Review-Torchwood: The Death of Captain Jack

Torchwood: The Death of Captain Jack is difficult to review, without spoiling. So, I won’t be discussing the storyline.

This is an ambitious audio, from David Llewellyn who once again proves himself to be one of the greatest writers Torchwood has ever had. He perfectly manages to encapsulate the history of Jack and John and give the Torchwood franchise a fresh new spin, all within an hour-long adventure. It’s an absolute joy.

James Marsters absolutely shines as Captain John Hart and, instantly reminds us why he was so popular amongst Torchwood fans. He’s the perfect foil to John Barrowman’s Captain Jack.

There’s also a slight dig at Torchwood:Miracle Day.

Director Scott Handcock and producer James Goss have their awesomely unique style all over this release. Torchwood on Big Finish, is the best Torchwood has ever been. They just get it, it’s ambitious, it’s loud, it’s sexy and over the top. Which is just how it should be.

10/10.

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

 

Review-The lives of Captain Jack

One of the most interesting character’s in Doctor Who’s history is, Captain Jack Harkness. The con man-come immortal-time traveling adventurer, with a wink and a swagger.

Altough we got to see more of the character in Torchwood, I’d always wanted a Captain Jack spin-off. I wanted to know what happened after The Doctor and Rose left him. Finally, Big Finish have answered that question.

The Year After I Died by Guy Adams.

As the title suggests, this story takes place a year after ‘The Parting of the Ways’. We’re presented with a very different Jack, he’s tortued, trying to lead a quiet life, he’s living alone and has shun human contact. He’s also trying to figure out how he survived the Dalek attack and why The Doctor and Rose abandoned him.the-year-after-i-died

His quiet life is turned upside down when a young reporter named Silo Crook (Shvorne Marks) comes investigating, he again finds himself tasked with saving humanity.

The Year After I Died’works extremely well as a direct sequel to ‘The Parting of Ways’. It builds on the story told in the series 1 finale, but doesn’t fall into to the sequel trap of telling the same story. As far as opening stories go, this is a great installment. John Barrowman shins in this, delivering the most subjude/reluctant version of captain Jack we’ve ever seen. This is a very well-written story, with great performances. I would like to see more set in this timeline.

9/10

Wednesday’s for Beginners by James Goss.

After reprising her role as Jackie Tyler for ‘The Ninth Doctor Chronicles’, Camille Codouri returns as everyone’s favourie mum.

The first 15 minutes focus on Jackie Tyler, as she pushes the story forward with monologue. We learn what happens when Rose is away and we experience the true pain and lonliness she feels, it’s heart breaking.wednesday

Soon after, she meets her “handsome American stalker” (Captain Jack) and the story really kicks into gear.

Jackie and Jack make a great duo, Barrowman and Coduri have chemistry to spare and clearly had a blast recording this. Fun and flirtacious inuendo are a bounded around and it’s an absolute joy to listen to.

Jackie’s feeling of isolation and loneliness really resonates and is perfectally juxtaposed with the adventure angle.

Deep down, this is a fun adventure that will have you howling with laughter.

8/10

One Enchanted Evening by James Goss.

This story takes place mere minutes after the Doctor leaves Jack in the bar in The End of Time’.

It turns out the Tenth Doctor wasn’t just trying to get the pair laid, he had an ulterior motive.evening

Jack and Alonso are both in dark places, Jack had just murdered his grandson, Steven, to save man kind and obviously feels a lot of guilt. Alonso had just walked off the Titanic, a broken man. Feeling he should have been braver, more like The Doctor.

The pair bond over the course of an hour, as they work to save a spaceship from being destroyed. The villain is voiced by Katy Manning, whois camping it up no end and clearly having the time of her life.

Although the villain feels very generic, character wise this is the best in the box set. Captain Jack and Midshipman Frame both help each other exorcise their demons.

This is a character driven story, that allows both characters the redemption they feel they need.

8/10.

Month 25 by Guy Adams.

