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.


Big Finish review-Torchwood: The Red List

The pandemic may have halted plans for the official seventh series of Torchwood, but producers James Goss and Scott Handcock have been anything but idle. In the past 12 months, they have delivered Torchwood tales ranging from mould to coffee shops, featuring the return of Yvonne Hartman, Zachary Cross, Billis Manger, and Adam Smith. While most of us have struggled to take out the trash, these two have continued to give us the best version of Torchwood on any medium.

Their latest release features Mr Colchester teaming up with a modern-day version of Ace, aka Dorothy McShane, for an adventure set in South America. Both are there to investigate a revolution but are stuck in a hotel under quarantine.

The story begins with a brilliant monologue from Paul Clayton, who plays Mr Colchester, conveying information to the audience without feeling forced or unrealistic. Clayton clearly enjoys reprising his role as the fan-favourite Colchester, and Sophie Aldred’s portrayal of an older Ace is great to hear, demonstrating the amount of effort she puts into her performance as a younger version of the character on the main range.

The chemistry between the two leads is great, and their portrayal of the mundanity that comes with lockdown is relatable. They are supported by Manuel Pacific, who plays Xavier, a hotel technician, and does a tremendous job despite having a small role.

Scott Handcock’s direction is fantastic, eliciting genuine and believable performances from the cast members. The sound design by Steve Foxon perfectly captures the Latin ambience and complements Blair Mowat’s music incredibly well.

While it is difficult to provide a complete review without spoilers, the audio is a lot of fun and features the best-written characters from both Torchwood and Doctor Who. The cliffhanger ending leaves listeners wanting more, and I hope this isn’t the last we hear from Colchester and Ace.

Torchwood: The Red List is available to purchase from the Big Finish site and goes on general release on the 31st January 2022.