Amph Audio Who

Discussion in 'Community' started by Koohii, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Since the show was first cancelled, experiments were made in creating Doctor Who programs for the radio. Only a few were made at first, with long gaps in between. With the invention of the internet, and internet radio, more were made (some with flash/powerpoint-style animation). Finally, Big Finish Productions was able to get the license and contracts with the original cast actors to begin creating a regular series of episodes, 12 stories per year.
    This is here:
    So, since lots of people know the TV show, I thought I'd talk about the various Audio plays.

    Slip-Back. 6 15-minute episodes. The 6th Doctor and Peri arrive on a space ship that has gone awry. The captain is a recluse who can incubate any disease, then infects crewmen with it as a disciplinary action (a gross variation on the Darth Vader technique). There's a ravenous indestructible monster in the cargo hold that broke loose. The ship's computer is having some sort of identity crisis. The experimental drive sends the ship plunging back in time. The Doctor eventually realizes that the ship exploding is the source of the Big Bang. The computer is delighted to be the first artificial intelligence to commit suicide.
    Valantine Dyle is excellent as the captain, but the story is mostly a bunch of rubbish that makes little sense thrown together like an infant at dinner-time eating peas.

    Paradise of Death: five 30-minute episodes
    3rd Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith, and The Brigadier. Um, it's there, but not really memorable. Except for the side note that during the first hiatus, Jon Pertwee declared at a convention that he was once again The Current Doctor.
  2. JoinTheSchwarz Comms Admin & Community Manager

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  3. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Oh, thanks. Just asked to have that done.
  4. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 26, 2000
    star 7
    Do we really need a fourth DW thread, though?
    Everton and jp-30 like this.
  5. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    One dedicated to purely the audio stuff? I don't really mind actually. I've been curious about some of the audio adventures, in particular the Big Finish Audio plays.
  6. JoinTheSchwarz Comms Admin & Community Manager

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    I wonder if we need more than one, truth be told, but then again I don't like Who. :p

    This forum isn't merely YJCC anymore, and both Amph and SF&F allowed for a larger variety of threads about one single topic. Let's see if this thread can find its footing. If it doesn't, it can always be cleaned up and merged with the main Who thread.
  7. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 26, 2000
    star 7
    Fine, whatever, but personally I think it will be another "Koohii's monologue" thread like Classic Who... :p
    jp-30 likes this.
  8. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Yeah, I'd much rather have just two threads: one for the current series, one for general DW discussion including all manner of EU stuff or classic stuff. It's not that I don't think people are interested in classic or audio, it's just that, yeah, it's a little hard when said threads are just someone monologuing instead of trying to start a discussion.

    Anyway... so I admit to not having heard any Big Finish stuff. I think it's interesting because I find that there seem to be a number of Who fans who listened to them when there was no show and now sort of prioritize some of them as canon even over NuWho. I kind of get it because for all people knew, there wasn't going to be a show again and it was probably nice to have another set of stories. But now it strikes me as sort of an awkward situation because the writers of the show really shouldn't be held to the canon of BF, or vice versa.

    I'm curious, though... if some of us were to consider listening to some BF, what are some of the 'classics' or suggestions for the best episodes?

    The only audio stuff I've heard are some of the audio play versions of the books. The Stone Rose was particularly good. The story was interesting and fun, involved some good character development and insight, and was generally very entertaining. Admittedly, it's made moreso by David Tennant's fantastic readings and voices. It makes me curious as to what some of the Eleven ones read by Matt and Arthur in particular are like.
  9. JoinTheSchwarz Comms Admin & Community Manager

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    What do you think, Koohii? Should we merge your threads into the main one?
  10. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Doesn't have to be just me.
    But I do intend to post thoughts on BFP, which is not as easily accessible, or well known.
    --------------------------
    EDIT: Ok, a few posts while I was working on this one. If there is just 1 thead of classic and one for new, that's fine with me.
    Best of the BFP? really depends what you like. They created a wide variety of stories, and some were, naturally, better than others. I think one of the best early ones was The Fear Monger (Jacqueline Pierce, 7th Doctor and Ace), while Holy Terror was an excellent humor story (6th Doctor and Frobisher (of all characters) from the comics). If you want to know where some of the NuWho ideas came from, definitely check out Jubilee (for Dalek), and The One Doctor (loosely similar to The Next Doctor). Or you might want to just jump into Dalek Empire.
    -----------------
    The big finish episodes seldom take place in any discernible order. In fact, people can drive themselves nuts trying to figure out exactly which episodes take place within the TV show. My advice: don't bother trying. Just enjoy them as they come. Even the 8th Doctor stories form 2 different time lines.

    Sirens of Time
    Big Finish Productions Doctor Who 001
    four 35-minute episodes
    The 7th Doctor responds to a distress call and finds an unpleasantly swampy planet with quicksand and peat bogs, and a very large number of crashed space ships. Somewhere a woman is crying for help. Her space ship crashed, and she is the only survivor. The Doctor tries to return to the TARDIS, but finds that the doors won't open. The residents of the planet include a nasty old woman (with a bad German accent) who looks after Sancroft, a frail old man who has been kept alive for far too long, and in spite of everything, his body is failing. The caretaker lowers the protective screens around the planet, allowing the next space ships to land. They contain bio-mechanical life forms that were sent to kill Sancroft. The Doctor and the Girl try to help Sancroft to escape, but there is no where to run to. Sancroft was the first Knight of Veneesha, an order that tried to conquer the galaxy, and there are a number of people still upset about it. The courts sentenced him to life imprisonment on this planet, but a rogue faction just wants to kill him... One of the bio-mechs fires at the cabinet they are hiding in...
    The Fifth Doctor arrives on Earth and finds the TARDIS on a freightor in the Atlantic during the Great War. A message from the Time Lords arrives, telling him to leave immediately. When the Doctor gets back to the TARDIS, it's locked and won't open. He yells to Turlough and Teegan to open the doors, but to no avail. One of the crew, a brassy-voiced cockney woman finds the Doctor in the hold and starts demanding explanations. Just then a German submarine fires a torpedo into the hull. "Hellen" drags the Doctor away from the TARDIS. The U-boat picks them up, since they aren't in a lifeboat. The captain is not without honor. "Hellen" is militantly anti-"Hun". The captain is happy to entertain the Doctor and Hellen in one of the cabins when the bridge calls him back. Another prize target is on the horizon--The Lusitania. Another telepathic message from the timelords tries to kill THe Doctor. The Doctor manages to survive and hijacks the sub to take him back to the Tardis. While it is floating and bobbing on the surface, the doors still won't open. The Doctor is stranded in the middle of the Atlantic, with no recourse...
    The Sixth Doctor is piloting around the Vortex when he hears a distress call. He tries to help, but the TARDIS is destroyed, and he is deposited onto a luxury liner that is hosting a conference to have the "Kurgon Wonder" made into a galactic tourist attraction. Waves of temporal energy strike the ship. Everyone is accelerated past death except for The Doctor, a stewardess, and the android pilot. Microbes have evolved into giant killing monsters. More waves of temporal energy are hitting the ship. The Doctor and the android try to repair the ship enough to get away while the stewardess plays screaming meemee. Another shockwave hits and the ship is destroyed.
    The doctors find themselves standing next to each other on Gallifrey. The Capitol is in ruins. Some force managed to invade and conquer. Large armored figures are stomping about. The Doctors go to work sorting everything out. An army calling itself the second Knights of Veleesha have taken on the Timelords and won. But their technology is destroying their bodies, requiring extensive treatments. The Timelords have all been captured and turned into healing farms, as the Knights drain their regenerative powers to try to stave off the effects of their own technology. The Knights are lead by a woman who looks oddly familiar to all three Doctors. They are also holding prisoner a creature called the Temperon, a primordial from the beginnings of time that is mostly known as a legend. The Temperon is tortured and studied to help provide power for the Knights' technology, and in hopes of overcoming the side effects. The Knights' leader asks the Doctor to go back--she hates what has been done to her people, and if the Doctor will just undo a couple of incidents, her people will never get the tech to attack gallifrey, and the universe will be back to rights. The Temperon has another story: Hellen, the stewardess, and the crash survivor are all the same woman, the Sirens of Time. If the Doctor goes back, he will forever be their slave, creating and destroying history to feed the Sirens. They feed on the energy of temporal disruption. The only solution is to free the Temperon so that he can forever imprison them, as the Kurgon Wonder. Ever pragmatic, the Sixth Doctor does so, over-riding the objections of his other selves about sentencing the Temperon to eternal imprisonment. Events at all three points return to the way they should have. Sancroft is executed, but has no regrets--it was a great adventure. The Lusitania is sunk. The Kurgon wonder is restored, as is the 6th Doctor's Tardis. The Doctors return to hear the crash survivor drowning in the bog, but do nothing to save her, knowing that she is the Siren. They go their separate ways.

