Big Finish Review-Doctor Who: Purity Unleashed

“Purity Unleashed,” the sequel to May’s “Water Worlds,” takes listeners on an exciting journey with the Sixth Doctor, Mel, and their new companion, Hebe Harrison. This Big Finish audio play consists of three distinct adventures that maintain a sense of unity throughout.

What sets this mini-series apart is its exploration of the recurring theme of purity. The villains encountered in these stories become obsessed with the concept, leading to engaging and thought-provoking adventures that delve into purity of the mind, body, and even in history.

“Doctor Who: The Sixth Doctor Adventures: Purity Unleashed” lives up to the high standards set by its predecessors, offering a riveting storyline that will leave listeners begging for more. Like its predecessors, this series leaves us with an enticing cliffhanger.

The standout episode is Matthew Sweet’s “Broadway Belongs to Me!” which presents a refreshing and thought-provoking exploration of fascist themes within the context of musical theatre. Supported by Howard Carter’s exceptional score and Helen Goldwyn’s expert direction, the production reaches new heights of excellence.

Chris Chapman’s “Purification” takes us on a journey through time, starting in 1910 in New Zealand and spanning generations. This narrative gradually unravels the fabric of time itself, delving into the depths of the human psyche and will leave a profound impact on the audience.

Ian Potter’s “Time-Burst” transports us to 1864 Sheffield, skillfully exploring social inequity and calamity with sensitivity and nuance. Potter’s adept exploration of displacement, arrogance, and the intricate nature of fixed time creates a tale that deeply resonates with listeners.

Colin Baker and Bonnie Langford once again deliver exceptional performances, effortlessly embodying their respective roles as the Doctor and Mel. Their chemistry is evident through their charming banter and delightful humour, and Langford gets the chance to showcase her musical theatre roots, shining brightly in the process.

With “Doctor Who: The Sixth Doctor Adventures: Purity Unleashed,” Big Finish continues to impress with their ability to craft compelling narratives. This series leaves audiences wanting more, eagerly anticipating the continuation currently scheduled for August.

With exceptional writing, performances, direction and sound design. This drama is a must-listen for all fans of Doctor Who.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Big Finish Review-Torchwood: Thirst Trap

In the heart of Cardiff, a new dating app has taken the city by storm, offering users the chance to find their perfect match in just 20 minutes. But there’s a twist – once the time is up, they may never see their date again.

As more and more people try out the app, something strange begins to happen. Everyone seems to be going on the same dates, with the same activities, conversation topics, and even jokes. It’s almost as if the app is controlling their every move. Normally, Sgt. Andy Davidson would be the first to investigate, but he’s busy with his own date.

Torchwood has often been praised for its dark and gritty tone, exploring themes of loss, trauma, and alien invasion. However, this particular episode takes a different approach. It’s a lighthearted romp through the world of dating apps and the strange things that can happen when people put their trust in technology.

Despite the departure from the show’s usual tone, the actors still deliver standout performances. Tom Price and Kai Owen, who play Sgt. Andy Davidson and Rhys Williams respectively, are particularly impressive in their portrayal of two men caught up in a whirlwind of romantic comedy hijinks. Their chemistry is palpable, and their lightning-fast shifts from serious to lovesick are both hilarious and heartwarming.

The supporting cast also shines, with Natalia Hinds, Sunjay Midda, and Rebecca Trehearn each bringing their unique flair to their roles. Whether they’re playing matchmakers, hard-working council workers, or hapless police officers, they all add to the story’s infectious energy and sense of fun.

Tom Price, who also stars in the adventure, shows his versatility as a writer with a fluid and brilliant script that perfectly complements his acting skills. The writing captures the humorous and whimsical aspects of the story, while also exploring deeper themes of human connection and the perils of relying too heavily on technology.

David O’Mahony’s direction keeps the story moving at a brisk pace, while Blair Mowat’s music and Shane O’Byrne’s sound design help to create an engaging atmosphere.

Overall, this is a well-crafted and enjoyable story. A must-listen for any Torchwood fan looking for a fun 45-minute adventure.

