Shada. The long lost adventure from famed sci-fi writer Douglas Adams. Over the years since its aborted filming, the adventure has undergone no less than three separate adaptations. The question is: which Shada is the ultimate Shada? With the release of another version of the story, it’s becoming harder and harder to figure that out, so let’s break it down in a Tale of Three ‘Shada’s. Originally written by famed author – and one-time Doctor Who script editor – Douglas Adams, Shada follows the Doctor and Romana, his Time Lady companion, as they investigate a mysterious summons from an old friend of the Doctor, Cambridge Professor Chronotis, and work to thwart the plans of the evil Skagra – a man seeking the Professor, and a book he possesses, for his own evil ends. Their adventure will take them from 1970s Earth to a mysterious Time Lord prison planet that nobody can remember: Shada. Beware Skagra. Beware the Sphere. Beware Shada. For this review, we’re gonna be looking at three particular adaptations of Shada: the 2003 BBC-i/Big Finish Productions webcast/audio adaptation, the 2012 novelization (by Gareth Roberts), and the 2017 BBC animated reconstruction. (more…)
It was only a matter of time before Big Finish was able to start making audios with David Tennant, and it’s exciting that they’ve finally started! Thankfully, the audios are also good! A bit uneven, but still good. It’s also worth noting that all of the stories in this box set are stand alone. There is no plotline that spans the entire set, which disappoints me a bit as I prefer my box sets to be part of one large story, but I appreciate that it allows the set to be accessible to any and everyone. But I digress. In this set, written by Matt Fitton, Jenny T Colgan, James Goss and directed by Nicholas Briggs, the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) continue their journey through time and space together in three stand alone stories. From technology fearing people to illegal weapons to Death itself, the Doctor and Donna must unravel the mysteries that always seem to plague them whenever and wherever they go. (Spoilers ahead) (more…)
I feel like I liked the premise of this box set more than I liked the box set itself. But, that’s not to say Doom Coalition 4 wasn’t good – because it was – it just wasn’t quite as good as I’d have liked. Written by Matt Fitton and John Dorney and directed by Ken Bentley, Doom Coalition 4 picks up exactly where Doom Coalition 3 ended: Padrac (Robert Bathurst) has trapped the Doctor (Paul McGann), Liv Chenka (Nicola Walker), and Helen Sinclair (Hattie Morahan) inside a time escape pod and launched them into the future of the destroyed universe. Meanwhile, Padrac still has River Song (Alex Kingston) in his sights, yet she seems to be on his side. Just what game is she playing and how will it play out? Will the Doctor be able to escape and thwart Padrac’s ultimate plan to destroy the universe in order to save Gallifrey? And what about the Eleven (Mark Bonnar) and Caleera (Emma Cunniffe)? Whose side are they really on and how far will they go to achieve their goals. (Spoilers ahead) (more…)
Finally! This is the kind of box set I’ve been wanting from this series the whole time! The stories are all interconnected, especially the latter three. and on top of that, they’re all superb stories, too! Written by Matt Fitton and John Dorney and directed by Ken Bentley, Doom Coalition 3 picks up shortly after the events of the previous box set with the Doctor (Paul McGann), Liv Chenka (Nicola Walker), and Helen Sinclair (Hattie Morahan) continuing to travel throughout space and time. Naturally, wherever the Doctor goes, trouble always follows, and this is no exception as the Doctor uncovers mysterious pieces of a clock rumored to be the Doomsday Chronometer, a clock built by a Time Lord known only as The Clocksmith (Nicholas Woodeson). Can the Doctor stop the Clocksmith from bringing about the end of the universe? And how does that mysterious nun (Alex Kingston as River Song) factor into things? (Spoilers ahead.)
