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  1. #1
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    Default Doctor Who: The Early Adventures

    http://www.bigfinish.com/news/v/doct...ures-announced

    Big Finish Productions will be launching a brand new audio range in 2014. Doctor Who: The Early Adventures will comprise four-part stories starring the surviving lead cast members from Doctor Who’s black and white era.

    “While working on The Lost Stories, we fell in love with releases like Farewell, Great Macedon and The Masters of Luxor, which combine narration with dialogue,” says producer David Richardson. “I suggested to executive producers Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery we could use that format to tell new stories for the First and Second Doctors, pushing the full cast elements in order to create big, impressive productions.

    “The scripts for the first four Early Adventures are now in, and it’s so exciting to bring the early days of the series back to life in this way. The aim is for these to feel like lost television soundtracks. The first series will comprise First Doctor tales, and will feature an historical, a trip into outer space, a beautifully reflective character piece… and the return of a classic villain from the early years!”

    Big Finish has also revealed that three of its Doctor Who audio ranges will be reaching their grand finales.

    Doctor Who: The Lost Stories, the adaptations of scripts originally devised for television but never made, will end in December after a short final run of stories for the first three Doctors. Gallifrey, the much-loved spin-off centred on Romana and Leela on the Time Lord homeworld, concludes in spectacular style in October with series six. And The Companion Chronicles, adventures narrated by the Doctor’s friends, will end their monthly run in June 2014.

    “It’s always sad to say goodbye to something, especially if they are popular,” says Nicholas Briggs. “But at Big Finish we feel we must always be moving forward, and finding new ways to tell exciting Doctor Who stories on audio.”

    For those whose current subscription will leave them fewer than six releases from the end of the Companion Chronicles, we've added a four-release Final Season sub so it won't be necessary to buy up to five titles at full price.

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  2. #2
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    Shame they're finishing the CCs - the ones I've heard have generally been pretty good.

    Edited to add that it sounds like they're going to be doing a variation on the theme, so it may not be too bad.

  3. #3
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    This sounds good, and it will flesh out the Companion Chronicle style. I'm guessing the combinations will be William Russell/Carole Ann Ford, O'Brien/Purves, Hines/Padbury; and possibly also Anneke Wills and Frazer Hines.

    The first Lost Stories title from this period that I listened to was The Rosemariners, and the soundtrack narration style, combined with the in-character dialogue, is a great formula. I only wish there could have been more Lost Stories, especially for the Pertwee era. It's sad, also, that only Katy Manning is left from the Pertwee companions, otherwise they might have been able to do more Third Doctor stories.

  4. #4
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    This is just The Companion Chronicles in the format they were evolving into isn't it? However, if the artificial promotion of a "new line" boosts sales, then all credit to them. A very good bit of brand refreshment.

    Si.

  5. #5
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    A classic villain from the early years? It can only be Yartek!

    Watchers in the Fourth Dimension: A Doctor Who Podcast
    Three Americans and a Brit attempt to watch their way through the entirety of Doctor Who
    ----
    Latest Episode: The WOTAN Clan, discussing The War Machines
    Available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and Podbean
    Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @watchers4d

  6. #6
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    It might be the way my mind works, but my first thought was Fiona Walker back as Kala from the same story.

    Si.

  7. #7
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    I'm crossing my fingers for the Meddling Monk.
    For every fail, there is an equal and opposite win.

    ...Oh, who am I kidding?

  8. #8
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    The latest podcast reveals the return in an upcoming Early Adventure "The Yes Men" (due September 2015) of a much loved character from the 60s.

  9. #9
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    Definitely Yartek!

  10. #10
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    The Voord are already due to return in the first Early Adventure due out next month.

    The big news is that next year sees the return of Able Seaman Ben Jackson, who is to be given new voice by Elliot Chapel alongside Anneke Wills as Polly and Frazer Hines as both Jamie and the Second Doctor.

  11. #11
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    So far I have listened to the following:

    An Ordinary Life
    Steven and Sara are apparently abandoned by the Doctor in 1950's London where they settle down to an Ordinary Life. Steven becomes a dock worker and Sara gets in all sorts of trouble because she's a strong woman. They also discover that everyone was very racist in 1950 and that racism was a bad thing.
    Tedious beyond all belief. The sci-fi twist seems to have nothing to do with the racial themes of the story. In fact it scuppers the pro-immigration sentiments of the main story as the alien immigrants are undoubtedly evil.
    But the worst thing was how mind-bendingly boring it was to have Steven and Sara faff about in 50's London. There are no stakes, no character and no interest. OF COURSE the Doctor will turn up miraculously and rescue them at the end.

