Billie Piper returns to Big Finish

Big Finish has announced that this October, the multi-award-winning Billie Piper returns to the world of Doctor Who as Rose Tyler in the first of two brand-new box sets of full-cast audio adventure, The Dimension Cannon.  

Set after the events of the television story, Doomsday, this spin-off drama series follows the exploits of Rose, her friends and her family, trapped in another dimension on a parallel Earth. With her world doomed and a universe at stake, Rose must continue her frantic search for the only person who can help… the Doctor.  

Joining Billie Piper in the cast of Rose Tyler: The Dimension Cannon is co-star Camille Coduri, reprising her role as Rose’s mum, Jackie Tyler, and Mark Benton as an alternative version of fan-favourite, Clive Finch.  

Billie Piper said: “The Dimension Cannon is such a brilliant idea and gives Rose a lot more life beyond the Doctor. But there’s also something quite sad about her search. It’s a real bitter-sweet series of tales. I’m delighted for the fans to receive these new adventures. It’s something they talk to me about just as much as the episodes I appeared in on TV. It seems like there’s an enormous appetite for it and it’s very moving to imagine listeners spending a few more moments with this family particularly.” 

Both volumes, Rose Tyler: The Dimension Cannon Volume 2 — Other Worlds and Volume 3 — Trapped are now available to pre-order as collector’s edition box sets (on CD + download for just £19.99 per volume) or digital download only (for just £16.99 per volume). 

Read our review of the first series here.

Angela bruce returns to Doctor Who

Brigadier Winifred Bambera returns to the UNIT front line in her own brand new series of full-cast audio dramas from Big Finish Productions.

Angela Bruce, who made her Doctor Who debut in the 1989 TV adventure Battlefield, will don camo garb once more for a new series of audio adventures set to begin in June 2022, according to Doctor Who Magazine issue 573.

Bruce is also recognisable to sci-fi fans for her performance as Brigadier Winifred Bambera in the 1989 Doctor Who serial Battlefield, as well as her portrayal of Dayna Mellanby in Blake’s 7 audio drama The Syndeton Experiment.

Her other notable credits include Red Dwarf (as Deb Lister, a female counterpart of Dave Lister in a parallel universe), Prime Suspect and Only Fools and Horses in which she played Councillor Murray.

Angela Bruce said: “If I wasn’t Brigadier Bambera as she is now in this wonderful box set, I’d marry her. I would. I’d marry her. I find her irresistible. Within one character, you get to have all the control and all the power that you have ever desired. I feel deep joy in bringing her back. It’s really nice being thought of. It’s really nice that Big Finish has thought, ‘Brigadier Bambera, we haven’t heard anything from her for a while.’ And you go, ‘Oh really, you’d like to hear from me? You’d like to write something for Brigadier Bambera?’ YES! Bring. Her. On.   You’re meeting Bambera – and me – at a time when I’m full. Bambera’s happy in her own skin. And so am I. So this is the right time to meet her again. I think fans will love these new UNIT adventures. It’s brought that hunger back in me. Brigadier Bambera’s getting stronger every day.”  

This will mark Angela Bruce’s first time playing the character since she last appeared in the 2011 Big Finish story ‘Animal’.

UNIT – Brave New World: Volume 1 (title TBA) is now available to pre-order as a collector’s edition box set (3CD + download) at £19.99 or on download only at £16.99, exclusively from the Big Finish website.  

 

More than just an impression-episode 3

Chris has released the third and final episode in the first series of his podcast, ‘more than just an impression‘.

The podcast is run by actor and Impressionist Chris Walker-Thomson, who interviews other well-known talented individuals who continue the legacies of big stars no longer with us.

In episode 3, he talks to the brilliant writer and actor, Sadie Miller, about playing the role of Sarah Jane Smith for Big Finish Productions, a role previously played by her late-mother, Elisabeth Sladen… and much more!

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Review-The year of Martha Jones

The Master has won. He has stolen humanity’s future and imprisoned his nemesis, ruling the Earth with an army of deadly Toclafane.
But Martha Jones escaped, and now walks the Earth, telling stories of the Doctor. Above all else, humanity needs hope. And Martha will carry that hope across the world.

Something we never saw on Doctor Who is a big component of Martha Jones’ companion narrative.
During a time of death, destruction, and turmoil, she spent a full year on her own.
In the shows third series (Nu-Who), the Master and his army of Toclafane took over Earth and rendered our favourite Gallifreyan hero unconscious and looking like a cross between Yoda and Dobby.