Well, this one’s an improvement over the last one, that’s for sure. While still a bit too monster/case-of-the-week for my tastes, at least all of the stories are well written. In Doom Coalition 2, the Doctor (Paul McGann), Liv Chenka (Nicola Walker), and Helen Sinclair (Hattie Morahan) continue their search through time and space for the Eleven (Mark Bonnar), a Time Lord criminal with a disorder that causes him to retain the personalities of all of his previous regenerations. On their journey, they encounter another Time Lord, Caleera (Emma Cunniffe), who is equally messed up as the Eleven is. The Doctor and friends must stop Caleera from using her psychic powers to destroy the universe. During their journey, they encounter the Voord, brainwashed Time Lords, an odd “gift” sweeping through the residents of 1906 San Francisco, and none other than the Doctor’s wife herself, River Song (Alex Kingston). Can the Doctor, Liv, Helen, and River stop the Eleven and Caleera from causing irreparable harm to the universe? (Spoilers follow.) (more…)
Not to be rude to Dark Eyes, but man I am in love with the premise Doom Coalition. Partially because I just really love anything to do with the Time Lords and Gallifrey, and since the Eleven (Mark Bonar) is a really messed up Time Lord, he’s far more up my alley than the array of Daleks that Dark Eyes featured. Unfortunately, however, the box set really fails to live up to the high expectations its premise (and first episode) set for it. Written by Matt Fitton, John Dorney, Marc Platt, and Edward Collier and directed by Ken Bentley, Doom Coalition 1 follows the Doctor (Paul McGann) and Liv Chenka (Nicola Walker) as they track down an escaped Time Lord criminal known as the Eleven, a Time Lord with some kind of genetic defect that causes him to retain the personalities of all eleven of his bodies. Their journey takes them through time and space as they must stop the Eleven from succeeding in his evil plan. (Spoilers follow.) (more…)
We’ve reached the final box set in the Dark Eyes series, and everything comes to a head as the Doctor (Paul McGann) and Liv Chenka (Nicola Walker) make their final stand against the Daleks and the Dalek Time Controller. Dark Eyes 4, written by Matt Fitton and John Dorney and directed by Ken Bentley, picks up shortly after the end of Dark Eyes 3. Molly has been returned to her own timeline by the Time Lords – or so the Doctor thinks. He’s landed in post-war England in search of Molly but stumbles his way into a new mystery that may end in destruction. Bringing together the Daleks, the Eminence, the Sontarans, and the Master (Alex Macqueen), Dark Eyes 4 brings the Dark Eyes series to an explosive finale to a strong series from Big Finish. (There are spoilers ahead!) (more…)
I really dig the format of the Big Finish Doctor Who box sets. It’s nice to have these serialized box sets where the story is spread over four hour long episodes (instead of their usual format that mirrors the classic series with four 25 minute episodes). Plus I just really like Paul McGann’s Doctor, so it’s time for the next box set in the Dark Eyes series. Written by Matt Fitton and directed by Ken Bentley, Dark Eyes 3 picks up shortly after the conclusion of Dark Eyes 2 with a kidnapped Molly O’Sullivan (Ruth Bradley) traveling with the Master (Alex Macqueen) and Dr. Sally Armstrong (Natalie Burt). From the Big Finish website: “In his quest for universal domination, the Master plans to exploit the terrifying Infinite Warriors of the mysterious Eminence. The Doctor’s friend, Molly, is key to that plan’s execution, and now, aided by corrupted genius Sally Armstrong, the Master is close to success. Paranoid and perplexed after his recent experience, the Doctor skirts the fringes of the fifty-year conflict between humanity and the Infinite Armies. Wary of changing the course of history, he fears that to fight the Eminence would be to do the Daleks’ bidding. But when Time Lord CIA agent Narvin (Sean Carlsen) provides the impetus for the Doctor to act, Liv Chenka (Nicola Walker) joins him in a desperate race to save their friend and stop the Master. As the Doctor goes head to head with his oldest and deadliest rival, this war is about to get very personal indeed…” (As always, there will be spoilers ahead.) (more…)
It’s just been announced that the 13th Doctor will be played by Jodie Whittaker, making this the first time in Doctor Who’s 54 year history that the role of the Time Lord has been played by a woman. Jodie Whittaker, amongst other things, is known for her role as Beth Latimer in ITV’s Broadchurch (coincidentally also written by the new showrunner for Doctor Who, Chris Chibnall). I am beyond excited by her casting! It’s about time the show did something besides cast another white male as the Doctor and Whittaker is a brilliant choice as the first female Doctor. She’s a superb actress and I really adored her performance in Broadchurch – the only thing to date that I’ve seen her in.
The little teaser video they announced her in was lots of fun too, and I know that the costume she was wearing in the video is almost definitely not her final costume, but I adore it anyway. It’s a nice blend of Twelve’s outfits – which I adore, possibly more than any other Doctor’s costume – and something new. Sure, the Doctor is now a woman, but she’s still the same character she’s always been and visually they should show that. While all the Doctors costumes have been radically different from each other, they’ve all also sort of looked similar enough, and the costume Whittaker wore in the video followed along the same lines. It’s similar to how they handled Missy’s costume when that character became a woman. It was different but also still in line with what came before.
I’m rambling about her costume now. Point is: she looks great, the teaser video was great, and I am excited. Also, all of you should watch Broadchurch. Just do it. It’s got David Tennant, Olivia Coleman, David Bradley, Arthur Darville, and Jodie Whittaker in it (plus more) and it’s just really good and it’ll give you a good sense of Chris Chibnall’s writing and Jodie Whittaker’s acting.
PS: Here’s the official press release: (more…)
The early previews for this episode made it sound a lot worse than it actually was. Is it the greatest episode of Doctor Who ever? No. But there is quite a bit to like, and on the whole, it’s rather good. Not the best episode this season, but still a very good one. In The Eaters of Light, written by Rona Munro and directed by Charles Palmer, A hunt for the lost Ninth Roman Legion leads the Doctor, Bill, and Nardole into the middle of an ancient battle that could cast humanity into the dark forever. What is inside the cairn? And how far will they have to go defeat the terrifying alien Eaters of Light? (As always, this review will contain spoilers. So, if you haven’t seen the episode, don’t read this until you have.) (more…)