Tag: Doctor Who

Doctor Who: Dalek

Doctor Who: Dalek

by Robert Shearman (Penguin, 2021); audiobook read by Nicholas Briggs (BBC, 2021)

Book cover: “Doctor Who: Dalek” by Robert Shearman (Penguin, 2021); audiobook read by Nicholas Briggs (BBC, 2021)

Lawks, what a slog. Shearman takes his own outstanding script and plumps it up into the most middling of novelisations, diluting the action with a stultifying deluge of minor character backstories. Audiobook bonus: Briggs’s Christopher Eccleston voice sounds like a comedy impersonation.

Doctor Who: Quantum of Axos

Doctor Who: Quantum of Axos (Tenth Doctor, Classic Companions)

by Roy Gill (Big Finish, 2022)

Audio adventure cover: “Doctor Who: Quantum of Axos (Tenth Doctor, Classic Companions)” by Roy Gill (Big Finish, 2022)

The story isn’t particularly gripping but there’s a good dose of ‘new nostalgia’ in hearing the Tenth Doctor meet up with Ace (in modern times Dorothy McShane). Ace remains one of the best-developed Doctor Who companions and Sophie Aldred plays her beautifully.

Doctor Who: The Stuntman

Doctor Who: The Stuntman

(Tenth Doctor, Classic Companions)

by Lizie Hopley (Big Finish, 2022)

Audio adventure cover: “Doctor Who: The Stuntman (Tenth Doctor, Classic Companions)” by Lizie Hopley (Big Finish, 2022)

A fast-paced mess with running about galore and great dollops of exposition. The pairing of David Tennant and Sarah Sutton will warm fans’ hearts, but Dr Gommen is a bog-standard evil scientist (and mostly absent). John Leeson enjoys a rare non-K9 outing.

Doctor Who: The Vanity Trap

Doctor Who: The Vanity Trap

by Stuart Manning; dir Scott Handcock (Big Finish, 2020)

Audio CD cover: "The Sixth Doctor and Peri, Volume One" (Big Finish, 2020) [review of “Doctor Who: The Vanity Trap” by Stuart Manning; dir Scott Handcock]

A decent concept that foregrounds character and plays out in longer scenes than is usual for Big Finish. That said, the story still manages to rush and muddle itself at the conclusion. The disharmony between Peri and the Doctor feels rather tacked-on.

Doctor Who: The Headless Ones

Doctor Who: The Headless Ones

by James Parsons and Andrew Stirling-Brown; dir. Scott Handcock (Big Finish, 2020)

Box set cover: "The Sixth Doctor and Peri, Volume One"; review of “Doctor Who: The Headless Ones” by James Parsons and Andrew Stirling-Brown; dir. Scott Handcock (BBC, 2020)

A fairly bland offering whose only real point of difference is an unhappy ending (which the players don’t lose much sleep over). Parsons and Stirling-Brown have a go at female empowerment only to make Amanda and Siyanda hapless figureheads rather than exemplars.

Doctor Who: The Abominable Snowmen

Doctor Who: The Abominable Snowmen

by Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln

dir. Gerald Blake (BBC, 1967/2022)

DVD cover: “Doctor Who: The Abominable Snowmen” by Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln; dir. Gerald Blake (BBC, 1967/2022)

The animation is serviceable (the yeti in fact look slightly less cuddly in cartoon form!) but the original story is terribly ponderous and presents vast chunks of ‘dead’ time where there is neither dialogue nor incidental music to offset the visual limitations.

Doctor Who: Conflict Theory

Doctor Who: Conflict Theory

by Nev Fountain; dir. Scott Handcock (Big Finish, 2020)

Box set cover: "The Sixth Doctor and Peri, Volume One"; review of "“Doctor Who: Conflict Theory” by Nev Fountain; dir. Scott Handcock (BBC, 2020)

A fun, frivolous story that, beneath clever execution, explores the more serious question of the Doctor’s culpability in exposing his companions to danger. Fountain’s script is spot-on. Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant revel in a character dynamic rarely done justice on television.

Doctor Who: A Town Called Mercy

Doctor Who: A Town Called Mercy

by Toby Whithouse; dir. Saul Metzstein (BBC, 2012)

TV poster: “Doctor Who: A Town Called Mercy” by Toby Whithouse; dir. Saul Metzstein (BBC, 2012)

Whithouse delivers unto the Wild West setting a diverting yet not insubstantial self-contained episode. Ben Browder makes a compelling marshal. Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill put in nuanced performances to balance Matt Smith’s uncommonly volatile embodiment of delighted child and world-weary ancient.

Doctor Who: The World Tree

Doctor Who: The World Tree

by Nick Slawicz; read by Lisa Bowerman (Big Finish, 2022)

Audiobook cover: “Doctor Who: The World Tree” by Nick Slawicz; read by Lisa Bowerman (Big Finish, 2022)

A single-note story but one that carries its premise well. Slawicz captures the Eleventh Doctor’s warmth and his childlike yet ageless appreciation of everyday people and their inherent worth as individuals. Nora Wicker is a believable character, ably portrayed by Lisa Bowerman.

Doctor Who: Attack of the Graske

Doctor Who: Attack of the Graske

by Gareth Roberts; dir. Ashley Way (BBC Red Button, 2005)

DVD mock-up: “Doctor Who: Attack of the Graske” by Gareth Roberts; dir. Ashley Way (BBC Red Button, 2005)

A plush, interactive Christmas special aimed at young viewers. While David Tennant does his best to rise above the Choose Your Own Adventure format, the available choices are (severely) limited and the story, shorn of its gimmick, is an utterly banal non-starter.