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.

Barrowman teases Doctor Who return

A couple of hours ago, John Barrowman posted a teasing video on his Facebook page. The actor says:

“I will be back in Cardiff in about a week and a half. But I’m not telling you what for!”

Coincidentally, production begins on the Doctor Who Christmas special, in Cardiff in just over a week.

As New companion actress Pearl Mackie is still contracted to ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time’ until the end of  June, it’s very unlikely we’ll meet Bill in the Christmas special.

Peter Capaldi had previously stated:

“I don’t know whether she would be involved in the Christmas special, because it’s so specific, the story we’re doing with the companion.”

Personally, I would love to see Barrowman reprise his role as Jack in the Christmas special. It’s been five long years since we last saw him in Torchwood. Although Barrowman has recently played the character again for Big Finish.

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-The two masters 

Below is the trailer for the upcoming Big Finish Audio, the two masters.

The future is dying. All over the universe, gaps are beginning to appear. From the space lanes terrorised by the rag-tag remnants of the once-mighty Rocket Men, to the empire of the Gorlans, stricken by a terrible civil war. Gaps in space/time, portents of the end of everything.
Only three beings might prevent it. The Doctor, a renegade Time Lord from Gallifrey. The Master, another renegade Time Lord from Gallifrey. And another Master, yet another renegade Time Lord from Gallifrey.
One Doctor. Two Masters. What could possibly go wrong?

Written By: John Dorney

Directed By: Jamie Anderson

Cast
Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Geoffrey Beevers (The Old Master), Alex Macqueen (The New Master), Lauren Crace (Jemima), Russ Bain (Blore/Baron Jarvill), Esther Hall (Tazmeena/Bauza/Mum), James Garnon (Sebastian/Gorlan), Neil Edmond (Sarlon/Gorlan/Time Lord). Other parts portrayed by members of the cast.
Producer David Richardson

Script Editor Alan Barnes

Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs

https://www.bigfinish.com/releases/popout/the-two-masters-1052

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).

Big Finish reveal artwork for their tenth Doctor range

Big Finish have just given us our first look at the cover art, for their Tenth Doctor Adventures, which is due out in May.

The Tenth Doctor range sees the highly anticpated return of The tenth Doctor and Donna Noble, with David Tennant and Catherine Tate both reprising their roles.

1.1 Technophobia by Matt Fitton

When the Doctor and Donna visit London’s Technology Museum for a glimpse into the future, things don’t go to plan.

The most brilliant IT brain in the country can’t use her computer. More worrying, the exhibits are attacking the visitors, while outside, people seem to be losing control of the technology that runs their lives.

Is it all down to simple human stupidity, or is something more sinister going on?

Beneath the streets, the Koggnossenti are waiting. For all of London to fall prey to technophobia…

  

1.2 Time Reaver by Jenny T Colgan

Calibris. The spaceport planet where anything goes. Where anyone who doesn’t want to be found can be lost, and where everything has its price. Where betentacled gangster Gully holds sway at the smugglers’ tavern, Vagabond’s Reach.

The alien Vacintians are trying to impose some order on the chaos. Soon the Doctor and Donna discover why. An illegal weapon is loose on the streets. A weapon that destroys lives… Slowly and agonisingly.

The Time Reaver.

  

 1.3 Death and the Queen by James Goss

Donna Noble has never been lucky in love.

So when, one day, her Prince does come, she is thrilled to have the wedding of all weddings to look forward to. Though the Doctor isn’t holding his breath for an invitation. And her future mother-in-law is certainly not amused.

But on the big day itself, Donna finds her castle under siege from the darkest of forces, marching at the head of a skeleton army.

When it looks like even the Doctor can’t save the day, what will Queen Donna do to save her people from Death itself?

Written By: Matt Fitton, Jenny T Colgan, James Goss
Directed By: Nicholas Briggs

All three stories are also available to pre-order in the Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures Volume 1 – Limited Edition set. Limited to just 5,000 copies and available exclusively from bigfinish.com. Tthe lavish book-sized box set includes exclusive artwork, photography, articles and a one-hour documentary featuring interviews with the stars and production team.

You can pre-order the set now at the special price of £30 on CD or £25 to download.

 

 

 

 

Doctor Who: The Third Doctor Adventures

The natural impulse for genre fans granted new material, before they’ve even enjoyed it, is to put it on the shelf. Its ability to ‘fit in’ seems so important at first but why would we want exactly what we have? What we get with these Third Doctor Adventures isn’t a lonely replay of a dusty videocassette. It’s the fresh sound of a graduate Doctor.

From Peter Davison to David Tennant we’ve seen our favourite performers return in victory laps on audio that have become regular gigs. The actors don’t sound quite like they did on telly but before long the wonder of the experience takes over. Suddenly we’re not reliving the past; we’re experiencing a special sort of future.

The occasional sibilant ‘s’ of Jon Pertwee’s Doctor, the easy confidence, that delightful vocal texture, they’re all there but so is Tim Treloar. The Welsh actor has certainly taken on the southeast England style of Jon Pertwee but most importantly, he’s gone beyond the skill of the impressionist to give us a character that fits right in with the remarkable animal that is this 21st century return to the Pertwee years.

