Review: Big Finish-Dracula

Big Finish’s audio rendition of one of the best and most thrilling horror stories ever written, “Dracula,” is a peculiar release.
The majority of the tale is conveyed through letters, second-hand stories, log entries, and other sources, many of which are not actually witnessed or seen in the main storyline. Bram Stoker’s original story, written in 1897, does not lend itself well to a faithful audio drama translation.
However, this adaptation, directed by Scott Handcock and adapted by Jonathan Barnes, gives it a good shot, and the outcome is something recognisable, yet feels entirely fresh and new.

Of course, Barnes is no stranger to adapting famous horror stories for Big Finish, having recently released the critically praised ‘Frankenstein,’ so it’s no surprise that he boldly plays with the structure to retain the listener’s attention.

Over the course of three discs, the plot follows Jonathan Harker (Joseph Kloska) as he is sent to Transylvania to meet the infamous Count Dracula, played spectacularly by Mark Gatiss.
He is left behind as the Count and his entourage of female vampires migrate to England to prey on its people, including many of Jonathan’s friends and family.

In the meantime, a prisoner in Dr John Seward’s (Rupert Young) institution, Renfield (Ian Hallard) is seeing visions from his Master, a diabolical creature with crimson eyes.

Jonathan’s fiancée is Mina Murray, but it is her friend Lucy Westenra (Rosanna Miles) who feeds the Count as she fades away, much to the chagrin of her three suitors, Dr John Seward, Arthur Holmwood (Alex Jordan), and Quincy P Morris (David Menkin). The cast is rounded off, with Nigel Betts playing Professor Abraham van Helsing.

The action shifts from Whitby to London and back to Transylvania after all the parts are in place.
There are deaths, visions, blood-suckings, stakes, and every other detail that has become synonymous with Dracula lore.

The soundscape and direction are atmospheric and tense, the cast one of Big Finish’s best to date, and the scares subtle and well-crafted, which is a refreshing change from the excessive gore and jump scares that Hollywood has become so fond of.

This is a rich, impressive, and assured production of a classic Gothic tale, that should be consumed in one sitting for maximum chills and thrills.

Episode 148:The Doctor Who Festival

Martyn is joined by Cameron K McEwen from Blogtor Who, the pair discuss their recent trip to The Doctor Who Festival, as well as the fun they’ve both had playing Lego Dimensions.

The Doctor Who Festival was attended by the current Doctor-Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Ingrid Oliver, Mark Gatiss, Michelle Gomez and series show runner Steven Moffat.

The podcast can be accessed via different places, including Audioboom, Tunein, Miro, Stiticher, Blubrry, Player fm and Itunes.

Check out Blogtor Who and follow Cameron on Twitter.


Martyn – @BadWilf

Pete – @BeeblePete

Gerrod – @Nerdthro_P

[amazon_link asins=’B079FPQHL7′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’bawi-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’22383a6a-3423-11e8-983a-3118c909b84e’]

[amazon_link asins=’1785943294′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’bawi-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’b870bccb-312f-11e8-93f2-c93879e6d07c’]

Doctor Who Festival-Day two

Today was the second day of The Doctor Who festival, at the Excel Centre in London. Below are a selection of images. Click to enlarge.

The adventure concludes tomorrow.

_30A5570 _30A5590 _30A5593 _30A5595 _30A5597 _30A5600 _30A5605 _30A5614 _30A5617 _30A5625 _30A5628 _30A5630 _30A5650 _30A5658 _30A5663 _30A5677 _30A5688 _30A5699 _30A5701 _30A5705 _30A5708 _30A5727 _30A5731 _30A5737 _30A5741 _30A5744 _30A5748 _30A5751 _30A5756 _30A5763


































Thanks to BBC Worldwide for the images.

Doctor Who Series 9: Part 1 is available to buy on DVD and digitally at

Doctor Who Festival-Day One

The Doctor Who Festival launched with a bang today, at the Excel Centre in London. Below are a selevtion of images from day one.

The event continues over the weekend with Jenna Coleman joining her Tardis buddies for Saturday and Sunday. Saturday is completely  sold out but, there are some tickets remaining  for Sunday, which is when I will be attending.

