Episode 201:Torchwood-Sargasso

In which Martyn flies solo and brings you a review of the latest Torchwood release by Big Finish.

The seas of planet Earth are choked by plastic. Plastic that no-one has a use for and no-one can get rid of. Rhys Williams finds himself stranded on a container ship in a sea of debris. People on board are dying. Because, luckily, someone’s found a solution to Earth’s polluted waters. The Nestene Consciousness can never have too much plastic.

Check out our other Big Finish reviews.

Torchwood contains adult material and may not be suitable for younger listeners.

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as-but not limited to;

Audioboom, Player fm and Itunes.

Follow the Bad Wilf team:

Twitter:

Martyn – @BadWilf

Pete – @BeeblePete

Gerrod @BW_Gerrod.

Follow Big Finish-@BigFinish

We have a Vlog.

We also have Facebook.

If you’d like to support us, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you.



Torchwood: The Green Life

At first it seems like Captain Jack Harkness, leader of the ‘beyond the police’ Torchwood organisation and time-travelling Doctor Who companion turned eco-warrior Jo Jones (née Grant) would be quite a contrast when paired. But in ‘Torchwood: The Green Life’ the two are bound as much by what they share as what divides them.

Jo, in this story, is decades older than the girl who once travelled with The Doctor. Everything she learned from her time with UNIT is sewn into this Jo of today and much more besides. This woman is a good match for the immortal Jack, whose dashing young appearance only partially conceals how much of his strength is devoted to enduring a string of painful deaths and centuries. Big Finish audio dramas never shy from the role appearances play in stories when it’s relevant: here we have a pair of lovely fan favourites set amid some gruesome situations.



We’re back in Llanfairfach, the Welsh locale of the 1970s Doctor Who serial, The Green Death. The story then – of pollution-bred giant maggots and a technically-adept evil corporation – continues here. As Jack and Jo clamber over old territory we learn new things about them both.

Katy Manning has kindly returned to play Jo now and again in the past couple of decades – in television and in audio – and each time we get a hint or two about the character’s life since the 1970s. Here there’s quite a bit of her back story, particularly with regards to Llanfairfach. It’s a treat to hear the world of Jo Jones expanding into a mini-franchise of its own.

John Barrowman has been equally generous in his support, for the Torchwood franchise and for the ‘Whoniverse’ in general. He continues his regular contributions to Torchwood on audio here, with a bit of a new challenge: the gentlest members of Jack’s team were never as ‘right on’ as lovely Ms Jones. In Jack’s world, he and his go to some rather harsh extremes, they take their lumps and then find some way to make peace with themselves afterwards. Jo presents him with a world where there are certain lines that are simply not crossed. Where right and wrong don’t often intermingle. Where loyalty is everything.

The legacy elements of this story are taken in genuinely new directions. We get some detail about how the scientific advances of the 70’s Wholeweal community have developed in the years since. We learn a bit more about Llanfairfach as a population centre and its lifestyle in 2019. And we’re presented with something new that has gone very, very wrong. It’ll certainly inform a listener’s first real-world glimpse of a self-driving lorry.

Trailer-Torchwood: God among us volume 2

Big Finish has released the story details, cover art and trailer of the sixth series of Torchwood: God Among Us 2.

Norton Folgate rejoins Torchwood, Andy and Yvonne get very close indeed, and the world is truly going to hell…

Norton Folgate’s come from the 1950s to warn Torchwood it’s the end of the world. He might have a point – there’s an alien god wandering the city, and a sinister force manipulating events behind the scenes. Where are all the homeless people going? And why doesn’t it stop raining?

1. Flight 405 by Lou Morgan

Flight 405 went missing over 60 years ago, but tonight the plane finally lands. Norton Folgate is a Torchwood agent from the 1950s and he swears Flight 405 contains the secret to the end of the world, but can Torchwood trust him?

2. Hostile Environment by Ash Darby

An app’s been launched that allows you to tag the homeless. People think they’re doing a good thing and helping out. It does seem a remarkable success. After all, since it’s launched, there are a lot less homeless people on the streets – so it must be doing some good, mustn’t it?