    The multiple Doctor stories are always tricky, and get a lot of bashing. After all, what can be so big a challenge that it takes more than one Doctor? This one worked nicely to establish that BF has access to the actors and the story world. Theme music is from the early 80s/pre-synthesizer days, and will stay that way for several years before each Doctor gets the theme from the when they were on TV (5th gets the first synthesizer, 6th gets Trial of a Timelord variation, etc). The Doctors will not appear in the same episode again until BF050. The Knights of Veleesha will be of note in both later episodes of the series and in the Dalek Empire spin-off series.

    Not to be a commercial, but BFP has a nice system. You can just buy downloads (audio book and music track) of the stories for cheaper. If you do buy the CDs, you also get access to the downloads until your disks arrive. Both of these are very handy if you live outside the UK. Since getting Doctor Who, they have bought access to a number of other properties, including Bernice Summerfield (a Doctor Who spin-off character), Highlander, Stargate, Sapphire&Steel, Blake's 7, Dark Shadows, and 2000AD (Judge Dredd).
    Last edited by Koohii, Sep 13, 2012
  11. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Ok see the problem is, I'd like to discuss the audio stories and get some suggestions on good ones, etc. I don't want to just read summaries of stories without any discussion involved. I can get those by, you know... reading summaries.
    Ulicus likes this.
  12. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Skip to the bottom? Without a summary, how are those not familiar with the story going to know what is going on? (granted, I am not the best writer of such things)

    Hard to specify what is a good story and what isn't, since people, obviously, like different things. And some aspects change greatly. For example, Colin Baker gets to play the Doctor as he wanted to, rather than as the obnoxious and frequently unlikable character that John Nathan Turner forced onto him. Even Mel becomes palatable with the right story. By rotating between 4 (now 5!) Doctors and many, many companions, and producing 12 stories per year, BFP is able to tailor the stories to fit the characters. As a result, there are few 'Bad' stories. (some, but not many)
  13. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Without having heard the story, why would anyone want to discuss it? I don't really want a whole summary if I'm going to listen to something anyway. Kind of spoils it. If you think a story is good, why not give a very brief summary then go on to talking about your thoughts on what's good about it?

    So I'm curious as to the whole situation with Colin Baker. I've certainly heard that he didn't like the way his Doctor was on the show, but can you elaborate on that? He's one of the ones I've not seen so I don't think I'd know a difference if I listened to a BFP with him.
  14. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    In the TV show, he is bombastic, snide, arrogant, and sometimes psychotic--his regeneration did not go well. And the costume they gave him... BFP still has some of that, but there CB adds a lot more compassion and mellows out the rougher edges. Sure, he's still an alien from a more advanced culture, full of superiority, but he softens the abrasiveness.
  15. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    Maybe do a brief summary for people who don't want to be spoiled before trying them and use the spoiler tags for the longer, more spoilery descriptions? That way people can decide whether they want to be spoiled on the story or wait until they hear it first.

    And I did hear that Colin prefered the BFA stories over what he did in the TV series for the reasons you mentioned about being able to round out his doctor. It would also be nice to get fully into the BFA stories for 8th Doctor stories as we really were cheated only getting the one TV movie with him on screen.
  16. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

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    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    First story is hard to be brief, because it is 4 stories. That said, shorter and less spoiler is certainly doable.
    Juliet316 likes this.
  17. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    I watched the TV movie again last week and it struck me that we really don't get to see McGann do anything. He rides a motorcycle. That's about it. Mostly tge companion does everything and you don't get a sense of him being so impressive. Makes me wonder what his audioplays are like.
  18. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Much, much, much better.
    The TV movie was designed to be a series reboot pilot, with The Doctor trying to find his father, Ulyssies, and Borussa as his mentor back on Gallifrey, and... So many things that were just wrong.
    8th Doctor Audio has him running around, able to set up his own personality and play the part.
    For example:
    Storm Warning
    BFP 016
    The 8th Doctor arrives in 1910 on the airship R101, a hydrogen-filled dirigible, the first in the proposed British Fleet, during its maiden voyage from England to India. Also on the ship are a number of politicians, a mysterious passenger who is confined to her room, a South African "security consultant" nurse, and the chief engineer, who is miffed at the seemingly arbitrary and unnecessary changes to his design inflicted on him by the admiralty. Finally, there is midshipman Merchford, who is not what he seems.
    Very full of "Stiff Upper Lip", Bully, and more. The Doctor gets a companion, but creates a dangerous paradox. This begins an arc that will last until it is resolved in BFP 033 "Neverland".

    Sword of Orion
    BFP 017
    The 8th Doctor and Charley arrive at a space port in the distant future. The Tardis is accidentally loaded into a Salvage Ship bound for the Orion Nebula. The Ship is persuing the fate of another scavenger. They find an ancient battle cruiser from the last interstellar war, ravaged by ion storms. Unfortunately the ship has some old enemies: Cybermen.

    Stones of Venice
    BFP 018
    The 8th Doctor and Charley show up on the last day for the city of Venice before it sinks beneath the sea.