_30A3323 _30A3337 _30A3384 _30A3393 _30A3416 _30A3451 _30A3463 _30A3464 _30A3473 _30A3488 _30A3511 _30A3515 _30A3904 _30A3909 _30A3923 _30A3928 _30A3976 _30A3984 _30A3987 _30A3990 _30A3999 _30A4003 _30A4007 _30A4017 _30A4021 _30A4022 _30A4024 _30A4029 _30A4042 _30A4060 _30A4066 _30A4074 _30A4092 _30A4128 _30A4133

Mark Gatiss to play Dracula

Following the success of Big Finish’s dramatisation of Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus, writer Jonathan Barnes (The Somnambulist, The Judgement of Sherlock Holmes) and producer/director Scott Handcock (The Confessions of Dorian Gray) have reunited to bring another classic gothic horror to life on audio.

Mark Gatiss will star as Count Dracula,  in a brand new full-cast dramatisation of famous Bram Stoker creation.

Gatiss said:

“It’s a part I’ve always wanted to play, I’ve been rehearsing for forty-eight years. You may be able to tell that in the relish and bloodied glee in which I approach this role!”

Scott Handcock added:

We started talking about tackling Dracula not long after finishing work on Frankenstein and I always knew I wanted Mark to be my Count. Thankfully, he didn’t disappoint. From the instant the project was mooted, through to recording and beyond, he’s been nothing short of incredibly enthusiastic. He has such a distinctive voice, and brings a real sense of dread and brooding menace to proceedings.

Mark Gatiss is well-known horror aficionado, whom hosted the brilliant ‘A History of horror’ series,  for the BBC. He brought touches of his passion in to projects such as The Leauge of gentleman, Sherlock and of course his work on Doctor Who, both the main show and Big Finish.

Joining Mark Gatiss for this production are Deirdre Mullins (Man Down, The Frankenstein Chronicles) and Joseph Kloska (Pete Versus Life) as Mina and Jonathan Harker; Nigel Betts (You, Me & Them, Boy Meets Girl) as Abraham Van Helsing; Rupert Young (Merlin, The White Queen) as John Seward; and David Menkin (Zero Dark Thirty, Thunderbirds Are Go) as Quincey P. Morris.
Also lending their vocal talents are Alex Jordan as Arthur Holmwood; Rosanna Miles as Lucy Westenra; Ian Hallard as Renfield; Elizabeth Morton as Mary Westenra; Edward Petherbridge as Mr Swales; and Katy Manning as Sister Agatha.

Dracula will be released in May 2016 – 119 years after the story’s original publication – spanning three hours on three CDs, with a bonus fourth CD comprising interviews with the cast and crew, plus a suite of James Dunlop’s score for the production. The four-disc set is available to pre-order now at a discounted price of £20 (CD) or £15 (download).

I can’t wait.

Spoiler-Free Review: Sherlock

I’ll admit to being sceptical when I first heard the news that Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat were adapting Sherlock for the 21st century. But, it worked. Sherlock was easily the best thing on the television in 2010.
Episode one picks up exactly where the last episode left our heroes, by the swimming pool with Moriarty and covered with sniper dots.

Some viewers will be disappointed by the resolution, but I loved it, it was bold, funny, cheeky and slightly outrageous. Moffat and Gattis know the online forums will be buzzing after this.
The relationship between Sherlock and Mrs Hudson is explored a little more and shows just how much they mean to each other. The already great cast has got a new addition in the form of Irene Adler, played by Lara Pulver. Pulver puts in a fantastic performance as Irene and provides the female counterpart to Sherlock.

This is a really great episode, the text effect is still being used but this time it’s accompanied by some excellent camera work to help give us a little bit more insight to just how Sherlock views the world. I’m going to stop now, as I don’t want to give anything away.
I’ve added some lines of dialogue underneath, don’t worry about spoilers, out of context they won’t give anything away

“Do you mind if I get that?”

“You have the rest of your life”

“Try not to punch him”

“How many times did he fall out the window?”.

“When I say run, run”.

“I knew what he liked”

“You always say the most horrible things”

“The iceman and the virgin”

Sherlock airs at 8:10 pm, New Years Day on BBC1