3. Another Man’s Shoes by Tim Foley

Yvonne wakes up in Andy’s body – and both have difficult days ahead of them.
Meanwhile, Norton’s making himself very much at home in Tyler’s body, much to Tyler’s alarm, and Ng is worried she knows what’s going on.
Someone’s playing a terrible trick on Torchwood. But who will win?

4. Eye of the Storm by David Llewellyn

An alien power station is sending out waves of lethal energy, people are turning to stone and the water levels are rising. As Torchwood set out on a desperate mission, god takes tea with someone who has been playing a very long game. Has the time come for Norton Folgate to save the world?

James Marsters returns to Big Finish

James Marsters, the star of cult television shows Buffy The Vampire Slayer and, Angel. Is set to reprise his role as Captain John Hart, in a series of his own adventures in the Torchwood audio universe.

The rambunctious, deadly and ever-so charming captain will be back at the helm in a new four-story box set, The Sins of Captain John, created by Big Finish Productions in association with BBC Studios.

Captain John Hart made his audio debut in The Death of Captain Jack, released in March 2018. In this story he killed the entire Torchwood team – including John Barrowman’s supposedly immortal Captain Jack Harkness.

He also married Queen Victoria and had no less than three ‘relationships’ with characters from history. Who knows what he’ll get up to in this next box set of adventures!

James Marsters said:

“Doing The Death of Captain Jack was incredible! I have missed doing Torchwood so much. Beyond being proud of playing a part in it, the character itself is a blast to play, and those two episodes just weren’t enough.”

Set for release in January 2020, The Sins of Captain John will see Captain John Hart leading the universe into rack and ruin in four new adventures…

The Restored
Escape from Nebazz
Peach Blossom Heights
Darker Purposes

In these stories we’ll find the villainous anti-hero thriving in Restoration London, exploring gas planets, playing ‘Stepford wife’ and kissing (then killing) countless victims… Just a day in the life of a rogue Time Agent!

Writer, David Llewellyn added:

“Writing The Death of Captain Jack was a total blast, and both James Goss (producer of the Torchwood range) and I realised we could have a lot more fun with Captain John Hart, providing James Marsters was happy to return. Captain John is this chaotic, disruptive, insubordinate force of nature; completely amoral and unpredictable, so that gave me a lot of freedom! Writing is often a case of knowing when to hold back, when to tread a more subtle line, but with Captain John it’s the complete opposite. And setting it before Torchwood on television meant we were able to go to places where Torchwood can’t.”

Torchwood fans will also find answers to some of the questions and plot points that have so far been left hanging from the beginning of the television show. More details on this in the future…

Billie Piper gets Big Finish spin-off

Billie Piper is returning to the Doctor Who universe in Rose Tyler: The Dimension Cannon, a new audio series made in association with BBC Studios.

It follows Rose’s journey through dying parallel worlds, and also stars Camille Coduri as Rose’s mum Jackie, Shaun Dingwall as her dad Pete, Mark Benton (Legend!!) as alien investigator Clive Finch and Elli Garnett as Caroline Finch.

The four episodes follow Rose’s mission to seek out the Doctor, the only person who can save the doomed multiverse.

Picture credit-Big Finish

Billie Piper said:

“I love how normal Rose is, and yet really extraordinary. She lived a normal average life but she is incredibly curious and has an enormous capacity for love and empathy and is really spirited. She is extraordinary.”

The four new adventures are:
1.1 The Endless Night by Jonathan Morris
1.2 The Flood by Lisa McMullin
1.3 Ghost Machines by AK Benedict
1.4 The Last Party on Earth by Matt Fitton

From the worlds of Doctor Who, Rose Tyler – The Dimension Cannon will be released in September 2019, available for pre-order now on CD at £25 on CD and £20 on download.

Episode 195: Interview with Paul McGann

Recorded today at MCM London, here’s the interview I attended with Paul McGann. He discusses Jodie Whittaker and whether or not sci-fi should ever be political.

He praises Big Finish, Bradley Walsh and Sheridan Smith. He also addresses the Withnail & I drinking game.

Paul John McGann is an English actor. He came to prominence for portraying Percy Toplis in the 1986 television serial The Monocled Mutineer. He later starred in the 1987 dark comedy Withnail and I, and as the eighth incarnation of the Doctor in the 1996 Doctor Who television film, a role he reprised in more than 150 audio dramas and the 2013 mini-episode “The Night of the Doctor“.