    Minuet in Hell
    BFP 019
    The Doctor is in a mental institution, and Charley is on the run from a new incarnation of the Hellfire club, which uses any female unfortunate enough to be of age as a slave force of "little satin bottoms".
    From there the whole thing gets convoluted. Making matters worse is that every character has some atrocious regional accent, and none of them go together. Oh, one person has psychic religious mystic powers--like Buffy the Telekinetic Demon Slayer from Brooklyn.
    Fortunately, the Brigadier's investigation and messages back to UNIT HQ provide some welcome merit to this mess.
    This is probably my least favorite episode of the BFP line until Unbound spinoff #s 4&5.

    Chimes of Midnight
    BFP 029
    The 8th Doctor and Charley arrive in the basement of an Edwardian house. It is Christmas eve when the scullery maid drowns. Whenever the clock tones the hour, someone dies. Come midnight, everything resets, and while the manner of the deaths and the order change, it is still Christmas eve. The house is under an effect, and the force behind it is trying to incorporate the Doctor and Charley as part of its components.
    This is another spill-over of the paradox of Charley not being killed with the R101.

    Seasons of Fear
    BFP 030
    Charley was first motivated to begin adventuring by a young man who said "You haven't lived until you've had champagne on the terrace at the ____ hotel in Shanghai on New Years Eve." So Charley said she would meet him there next year. The 8th Doctor, talking to some unknown person, provides narration as he lounges in the lobby and lets Charley keep her appointment. A stranger (who introduces himself as Sebastian Grayle) walks up to the Doctor, rambling about how the Doctor has thwarted all his plans, but not this time--the Tea the Doctor has been drinking was poisoned. Charley is meeting with his great, great, great... well a descendant. And Grayle doesn't look a day over 70.
    After that, the story gets way too complicated to explain briefly. Each episode goes to a different time period as the Doctor encounters Grayle and prevents his Masters from succeeding.
    Last edited by Koohii, Sep 16, 2012
  19. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Hmm yeah I've kind of wanted to listen to some of the Eighth Doctor ones but haven't been quite sure where to start or what's best to listen to in order to get an idea of where they took the character.

    Today I listened to Dead Air, which has a really unique style amongst the Tenth Doctor audiobooks I've been listening to. It's more like a radioplay. And that makes for kind of a clever format, since the whole thing is just the Doctor narrating an adventure he's been having into a tape machine for people to pick up and listen to some day as a warning. Very meta. I kind of liked that. I thought the story was a bit too short and not complicated enough plotwise, but I did appreciate the very different approach. And since most of the story takes place in the dark, it made for a story that really was best suited to the medium of an audioplay (I don't know how the novel itself was written, but this is first person).

    Has anyone else heard this one?

    BTW Tennant's Scouse accent in it is awesome :p
  20. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Start with Storm Warning, Sword of Orion, skip Stones of Venice and definitely skip Minuet in Hell. Chimes of Midnight is pretty good. Seasons of Fear is OK. The big thing is that Storm Warning introduces a companion who forms a major arc that lasts until BFP 050 Zagreus. And then from Zagreus another arc starts that lasts for several more stories. Alternatively, there was a very good separate story line, in which the 8th got his own "seasons", with a completely different companion. It depends what you want to follow.

    Other stories: short version.

    Slip-Back. 6 15-minute episodes. The 6th Doctor and Peri arrive on a space ship that has gone awry. The captain is a recluse who can incubate any disease, then infects crewmen with it as a disciplinary action (a gross variation on the Darth Vader technique). There's a ravenous indestructible monster in the cargo hold that broke loose. The ship's computer is having some sort of identity crisis. The experimental drive sends the ship plunging back in time. The Doctor eventually realizes that the ship exploding is the source of the Big Bang. The computer is delighted to be the first artificial intelligence to commit suicide.
    Valantine Dyle is excellent as the captain, but the story is mostly a bunch of rubbish that makes little sense thrown together like an infant at dinner-time eating peas.

    Paradise of Death: five 30-minute episodes
    3rd Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith, and The Brigadier. Um, it's there, but not really memorable. Except for the side note that during the first hiatus, Jon Pertwee declared at a convention that he was once again The Current Doctor.


    Phantasmagoria
    BFP DW002
    Four 25-minute episodes
    The 5th Doctor and Turlough arrive in the drawing room of a gentleman's house in Edwardian England. The gentleman has been tracking the "vanishments" of various locals that have been disturbing the area. A local bandit styling himself Major Billy Lovemore has taken up robbing various snobs. At a Gentlemen's Club, Dr Nicholas Valentine is playing sinister card games. Two members of the club are concerned when they see one of their friends running scared before disappearing midst horrific screams--not just his own. The Doctor is surprised to hear that the Gentleman who's house he arrived in has been having successful seances.

    More and more is going amiss. An intergalactic criminal is hiding on Earth. Another alien is tracking the criminal down. Both mistake The Doctor for the other. Turlough gets a view of Edwardian society and the distractions that the gentry furnish for themselves
    (Some interesting concepts and very different version type of story)

    Whispers of Terror
    BFP DW003
    The 6th Doctor and Peri arrive at the museum of Aural Antiquities on an un-named planet. Actor-turned-presidential-canditate Vistine Crane committed suicide while recording a speech there a few weeks ago, and now his presumed running mate is planning on stepping in to take his place. The curator and a grad-student assistant are the only staff. Sure enough, the Doctor and Peri stumble onto a dead body, and the security investigator is more than a little suspicious. Two pair of unauthorized break-ins are a little suspicious. And Curator Gantman notices that some of Vistine Crane's speeches and recordings have been altered. The Doctor discovers that Crane, when he died, was in a recording studio, and somehow turned into a sentient modulated sound wave. This ghost is angry about being dead, and wants revenge. And other people have been less than honest about their activities... (Imagine that... a story about politicians... and they are less than honest... Good thing this is fantasy, and not at all based on anything like reality).
    (decent episode--nice who-dun-it)

    Land of the Dead
    BFP DW004
    Tracking down strange energy readings, the 5th Doctor and Nyssa arrive in Alaska over the site of an explosion, and a plane flying away. In order to avoid an accidental collision, the Doctor jumps the TARDIS forward 30 years. There is a now an elaborate and very unusual house near the site of the explosion. A wealthy eccentric, his Coyucoun (?Alaskan Inuit) servants, and his half-Coyucoun intermediary are working to help a fussy British interior designer complete the eccentric's visionary dream home. But in building the house, something beyond ancient was dug up--fossils from the Permian era (millions of years before the Jurassic) form a nightmare creature that can hunt by using a bioelectric field, and adopts elements of the DNA of anything it eats. And Timelord and Trakken are just as on-the-menu as humans. If the two creatures here make it to the nearest village and are able to feed, they might become unstoppable... And the effects they were already having on the surrounding wildlife are extremely disturbing.
    (a rather odd episode, but not bad)

    The FearMonger
    BFP005
    An alien is influencing the general election in England. The New Brittania party is hard at work with a racist "realistic" agenda promoting a segregation within England. Someone is trying to assassinate their prime candidate. The campaign manager has contacts that is aware of The Doctor and Unit. Ace meets an old friend for help. Events continue to spiral further and further out of control, until riots break out in the streets, and not even the Doctor playing spoons and juggling can stop it.
    (Excellent story, great episodes)
    (Ace refers to the "no coloreds" sign that was hanging in the window during "Remembrance of the Daleks).
    Sherolyn Harper is voiced by Jacquline Pierce, famous in geekdom as Federation President Servelan from Blake's7.