This is the story we’ve spent 12 years waiting for. When we were first introduced to Captain Jack (12 years ago!) we learned he was a former time agent, with two years of his memory missing. Now, we’re finally getting some answers. We even learn his real name..month-25

I’m a long time fan of Guy Adam’s work with Big Finish, but this could well be his best story. It’s gripping spy/conspiracy drama, that some how manages to be laugh out loud funny. This is well-written and well acted. Barrowman perfectly manages to speak the way we imagine a twenty-something Captain Jack would speak.

9/10.

The Lives of Captain Jack’ is a remarkable set, which I highly recommend. John Barrowman delivers some absolutely stunning performances.

James Goss and Guy Adams have managed to take such a well-known character and find new ways to make him to grow and mature, as well as answering questions fans have had for well over a decade.

It’s a must have box set, let’s hope this becomes an annual release. Maybe Jack could even meet a certain Professor Song…

Price: £11.73
Was: £14.99

 

The Tenth Doctor and Rose to return!

David Tennant and Billie Piper are reprising their roles of the Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler, respectively. For three new Doctor Who audio dramas from Big Finish Productions.

Executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery said:

“Getting David and Billie back together was definitely on my bucket list – two wonderful actors who created an era of Doctor Who which is so fondly remembered and brought a different aspect of the relationship between the Doctor and his companion to the fore – love, both platonic and unrequited. It’s great to have the Tenth Doctor and Rose back again!”

Nicholas Briggs added:

“It was such a special time for me, working with Billie and David on the TV show and it is such an honour to revisit it with them on audio.”

The set opens with Attack of the Zaross by John Dorney, in which an alien invasion of Earth isn’t quite what it appears to be – Camille Coduri guest stars as Jackie Tyler.

In the second adventure, Sword of the Chevalier by Guy Adams, the Doctor and Rose arrive in Slough in 1791 and encounter Chevalier D’Eon, an enigmatic ex-spy who has lived his life as a woman. Together they must fend off alien slavers, who have come to Earth to abduct valuable humans.

Finally, in Cold Vengeance by Matt Fitton, the TARDIS arrives on Coldstar, a vast frozen food asteroid in deep space. But there is something sinister defrosting in the network of storage units… the Doctor’s old enemies the Ice Warriors! Nicholas Briggs plays Ice Lord Hasskor and Warrior Slaan.

The Tenth Doctor Adventures: Volume 2 is released in November 2017.

John Barrowman announces The lives of Captain Jack 

Earlier this year John Barrowman spent a week recording various projects for Big Finish. One of those included an audio with Camille Coduri. There was a lot of fan speculation at the time, as to what this audio could be. Barrowman took to Facebook tonight to announce the four-part audio series ‘The lives of Captain Jack’.

Released in June 2017, The Lives of Captain Jack is written by Guy Adams and James Goss. The stories include:

THE YEAR AFTER I DIED: Set in the year 200,101, on an Earth ravaged by the Daleks, we see Jack struggling to save humanity from its oldest enemy.

WEDNESDAYS FOR BEGINNERS: Jack and Jackie Tyler (Camille Coduri) must unite to rescue the Powell Estate from a force whose name Jackie can never say.

ONE ENCHANTED EVENING: Captain Jack and Alonso Frame (Russell Tovey) have only just met. But why did the Doctor want them to be together?

MONTH 25: He’s the young star of the Time Agency, and his whole life is about to fall apart. But that’s not going to stop him winning.

Review:Torchwood-Zone 10 

One of the many things Big Finish excel at, is exploring characters that were some what underserved on the original show. In my mind, Toshiko Sato was one such character. She was my favourite, but I always felt there was more to tell. Luckily, Big Finish have given her a solo adventure with ‘Zone 10’. She’s free from the Hub and more importantly, the rest of the team.

Toshiko has been investigating a strange phenomenon, known as “The Pulse”. The pulse is a radio signal that has stumped scientists for over four decades. The Russians blame the Americans, the Americans blame the Russians. But up until now, nobody has been able to decipher it.