Alongside are Katy Manning as Jo Grant and Richard Frankin as Mike Yates. Having been delighted with their performances as Iris Wildthyme and the retired Captain Yates, it was lovely to hear them cast their voices back a few decades into the characters that made them famous. Of course, we’re getting a graduate Classic Jo and a graduate Classic Yates but this should be no surprise (or worry) to regular listeners to Big Finish audio drama.

Before long, The Doctor is disturbing the room as he upbraids a bureaucrat, Jo is making battle armour out of her faith in him and Yates is, well, getting chances to be more heroic than ever. Big Finish is generous like that. And the gap in the shelf behind me is forgotten completely.

Having dropped five paragraphs on why things shouldn’t slavishly imitate our best loved Pertwee adventures, I must mention that the music is absolutely spot on. Prisoners of the Lake has the musical style of The Sea Devils but with a very welcome melodic quality and Havoc of Empires has a Dudley Simpson style with friendly tones evocative of the Third Doctor’s first serial on TV.

The only true oddity is the narration sprinkled throughout the stories which might have been Big Finish treading carefully, couching Treloar as both narrator and Doctor. They needn’t have bothered but certain action sequences play quite well narrated, whereas in dialogue the characters would have had to illustrate the action for us in odd sorts of ways.

Big Finish know well each era of classic Doctor Who and their output is forward-thinking, waxing creative and progressive in precisely the areas of the old series that we’d like expanded or redressed. The Third Doctor Adventures continue this trend. Roll on, Doctor Treloar!

Doctor Who: The Third Doctor Adventures at Big Finish

Doctor Who: The Churchill Years

Reprising his performances during Matt Smith’s era of Doctor Who, IanMc Niece is back as Winston Churchill. Big Finish’s new box set departs from their well-honed format of unmediated aural adventures, with McNiece narrating as well as performing in each episode. The narration does cover a few bits that I felt it shouldn’t, notably an action sequence in the first story and the introduction of a famous historical figure in the third. I mention this to balance what I think has been a refreshing experience and a success overall.

Churchill’s narration includes recounting the words and actions of the first three new series Doctors. This has the brilliant effect of bringing the Christopher Eccleston Doctor to Big Finish, complete with the Ninth Doctor signature tune. As The Doctor changes, the title music changes. Across the stories one can spot the different speech patterns of each Doctor, even as related (and occasionally imitated) by McNiece.

There’s still plenty of full-cast audio action aboard, moved along nicely by the ‘companions’ of Churchill. As his new secretary, Hetty Warner (Emily Atack) leads many scenes apart from Winston and works well with both her employer and The Doctor. Kazran Sardick (Danny Horn) returns from Dr Who’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ and provides good contrast to the 20th century way in which Churchill reacts to being dropped into Roman Britain. In the final piece, another supporting artist from a Matt Smith Christmas special returns, Holly Earl As Lily Arwell. She looks after Winston at a particularly action-packed point in his twilight years.

The first story is the most conventional, with an alien object dropped into wartime Britain. The second shatters that mould as we find Churchill’s Black Dog – his controversial mental issues – woven into the story. In the third, Winston lives amid the subjects of his own historical books and the statesman’s fascination for butterflies is rolled rather surprisingly into the fourth adventure. Additionally, there’s a nice bit of Nick Briggs’ Dalek voice work in this set.

Doctor Who: The Churchill Years brought a delightful, fictionalised Sir Winston into my home over a couple of winter evenings. So pleasant was it that I might just sit down with Churchill’s own writing for just a bit more time with this true-life legend from long ago.

Review-Torchwood:Uncanny valley 

The tale of artificial intelligence is a stablemate of science fiction, but this is the first time the subject matter has been handled so maturely.

The adventure kicks of with Jack unexpectedly arriving at the home of reclusive billionaire/entrepreneur-celebrity, Neil Redmond.

Dubious of Jack’s intention, Richmond distrusts him until the good Captain drops some impossible knowledge. The duo then talk about the events that brought them both to the remote Welsh castle.

Richmond found himself wheelchair bound after being involved in a horrific car crash. A mysterious woman then persuaded him to purchase a company that make “living dolls”. He was then gifted an avatar of himself, which he christened NJ-which would appear at press conferences on his behalf.

Writer David Llewellyn proves again that he can handle Torchwood. this is a mature think piece with non-gratuitous adult moments. In other words, this is Torchwood at its best. It’s quintessential listening.

John Barrowman slips back into Captain Jack’s RAF Greatcoat with ease, he knows this character inside and out. He could do this in his sleep. Special mention must go to Steven Cree (Outlander). He is entirely convincing in his dual roles as Neil and NJ.

I’ve enjoyed each of the Torchwood audios, for different reasons. Each one has scratched a different sort of itch. If you haven’t tried a Big Finish audio before, I recommend jumping on board with this range.