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Big Finish (non-Blake's 7)
Spaceship Dispatcher
So, that's all for now. This afternoon's relisten was The Pride of Peladon, my very favourite Erimem story and the last. I'm rather biased in choosing this as my favourite, because Peladon is also my favourite fictional place in the whole universe of the show; the planet, the Citadel, the mines and tunnels, the characters, the visual style, the medieval atmosphere, the sort of tales that happen there. And I like all Peladon stories to fit the same narrative template and deal with the same sorts of issues, so this one pretty much ticks all the boxes. Jenny Agutter might have been star casting, but Big Finish always make sure that famous names are also right for the parts they play the same as everyone else; and her mysterious voice reaching into people's minds and echoing through secret passages is super effective. The whole idea of a serial that homages both the Peladon sub-canon and Pyramids of Mars was quite daring, but the two turn out to be remarkably compatible. The last episode is not rushed, despite having quite a situation to resolve, with the dark and mysterious atmosphere there right to the last. Those elements that recreate the familiar, such as the voices of Alpha Centauri and the Ice Warriors, are really well done and nicely authentic; plenty of nostalgia on hand, and in ending another era it created a source of nostalgia all of its own. The departure of Erimem is handled in a typically classic Who way, all rather too sudden, but that does fit the period of the show that these adventures are supposed to fit into; but it was still very moving, for the characters and also for listeners that invested emotionally in this wonderful new companion.
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
This month's bundle of Big Finish audios contained:

Blake's 7: Drones (1.3)
Dr Who: The Highest Science
The Judgement of Sherlock Holmes
Survivors, by Terry Nation (audiobook)

Rather excited about The Highest Science, the latest dramatisation of a 1990's original novel Grin
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
Doctor Who - The Highest Science - 8/10

This is one that I have been looking forward to for a long time, having become a fan in the early 1990s when new Dr Who meant novels and radio drama rather than tv episodes - until 1996 anyway; and this is a drama that does feel very much like a novel dramatisation too. Unlike many stories written as audios from the start, this has a very consistent tone and pace through the whole work; it's intentional on the part of Big Finish, as they themselves have said many times, to give many of their own Dr Who stories the energy and vision of motion picture fantasy. But back in the early 1990s, when it was a new idea for fan writers to be able to create 'official' Dr Who stories by turning professional with Virgin Publishing, the emphasis was much more on ideas; what sort of things could happen in the novels that would never have been explored, or had simply been overlooked, by the various creative teams on the show. So here we have a story by future new-Who script writer Gareth Roberts that rattles along like a very traditional adventure until the end and, without giving too much away, we see the Doctor hit something that modern viewers might find normal but which then was a bit shocking: failure. Not the sort of 'failure' like we see in Warriors of the Deep, where the Doctor despairs that there are no survivors but was largely powerless to change what happened, but actually a scenario where the Doctor makes plans that simply don't work. The ending, and I see this more as a selling point than a spoiler, is one of those plot developments where you sit up and the real world just vanishes; there is just you, the Doctor and the companion left staring at what's happened. It's one of those genuine lump in the throat sort of moments, like the Doctor using the fireplace in instead of the Tardis and staring out of the window at Reinette's hearse driving away from him. It's a good story all the way through, with a nice balance of dialogue and plot twists, but I would recommend listening to this if only for the final scenes.
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
Joe Dredd
Although I'm only a casual fan of DW, I'm pleased to see things like "The English Way of Death" and "The Romance of Crime" getting the audio treatment, and also "The English Way of Death" and "Human Nature" getting reprinted in a couple of months as part of the "DW: History Collection" line.
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
The Judgement of Sherlock Holmes - 8/10

*potential spoilers*

This is one of my favourite Big Finish series, but there was something almost undefinable here that didn't work for me quite as well as previous episodes; not that the production values or the performances or even the script itself were below the standards already set, hence the respectable 8/10 score I'm giving, but the concept itself was out of step with the range imo. This was epic on a scale that Big Finish have never tried before in their Sherlock Holmes series, with the set being a single four hour long story; that's twice as long as any previous story. Part of the brilliance of the format created by Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle was that, by seeing the world through the eyes of Dr Watson as he admires the brilliance of his friend, you could have an intelligent and engaging exploration of the detail of a story while keeping the plot itself very simple. This is a global conspiracy, albeit delightfully unlikely in a way that would have amused Sir Arthur, that weaves secret societies and diabolical plans for global domination into the same mix as weapons of mass destruction, fantasy genetic engineering, continuity from other stories and two major character deaths; it's simply too much for a Sherlock Holmes story and imo just doesn't feel right. Not to mention violent abuse of prisoners, Holmes and an associate, through severe beatings in one of the episodes; nothing inappropriate about how the scene was handled, but it was something else that felt like it belonged in a box with a different cover.
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
Survivors - 10/10

