Today I received some used Big Finish Doctor Who episodes that I won on eBay from England.

That in itself is not a reason for a new post (except for a review perhaps). Over the last couple of years I’ve picked up quite a few of them. Today however the seller Trevor9661 managed to surprise me.

A very common problem with buying used copies of the Big Finish adventures is that often the internal plastic on the CD’s are damaged. It’s not a huge deal in the sense that I usually import them and sync them to the Ipod at once, but it can make for some issues when I loan them out to promote the series.

However Trevor managed to think of something that nobody else did. As I opened each cd case there was a small 1 1/2″ square of bubble wrap.

That little bit of wrap assured me that the internals of every CD case was in pristine shape.

Once I confirm all the CD’s are listenable I’ll be leaving proper eBay feedback but until that moment let me give public recognition to Trevor9661, the fellow who thought of what nobody else managed to.

…because if the reviews from Amazon.com UK is any indication it looks like the story and the presentation of his return is just awful.

Some quotes:

The listener is initially left thinking that Hornet’s Nest is either a radio drama made on the cheap or a talking book that the producers have tried to make more interesting with a couple of extra voices and one or two sound effects.

and this:

Paul Magrs’ storyline and script leave a lot to be desired – both pedestrian and silly.

and that’s from a 5 star review.

And finally this:

What we have is a Tom Baker who sounds like he’s sleep-walking through the lines he’s reading and a story that belongs in the 19th century.

…I have already cancelled part 2 which I had on pre-order.

Remember these are the Doctor Who Fanatics who got the item right away, first day stuff.

If you can get Doctor Who fanatics to cancel a pre-order of this then that’s BAD!

I don’t think narrative style is a big deal, that is the style used by the Companion Chronicles. I think the BBC decided they could copy the success of Big Finish on the cheap and somehow managed to convince Tom Baker to do it. They created expectations and just failed to deliver. At least that is my guess I haven’t managed to get a copy as it isn’t available on Amazon US and Mike’s Comics doesn’t have it yet. It’s only £5.37 out of England. Of course Amazon UK shipping cost practically doubles the price.

If the problems are post production it might be possible to improve the CD’s that are coming, but I’m still talking out of my hat so we will see.

As this is the release day in England I’ll keep an eye on the Amazon reviews and see if the unhappy trend continues.

Update: Andrew Whickey is a bit kinder:

For an audience coming to this from the other BBC audiobooks – straight readings of novelisations of TV shows – this will be a pleasant change, but compared to Big Finish’s productions it seems slightly underwhelming – it’s just not using the medium well enough.

That said, I will still be buying the rest of the series – it’s definitely entertaining, and while the story is not up to the standard of Big Finish’s best, it’s definitely not *bad* either – it’s a pleasant, diverting hour-and-ten-minutes of entertainment, with Tom Baker getting to do his thing again. It’s firmly aimed at a casual nostalgia market, rather than being aimed at either hardcore fans or people who are interested in innovative drama, but that’s not a bad thing. On its own terms it’s enjoyable enough, but I hope if Baker does any more, that he will turn to Big Finish…

Well it looks like it all comes down to the expectations game.

Over at Gay Patriot via Legal Insurrection a good Kennedy deed is brought out of the memory hole:

I visited Jessica’s father Boris several times when I was in college. As most Soviet emigrés, he had strong anti-Communist views and great respect for then then-President of the United States, Ronald Wilson Reagan. And though the then-senior Senator from Massachusetts harshly criticized (and actively sought to thwart) the Gipper’s aggressive foreign policy, Boris refused to criticize Kennedy, always recalling how he helped secure his release.

He only had kind words for the late Massachusetts Democrat.

The full article is here concerning the sick little girl who was allowed to leave the Soviet Union due to Kennedy’s intervention.

I couldn’t help but remember this scene from Boomtown (my favorite 9th doctor story)

“…that’s how you live with yourself, that’s how you slaughter millions, because once in a while on a whim, when the wind is in the right direction you happen to be kind.”

Like a corrupt Duke eighteenth century Duke who gives a gift to the peasants on Christmas once in a while he helped one leave. That’s how he was able to justify trying to keep the other hundreds of millions in chains.