    The Marion Conspiracy
    BFP DW006
    The 6th Doctor turns up in a University Lecture Hall during a Doctor Evelyn Smythe's Lecture on Elizabethan history. The Doctor gets into an argument over some details of the professor's lecture about Queen Elizabeth's court. The Doctor concludes that the discrepancy must have something to do with the time distortion he was trying to track down. Professor Evelyn Smythe gets her first trip in the Tardis. Elizabethan England isn't quite what was expected. The Doctor leaves Evelyn in the safety of a local pub, while he heads to Court to pave the way for introductions. But sitting on the throne is not Elizabeth, but Queen Mary.

    The Doctor falls in the Thames--the first of many times.
    Evelyn points out that her knees aren't always as steady as they could be (Really, not ankles like most of the Doctor's female traveling companions), and that she is a capable lock-pick, and held her own in the Yard of Ale competitions (though the Ale always ended up winning).
    Evelyn continues to travel with the Doctor--the University was trying to get rid of her, and she had few ties left anyway. But next stop: somewhere where the people understand Chocolate. She might even bake the Doctor a cake, in gratitude.
    This is the first of several stories that attempt to put a human and humane face on a controversial historical figure. Later episodes will include Vlad Tepesh and Oliver Cromwell.
    This episode is the first to create an entirely new companion for The Doctor. Evelyn Smythe is a older woman (rather than a pretty 20-something), with an understanding of history and a mind of her own, able to stand up to the Doctor and mollify his arrogance.
    Several gags, including the line about weak ankles, show Evelyn to not be the typical screamer, nor a hysteric. The Doctor comments that she might be one of the more useful people he's ever traveled with. She does frequently pluck his conscience. Colin Baker starts to get to be the Doctor he wanted to be. There's a nice speech about having caused numerous wars that lead to countless deaths, all while trying to do the right thing. This particular segment doesn't work as well as it could, because it really is an "ends justify the means" rant. But then, the whole story is about trying to justify the murderous Queen Mary...

    The Genocide Machine.
    BFP DW007
    The 7th Doctor and Ace are returning books borrowed from the Library of Carsharat. This Library was intended to be the ultimate repository of all printed matter. Even the absence of a book on Juggling for Venusians would be considered a major gap. The library is held to be so valuable that the Time Lords helped build it and program the defenses. It is constantly 1 second out of pace with the surrounding planet. Various races have attempted to breach the defenses, but always given up. Even the Daleks.

    Engineer Prink never gets a chance to speak. Every time he is about to get a word in, someone speaks over him. Even as he was about to die...
    The Library at Carsharat will be mentioned again several times in both the Doctor Who series and the spinoff Dalek Empire.

    An decent story, but not the greatest

    The Red Dawn
    BFP DW008
    The 5th Doctor and Peri arrive in a very cold cathedral-like chamber. At the same time, Earth's first manned mission to Mars, Odyssey, is due to land. The mission is a NASA mission backed by a private-sector. The company backing it assigned a major portion of the crew, including the geologist and engineer. The mission commander is rather shocked to find the Doctor and Peri within a mysterious structure. Systems seem to start failing within the Odyssey landing module. And within the structure, the Ice Warriors, left behind to guard their home planet, begin to revive...
    The Ice Warriors recognize the honor within the geologist. The story seems to insinuate that personality and codes of ethics are inherited traits, as is some form race memory. This is early in Peri's travels with the Doctor.

    (A good, solid entry, and the first appearance of the Ice Warriors since... the 3rd Doctor)

    The Spectre of Lanyon Moor
    BFP DW009
    An alien scout ship lands on perhistoric earth. The ship is recalled before one of the crew is able to return. Trapped on the planet, abandoned by his brother, the alien vows revenge.
    The Tardis lands Evelyn and the 6th Doctor in modern Cornwall. There is something bothering the Tardis instruments (a-gainnnnnn). The Doctor finds a local archeology site--an ancient "foogoo". A new survey is being conducted down at the village below. While the survey is lead by an old trowel-scraper, his young assistant is into using computers and sensors. And an old friend is also visiting the area: Brigadier Gordon Leftbridge-Stewart. Though he has not met this Doctor before, the Brig is quick to recognize him. Evelyn is happy to wander around. The Archeological survey is based in a B-and-B, run by an overly cheerful woman. The survey is being funded by the local squire. A variety of events have transpired throughout the history of the region... Evelyn, the Brig, and The Doctor have to stop the ancient alien from inflicting his petty revenge on on the world.
    The format expands to longer episodes to match the fact these episodes are released on CD. Evelyn runs into Alister Crowley wannabees and mocks them as "cut-rate Nietze's". Crowley's deluded idiocies are quoted and mis-quoted several times in future episodes. The Brigadier makes his first appearance in the series. Colin Baker really gets to start playing the Doctor the way he wanted to, instead of the way John-Nathan Turner ordered him to. Evelyn verbally slaps the Doctor for being rude and forces him to apologize to the professor running the dig.

    Good story. Great to have the Brig show up.


    Winter for the Adept.
    BFP 010
    Nyssa arrives in the middle of a mountain slope in Switzerland during mid-winter thanks to an experiment within the Tardis going wrong. She is found and brought to a nearby girl's finishing school haunted by a poltergeist, run by a religious fanatic Scottish Spinster. The Doctor arrives at the peak of a poltergeist's rampage, triggering the spinster's superstitions.
    An actual ghost, as a ghost, is part of the story. Combined with 2 psychics. (sigh) and we know from the beginning that one of the two girls definitely survives as she is writing the story down in her journal as an old woman.

    Pretty weak story.

    The Apocalypse Element
    BFP 011
    The Daleks have a plot to capture Gallifrey, which involved their prisoner Romanavaratralunda, a conference of the Temporal Powers (precursor to The Shadow Proclamation?) and manipulation of the current President of the High Council. Also Coordinator Van-Cel of the Celestial Intervention Agency (last seen, um, heard, in Sirens of Time). The 6th Doctor and Evelyn help thwart the plan. The Doctor and Romana are reunited. Romana becomes/resumes the role of President of the High Council of Gallifrey.
    Events of this episode will be referred to in later stories, as well as the Dalek Empire and Gallifrey spin-off series.