    Domain of The Voord
    While I quite like the Keys of Marinus, I will admit that the Voord weren't a terribly succesful monster. So you're already on the back foot if you bring them back for an audio outing. Domain of The Voord tries to re-create a stylish 60's serial with gung-ho adventure. What we get is an interminably dull 50's serial with plodding efforts to fill the story's runtime. It meanders along, Sixties Doctor Who by the numbers, taking the worst aspects of Terry Nation's writing and amplifying them.
    Some moderate interest was raised by revealing that the Voord masks were stapled to their faces but apart from that there was nothing of note.
    Domain of the Bored. Hahah.

    The Isos Network
    Jamie, Zoe and the Doctor face the Cybermen in this direct follow-on to The Invasion. It doesn't make a lick of sense and there is a scene lifted directly out of Earthshock, however the giant slugs were fun additions to the story. What was not a fun addition to the story was a squadron of cliched-to-the-max troopers who arrive on the planet at the same time as the Doctor.
    The ending was also annoying, because once again we get the "I must sacrifice myself - No I must sacrifice myself - I'll knock you unconcious so I can sacrifice myself" argument which Nick Briggs seems to include in all his stories. Also, the Doctor is able to convert a hyper-dimensional spaceship into a nuclear bomb but doesn't have the wit to put a BRICK on the ACCELERATOR? Give me a break!
    Anyway despite that nonsense this was substantially enjoyable. Nothing too intolerable happens and it's quite fun in places.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  12. #12
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    The Bounty Of Ceres
    At last. A good one. I can't quite say why this one was so much better than the others. It's a decent thriller where the Doctor, Steven and Vicki land on the asteroid Ceres which is being mined for ore and minerals. The crew spend 5 years in cryogenic stasis to get there and serve a 10 year stretch on the colony. Something is going wrong though and the crew are getting paranoid and frightened.
    There are several factors in this story's favour. The supporting cast are strong characters in their own right. The "Maintain-ants" robots are a bit different and cool - similar in function to the Cleaners from Paradise Towers, but these combine into larger robots for more difficult tasks. The plot keeps you guessing until the end and seems to all make perfect sense. Everything is tied up neatly in terms of themes, ideas and story elements.
    I think the reason this one succeds is because it captures the feel of the era without being too derivative (Isos Network), boring (Domain of the Voord / An Ordinary Life) or up its own posterior (The Black Hole).

    Oh. I haven't said anything about The Black Hole, have I?
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  13. #13
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    The Black Hole
    So there's this spaceship near a black hole which has 20,000 people living on it. There are two main parts - Constable Pavo and Commander Flail. (Such Big Finish names!) Except, Constable Pavo is not really Con. Pav. but in fact The Meddling Monk! A fact which is revealed to nobody's surprise about halfway through. Then somehow, Constable Pavo becomes Commander Flail or something?
    So the Black Hole is actually a Worm Hole (so why is it called The Black Hole when its not even a Black Hole FFS?!) allowing the Sheesh to come and invade and kill everyone for a reason that I either missed or simply didn't exist in the first place. The Monk has teamed up with the Sheesh to start a war that will destroy the humans before they can have another war later on - which doesn't make any sense.
    Firstly - Doctor Grahame Garden was much, much, much better in the role than Rufus Hound. The Monk here is evil rather than mischievious, which I think is a big mistake. You might as well have The Master if you're going to do that.
    Secondly - The story descends into a TARDIS technobabble war between the Doctor and the Monk. Will the story end with the Doctor out-TARDISing the Monk and sending the Sheesh back through the wormhole somehow? Why, YES.
    Thirdly - The most heinous sin of all though is that this story explains how the second Doctor managed to ditch Victoria in The Two Doctors; and the origin of the Statenheim Remote Control. Who cares? We've already had a dozen explanations for this sort of thing.
    I didn't enjoy this story at all. In some places it made me quite cross.

    I feel I should apologise for not enjoying these. Especially seeing as they are made by such lovely people. But with Big Finish in general, I would rather they put their efforts into 5-6 stories a year and made them as good as possible rather than this release rate of 5-6 per month.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  14. #14
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    Don't apologise for most of them being shit!

    Si.

  15. #15
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    I've always thought that Who has been the patchiest of their range. For me, the likes of Jago & Litefoot, The Avengers, Terrahawks and Blake's 7 have been far better.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  16. #16
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    The Doctor's Tale
    Ian and Vicki land with The Doctor and Barbara on Earth in the reign of Henry Bolingbrooke (you may remember him from Henry IV by William Shakespeare). They arrive at a monastery and meet Queen Izzabella. She was married to the previous king Richard II, who was overthrown by Henry. Later on they meet Geoffrey Chaucer.

    The TARDIS crew do all the things you would expect - get involved in local politics. Get split up and go on a journey only to all end up in the same place. Get locked up. Nearly get executed. Meet famous people.

    A fairly decent historical tale. Bland, but not offensively so. Again, they're capturing the feel of the era at the expense of doing anything interesting. If you really, really love The Reign of Terror you might quite like this one.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    Ian and Vicki land with The Doctor and Barbara on Earth in the reign of Henry Bolingbrooke (you may remember him from Henry IV by William Shakespeare).
    Lord Pedant wishes to know if it's Henry IV part one, two or three?