The pulse leads Tosh to Russia, where she teams up with Maxim Ivanov (Krystian Godlewski) of the KVI, Russia’s version of Torchwood. Together they enter the restricted region ‘Zone 10’.

This is an excellently written drama, David Llewyn has managed to further explore Toshiko, without undermining the way she was portrayed on TV.  It’s a bleak, but powerful and gripping drama. Full of gut-wrenching emotional moments.

The performances and direction and strong, the soundscape is amazing. Naoko Mori is clearly having a blast being back in Toshiko’s shoes, it’s like she has never been away.

Trailer-Big Finish:The Tenth Doctor Adventures

Big Finish have revealed the trailer for their upcoming Tenth Doctor Adventures. It sounds epic, Big Finish have been outstanding over the past year and I am so excited for this release. It sounds like they’ve gotten the Doctor/Donna banter down to a T.

Coming in May 2016, Doctor Who – The Tenth Doctor Adventures sees David Tennant and Catherine Tate reprise their fan-favourite roles as the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble in three all-new audio stories.

Featuring previews of all three releases – Doctor Who: Technophobia by Matt Fitton, Doctor Who: Time Reaver by Jenny Colgan and Doctor Who: Death and the Queen by James Goss – you can listen to the new trailer via the SoundCloud Player below.

 

Big Finish announce The Diary of River Song 2

After the success of the outstanding first series, Big Finish have announced that Alex Kingston will return as River Song in 2017, for four new adventures with two different Doctors.

The time travelling archaeologist will return on audio in 2017 – and this time she will be stepping into the past life of the Doctor, encountering two of his incarnations at once. Alex Kingston returns in The Diary of River Song: Series 2 alongside Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy.

From the space exploration vessel Saturnius – which is heading to a destination that never gets any closer – to a doomed planet Earth and beyond, River’s journey will bring her closer to a new foe… and an encounter with both the Sixth and Seventh Doctors.

Producer David Richardson said:

“We’re thrilled to have both Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy appearing alongside Alex in this box set. I can promise that River and the Doctor might not necessarily be working to the same agenda. In fact, the two Doctors might not be working to the same agenda either…”

The four hour-long adventures are; The Unknown by Guy Adams, Five Twenty Nine by John Dorney, World Enough and Time by James Goss and Eye of the Storm by Matt Fitton.

The impressive guest cast includes Anna Maxwell Martin (Midwinter of the Spirit, And Then There Were None, The Bletchley Circle), Jessie Buckley (War and Peace), Ann Bell (Tenko, Wallander), Robert Pugh (Game of Thrones, Mr Selfridge, Doctor Foster), Dan Starkey (Doctor Who, Wizards vs Aliens) and Barnaby Edwards (Doctor Who).

Doctor Who audio review: The Sirens of Time

In practice, the story’s shape gets in the way. Gallifrey is in a state of crisis, facing destruction at the hands of an overwhelming enemy. And the Doctor is involved in three different incarnations – each caught up in a deadly adventure, scattered across time and space. The web of time is threatened – and someone wants the Doctor dead. The three incarnations of the Doctor must join together to set time back on the right track – but in doing so, will they unleash a still greater threat? (synopsis)

In The Sirens of Time, fan service is performed to a five-star degree. In the first moment of Part One, a Gallifreyan tannoy voice delivers an alert in accurate, Deadly Assassin style. The meeting of the Doctors’ minds later on is a good mix of the sound heard in The Three Doctors and something better suited to accompany the memory flashbacks that the three share.

Each of the three Doctors get an episode to themselves then converge in the conclusion. In practice, this story structure is a bit disorienting. The three short pieces don’t get much time to develop before the fourth on Gallifrey gets into gear. Although the plot seems to have no holes it doesn’t come together in the way I imagine the makers hoped.

Doctor Who is usually better for me in reruns and this was no exception. Doubtless most of the actors will have completely forgotten having done this job but that’s fine with me; they’ve left behind some good performances. I hope they had some laughs and maybe earned a penny or two because my side of the equation’s worked out pretty well.

Check out the trailer.