Monday, November 7, 2011

Big Finish - Recorded Time

This is number 150 in the Big Finish Doctor Who line. A set of four short stories featuring Colin Baker as the sixth Doctor and Nicola Bryant as Peri Brown.

Now here is yet another embarrassing confession from the co-host of a podcast all about British science fiction television. I have seen precisely none of the sixth Doctor's TV adventures. I know that his run on the show was nearly as chequered as his coat. He was treated badly as the BBC controller Michael Grade put the show on hiatus, a foreshadowing of the decision to cancel the show altogether in 1989. Fortunately Colin Baker has had the opportunity to continue his portrayal of the Doctor in some very successful Big Finish productions. And Baker is, by all accounts, a thoroughly charming and likeable person. A few months ago our local newspaper reported that he had been in town at a charity event and I was genuinely disappointed that I hadn't known in advance to go along and shake his hand.

So I turned to these audio dramas with some interest. Four short stories in which the Doctor and Peri find themselves in the court of King Henry VIII, go up against some futuristic baddies, get trapped in the world of Jane Austen's novels, and finally find themselves on a strange space ship and suffering from complete amnesia. I found them a bit of a mixed bag. Although I enjoyed the meeting of the Doctor with Mary Shelley I generally like the historical Doctor Who stories less than the others. So I was less impressed with the Henry and Austen stories. However the two more traditional science fiction stories were far more enjoyable.

Perhaps because they are just short stories I was less engaged than I thought I might be. They weren't bad just nothing outstanding. 2.5 out of 5 Tardis control console stars. Next up is the seventh Doctor and the Doomsday Quatrain.

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