Thursday, July 23, 2015

Big Finish Doctor Who Capsule Reviews: The Defectors, Last of the Cybermen, The Secret History

I haven't done one of these in a while, and in light of new evidence that people actually read my Doctor Who posts, I suppose we're about due.

I broke down and bought a subscription, and this review covers the mini-arc of older Doctors being transported into the adventures more suited for earlier Doctors. 

The Defectors: The Seventh Doctor winds up in a Third Doctor story! With Jo and Mike Yates!

When I think of Katy Manning,  I think of her more as Iris Wildthyme than as Jo. (I really enjoyed the stories where they team up, though. Manning is much better than I had previously given her credit for).

This would have been a pretty bland Third Doctor outing, though the novelty mostly carries it. It will be remembered as the story where Jo Grant commits genocide, which was probably not the intent of the writers, but there you go.

Rating: 3/5

Last of the Cybermen: A story with the Sixth Doctor, Zoe, Jamie and Cybermen?! Outstanding! Except Legend of the Cybermen wasn’t that long ago, and it also featured Sixth Doctor, Zoe, Jamie and Cybermen, and for my money, was the best Cybermen story ever told.

(Sorry, everyone at the Second Doctor panel at Regeneration Who. It’s better than Tomb of the Cybermen.) Taken on its own, it’s a solid, clever story with some great performances, but Legend set the bar so high that this one is a bit of a letdown. Nonetheless, Colin Baker has great chemistry with Wendy Padbury and Frazer Hines. Wouldn't mind seeing more of this particular team-up.

Rating: 5/5

The Secret History: They certainly captures the essence of a First Doctor story in that it takes almost three discs to get underway.

The villain behind the Doctor's recent troubles is...the Meddling Monk?


If the TV show can feature the Zygons as the 50th anniversary villains, I guess Big Finish can have the Monk as the adversary in their 200th main range story. The third act of this story is actually pretty great, but it's a long time getting there, and the resolution is rather abrupt.

Rating: 2/5, and that on the strength of the third act.

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