Friday, July 13, 2012

Big Finish - Jubilee

Big Finish release 40 - Jubilee by Robert Shearman, and directed by Shearman and Nicholas Briggs. Colin Baker plays the sixth Doctor and Maggie Stables is Evelyn Smythe.

This is diving into Big Finish's back catalogue again. The latest issue of Doctor Who magazine features an article about the episode Dalek from the first season of the new Doctor Who. The episode was loosely adapted by Shearman himself from this Big Finish story. I am quite interested in episodes of the television show that have been adapted from other formats. I have read the Paul Cornell novel that went on to become the Tenth Doctor episodes Human Nature and Family of Blood, and enjoyed both versions and the differences between them. And the episode Blink was based on a short story by Steven Moffat which first appeared in the 2006 Doctor Who annual.

In Jubilee the Doctor and Evelyn have somehow appeared in a parallel time stream where the English empire is celebrating the anniversary of their victory over the Daleks 100 years ago. The only element common to this story and to the TV episode it became is the idea of the single Dalek held prisoner and tortured by its captors. Evelyn Smythe forms a sort of relationship with the creature which obviously influenced what happened with Rose on television.

This is my first encounter with the Big Finish companion Evelyn, and I was quite impressed. I like the idea of an older companion who can give as good as she gets from the somewhat abrupt Sixth Doctor. Her scenes with the Dalek are very good and, as this is a four part story, she gets more time in the cell than Rose does, so the depth of the relationship she forms with one of the Doctor's implacable enemies is more convincing. I shall certainly be seeking out more Evelyn stories.

The rest of the cast are mostly fine and Nicholas Briggs does an absolutely splendid job with the Dalek voices, foreshadowing what he would go on to when Doctor Who returned to television two years after this story was released. I was slightly bothered by the accent that Martin Jarvis chose for his performance as the English President. Normally Jarvis is a fantastic voice actor so it was strange that he was the weakest part of this production for me.

However, this is another great Big Finish story. It bears almost no resemblance to the television episode it became and is almost more interesting as a result. This is getting another strong 4 out of 5 Dalek manipulator arms. Next up might be some more Evelyn.


  1. I completely agree with you!
    I listened to Jubilee on a road trip, driving around France over an October half term and the story stayed with me as one of my favourite of that very long journey.
    Evelyn is one of my all time favourite Big Finish created companion and her stories are well worth a listen!

  2. It is a great story.
    Thanks for reading and for the re-tweet!