Big Finish Reviews

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Ludders
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Re: Big Finish Reviews

Post by Ludders »

Personally I thought Zagreus was rubbish. I remember it as being the point at which I started going off Big Finish. It wasn’t long after that I canceled my subscription, although I have heard everything up to Live 34, which was ages ago, around No.70 I think.
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English Giraffe
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Re: Big Finish Reviews

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Ludders wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:56 pm
Personally I thought Zagreus was rubbish. I remember it as being the point at which I started going off Big Finish. It wasn’t long after that I canceled my subscription, although I have heard everything up to Live 34, which was ages ago, around No.70 I think.
That's a shame. I still think that there's brilliant stuff in ranges 50-100 (actually I'll say up to 160 ish), particularly for Doctors 6 and 8. I can understand Zagreaus being divisive, it's understandably one of, if not the most Marmite Doctor Who story, you either love it or hate it, and I do understand it's faults (and Pt 3 has many).
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English Giraffe
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Re: Big Finish Reviews

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Scherzo- A stupendous story that deconstructs the Doctor and companion relationship in a whimsical and beautiful manner. This is a story that could only be on audio, with the white noise background and only the 2 main leads, and Rob Shearman utilises audio in a brilliant manner, with the sound creature and lack of music. Only complaint is that the cliffhangers can be underwhelming, but otherwise this is a phenomenal story that I personally prefer over Chimes, and I love that story. Honestly, stories like this show that Robert Shearman is up there with the likes of David Whittaker, Terrance Dicks and Barbara Clegg as the best Who writer, and it is criminal that NewWho did him so dirty.

Creed of the Kromon- I've slowly warmed up to this story on recent listens. This is still the weakest story Philip Martin has written for Who, and it feels like he's still writing 80s Who (seriously, does he love companions getting a bad hand with Peri and Charley, also does he just love turning companions into insects, with Peri turning into a bird and Charley turning into a giant slug) but it's functional. And maybe it's because I was doing stuff whilst I was listening but I wasn't bored. And I've even warmed up to C'rizz, despite the actor possibly having one of the least distinctive voice out of any companion ever.
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Ludders
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Re: Big Finish Reviews

Post by Ludders »

Scherzo was excellent, I must give that a listen again sometime. But I found Creed a bit average.
My absolute favourite McGann audio of this period though, was The Natural History of Fear.
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English Giraffe
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Re: Big Finish Reviews

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Ok, get ready for this lengthy story as I've been waiting to talk about this for ages.
The Natural History of Fear- Doctor Who does 1984 (with elements of Metropolis and Brave New World): this is not just my favourite 8th Doctor audio story, but my favourite BF story. All the elements just seem to fall right into place for me, with a brilliant bleak atmosphere. A city that oppresses the idea of questions is pulled off in such a complex and outright terrifying manner (I kept getting tensed up whenever a character said something that was even close to thinking), and it's disturbing to particularly hear India Fisher having to play different mind wiped versions of herself... ok I have to spoil the final twist, because on relistens, the twist changes how I viewed the story and its themes.

So, throughout the story, the audience is led to assume that the Editor is the Doctor with his memories taken away, as well as Charley and C'rizz put in different identities. But when we got that twist that the true Doctor and Co were only in the story for 5 minutes and their memories were copied for an experiment onto Light City's people, including the Editor, my jaw dropped so hard (especially with the revelation that these species have 8 limbs), and that ending with Light City falling into chaos (with the screams of Why?! chanting louder and louder) just leaves me with chills. I consider it to be the best twist in DW's history, because in a way, this is simultaneously so Doctor Who and yet un-Doctor Who as possible. In a way, because of how the twist is presented, much like Robert Shearman's Deadline (Unbound Story that I'd highly recommend), it almost recontexualises of Doctor Who as a franchise. With the Doctor's past adventures being rearranged as Light City's form of infotainment and propaganda, the story presents the theory (keyword being theory, it's not telling the audience what we should think), that the franchise that we have been watching, listening and reading and have been subjected to manipulation of our own. But on the other side, the infotainment also presents what the idea of the Doctor is as a mystery and what the franchise is: freedom, intelligence and imagination, which plants the seeds against the pro-establishment of Light City, and by extension the audience. But again, it's only presented as a theory so it doesn't treat itself as self-indulgent or make the Doctor into a God-like being like NewWho, but an aura of dangerous mystery.