  18. #18
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    Please tell Lord Pedant that there's no Part three (the next play in the sequence is Henry V).
    There are however three parts of Henry VI (which were possibly written out of sequence and certainly before their prequels).

  19. #19
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    The Forsaken
    I quite enjoyed this one. The 2nd Doctor, J, P & B land on an island near Japan or something and run into a group of English soldiers at a largely abandoned hotel. The soldiers have been ambushed in the surrounding jungle and most of them killed. Now something is starting to kill again! Polly sees the grim reaper out of the corner of her eye...

    This succeeds by being straightforward. There's a killer about and how will the TARDIS team defeat it?

    Sadly, the killer is an alien that feeds on people's fear - something that was cliched when the New Adventures did it every other month. Nobody has ever come up with a satisfactory explanation of how something could feed off emotions. It's just a b****cks excuse for an alien to dress up all scary. Also on the downside, the music also got a bit intrusive and irritating.

    Overall though, it's been the best of the range by some margin.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  20. #20
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    Is that the debut of "new" Ben, where he meets his Dad?

    Si.

  21. #21
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    Is that the debut of "new" Ben, where he meets his Dad?
    Yes it is! They make absolutely nothing out of their relationship though, apart from a few jokes at the end.

    I have absolutely no problem with the re-casting. The "new" Ben is absolutely fine. Frazer's version of the Second Doctor has been knocking around for ages and you know straight away it's not Troughton, but it doesn't seem to matter. That's effectively a re-casting as well.

    Even where they have the original actors, their voices are all slightly different over time.

    I don't think I'd be happy with them re-casting the companions who have already worked for Big Finish though. It would be weird having a new Sarah-Jane or Victoria on the TARDIS crew. If they'd have had the chance while she was still around, it would have been lovely to pair Sladen up with Tom and re-cast Harry Sullivan. I think that would have been OK.

    Yes, all they need to do now is re-cast Christopher Eccleston and slot 9th Doctor adventures into the main range. Fantastic!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Brinck-Johnsen View Post
    Please tell Lord Pedant that there's no Part three (the next play in the sequence is Henry V).
    There are however three parts of Henry VI (which were possibly written out of sequence and certainly before their prequels).
    Lord Pedant wishes it to be known that Henry IV's third part fell off in the cold weather when Christopher Fry laid claim to it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    The 2nd Doctor, J, P & B
    lord Pedant also claims that this is what Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch were called before the Beatles asked Dozy to replace Pete Best. I've sent him to bed with a bottle of frog pills and a mug of Horlicks before he starts talking any more Horlicks...

  24. #24
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    lord Pedant also claims that this is what Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch were called before the Beatles asked Dozy to replace Pete Best.


    The Yes Men
    Once again, the Second Doctor Who, Able Seaman Benjamin Jackson, Highland Piper Robert James McCrimmon and Fluffy Princess Polly Nomeals arrive for on a strange alien world for an adventure. This time the Doctor is calling in on his old friend Meg Carvossa (?), who lives on the colony world of New Houston (??) which the Doctor saved from the Min (???) with the help of Dodo (?!?!?!?!)

    Actually this is a neat mystery with a great sub-story about robots copying human behaviour. It reminded me of a Frederick Pohl story (sci-fi writer) or a fun Out of The Unknown episode. It has a new series sensibility to its resolution, the characters are entertaining and it rattles along well.

    However. In the only short story I ever had published, the editor commented that having a character unexpectedly pull out a gun was a bad, cliched idea. In this story, three characters who shouldn't necessarily have guns (two politicians and a bureaucrat) unexpectedly pull them out and wave them at people. Funnily enough the editor of "How The Doctor Changed My Life" also wrote this Big Finish adventure. So The Yes Men is the clearly worst story ever and I will have no more said on the subject.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  25. #25
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    Right, I got to the end of my Oily Adventures. Time to give out an award for the best.

    BIG FINISH NAMES:
    Pan Vexel
    Admiral Jonas Kaan
    Billy Flint
    Harriet Quilp
    Nesca Bangate
    Meg Carvossa
    Constable Pavo
    Commander Flail
    Enab
    Seru
    Hilsee

    And the winner is: Constable Pavo!

    BEST STORY:
    The Bounty of Ceres (Aside from Frazer's Chaplin story of course.)

    MOST UNNECESSARY BACK REFERENCING
    The Black Hole (bit of a surprise!)

    BEST RECASTING
    Elliot Chapman as Ben

    WORST RECASTING
    Rufus Hound as The Monk

    BEST DOCTOR IMPERSONATION
    Peter Purves as William Hartnell as The Doctor

    MOST STUPID THOUGHT AS A RESULT OF LISTENING TO THESE
    Vicki is her second name. Her first name is Chocky.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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