Martha was entrusted with a monumental responsibility by the Doctor.
We know she succeeded because she is the best companion the modern series has had, but we didn’t see how she did it.

The Year of Martha Jones is a unique blend of great storytelling, humour and action. Much like The Doctor, Martha has become a mythological and contentious figure. People across the world murmur her name.
Some see her as a ray of hope. Others think she’s overrated, and her stories are nothing more than fairytales in the middle of constant conflict. They are perplexed by Martha’s genuine objectives and wonder if she has a plan to assassinate the Master.

At her core, Martha is just a human being trying her best to maintain emotional and mental stability in the face of an overwhelming challenge. She’s witnessed horrific tragedies and struggles with loneliness and paranoia all the time, unsure of whom she can trust in the world.

Her hope is still in the Doctor, and she always emphasises his great characteristics in her stories, but reality weighs heavily on her heart.
She is the only one in this unexpected and tough scenario.

The audio quickly finds its footing, thanks to a combination of great writing and performances from all involved.
Freema Agyeman and Adjoa Andoh, who plays Francine Jones, have great and natural chemistry together, it’s revealed in the extras that even Freema’s real-life mum, thinks of Adjoa as her second-mother. Freema calls her “Mamma Adj”.

We also meet a number of new interesting characters, such as Ewart James Walters as Tucker and Serin Ibrahim as Holly, an old college friend, who has a shaky relationship with Martha.

The Year of Martha Jones is a fascinating insight into human resilience, there are no bombastic over the top moments like you’d expect from the David Tennant era. Instead, this is a quiet and reflective story, that focuses on the little victories Martha is able to win on her journey. Scott Handcock’s direction is flawless and is beautifully accompanied by Howard Carter’s music and sound design.

It’s also easily Freema Ageyman’s best performance as the character. Over the years she has grown and evolved as an actress. I really hope this isn’t the last we’ve heard from Miss Jones.

The Year of Martha Jones is available to buy from Big finish.




Doctor Who viewing stats

Here’s a subject nobody ever gets bored of hearing. Doctor Who’s overnight viewing stats.

Doctor Who Survivors of the Flux was watched by 3.82 million viewers, according to unofficial overnight figures.

The figure is a slight increase from last week’s episode, The Village of Angels, which received an overnight of 3.45 million in the overnights. The seven-day consolidated figure, which includes all those who watched the episode within one week for chapter four was 4.55 million. This is the lowest seven-day consolidated rating since the series returned in 2005.

What do these figures mean? Absolutely nothing. The way we consume our media has changed dramatically over the past decade. We’re no longer beholden to broadcast times, people time-shift and record it. Others watch on iPlayer. My kids for example have absolutely no idea what day their favourite TV shows airs, having to watch it “live” would seem like a bizarre concept to them. However, they know exactly how to access the shows they like via streaming services.

Although the figures seem low in a traditional sense, Doctor Who is still performing strongly. It was the 8th most-viewed programme on BBC Television for the week and the 21st most-watched across all British television.

More than just an impression-episode 2

Chris has released episode two of his brand new podcast, more than just an impression. Known for his renowned Patrick Troughton performance and more. He interviews other well-known talented individuals who continue the legacies of big stars no longer with us. Listen to how their opportunities began, how they craft their performance and much more.

In this episode, he’s joined by legendary actor and impressionist Jon Culshaw. The pair talk about Jon’s career, Dead Ringers and his recent work playing Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart for Big Finish, a role made famous by Nicholas Courtney.

The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and, Anchor FM.

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Out of Time 2 – The Gates of Hell: Doctor Who-Big Finish review

Out of Time 2 – The Gates of Hell is the second in a trilogy of specials, that sees David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor on a farewell tour before he regenerates. In the first audio, he bumped into Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor. This time around, he’s paired up Peter Davison’s Fifth.

The story kicks off with The Fifth Doctor in Paris in 1809, he’s travelling sans-companion and decides to take a tour of the catacombs. It’s here that he bumps into a Time Agent Tina Drake (Shelley Conn), who for a very brief moment. I thought was Peri. Was that just me? Anyway, Tina is on the trail of a temporal paradox. Whilst in the catacombs, the duo trigger a trap, that sees the Doctor frozen in time.
In 1944, the Tenth Doctor is evading Nazis, in occupied Paris. Looking for a hiding spot, he finds himself in the catacombs, where he encounters his former self. When they return to the surface, they find Paris is overrun with Cybermen.