The orginal series and new series of Survivors were both very good, but the novel was better than both! This was my first experience of Terry Nation's novel based on the series, although it had been highly recommended to me in the past, and the quality of both the writing and the plot really impressed me. The tale here is totally different to the television show, albeit with some common events and characters, and develops in quite literally a different direction. Many of the best elements of the first two television series are taken, and mixed with elements recognisable from the final section of John Wyndham's novel Day of the Triffids, to create a narrative that's both very personal and rather epic at the same time. There's a lot more hope and confidence here, also in common with Wyndham's work, that was not present in the gloomier broadcast version. As for the audiobook production, Big Finish have done themselves proud again with very high standards; and Carolyn Seymour is a much better reader than I was expecting too. Faultless in every regard, this is an outstanding addition to my CD collection.
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
rojkerr1
the original novel is very good, interesting differences and a shock ending. The survivors remake series was based on the novel alone, not the original series. Caroline Seymour only found out Abbys fate in the book when she did the commentary for the first episode of the boxsets. her reaction was classic..."poor peter..."
 
trevor travis
Well here's one to avoid: more UNIT stories.

http://www.bigfin...extinction

Don't mind UNIT appearing in the odd DW story, even if they did get slightly carried away with the concept in the Pertwee era (although had all the UNIT stories continued in the vein of Season 7, no-one could have had any complaints), and indeed the Pertwee Doctor bucks the trend by not being anti-establishment enough for my tastes.

But I don't fancy a whole series of just UNIT on their own... it's like eating bread without the bacon! Grin
Edited by trevor travis on 09 February 2015 12:34:28
 
trevor travis
I have now the whole of the Tom Baker third season to look forward to, along with the Philip Hinchcliffe Presents box set.

Also season four has started to drop through the door.

I have quite a backlog to catch up with, including the Gareth Roberts Fourth Doctor stories (you might see a bit of a Tom Baker theme going on here!!), three S&S audios, plus the audios that SD kindly gave me in 2013. So lots to listen to when I start doing my travelling in around a month's time!

Also I will order Colin Baker's "Final Adventure" - that sounds like a cracker!
Edited by trevor travis on 09 February 2015 12:32:40
 
trevor travis
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

Survivors - 10/10

The orginal series and new series of Survivors were both very good, but the novel was better than both! This was my first experience of Terry Nation's novel based on the series, although it had been highly recommended to me in the past, and the quality of both the writing and the plot really impressed me. The tale here is totally different to the television show, albeit with some common events and characters, and develops in quite literally a different direction. Many of the best elements of the first two television series are taken, and mixed with elements recognisable from the final section of John Wyndham's novel Day of the Triffids, to create a narrative that's both very personal and rather epic at the same time. There's a lot more hope and confidence here, also in common with Wyndham's work, that was not present in the gloomier broadcast version. As for the audiobook production, Big Finish have done themselves proud again with very high standards; and Carolyn Seymour is a much better reader than I was expecting too. Faultless in every regard, this is an outstanding addition to my CD collection.


SD, is it a straight reading of the book, or adapted?

If it's a straight reading, then yes I was quite surprised by the optimistic tone of some of the book, especially as Terry Nation felt that Terrence Dudley's vision of Survivors was not gloomy enough. Also our Tel also said he wanted his band of survivors to keep on wandering, so it was interesting that they do settle down in a cul-de-sac of houses for most of the book.

Just to clarify, the book only takes elements from Season One, as Terry Nation left after this series, and indeed I think the book was published on January 1, 1976, before any of the second season was transmitted.

But *spoiler ahead* it does end in rather gloomy fashion, with Abby killed by her own son, and Greg & Jenny stranded in France without any of the provisions.

I have to say I very much liked the book. It does give an indication of how the series would have developed if Nation kept control of his baby.
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
trevor travis wrote:

SD, is it a straight reading of the book, or adapted?

If it's a straight reading, then yes I was quite surprised by the optimistic tone of some of the book, especially as Terry Nation felt that Terrence Dudley's vision of Survivors was not gloomy enough. Also our Tel also said he wanted his band of survivors to keep on wandering, so it was interesting that they do settle down in a cul-de-sac of houses for most of the book...