Paul McGann brings his best performance in his tenure, playing a character that is a separate character, but also has hints of the Doctor in there, as well as India Fisher bringing her A game (I mean that's usual as I do think Fisher is the best actress to play a companion). Conrad Westmass was a bit hard to follow the first time as C'rizz/Conscience as well as me thinking that this shouldn't be his first proper story (considering that it's not even C'rizz), but I wonder if that was the point considering that there is an arc about C'rizz and his mysterious status as a monk, so we're not supposed to trust him at this point. And overtime, I loved his performance more and more, making the Conscience so sinister. But there's no complaints from me, I absolutely love this story, and only seem to love it more. A top 10 favourite Who story for me.

Best Quote: "Questions lead to answers. Answers lead to knowledge. Knowledge leads to freedom. Freedom leads to dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction leads to unhappiness. The state wants you to be happy."
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Ludders
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Re: Big Finish Reviews

Post by Ludders »

Great review, I commend you on your good taste. This is definitely my favourite McGann audio after Chimes.

I could never get into C'rizz as a character though. The actor wasn't very good I don't think, but the character just wasn't very interesting.
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Bertrand Marx
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Re: Big Finish Reviews

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Ludders wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:37 pm
Great review, I commend you on your good taste. This is definitely my favourite McGann audio after Chimes.

I could never get into C'rizz as a character though. The actor wasn't very good I don't think, but the character just wasn't very interesting.
I’ve still yet to listen to it, and so avoided reading English Giraffe’s review to avoid plot spoilers, but the amount of intriguing discussion on here concerning the story (with all three influences including Brave New World listed by Giraffe being favourites of mine, hence my initial Bernard Marx moniker) and the praise lavished on to it has certainly piqued my interest. I’ll have a listen when possible.
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Ludders
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Re: Big Finish Reviews

Post by Ludders »

Bertrand Marx wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:20 pm
Ludders wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:37 pm
Great review, I commend you on your good taste. This is definitely my favourite McGann audio after Chimes.

I could never get into C'rizz as a character though. The actor wasn't very good I don't think, but the character just wasn't very interesting.
I’ve still yet to listen to it, and so avoided reading English Giraffe’s review to avoid plot spoilers, but the amount of intriguing discussion on here concerning the story (with all three influences including Brave New World listed by Giraffe being favourites of mine, hence my initial Bernard Marx moniker) and the praise lavished on to it has certainly piqued my interest. I’ll have a listen when possible.
Definitely worth a go.
I must mark it down for a re-listen, myself.
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Re: Big Finish Reviews

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I'm currently going though some of BF First Doctor Adventures stories. I'm collection audio stories in rough chronological order (though thats not easy what with BF's oversaturated market).

On the whole they have been rather good and thankfully my fears about big finish turning the Doctor into an out of touch bigot have been avoided. I've always enjoyed David Bradly as an actor, I especially like him The Strain which was the first time I saw him in a leading role. I think he makes a good stand in for Hartnell, it was just that Twice Upon A Time's writing was so bloody awful that he didn't have a fighting chance. In the stories so far he dose a far better job. For that matter all the caste do.

If I had to critic anything first, as is often the case when your writing a story within the gaps of a pre-existing one, the characters undergo a lot of development that doesn't mesh with the TV series. These stories take place between the Reign of Terror and Planet of Giants, which has problems as PoG was et up as a direct continuation. The characters relationships do not feel like they have evolved any further, though in fairness by the end of their time together the Doctor states Ian and Barbara have been with him for three years.
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Re: Big Finish Reviews

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The Sevenfold Man wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:49 am
I'm currently going though some of BF First Doctor Adventures stories. I'm collection audio stories in rough chronological order (though thats not easy what with BF's oversaturated market).

On the whole they have been rather good and thankfully my fears about big finish turning the Doctor into an out of touch bigot have been avoided. I've always enjoyed David Bradly as an actor, I especially like him The Strain which was the first time I saw him in a leading role. I think he makes a good stand in for Hartnell, it was just that Twice Upon A Time's writing was so bloody awful that he didn't have a fighting chance. In the stories so far he dose a far better job. For that matter all the caste do.
That's interesting to note. I want to give these a try at some stage.
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