If you want a longer version of that scene it is here.

BBC Image from the Two Doctors
BBC Image from the Two Doctors
in FACT a lot. Big Finish finished has announced that Frazer Hines as Jamie McCrimmon will return to the Tardis as companion to the 6th doctor for three episodes in 2010 begining with episode #133.

No titles or details have been released concerning these stories yet. In the last few hours Big finish gave the following details:

“We’re trying something a little different next year,” announces executive producer Nicholas Briggs, “with some surprising combinations of Doctors and companions. So it’s with great pleasure that I can announce that Frazer Hines will be reprising the role of Jamie McCrimmon, joining the Sixth Doctor for four brand new adventures.”

Three of these stories will comprise a season of full-cast plays, to be released between April and June. The fourth will be a tie-in Companion Chronicle story, which will be released in May, and will be performed by Hines alongside an as yet unnamed guest star. Hines, of course, accompanied the Second Doctor in his travels on TV between 1966-1969, and returned alongside the Second and Sixth Doctors in The Two Doctors (1984).

the Doctor and Nyssa from the BBC site
the Doctor and Nyssa from the BBC site

And if that wasn’t enough big news they have further announced that not only will Janet Fielding Return as Tegan but we will have Tegan, Turlough and Nyssa in the tardis together AT THE SAME TIME
from the BBC Site
from the BBC Site

July 2010 brings another season of three stories, this time reuniting members of the TV cast for the first time in 26 years. “Janet Fielding will be back as Tegan Jovanka,” says Briggs, “for three stories that include Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor, Sarah Sutton as Nyssa and Mark Strickson as Vislor Turlough. Getting these actors together in one studio is a first for us – Janet has only done one play with us before, while Mark now lives in New Zealand. But they’ve all committed to the project and we couldn’t be more excited!”

For a year that was supposed to be thin for us Doctor Who fans an awful lot is happening.

Update:
and I can’t believe that I forgot to mention that Forever Janette the Dr. Who/ Forever Knight crossover is back today too, our cup Tardis runnith over.

b016_storm_big…Ben at Blogging the Classics has been reviewing the Doctor Who Big finish audios apparently in order. His latest review is for #16 Storm Warning.

If you want to get a second opinion on those different Doctor Who audio he is a good place to start. (My review of Storm Warning is available at Amazon.com here)

Oh and to give another Plug to Colin Brockhurst here is his alternate cover for this episode:

Copyright Colin Brockhurst
Copyright Colin Brockhurst

Is this guy good or what? I’d like to see his digital covers for Rich’s The Ten Doctors or Forever Janette

Btw worth mentioning that this episode introduces Charley Pollard played by India Fisher who as I’ve mentioned is about to end her record breaking Dr. Who run next month.

…It’s a really big deal particularly since Baker is the only living ex doctor from the original series that hasn’t done audios since giving up the role, but I have one thing to say to the BBC:

hornet's nest the stuff of nightmares

Don’t you think you could have managed better cover art than this? Take a look at the cover art for the Big Finish series that I’ve reviewed over the last year. There is no comparison.

They should have hired Colin Brockhurst. This is why

Update: Here is the image I linked to:

susan1-markedman

zagreusMy review of # 50 in the Big Finish Doctor Who series. Zagreus is available at Amazon.com here.

It not only features doctors 5,6,7 and 8 but also has Doctor #3 Jon Pertwee appearing via fan recording that you likely haven’t heard.

It is a very odd story and I’ve written the review in the style of the Zagreus rhymes so you might find it confusing.

You can buy this and all the other Big Finish audios via Mail order from Mike’s comics.

If you read this blog for any length of time you know I am a big fan of Doctor Who in general and the Big Finish Audio’s in particular.

I’ve also mentioned Mike’s Comics out of Worcester Mass as a great place to get your Doctor Who audios. They sell strictly via mail order (otherwise I’d drive down there and likely be spending MUCH too much on the audio’s I’m missing).

However I only just discovered they have a blog on Live Journal a twitter feed and a presence on Facebook and MySpace.

So to make things easier I’m just going to include all of those in the Doctor Who section of my blogroll, so when you read my next review of a doctor who audio you can be a click away from the best place in the US (including Amazon) to buy it.