    Fires of Vulcan
    BFP 012
    Historical version of the eruption of Pompei, starring 7th Doctor and Mel. Very much the precursor to the 10th Doctor/series 4 episode filmed 9 years later.
    Mel is embarrassed by reference to sex--hold over of the prudishness of 1980s BBC.
  21. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Shadow of the Scourge
    BFP 013
    A non-descript hotel just off the motorway is playing host to three conventions: the new age medium who channels "Ahm" or "Om", a scientist showing off a trans-dimensional engine that may bring about a new age of space travel, and a cross-stitchers convention. These three conventions are all key to triggering an inter-dimensional invasion by mental parasites.
    The 7th Doctor, Ace, and Professor Bernice Summerfield arrive to stop it. But it seems that the Doctor has been working for the other side. In fact, he has a contract drawn up to sell the Earth to The Scourge.
    Bernice "Benny" Summerfield was a character introduced in the novels that came out while Doctor Who was on hiatus as a continuation after the end of Survival. She is an archeologist from the future (sound familiar? almost like another famous Who character was carbon-copied? Bennie is even supposed to have "Had" the Doctor before she leaves the Tardis.)
    This story is a bit of whiny self-help theme. The Scourge are awfully similar to the Spillagers (Winter for the Adept). On the other hand, we get to spend time in the Doctor's mind and hints that he can see what his future selves will look like. Ace has tools from a future military service that she uses to great effect, including a crowbar used to pry the tops off Daleks.

    The Holy Terror
    BFP 014
    Frobisher, the Meezomorph uses the Tardis' dimensional stabilizers to create a holographic fish to play with in the bath tub. The full simulation includes the fish feeling terror at a penguin hunting it. The Tardis goes on strike, and the 6th Doctor has to turn full autonomy over to the Tardis. They arrive in a castle during the coronation of the new god king, Emperor Peppin the 6th, who ascended to the throne after his father, Peppin the 5th committed the ultimate blasphemy by dieing. Every coronation of a new emperor is accompanied by mystic signs and portents, as well as miracles. The arrival of the Doctor and the Mono-chromatic talking bird (Frobisher) are perceived of as a miracle, and their investigations bring them into the plots and schemes of the castle. Why is the scribe deathly afraid of an infant? "You can worship as many gods as you want, but only one at a time." "There's something strange about these chronicles. They always end on the last page. How long is this one for Peppin? Barely a pamphlet!"
    In addition to introducing Frobisher (from the Marvel Comics line) into the audio adventures, this one is also the first outright comedy. Sure, there are serious elements, but overall satire of monarchy, parliaments, and religions rules the roost. The name Eugene Tacitus was familiar from somewhere, but I've never been able to figure out where.
    "Do you mind? I'm naked here!"
    "Frobisher, you're in the shape of a penguin. You're always naked."
    "That's what you think. I usually also meezomorph myself a pair of black and white pants."


    The Mutant Phase
    BFP 015
    The 5th Doctor and Nyssa are in the Tardis when it is sucked into a temporal paradox. A species of giant mutant wasps are threatening to wipe out the Daleks, and every race that happens to be in the way. While the 1st Doctor was dealing with the Dalek Invasion in Sheffield with Ian, Barbara, and Susan, the 5th Doctor ended up in a field in Virginia or the Carolinas.
    The first of several paradox stories. "That's the thing about paradoxes: if you think about them, they're awfully silly."

    Last of the Titans
    BFP 015a
    The 7th Doctor is headed to a nice relaxing planet for a vacation. But the Tardis is picked up in the scoop of a giant ship. The ship is run by a single person, a the only member an extinct race brought back by a misguided cloning experiment. The creature is very polite and sociable, so long as no one threatens his ship. Sadly the ship crushes and destroys planets for fuel, and the pilot is not at all concerned about whether those planets are inhabited or not. An agent from the next planet on the menu works with the Doctor to destroy the ship. The captain refuses the Doctor's offer of a ride to a safe planet, staying with his beautiful engines.
    The Doctor narrates most of this story because there is no companion to talk. This single-episode story was a bonus disk included with Doctor Who magazine. Also on the disk was episode 1 of Storm Warning.


    Loups Garou
    BFP 020
    The 5th Doctor and Turlough arrive in 22nd century Brazil--an ecological disaster. All of Earth is suffering from deforestation. Bad as that is for the humans, there are others who feel the loss more, including a clan of Were-Wolves. The Wolves are currently on the run from Peter Stuebe--the most ancient of their clan. The Countessa's son is stuck as half-wolf, half human, and cannot change fully one way of the other.
    Turlough's wolfish nature are mentioned again in future stories. This is not the first time the Doctor has been accidentally engaged--his first incarnation was not entirely familiar with local customs during The Azteks. The Doctor also marvels and the variety of forms of Werewolves he encounters--a reference to Greatest Show in the Galaxy, but is later picked up when the 10th doctor and Rose run into trouble in Scotland during series 2.
    While Turlough retains a bit of his edge from the series, Big Finish works allow him to come out of the bind that John Nathan Turner's concept (a companion always out to kill the Doctor) pinned him into.

    Dust Breeding
    BPF 021
    The 7th Doctor is showing Ace his museum and art gallery (including his Mona Lisa--one of the seven painted by Leonardo). He has been taking occasional side trips to when great works of art were about to be destroyed and picking them up for his own collection (not unlike Braxiatel in the Bernice Summerfield stories). Next up is Edward Munch's The Scream, currently housed in an artist's community on an unpleasant world of Duchamp 337--otherwise unremarkable except as a refueling station. The 7th Doctor and Ace arrive at one of the refueling stations to find it destroyed--torn apart by a sand storm. They grab one survivor and take the Tardis to the main station. The Doctor takes the survivor to the medical center where he mysteriously dies. Worse, during the autopsy, he explodes in a whirlwind of sand.
    On a pleasure yacht, a dead body has been found in the hold, next to crates belonging to Mr. Seeteh.

    Bev (the thief from Genocide Machine) returns.
    This is the first appearance of The Master since the utterly horrible 1996 FOX TV movie. Whether the Master was referring to the body of Nyssa's father or that of the ambulance driver is unclear. The plot and motives, and Over-the-Top meglomania are classic Roger del Gado master. The Master has a wonderful speech ripping apart the vapid nature of the high-society snobs--so easily distracted by the shiney jewels on his mask that they never stop to wonder what he was up to. The Master is also using his Tissue Compression Eliminator to kill people and shrink their bodies down to doll-size. Again, there are references to events from the Lost Adventures novels published in the early 90s.

    Bloodtide
    BFP 022
    The 6th Doctor and Evelyn arrive on the Galapagos islands. The Doctor is showing off by letting Evelyn meet one of her heroes: Charles Darwin. Darwin is on his expedition with The Beagle, about to formulate his ground-breaking theory. Unfortunately the governor of the Island has made a deal with the Silurians. And the truth to why the Silurians did not awake when they should have is revealed.
    Aside from some horrible Spanish accents, this one was pretty fun. Original Silurian voices and sound effects. Nice to have the return of another one of the classic monsters. Also had the Murker show up, but it didn't have any dialog. I think this is the first story to state outright that the Silurians and Sea Devils considered the "ape primitives" a food source. And for those fans of "intelligent design", one of the Silurian Scientists takes credit for improving the apes' intelligence and improving their flavor.