Torchwood contains material, that may not be suitable for younger audiences.

Torchwood: Thirst Trap is available for purchase from Big Finish.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Big Finish review-The Return of Jo Jones

In “The Return of Jo Jones,” the Third Doctor is reunited with one of his closest companions. The first adventure takes place on the Isle of Wight, where Jo is summoned to deal with a series of menacing bird attacks that have upset the natural balance of things. This encounter marks a profound shift in Jo’s world, setting the stage for the emotional journey that unfolds throughout the collection.

The second story sees Jo embarking on her first space-time voyage in decades, accompanying the Doctor to the planet Viltris in the 49th Century. Here, long-simmering grievances threaten to erupt into open rebellion, providing a backdrop for Jo’s own struggles with the passage of time.

The final tale takes place on the troubled planet Mercator, where Jo delves into the underlying tensions of the local community, while the Doctor finds himself in grave danger. Each story serves as a mirror for Jo’s own personal growth and the skills she has developed over the years.

Matt Fitton’s “Supernature” is a standout entry, featuring a moving and bittersweet farewell to Stewart Bevan’s character. It also offers a dose of Hitchcockian suspense as Jo grapples with loss and grief.

Felicia Barker’s “The Conservitors” explores themes of power, risk, and resilience, showcasing Jo’s formidable strength of character.

Meanwhile, Lizzie Hopley’s “The Iron Shore” pays tribute to the work of producer Philip Hinchcliffe and horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, highlighting Jo’s empathy and the Doctor’s determination.

The cast of the Third Doctor Adventures is outstanding, with Katy Manning and Tim Treloar giving standout performances. Manning expertly conveys Jo’s pain, perseverance, and spirit, while Treloar continues to impress with his portrayal of Jon Pertwee’s Doctor. Together, they make for a powerful and emotionally resonant listening experience.

Additionally, the sound design is exceptional, creating a rich and immersive atmosphere that draws the listener into each story. From the eerie and unsettling sounds of the menacing birds on the Isle of Wight, to the futuristic and otherworldly sounds, the sound effects help to transport the listener to each unique setting. The use of music also adds to the emotional impact of the stories, with each piece expertly chosen to complement the mood and tone of the scene.

Overall, “The Return of Jo Jones” is a long-awaited and much-needed closure to one of Doctor Who’s most beloved characters. Here’s hoping that we get to hear more of Jo’s adventures with the Doctor before she returns home.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Review-The year of Martha Jones

The Master has emerged victorious, stealing humanity’s future and imprisoning his nemesis, the Doctor. With an army of deadly Toclafane, he now rules over Earth. But amidst the despair and destruction, there is still hope. Martha Jones has escaped and is wandering the planet, sharing stories of the Doctor to remind people of his heroism and give them a glimmer of hope.

What’s often overlooked in Martha’s companion narrative is the year she spent alone, battling the Master’s tyranny and trying to maintain her sanity in a world turned upside down. Although we know she succeeded in her mission, we never saw how she did it.

“The Year of Martha Jones” is a unique blend of humour, action, and great storytelling that explores Martha’s journey in detail. She becomes a mythological figure, admired by some as a beacon of hope, while others doubt her intentions and wonder if she has the plan to assassinate the Master.

But at her core, Martha is just a human being struggling to survive in a world gone mad. She’s witnessed unimaginable horrors, and her constant loneliness and paranoia make it hard to trust anyone. Yet she remains steadfast in her hope that the Doctor will return and save humanity.

The audio production is elevated by the outstanding performances of Freema Agyeman and Adjoa Andoh, who play mother and daughter in the story. They have a natural chemistry that makes their scenes together feel authentic and emotionally resonant. The supporting cast also shines, with standout performances from Ewart James Walters and Serin Ibrahim.

“The Year of Martha Jones” is a poignant and reflective story that explores human resilience in the face of overwhelming odds. It’s a testament to Freema Agyeman’s growth as an actress and her ability to bring depth and nuance to a beloved character. It’s a must-listen for any Doctor Who fan, and I hope we get to hear more from Martha in the future.