The podcast can also be accessed via different places, including;

Audioboom, Player fm and Itunes.

Follow the Bad Wilf team:

Martyn – @BadWilf

Pete – @BeeblePete

Gerrod – @ingerrodsmind

Also check out the official Bad Wilf Vlog.

Review-The Diary of River Song 4

After adventures with the eighth, seventh and sixth Doctors. River Song finally meets with the legendary Fourth Doctor, in The Diary of River Song Series 4.

When River Song visits a place where time has vanished, a genie escapes its bottle… the Discordia are freed – nihilistic time pirates, in devilish form, altering the past to make sure they never lose.

Emma Reeves and Matt Fitton’s Time in a bottle, has a fascinating story idea. There’s a place in space with no time. That’s such an interesting concept for a story. However, I can’t help but feel this story is wasted in a box set format. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s a strong concept, with great writing and a superb cast, with writers at the very top of their game. I just feel the time constraints of a boxset limit the stories true potential.

This would’ve made a very interesting four-part story in its own right.

Regardless, it’s a solid introductory adventure that sets up the premise and introduces the main villain. It also takes the interesting angle. It feels like a good old fashioned pulp adventure. James Bond-esque in places. It pits River against her intellectual rival and shows her at her most Doctor-like state.

7/10

‘Kings of Infinite Space’ may not have the most original plot, but it is very entertaining and rewards repeat listening. It’s easily the strongest of the set. It’s well paced, paradoxical and fun. Alex Kingston and the rest of the cast are on top form. It feels like a Moffat era Doctor Who story. There’s action, humour, with a great use of the vortex manipulator and the locations that time travel opens up. It’s everything you could want from a River Song audio.

8/10

‘Whodunnit’ is an oddity in this boxset. Now, that isn’t me saying it’s bad. Far from it. The concept is interesting, with some thought-provoking philosophical discussions, the characters are three-dimensional and it’s well paced. However, it just doesn’t fit this box set. Like time in a bottle, this would’ve made a great main range story. Given more time to fully explore the premise, this could’ve been great. But I felt it interrupted the flow of the story ark.

That said, it’s an interesting listen with a fun take on the cliches of murder mysteries.

7/10

Someone I once knew, is the big one. The season finale, the one fans are excited for and it delivers. John Dorney brilliantly subverts expectation and puts an interesting spin on the River/Doctor dynamic.

Tom Baker and Alex Kingston have an instant rapport and a naturally brilliant chemistry. I would welcome future stories with this duo. Their chemistry is so natural, it’s difficult to believe they only met on the day of recording.

7/10.

Series four of ‘The Diary of River Song’ perfectly meshes the unique styles of the Steven Moffat era and Big Finish originality.

Not every story works completely and suffers from what most prequels do. Giving River companions is always going to be tricky, as we’ve never encountered or heard mention of them in the main show, you know they’re a goner the second they’re introduced.

At times the fourth Doctor feels more like a plot device, than an active companion. But this set is an absolute joy to listen to and has left me excited for series 5.

Written By: Emma Reeves, Matt Fitton, Donald McLeary, John Dorney

Directed By: Ken Bentley

Cast:

Alex Kingston (River Song), Tom Baker (The Doctor), Adele Lynch (Gammarae), Fenella Woolgar (Professor Jemima Still / Formidian Queen), Josh Bolt (Spod), George Asprey (Melak), Nicholas Asbury (Dante), Ewan Bailey (Human / Alien / Robot Voices), Tim Bentinck (Franz Kafka / Samsa), Alex Tregear (Miss Vermillion / Vermillion), Christopher Naylor (Lord Simon Whist / Captain Bartholomew / Discordia Underling), Shvorne Marks (Cissy / Thelma Sketch), Nigel Anthony (Rakkezar / Drayl), Nathalie Buscombe (Garen / Galerayna). Other parts played by members of the cast.

Producer David Richardson

Script Editors Matt Fitton, John Dorney

Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs.

Missy to get her own audio series

Big Finish announced today that Missy will be getting her own audio range.

Michelle Gomez, who played the Doctor’s best friend and wicked enemy, Missy will be reprising her role in some brand new audio adventures from Big Finish Productions made in arrangement with BBC Studios.

