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.