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

⭐⭐⭐⭐




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.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Big Finish review-Torchwood: The Crown

Are you a fan of the eerie, atmospheric and immersive world of Torchwood? If so, then you are in for a real treat with the latest release, The Crown. This gripping audio adventure takes us back to the early and darker days of Torchwood and its founder and is set against the backdrop of Victorian England.

On Christmas Eve, Dr Gideon Parr is summoned to an asylum to check on a patient, who claims to be none other than Queen Victoria herself. This patient is haunted by a terrible curse, and it is up to the young doctor to diagnose her condition and help her find peace.

Written by Johnathan Barnes, The Crown is a morality tale that explores the darker side of Torchwood and its founder. This audio adventure is an incredible piece of storytelling that combines a Victorian setting with expertly crafted characters, outstanding performances, flawless sound design and a haunting musical score.

At the heart of this audio adventure is Rowena Cooper’s performance as Queen Victoria. Cooper delivers a mesmerising and chilling performance that perfectly captures the Queen’s complex and troubled state of mind. Her portrayal of the character is so convincing that you almost believe that she really is the Queen herself.

The supporting cast is equally impressive, with each member delivering a memorable and nuanced performance. Derek Riddell, in particular, shines as Dr Gideon Parr, bringing depth and humanity to the character that makes him instantly relatable.

Joe Meiners’ sound design is another highlight of this audio adventure, creating a claustrophobic and immersive soundscape that perfectly captures the mood and atmosphere of Victorian England. Blair Mowat’s musical score is equally haunting, perfectly complementing the story and adding an extra layer of depth and emotion to the audio adventure.

The Crown is a strong character piece that allows the listener to explore the early days of Torchwood and its founder. It is a morality tale that explores the consequences of disobeying the crown, and the terrible curse that comes with it.

Overall, The Crown is an outstanding audio adventure that is highly recommended to fans of Torchwood and anyone who loves a good spooky story. It is the perfect stocking filler for the festive season and will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

So, if you’re looking for a gripping audio adventure that combines expert storytelling, outstanding performances, flawless sound design, and a haunting musical score, then look no further than The Crown. It is a Torchwood adventure that you won’t forget anytime soon.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

Check out our other Big Finish reviews.

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

Torchwood: The Crown is avalible to purchase directly from Big Finish.



Big Finish review-Torchwood: Rhys and Ianto’s Excellent Barbecue

Rhys is planning a lads’ night in. Barbie in the back yard, few tins, mates and bants. But the only person who turns up is Ianto – who hasn’t been invited. Hell is other people, especially when they’ve brought board games.
Something goes wrong. The two of them could be trapped together for eternity at a barbecue where the sausages never cook, and worse, the brewskis remain forever out of reach.


This was a story I was really looking forward to. Rhys and Ianto are such great characters, who sadly didn’t get to interact much in the main series. Thankfully, that’s what Big Finish do so well. They’ll take characters who didn’t interact much like Owen and Andy, or Rhys and Ianto and they’ll give them incredible stories that build the relationships and add to the overall mythology of Torchwood.


I was expecting a light-hearted tale, given that this features two of Torchwood’s most fun characters. But this story is actually an emotional gut-punch. There are some moments of levity, but writer Tim Foley also chucks in some really emotional moments. Rhys and Ianto comforting Deidre in her final moments is utterly heart-wrenching and takes its toll on our heroes. The moment Rhys opens up to Ianto is handled in an extremely mature and realistic way. Kai Owen and Gareth David-Lloyd are both excellent in this. Both know their characters extremely well and portray them wonderfully. Youssef Kerkour is a magnificent addition as Badger/Deidre.




I also really enjoyed when the audio played with the awkwardness of having to spend time with your spouse’s friend, who you know very little about. I’m sure we’ve all been there.
Overall, this is a beautiful story about male friendship and the need to open up, which is extremely well-executed and incredibly relatable. Especially in these isolating times. This has everything I love about the range, it’s bonkers, funny, touching and, produced to a high quality. Blair Mowat’s music beautifully accents the dialogue and accompanies Joe Meiners sound design flawlessly.
I say this on every review, but every release proves my point. Torchwood on Big Finish is Torchwood at its absolute best.