Its a direct reading of the novel, so any similarities with s2 must have been coincidence then! Indeed, quite a surprise that Terry and Terance had such a falling out over creative differences when the middle part of the book and the middle season of the show have so much in common. On balance, I do prefer the novel to any of the tv interpretations becuase it does take time to explore the post-death world while staying very immediate. One reason for me that s2 suffers is the clash between 'settling down' and the need for something new to happen every week to keep the ratings up. The novel only has to sell itself once so, at least as a reading, you have a whole disk an hour or so long which is longer than many BFP entire releases but where nothing happens apart from discussing life and planting potatoes. Interesting that the whole 'down on the farm' aspect really annoys me about the original tv series, but not here; maybe it's because the book maintains the claustrophobia of a very small group rather than the crowd of characters at Whitecross.
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
trevor travis wrote:

Well here's one to avoid: more UNIT stories....

While I'm a big fan of Moffat-era UNIT and of Jemma Redgrave as Kate, I'm not really confident about how Big Finish would go about this project; they will probably do something very loud and busy, with lots of actions and special effects. What is exciting though is that, up until now, their licence has always been strictly for spinning-off episodes in the pre-nuWho period of the first eight Doctors from 1963 to 1996; that we are getting a nu-Who based series, and one based on very recent episodes too, must mean that the clause has been dropped! What might come next? David Tennant, Billie Piper, Catherine Tate, John Simm, John Barrowman and Arthur Darvill all still work in the UK and are keen to stay associated with the show...
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
trevor travis
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:
What is exciting though is that, up until now, their licence has always been strictly for spinning-off episodes in the pre-nuWho period of the first eight Doctors from 1963 to 1996; that we are getting a nu-Who based series, and one based on very recent episodes too, must mean that the clause has been dropped! What might come next? David Tennant, Billie Piper, Catherine Tate, John Simm, John Barrowman and Arthur Darvill all still work in the UK and are keen to stay associated with the show...


Oh wow - now that would be good.

Freema's now in the US, isn't she?
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
trevor travis wrote:

Freema's now in the US, isn't she?

I'm not sure about Freema; I don't follow her so don't know what she's done recently; getting Chris to involve himself with the show is a complete impossibililty, Matt is following a film career, and Karen lives Stateside now too.
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
trevor travis
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

trevor travis wrote:

Freema's now in the US, isn't she?

I'm not sure about Freema; I don't follow her so don't know what she's done recently; getting Chris to involve himself with the show is a complete impossibililty, Matt is following a film career, and Karen lives Stateside now too.


David & Freema would be reuniting the "Dream Team", but it wasn't possible David & Billie would be good, and David & Catherine would be OK as well. Smile
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
This month's Big Finish audio bundle:

Blake's 7: Mirror
The Avengers: Collection 3
Dr Who: The Romance of Crime
Dr Who: The English Way of Death

...and from BBC Audio...

Full Circle read by Matthew Waterhouse
Silhouette read by Dan Starkey
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
trevor travis
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:
...and from BBC Audio...

Full Circle read by Matthew Waterhouse


I like Full Circle, but surely they could get someone better than Matthew Waterhouse to read it Shock
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
Doctor Who: The Romance of Crime

There's lots of great comedy and clever ideas in season seventeen, if only the whole series could have been as brilliant as the classic story City of Death! In the mid-1990s Gareth Roberts wrote a trilogy of Fourth Doctor and Romana II novels that made such an idea a reality, or at least as much of a reality as it could be in print only. He penned stories that had the style of narrative and script, and the tone of Tom and Lalla's performances, down so accurately that you inwardly believed you had seen the episodes on television despite knowing you were reading original fiction and not novelisations. At last, the Big Finish team are taking that extra step toward making these adventures 'real' by having the original cast perform them. The first of them, The Romance of Crime, is as clever and funny and ingenious as the Adams-era at its best, with the now added dimension of being a wonderfully performed drama finally ticking that extra box. Of special note are the Ogrons, themselves completely note perfect and sound like they have just walked out of the last episode of Frontier in Space. 10/10
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
trevor travis
I have this to look forward to.

I remember reading the novelisations in the mid-90s and they were perfect. Gareth Roberts perfectly recreated Season 17.
Edited by trevor travis on 14 February 2015 19:58:54
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
I'm half way through The English Way of Death at the moment, and planning to listen to episodes 3 and 4 after the Reign of Terror rewatch tomorrow morning; my comments will be just as positive though, based on the excellent first two episodes!
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
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