth wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:46 pm
Are you going through/reviewing all the McGann Big Finish stories in order?

I thought all of the first four were good apart from Stones of Venice which bored me a bit for some reason I can't quite put my finger on.
Yeah, I'll try and review them in order. I'm definitely doing the Charley and Lucie eras, as well as a few stories in the Main Range.
Cool, I look forward to seeing the rest.
Rallying Against Rani's Repetitive Rhubarb and Rubbish.

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Bertrand Marx
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Re: Big Finish Reviews

Post by Bertrand Marx »

English Giraffe wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:05 pm
Rob Filth wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:46 pm
Are you going through/reviewing all the McGann Big Finish stories in order?

I thought all of the first four were good apart from Stones of Venice which bored me a bit for some reason I can't quite put my finger on.
Yeah, I'll try and review them in order. I'm definitely doing the Charley and Lucie eras, as well as a few stories in the Main Range.
I probably ought to go through McGann’s BF output in order too at some stage given that I’ve always rather liked his Doctor. I’ve listened to a fair few but only out of order, but have enjoyed most of what I’ve experienced. Chimes of Midnight is superb, Storm Warning is alright. I’ll admit to listening to Zagreus out of sequence too and actually quite liked it. I admit that it’s a batshit insane script that understandably pissed many people off, and there are some moments of abject melodrama that echo NuWho’s worst excesses, but I think I enjoyed it just because of its unpredictability and weirdness despite essentially being shite. :lol:
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English Giraffe
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Re: Big Finish Reviews

Post by English Giraffe »

Alright, more reviews:
Invaders From Mars- A nice little B-movie homage that you'd see in 50s movies. American accents and stereotypes are far better here than in Minuet in Hell, and has some witty dialogue from Mark Gatiss. That said, 1938 New York was really hard to visualise without me immediately thinking of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Part 2.

Chimes of Midnight- I mean, come on, it's Chimes. Everything that you've heard of from other people is absolutely correct. A perfect, intricate plot with hilarious dark humour, and invigorating atmosphere and character drama. I can see why it's Stubagful's 2nd favourite Who story.

Seasons of Fear- Maybe it's because it came right after Chimes, but I've been very lukewarm on this story. I can appreciate it trying to be in a similar vein to Keys of Marinus and The Chase, but I just never clicked with this one, barring the excellent Doctor and Charley chemistry.

Embrace the Darkness- Highly underrated. Another story that really focuses on atmosphere and little quiet ambient sounds, and comes out very effective as a result. Really reminds me of how the first 2 Parts of The Sensorites used ambience and that's a good thing for me. Very enjoyable

Time of the Daleks- Despite it clearly be inspired by Evil of the Daleks (and some elements from Resurrection), I really enjoyed the ideas with the time machine being made by mirrors and clocks and the Daleks attempting to change history. Can be hard to follow and admittedly the ending is a bit rubbish but I find this to be a highly flawed yet very entertaining story.

Neverland- A superb climax to the Web in Time arc (not counting Zagreaus). With how interwoven Alan Barnes writes the Eye of Harmony, the God like power and nature of Rassilon, Anti-Time, this might be the most intricately written Time Lord story since The War Games. And that cliffhanger to lead to Zagreaus is intense no matter how many times I listen to it. Lalla Ward feels like she never left the role, and her and McGann get great chemistry together. Fantastic, one of my favourites in the range.
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Rob Filth
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Re: Big Finish Reviews

Post by Rob Filth »

Great reviews - doesn't "Living Legend" slot somewhere in between that lot though?
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Re: Big Finish Reviews

Post by Ludders »

I enjoyed reading these reviews. Early Big Finish now seems quite nostalgic!
The ones that stand out most in my memory from the first four, are Storm Warning and Sword of Orion. I thought Stones of Venice was very dull, and I can't remember much about Minuet In Hell.
Of the second batch, I thought they were all very good expect for Time of the Daleks, which didn't grab me at all. My favourite ones here would definitely be Chimes and Neverland.
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English Giraffe
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Re: Big Finish Reviews

Post by English Giraffe »

Zagreaus: Doctor Who's 40th Anniversary story, despite not being a multi-Doctor story. Before, I used to despise this story, even more so than Day of the Doctor. To the utter retcon of putting my favourite eras of Doctor Who in a different timeline instead of the main one, to the story being long-winded, to some pretentious dialogue, the Tardis being a villain with an awful motive and the ending being overdramatic as hell. And yet now, with the exception of the last episode (which pretty much had the problems that I had before) I actually enjoyed the hell out of it. Every episode feels like it's own story, the Alice in Wonderland imagery is surreal and wonderful, the Who-experienced actors bring their A game playing different characters and honestly, it didn't feel 4 hours. Highly flawed, and I still hate the last episode, but I had a massive head turn experience with this story than previous experiences and I think that I much prefer this story to the likes of The Two Doctors, and Day of the Doctor.
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Rawkus
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Re: Big Finish Reviews

Post by Rawkus »

if the Dream Lord is the Valeyard, aren't they also Zagreus?

"Zagreus sits inside your head"

The Dream Lord appears in scenarios drawn from the minds of the Doctor and his companions.

"Zagreus lives among the dead"

The Dream Lord's two scenarios involve many deaths, including those of the children in the playground and, ultimately, the Doctor, Amy and Rory themselves.

"Zagreus sees you in your bed
And eats you when you're sleeping"

The Dream Lord appears in people's dreams.

"Zagreus at the end of days
Zagreus lies all other ways
Zagreus comes when time's a maze
And all of history is weeping"

The Dream Lord appears in the Doctor's life shortly after the Time Lords tried to bring about the End of Time, and shortly before the explosion of the TARDIS which causes the space-time cracks.

"Zagreus sits at the end of the world,
For Zagreus is the end of the world."

Each of the Dream Lord's two scenarios ends with the characters killing themselves and thus destroying the world of the dream.

"His time is the end of time,
And his moment, time's undoing."

In a way, the poem fits the Dream Lord better than it fit Zagreus himself!
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