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

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Rhys and Ianto’s excellent Barbecue is available to purchase directly from Big Finish.



Big Finish review-Torchwood: Ex Machina

Ianto Jones is Torchwood. Ianto Jones is the defender of a deserted city, a lone crusader who keeps the empty streets safe.

One day he meets one of the few survivors. She needs his help – because she’s being chased by a darkness. A darkness which says it loves her.


Ex Machina is the debut Torchwood story by writer, Alfie Shaw. Shaw says he came up with the idea, after passing a book shop he used to visit with an ex. He suddenly felt like the shop was off-limits to him. Along with mutual friends etc. That’s something that really resonated with me whilst listening.




This audio focuses on fan-favourite Ianto, as he tries to help Abigail, who can’t understand what’s happened to her parents. In every photograph, she’s impossibly alone. Even in the memory, she has of moving to Cardiff, it’s just her at 6-years-old in the car. Alone.
The only tether she has to her old life is her neighbour Mrs. Evans – and she has problems of her own.

Gareth David-Lloyd and Laura Aickman work extremely well together. This audio was recorded remotely and entirely during lockdown. It’s a testament to the actor’s abilities and Big Finish as a whole, that you’d never guess. Perhaps the remote recording helped the performers feel isolated, like their characters. Jacob Dudman also puts in a fun performance, as a completely unlikeable character.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Torchwood on Big Finish is Torchwood at its very best. This is another top-notch entry in the range.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Cast:

Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones)

Laura Aikman (Abigail Forehill)

Jacob Dudman (Luke)

Misha Malcolm (Fran)

Joshua Manning (The Absence)

Kerry Joy Stewart (Mrs. Evans)

Cover Art: Lee Binding

Music: Blair Mowat and Murray Gold

Writer: Alfie Shaw

Torchwood: Ex Machina is available to purchase directly from Big Finish.

Episode 231:Big Finish-Doctor Who: Out of time

In which Martyn, Sam, and Chris discuss ‘Out of time’ the latest Doctor Who release from Big Finish.

Out of Time 1 stars David Tennant and Tom Baker. It was written by Matt Fitton and directed by Nicholas Briggs.

Read Martyn’s written review here.



The Big Finish Chris appears on can be bought here.

Check out Chris’ adaptation of Sleuth here.

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Doctor Who: Out of Time 1 is now available from the Big Finish website.



Review-Doctor Who: Out of time

Covid 19 has been an utter horror, but it has given Doctor Who fans content we wouldn’t have gotten without it. Not only did we get a Sarah Jane Smith finale written by Russell T Davies, we also got the news that Christopher Eccleston has signed up to Big Finish.

It also enabled Big Finish to bring forward their release of Out of time 1. This was recorded entirely in lockdown and only happened because the events of this year cleared out David Tennant’s insane schedule.

Out of Time is the first, in a trilogy of original audio adventures that sees the Tenth Doctor pit himself against his most iconic foes, with a former Doctor by his side. In this story he’s joined by The Fourth Doctor, played by the legendary Tom Baker.



Multi-Doctor stories are nothing new, but this is the first time these two incarnations have met and it’s absolutely joyous. There’s the standard bickering we get when two Doctors meet, however there’s more love and mutual respect between these two.

Writer Matt Fitton perfectly manages to balance the tonal difference between two entirely different eras of the show. Ten and Four bounce of each other spectacularly well. Both lead actors absolutely soar in their respective roles.

Howard Carter’s music perfectly compliments the drama, punctuating the actors performances. The supporting cast are all on top form and Nicholas Briggs takes on a dual role as actor and director, he does both with absolute vigour. This is clearly a passion project for all involved, a love letter to Doctor Who and its fans.

Out of time may well be the best multi-Doctor story yet. I can’t wait for the second and third instalments.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Cast:

Listen to our podcast discussion about ‘Out of time’ here.

Doctor Who: Out of Time 1 is now available from the Big Finish website.