    Project: Twilight
    BFP 023
    During the Great War, a government agency was formed in England to research new ways of making superior troops. The Forge was made to research using the Occult. Prisoners were given the chance to redeem themselves, For King and Country. As the war pressed on, prisoners were volunteered. The experiments included splicing were-wolf and vampire DNA...
    The Doctor and Evelyn arrive in fairly modern London. Near a dubious casino/night club, they stumble across some grizzly remains. Entering the club to find it deserted except for the fatally wounded doorman, they find others who take the doorman to a private surgery under the club. The doorman's death is rather spectacular. The club staff tell a very sad version of their creation. Nimrod, seemingly indestructible, is hunting them down, using knowledge of their weaknesses against them. Each one of the creatures has a different set of vulnerabilities. Evelyn befriends on of the waitresses, Cassey, a normal young woman of unfortunate circumstances who has no idea what is going on at the club.
    When the Doctor finds out that he is helping Vampires, he is enraged. But after a lecture on his self-righteousness, he concedes his judgment might not be impartial, and sets about to undo the damage and try to restore the unwilling victims. Meanwhile, someone named Nimrod is hunting and killing the victims of The Forge's experiments. Nimrod forces the Doctor to see what the club is, including the people in it.
    The Forge is very similar to some aspects of Torchwood. In fact, the Forge is a nastier, darker version. It and Nimrod will return. The Doctor refers to the fact that Vampires are extradimensional, and that the TimeLords dragged them into this universe, then hunted them down to correct their mistake. The Vampire Plague is similar to the original idea for the finale of the first Blade movie. Other stock ideas for Vampires living in the modern world show up (like the people farm).

    Eye of the Scorpion
    BFP 024
    The 5th Doctor and Peri find themselves in ancient Egypt. The Pharaoh is being ambushed during her morning chariot ride when the Peri stops him with a bit of rope, but the Doctor has to rescue the Pharaoh from her own chariot as the horses are too panicked to stop on their own. On returning to Thebes, the Doctor and Peri find out that Erimem Oshinteperet is Pharaoh. This presents the Doctor with a problem: there is no record of any such Pharaoh. Plots within the court and foiling another assassination attempt win Erimem's favor. A massive army is forming out in the desert, led by an undefeated warrior. When the scorpions swarm up to attack Pharaoh Erimem yet again, the Doctor realizes that something is controlling them. The Doctor persuades Erimem to retreat with her army to a nearby garrison, then uses the spy within the camp to bait a trap at the sphinx.
    After the dust (and sand) settles, Erimem (who overheard the Doctor's comments to Peri) decides to join him in the Tardis to see the stars. The priests prefer a male pharaoh anyway, and there is so much to see. And she takes one of her cats with her. The cat, Antronak, and the Doctor do not get along.
    Erimem becomes the 2nd companion created by Big Finish to expand the characters.


  22. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    Interesting that Bernice is considered an audio version of/precursor to River. Though I would I be right to presume the Doctor didn't meet Bernice when she died?
  23. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    I've heard things about Bernice mentioned in a lot of places, particularly with reference to the implications of her relationship with the Doctor. And it does really intrigue me. I guess that's another reason to listen to some Eight stories.
  24. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    I don't know if anyone else considers Bernice to be a precursor of River. It just looks that way to me, same as Torchwood looks like a carbon copy of the Forge, with only a slight difference in flavor text.
    I don't know if the Doctor was there when Benny died. In fact, I didn't know she died until I read your post. The Doctor did, however, show up when another companion died. A much more expressive and powerful version than any of the NuWho goodbye scenes that didn't go into maudlin, over-emotive, saccharine-over-substance.

    Colditz
    BFP 025
    The 7th Doctor and Ace arrive in Colditz castle, one year Before the end of World War 2. They are captured by Nazi guards and taken in for investigation. Everyone assumes they are spies (especially when Ace is carrying a rope ladder, grappling hook, explosives, and various other tools useful for escaping, and a CD walkman). While the camp commandant and guards are fairly reasonable, Feltfable (sergeant) Kurtz is the poster-boy for the Nazi regime, wishing one day to join the Gestapo (if only he had the brains or imagination or connections). When a woman shows up from Gestapo headquarters in the morning, the Doctor is suspicious. She takes him out of the prison to use his specialized knowledge, while Ace is left behind. The woman from Gestapo headquarters takes the Doctor out to the middle of the field, where there is a 1-meter square indentation in the ground, from her Tardis--now missing. She gloats about how when the Doctor returned to Earth 20 years later, he was shot on sight, and the Tardis was captured by Nazi scientists. She was assigned to study it, along with an assistant, Johan Schmidt. Ace was killed trying to escape Colditz, in about half an hour.
    "She took the Staff Car--That's the easy way out."
    Ace has had to go by her real name because of the Nazi insistence on "No Code Names", and we learn her last name is "McShane." This episode sets up events for The Rapture. The Gestapo scientist from the future will be explored later. Within this story, the 8th doctor arrives and is destroyed--must have been fun for the Axis of Reality (see future story, Axis of Insanity). Seems the 7th Doctor is doomed to be killed stupidly no matter what--just walk out of the Tardis and into a hail of bullets without looking first... Tsk Tsk.

    Primeval
    BFP 026
    When Nyssa falls catatonic from an external evil psychic influence, the Doctor takes her back to the foremost Trakken healer in his databanks--nearly 3000 years before Nyssa was born or Trakken destroyed. The federation of Trakken is protected by the Source, a revered--even worshiped source of power. It is also under seige by a fleet of mercenaries and pirates who attack, loot, and kill as they please. The pirate/mercenaries are under the command of a strange being with godlike powers.

    The Doctor spends a brief stint as the first Keeper of Trakken before handing the job over to Sheyla.
    The Master destroyed Trakken during Logopolis, shortly after taking over the body of Tremas (Nyssa's father), killing him. Interesting that the Doctor is able to go back to Trakken before it was destroyed by the entropy effect of the CVEs. Otherwise, this episode pays a great deal of attention and respect to the details of Keeper of Trakken.

  25. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    The One Doctor
    BFP 027
    The Tardis has drifted forward all the way into the Vulgar end of the time stream--everything has been done, discovered, explored, exploited, and turned into a theme park. In fact, the Tardis and Mel arrive in the middle of a party to celebrate the defeat of the Skelloids and rescue of the planet by... The Doctor. Outraged that his name and reputation are being abused, the Doctor races off to confront the imposter, dragging Mel along. Sure enough, "The Doctor" is a petty con artist named Banto Zame. The Skelloids were holographic projections. When the Doctor and Mel confront Banto and his assistant, Banto accuses them of being imposters and has the locals arrested. The head of the government of Generious goes to the bank to get the credits (in cash) so the Banto Doctor can afford the Fluvian Power Cells he needs to repair the STAR-Dis (that's not a typo). Banto figures the Doctor is just another hack who is copying his sceme. When a massive alien probe shows up demanding the Three Greatest Treasures of the Generious System, this is obviously just the other bloke's equivalent of the Skelloids. The probe destroys Generious 4. After escaping, the Doctor forces Banto and his assistant into their Star-dis (an insult--it is a localized transmat booth disguised as a porta-loo) "Policemen were hanging around these all the time." When Banto and his assistant are dragged into the real Tardis, they realize that they are with the Actual Doctor. The Doctor and Banto spend a lot of time posturing.
    I won't say that this story was outright plagiarized by NuWho christmas special The Next Doctor, but much of it was. Banto is a grubby conman from a dirtball world, and a shameless bigamist and womanizer. This story sets a trend within Big Finish of having a farcical or humorous December release. Many references to Christmas are made, including an anecdote of Mel's childhood in Peas Pottage. In the distant, distant future, the Doctor is a legend, like the tooth fairy or Santa Claus, not to be taken seriously.

