Over the years, River Song (Alex Kingston) has had adventures with every (living) Doctor from the classic run of Doctor Who and those adventures have been a whole lot of fun. With that in mind, it was only a matter of time until she started meeting some of the Doctor’s biggest enemies. And now, she meets, perhaps, the Doctor’s greatest enemy. And several incarnations of them, to boot. Namely, Missy (Michelle Gomez), the Burnt Master (Geoffrey Beevers), the War Master (Derek Jacobi), and the Master from the TV movie (Eric Roberts). With this lineup of actors and characters, you’d expect quite the exciting set of adventures and I’m happy to report that this box set is every bit as good as you’d hope it would be.
The Doctor isn’t the only Time Lord River runs into on her travels up and down the timeline. The Master, in all of his – or her – guises, also has a chequered history with Professor Song. And whenever they meet, it’s a close call as to who comes out on top… It’s something River must get used to: there are three people in her marriage – at the very least!
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…)
I wonder if people knew that the first Dark Eyes box set was the first in a series of four sets that explored the storyline. The first set isn’t really written like it’s supposed to be the first in a series of box sets; the real villains of the series aren’t even introduced until the 3rd episode of Dark Eyes 2, after all. Either way, Dark Eyes ended up being a pretty darn good start for the Dark Eyes series, so how does the second box set fare? From the Big Finish website: “When the Doctor (Paul McGann) defeated the Dalek Time Controller and its Time Lord ally, the timelines shifted and events changed… but the danger is far from over. And new threats to the continued safety of the universe are emerging. Molly O’Sullivan (Ruth Bradley) carried on with her life as a nursing assistant in World War One. She probably thought she would never see the Doctor in his ‘Tardy-box’ again… From theDalek-occupied planet Nixyce VII through Earth’s history and to the very edge of the universe, the Doctor’s footprints across eternity are being tracked by foes old and new. But when did it all begin and when will it end? Living his life through the complexities of time travel, the Doctor can never be quite sure if he’s experiencing his life in the most helpful order. The only certainty appears to be the advance of the powers of evil and the oncoming threat of a fight to the death against forces that would destroy everything the Doctor holds dear.” (Spoilers follow; don’t read further if you haven’t listened to the box set!)(more…)
Better late than never, I guess. So, series 10 of Doctor Who has come to an end, and boy, what an ending it was. There were Cybermen, explosions, black holes, spaceships, two Masters, and the beginning of the end of Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor. It’s one hell of a two-part finale and the perfect icing on the cake that was this past series of the show. Written by Steven Moffat and directed by Rachel Talalay, World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls follows the Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Bill (Pearl Mackie), and Nardole (Matt Lucas) as they arrive on a 400 mile long spaceship heading towards/away from a black hole (it’s sorta confusing). They’ve answered a distress signal the ship sent out and the Doctor has decided that this would be a great time for Missy (Michelle Gomez) to prove that she really has changed. Naturally, things don’t go according to plan at all. (There will be spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t seen the two episodes, now is your chance to turn back. Also worth noting, this review is kind of all over the place. There’s a lot of elements to try and cover, so I’ll be jumping around quite a bit.)(more…)
What happens when a new NASA probe discovers a curious message on the surface of Mars? Well, naturally the Doctor and Bill have to go investigate it, which is exactly what happens in Empress of Mars. Written by Mark Gatiss and directed by Wayne Yip, Empress of Mars follows the Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Bill (Pearl Mackie), and Nardole (Matt Lucas) as they explore Mars after finding “God Save the Queen” written on the surface of the planet. What they discover is rather unexpected: there are Victorian soldiers on Mars. How is this possible? Unwittingly, they awaken Iraxxa, the Ice Queen (Adele Lynch), from her five millennia slumber, leading to an ultimate showdown between two of the most stubborn races ever: Victorian soldiers vs. the Ice Warriors. (As always, this review will contain spoilers. You’ve been warned!)(more…)
Another week, another episode of Doctor Who, another review. This week’s episode, Extremis – written by Steven Moffat and directed by Daniel Nettheim -, was the first episode of this season that I was really looking forward to. I mean, I was excited about the other episodes, don’t get me wrong, but I was most excited about this one. Especially after the teaser in this month’s Doctor Who Magazine that revealed that this would be the episode where we discovered what was inside the Vault. I love arc-heavy Doctor Who and I love when the show does different things, especially when it explores religious aspects. I’m always fond of science fiction exploring religion. And the central premise of Extremis was awful religious-sounding: ‘The Veritas. The truth. Truth so true you can’t live with it. Is that looking into hell… or seeing the light?’ Everyone who has ever read the Veritas has been found dead. In a forbidden library at the heart of the Vatican, the pope urges the Doctor to read the ancient text – but can he handle the truth?As always, this review will not be spoiler free, so stop reading now if you haven’t seen the episode! Plus, due to the nature of this episode, this review will also be somewhat of a recap as it’s impossible to talk about this episode without going into the specifics of the plot. So, seriously, don’t read this until you’ve seen the episode. (more…)