Throughout her time on Doctor Who, Missy – an evil incarnation in the guise of a Victorian nanny – was a delightful devil, at one point sentenced to death for terrible crimes against the universe. And now we get the chance to hear more of what she is really capable of.

These new adventures see an unleashed Missy bringing the universe to wrack and ruin. We can’t wait for its release in February 2019!

Michelle Gomez told us about letting Missy loose on the people of the universe:

“I was very excited to return to Missy’s world via the medium of audio because along the way I’ve always had a lot of fun with Missy; her voices and her rhythms. I absolutely love capturing it and distilling it down to the word on the page.

I’m absolutely delighted! She’s such a ridiculously brilliant character, and hopefully that earns her that moment in the spotlight. To find myself centre stage with these Missy adventures is thrilling – I’m very grateful.”

And (whilst evading the Doctor’s clutches) Missy will encounter another enemy of her ‘boyfriend’ as she crosses paths with the Meddling Monk played by Rufus Hound.

David Richardson, producer of these adventures added:

“Missy’s own series is just like the Time Lady herself – anarchic, funny, unpredictable and wildly imaginative. It’s absolutely glorious to have Michelle returning to the character at Big Finish, and our recording days have been filled with so much laughter.

And we haven’t even met face to face yet! Michelle’s busy filming the new Sabrina series in Vancouver for Netflix and so we’ve been pairing studios down the line; Michelle thousands of miles away while we’re in London synched up with her. It’s been a joy to make. And just wait until you hear the collaboration of Missy and the Meddling Monk!”

Missy is available for pre-order now ahead of its release in February 2019 at £23 on CD or £20 on download from www.bigfinish.com and will remain at this price until general release when it will be available for £35 on CD or £30 on download.

Sheridan Smith returning to Big Finish!

After last weeks Twitter tease, Big Finish has confirmed that Sheridan Smith will be reprising her role, as Lucie Miller in four new adventures with the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) in an exciting new box-set, due for release next year.

Lucie started her journey with the Eighth Doctor back in 2007 and was an instant hit with fans.  She went on to feature in three more series alongside Paul McGann, until she left in 2011. Fans have been demanding she come back, ever since.

Big Finish executive producer, Nicholas Briggs said:

We’ve always had it in mind to bring back Lucie, we only let her go in the first place because we could see Sheridan’s stratospheric career path approaching.But thanks to Big Finish producer Ian Atkins, we discovered that Sheridan was really keen to return. And so, script editor Alan Barnes (who created Lucie in the first place), producer Scott Handcock and I started devising The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller.”

Lucie Miller’s further adventures are:

The Dalek Trap by Nicholas Briggs
The Revolution Game by Alice Cavender
The House on the Edge of Chaos by Eddie Robson
Island of the Fendahl by Alan Barnes

The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller, which includes four adventures and a disc of extended extras, will also be released in July 2019 and can be pre-ordered now for £25 on CD or £20 on download, only available from Big Finish.

Big Finish review-The Siege of Big Ben

Jackie Tyler has everything she’s ever wanted: a loving husband and two children. But a terrible, far-reaching plan is underway, and only Jackie and a single friend stand in the way of it.

But the Doctor isn’t the man he was…

The Siege of Big Ben is a highly anticipated release. Ever since we left the Tylers and the meta-crisis tenth Doctor at the end of series 4, (10 years ago!) fans have wondered what happened next. Thankfully, Big Finish has given us some answers with this release.

This can’t have been an easy thing to write. Not only did Joe Lidster have to tell a gripping story that lives up to the fans expectations. He had to re-introduce us to the parallel Earth, or “Pete’s world”.

A base under siege scenario is a stablemate for Doctor Who. But Lidster manages to beautifully subvert what could be a repetitive format and turn it into a glorious character piece.

The script draws parallels between The Doctor being more human, and the human, being more like The Doctor we know and love. Having Jackie be the most Doctor-like character in the story adds an interesting dynamic.

The script is sharp, the direction is smooth and David Roocroft’s sound design is inspired. All in all, The Siege of Big Ben is a story about love, loss and the difficulties that come with moving on. You feel all of these things whilst listening. Camille Coduri oozes charm and instantly reminds you, why we all love Jackie Tyler.

This world is waiting for further exploration and I hope, this leads to some full-cast adventures.

10/10.

Check out our other Big Finish reviews.