    The Ratings War
    BFP 27a
    The 6th Doctor bursts into a TV studio demanding to see the head of the Network. He begins lambasting him with criticism of the studio's latest "Reality TV" programming. But all is not as it seems--it is much worse. The real power behind the studio is Beep the Meep. Two incarnations earlier, The Doctor had trapped Beep in a copy of "It's a Wonderful Life". Beep, the most psychotic of a race of cute furry aliens who enjoy chaos, mayhem, destruction, murder, and pain, endured that torment until rescued by an innocent child. Beep is holding hostages, and using a show to take over the minds of everyone watching. Anyone not watching will be killed and eaten by those that were. Beeps' manipulation of the TV industry has given him an audience of 80% of the population.
    This one-episode story was on a bonus disc included with copies of Doctor Who Magazine, along with the first episode of another story (probably Invaders from Mars). Commentaries on Reality TV shows (which were still big at the time) and kiddie shows like Barney underscore the satire of TV in general. "You know television?" "I am familiar with the medium, yes." Like Frobisher in The Holy Terror, Beep the Meep was a character from the Marvel Doctor Who comics who faced the 4th Doctor.

    Invaders From Mars
    BFP 028
    The 8th Doctor and Charley arrive in New York City in the 1930s. Gangsters, gumshoes, and ray guns. An alien ship crashed, and one of the mobs nabbed it and a Russian scientist to try to reverse-engineer the technology. A hot KGB spy is trying to track down their physicist. Lots of other hijinks. Several rivals are playing games, and the Doctor and Charley have to sort out the players. To make matters worse, just before the mobster is about to turn the ray guns and such over to the Feds, a new alien ship arrives--they want their scout ship back. The Doctor warns the aliens that Earth is already being invaded by Martians, just listen to the radio. Knowing that the Martians can only mean the Ice Warriors, the aliens panic.
    Cute story, but once again, the accents for the Americans are horrible. On the other hand, this episode is presented like an old radio play, including elements of period radio drama in the sound track. Orson Wells is ridiculed to his face for being The Shadow

    Neverland
    BFP 033
    The Timelords blockade the Tardis again. This time, the 8th Doctor is caught. The CIA boards the Tardis and hooks Charley to a machine and drags the Doctor away for interrogation by President Romana. Charley has caused a paradox by existing after she was supposed to die, and it opened a rift for Anti-Time. Traces of "Anti-Time" have been found at each site of Charley's adventures with The Doctor. The Time Lords have developed a machine that will make Charley a key to send an expedition into Anti-Time. In the midst of a whirling mass of contradictions and instability they find a single stable element--a planetoid and unexpected life forms. To their horror, the leader of these Anti-People, using Charley's form, tells the tale of their existence: they are time lords who were subjected to a form of execution called the Oubliette of Oblivion. Their leader/spokesman was Vancel's predecessor. When she discovered she was responsible for eradicating several hundred people from existing, she sentenced herself to the same fate. Since the people never existed, no one remembers them. No one remembers using the Oubliette, because, without ever having existed. The victims are angry and striking back. The former head of the CIA has used the paradox of Charley's existence to open a portal. Through it, she has spread the legend of the anti-time demon Zagreus, and a hero that sounds suspiciously like Rassilon who tracked him down and imprisoned him.
    We find out who the Doctor was narrating to in earlier adventures. The phantom Charley is explained. This episode continues directly into BFP 050 Zagreus (which won't be produced for over a year). From this point on, in other stories, The Doctor seems to randomly recite verses of the poem about Zagreus. This was to build up suspense and continue interest until the story was produced, and build on the continuity of the story line. Additionally, seeds for events for the Gallifrey spin-off story are sown here, including the idea of Romana becoming Imperiatrix. The Daleks trapped in the vortex by their paradox from Time of the Daleks are mentioned. Imperiatrix Romana threatens to destroy the entire Dalek race.

    Spare Parts
    BFP 034
    The Tardis arrives in a dark city very similar to 1950s London, except that the planet is too close to the Cherry Bowl Nebula. The 5th Doctor has severe reservations, and actually suggests to Nyssa going back to the Tardis and leaving immediately. Instead, they split up and go separate ways. Nyssa helps a Mat-catcher who gets trapped under some rubble and helps him home, where she meets and befriends his family. The Doctor has a polite conversation with a street-doc who specializes in organic replacements (for those who don't like the Committee-issued metal and plastic). Everything is strictly rationed.
    This is Mondas, home planet of the Cybermen. Only a few fully-processed cybermen exist--a necessity to building a propulsion system on the surface to navigate the planet away from the nebula, and hopefully back to the long-lost home system. But the environment inside is not sustainable. The People are desperate. The Committee, desperate for resources, even the bones of the dead are dug up from graveyards for the nutrients (without the public knowing). Those who are the least healthy are recruited for full processing. But it is all falling apart. There are barely 1000 people left on the planet.
    The Doctor gets a full-body scan. By analysing his brain (there is a third lobe in a Time Lord's brain, as well as the second heart), and a massive improvement in Cyber-conversion--the rejection/failure rate plummets, and coordination improves. So, the Doctor is partially responsible for all cyber-men. The 5th doctor will get another full-body scan by the cyber-tech in BFP 087 The Gathering. The audio effects are based on The Tenth Planet (first ever appearance of the Cybermen, and William Hartnell's last story as the Ruling Doctor). The result, while it is a little campy, is also amazingly creepy, and allows a suspension of disbelief beyond many of the other synthetic voice effects. Adric's death from Earthshock is also mentioned. All in all, this is just as compelling an origin story as Genesis of the Daleks (perhaps even moreso).

    The Maltese Penguin
    BFP 034a
    Frobisher, the Meezomorph, is taking a vacation from traveling with the Doctor, and has set himself up as a private eye. One of his under cover disguises is... The Doctor. Matching that coat is a real challenge, though getting the nose right...
    His latest case involves a corpse, corrupt police, the wealthiest man in the galaxy, mega corporations, and the greatest secret on the world. Naturally there is also a long-lost love, a tragic end, and the other tropes of the Noir detective. And it just wouldn't do to not have an appearance by The (6th) Doctor--who is just there to help out. And is lonely.
    This was a special release with an issue of Doctor Who Magazine. In addition to Detective Noir tropes, it also makes fun of Doctor Who tropes.