I was a huge fan of Out of Time and I think it’s safe to say, that this was my most anticipated release of the year. Not only are we getting a multi-Doctor story, but we’re also getting a Time Crash reunion and we’re getting an outstanding script from David Llewellyn.

The story is structured brilliantly and moves along at a swift pace. Whilst Llewellyn’s love for the Fifth Doctor shines through, this feels very much like a David Tennant era adventure. Ken Bently’s direction is smooth and matches the pacing beat for beat. Whist Howard Carter’s music and sound design help elevate the adventure even more.

The two leads have natural chemistry and bounce off each other well, there’s a lot of fun interplay between them.
I had a smile on my face the whole way through this, Lewellyn’s script is peppered with humour, call-backs and historical facts. This is quintessential Doctor Who.

Doctor Who: Out of Time 2 – The Gates of Hell is available on CD and download from Big Finish.

Review-Doctor Who – The Ninth Doctor Adventures Vol 1: Ravagers

Let’s be honest. None of us saw this coming. This time last year, we’d have thought the announcement was a cruel joke. It seemed so unlikely. But Sixteen years after his thirteen episode run reignited the Doctor Who franchise and brought it into the consciousness of a new generation. Christopher Eccleston is back and it’s about time.

The Ninth Doctor Adventures – Ravagers, written and directed by Nicholas Briggs, is the first in a four-volume set of audio adventures.

I’ll admit, that I’ve struggled with this review. On one hand, Ravagers is an impressively ambitious set. Eccleston’s return is arguably the biggest coup Big Finish has achieved since Tom Baker returned in 2012. Billie Piper once said that when she was last in Doctor Who, she spent 3 hours looking in a mirror unable to find Rose. Eccleston doesn’t have that problem, he slips right back into character. It’s an utter joy to hear him back in the role that made me a Doctor Who fan. It’s like he’s never been away. The supporting cast is all outstanding, especially Camilla Beeput and Jayne McKenna as Nova and Audrey. Dan Starky puts in a fun performance as Marcus Aurelius Gallius. The music and sound design are flawless and match the pace of Briggs’ excellent direction. His love, passion and enthusiasm for this era of Doctor Who absolutely shines through. However, the biggest flaw is the plot. It’s a really decent 45-minute episode, stretched to 2hrs 30mins. On the bonus disc, Briggs talks about how he entered “several blind alleys” whilst trying to write this. What we end up with, is an amalgamation of various stories he couldn’t get off the ground and I think it shows.

We join the Ninth Doctor in the middle of an adventure and we work backwards, which I think is a risky move. Big Finish excels at non-linear storytelling, they do it a lot. But for many people, this would have been their gateway to the world of Doctor Who on audio. I consume a lot of Big Finish, (at least two full box sets a day) and even I, at times, struggled to keep up with the convoluted non-linear narrative. I found myself constantly rewinding a minute or two, just to see if I had missed something. At one point, I even thought I had started the wrong episode.

Overall, Ravagers is a bit of a mixed bag. I enjoyed the set, but I’d have prefered if they had gone with three individual stories. I’m excited for the future of this range.


Episode 252: Robert Valentine interview

Martyn is joined by writer, producer and director, Robert Valentine.

They talk about Rob’s work with Audible, BBC and, Big Finish.

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Spotify, Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

We also have a Smartlink.

Equipment used in the creation of this feature was purchased through a grant from Graeae and The Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you. We also have a Ko-Fi.

Check out Rob’s website.

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Episode 251: Paul Clayton interview

Martyn is joined by actor, writer, producer and director, Paul Clayton. Paul is perhaps best known for his work on Peep Show, Him & Her and, Torchwood.

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Spotify, Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

We also have a Smartlink.

Equipment used in the creation of this feature was purchased through a grant from Graeae and The Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you. We also have a Ko-Fi.

Check out Paul’s website.

Socials:

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Paul Clayton-@ClaytonCast

Martyn – @BadWilf

Gerrod –@InGerrodsMind

Pete – @BeeblePete

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Chris-@ChrisWalkerThomsonofficial

Sam-@Sammichaelol

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