    ISH
    BFP 035
    The 6th Doctor and Peri arrive at a Lexicographers' and Liguists' conference. The Doctor, especially in this incarnation, is an avid fan of the English language. Unfortunately, the keynote speaker is found dead in her office. She seems to have committed suicide, but that can't be right. The head of the college empowers the Doctor to investigate, mainly to avoid distressing his guests and potential backers. Peri gets bored and plays a word game with one of the students. Her knowledge of botany gives her an edge (all those Peri___ words).
    During the research, the head researcher and her AI (Book) stumbled across a world which claimed to worship the Word that formed the Universe. The word is known as the OmniVerbum, and is accidentally trapped by Book. It starts causing havok at the conference by feeding on all the lesser words in the scientists' vocabularies. They begin uttering a single syllable: Ish.
    This is a silly, fun story. Colin Baker gets to be bombastic, but not as Over-the-top as JNT forced him to be during his stint on TV. The Key-note speaker is brought back as a hologram to give her speech, which includes a story about the Doctor, and his capacity for language that has a power to fascinate and baffle most of his enemies. Doctoreeze is almost a language of its own.
    Unfortunately, many of the writers for BFP and NuWho are not students of language, and keep giving The Doctor lines that do not follow proper grammar and/or form. I cringe every time I hear the doctor say "Snuck". yuck.

    The Rapture
    BFP 036
    To give Ace a rest after the ordeal at Colditz, The 7th Doctor takes her to Ibetha, an island near Spain used to recreation and as a vacation spot. They are greeted by Gustavo, who assures Ace that everything is calm here, and recommends she go to the new club "The Rapture", currently very popular. The Doctor and Gustavo talk about old times during Facist Spain. The Doctor brought Gustavo to Ibetha after that war to help him recover, and he never left. Meanwhile, at the club, a group of four friends are enjoying themselves (each in his or her own way--one is a tea-totaller but on the pull, one is a drug addict, and the others get by with beer and dancing). One of them, Liam, spots Ace in the crowd, and is shocked. Eventually the group bumps into her and she joins in the fun. The Rapture is owned by two brothers who claim to be Jude and Gabriel. They use music, the laser show, and the natural sunset to enduce euphoria.
    Ace discovers she has a brother. The Doctor has to help sort out problems, and keep a club full of vacationing students from being sent to the war zone.
    Well, this episode has a lot of odd elements for Doctor Who. Religion (obviously) is back. Then there's recreational drug use. The opening and closing themes are disco/techno/dance remixes of the 7th Doctor's opening theme. Recreational procreation and promiscuity of teenagers and 20-somethings also mentioned.
    While high on angel dust (what else?), Kat hears the Doctor declare himself "The Sandman". This is an odd choice, given that it was (will be) the 6th Doctor who styled himself as The Sandman, a demonic figure in the Galliari legends (The Sandman BFP 037). Ace abandons her McShane name and goes back to Ace.
    Liam says that even though he is a christian, he still likes the X-Files and Professor X, and goes clubbing, so he has to be cool, right? It is unclear if Professor X is supposed to be Charles Xavier from X-men, or a joke about Doctor Who. Professor X is also mentioned as being a Saturday afternoon program in one of the Doctor Who Unbound episodes, so perhaps this joke was just a way of not-quite breaking the 4th wall.
    The "I Love You" virus also turns up.

    The Sandman
    BFP 037
    The Galliarrii Clutch is a collection of star ships moving in concert. Ships join and depart at almost will. The Galliarrii are a race that appears to be sentient chameleons, but actually have a great deal of avian ancestry. And they are plagued by a demon known by two names: The Sandman or The Doctor. Indeed, the Coordinator Neroshah's children were killed by the sandman during "Growth Sickness", and their skins taken before they were properly shed. Neroshah has never fully recovered from their loss.
    When they arrive, The Doctor warns Evelyn that she might not like the side of him she is about to see. Once on the clutch, the Doctor goes straight to the Orchestrator's office. When the Orchestrator returns, The Doctor becomes outright threatening, demanding that the Galliarrii stop manufacturing weapons (again), and being an arrogant menace. Evelyn is shocked. The Doctor orders the Orchestrator to tell the tale.
    The Doctor is the Galliarrii's devil, a figure of mystery and sinister death imprinted into their race memory. Every few decades since their first encounter, the Doctor has shown up to make his demands known. He is always recognized because his coat is painful to look at. The Orchestrator finishes the tale and begs the Doctor to stop his unnatural killing of the young.
    Since the Doctor hasn't been killing any children, he is mystified and demands an explanation. Along the way to follow the problem, the Doctor explains what really happened

    This is a pretty grim tale, as far as the Doctor being a menace to torment children. If anything, the Doctor is seen by most of the characters here, and the entire Galliarrii race, as the hideous monster, and General Voshkahr was the fallen hero. The Galliarrii will be back in future stories.
    I think this might originally have been a 7th Doctor and Mel story that was recast due to actor availabilty. Odd that Kat in The Rapture would have heard the 7th Doctor declaring himself to be "Her Sand Man" while she was in an altered mental state (angel dust). Evelyn puts a more mature spin on following a Star Gypsy around, and he seems to like her company (maybe because she was polite and chided the Doctor on some of his more rude metaphors).

    The Church and the Crown
    BFP 038
    The 5th Doctor, Peri, and Erimem accidentally end up in 17th Century France instead of at the Braxiatel Collection (where the Doctor was planning on dropping off Erimem). Cardinal Richelieu and his guard are having trouble with the King's Musketeers. And Peri has more than a passing resemblance to Queen Anne. Kidnappings, mistaken identities, and high adventure!
    "I have truly never seen the like of it. Why would someone put glass where a window should be?"
    --"How exactly does one swash one's buckle?"
    --"You know, I have no idea."
    "I was going to drop you off, but you know, in spite of the torture, and dueling, and crawling through a drainage tunnel, today has been... ...Fun."

    In the old days, this would have been titled Doctor Who and the Three Musketeers. Really, you don't need to know more. Light-hearted fun, in spite of the torture. The Doctor mentions Dumas. Two of the musketeers refer to retrieving the queen's diaries from a spy, then having to give credit to some farm boys freshly arrived in Paris. Cardinal Richelieu is not, as Peri thinks from the novels, "The Bad Guy." Erimem gets her first view of another culture, and is almost Charley-Pollard level enthralled. Fortunately, she gets to be a blood-thirsty leader and proper noble. The Doctor has to teach the musketeers "All for One". They don't seem impressed and do not think it will catch on. King Louis XIII is petulant and childish. No wonder 3 Louis' later brings on the Reign of Terror. Women are treated rather poorly (as befits the era). The Duke of Buckingham is almost as childish. Erimem comments on scheming priests not being all that different form the priests of her era after all. Erimem's cat is named Antronak, after her chief advisor. The cat and the Doctor do not get along--it likes to sit on the console and block controls. K-9 never gave him that kind of trouble.
    Peter Davidson delivers the "It was... ...Fun" line with almost the same inflection as Shatner during Trek7:Generations.
    The Braxiatel Collection is mentioned again. It acts as a base for the Bernice Summerfield stories, as well as being mentioned first in City of Death, and turning up again in other Big Finish Productions (including the Gallifrey spin-off series).
    Last edited by Koohii, Sep 25, 2012