Seventh: Battlefield

battlefieldWriter: Ben Aaronovitch

Director: Michael Kerrigan

Producer: John Nathan-Turner

Companions: Ace (Sophia Aldred), Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney)

Season: 26 (eps 1-4)

Summary: The Doctor and Ace assist UNIT for one last time (in Classic Who anyway) and discover a nuclear missile convoy has headed into difficulties. Near Lake Vortigan, Morgaine, the evil sorceress from the legends of King Arthur has returned, seeking Excalibur once more.  She’s mistaken the Doctor for Merlin, or is he actually Merlin?

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Eighth: Blood of the Daleks (pt. 2)

blood of the daleks 2

Writer: Steve Lyons

Director: Nicholas Briggs

Producers: Andy Hardwick & Gareth Jenkins

Companion: Lucie Miller (Sheridan Smith)

Series: 1.2

Summary: Lucie has been kidnapped by the Daleks. The Doctor learns that Professor Martez is creating new Daleks using humans.

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Eighth Doctor: Blood of the Daleks (Pt. 1)

blood of the daleks 1Writer: Steve Lyons

Director: Nicholas Briggs

Producers: Andy Hardwick & Gareth Jenkins

Companion: Lucie Miller (Sheridan Smith)

Series: Eighth Doctor New Adventures Series 1.1

Summary: The Doctor discovers a woman from 21st Century Earth has been transported into his TARDIS by the Time Lords, with little memory of her encounter. When he tries to return her to Earth, he encounters a force field and the impact sends him towards a settlement called Red Rock Rising. The settlement has lost many resources and acid rain falls from the skies. The acting president receives a signal from an alien ship that promises to help them escape. But that alien ship is actually a Dalek fleet.

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Overview: The Paul McGann Era (1996-current)

paul mcgannThe period between 1989-2005 is dubbed the “Wilderness Years”. With no new Doctor Who material, the “expanded universe” kept it alive through books published by Virgin books (not to be confused with the record company of the same name), which eventually spun off into the Bernice Summerfield series. Doctor Who Magazine was also still being published.

But in 1996, the Doctor Who TV movie aired. Produced by American producer Phillip David Segal, it starred Paul McGann as the Doctor.  While the movie bombed, it provided a bridge between the Classic and current revival of Doctor Who. Big Finish began work in 2000 with their own stories, eventually adding Paul McGann to the ranks, and even though he regenerated in the web episode “Night of the Doctor”, Big Finish is still producing more audio dramas starring Paul McGann to this day.

About Paul McGann

Paul McGann was born in Liverpool into an Irish Roman Catholic family.  He and his siblings were encouraged to pursue their talents. McGann’s breakthrough role was in the series Give Us a Break, which only lasted one season. His first major role was as Percy Toplis in The Monocled Mutineer. He later became part of the “Brit Pack”, a group of British actors including Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, and Tim Roth.  he also had small roles in Alien III and The Three Musketeers.

“It appeas someone has forced a role upon me. I prefer to find my own role to play.”–The Chimes of Midnight

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Destiny of the Doctor: Enemy Aliens (8th and Charley)

enemy-aliens

Writer: Alan Barnes

Director: John Ainsworth

Companion: Charley Pollard (India Fisher, narrator)

Running Time: 1 hour

Summary: The 8th Doctor receives a message from the 11th Doctor, but it’s broken. It warns them of an invasion, telling them “Rossini is the key!”. But they find themselves in the midst of a conspiracy when the 8th Doctor is framed for murder.

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Eighth Doctor Audio: Time of the Daleks

timedaleks

Writer: Justin Richards

Director: Nicholas Briggs

Producers: Gary Russell & Jason Haigh-Ellery

Executive Producer: Jacqueline Rayner

Companion: Charley Pollard (India Fisher)

Summary: The Doctor is perplexed when he discovers that Charley doesn’t know who William Shakespeare is. He remembers that Orson Welles also didn’t know when they met him in Invaders From Mars. They travel to futuristic Britain and discover a leader who is obsessed with Shakespeare.  Then Daleks arrive, and to everyone’s shock, they’re quoting Shakespeare! Why are they suddenly interested in the Bard? And why does no one except the Doctor and the rogue time-traveler know who he is?

Review: This one was…different. Right out the gate, I was laughing as soon as the Daleks were quoting Shakespeare. This was a good way to wrap up the arc that had been started from the beginning, but I felt cheated a bit, as it didn’t do anything to wrap up the “Dalek Empire” prelude that it supposedly was linked to. It almost seemed as if my listening to the other parts of the prelude first wasn’t necessary. It was  a fun story, even if a bit confusing.

Overall Review: 8/10

Continuity: This story is a direct sequel to Invaders From Mars and Seasons of Fear.

 

Eighth Doctor Audio: Embrace the Darkness

embrace

Writer and Director: Nicholas Briggs

Producer: Gary Russell and Jason Haigh-Ellery

Executive Producer: Jacqueline Rayner

Running Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes

Summary: The Doctor and Charley encounter an ancient race of aliens in the Cimmerian System.  They cryptically talk about the “Darkness” that will develop them. What is their nature? Are they good or evil?

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Eighth Doctor Audio: Seasons of Fear

seasons-of-fear
Writers: Paul Cornell and Caroline Symcox

Director: Gary Russell

Producers: Gary Russell & Jason Haigh-Ellery

Executive Producer: Jacqueline Rayner

Running Time: 1 hour, 59 minutes (2 CD’s)

Companion: Charley Pollard (India Fisher)

Summary: On New Year’s Eve in 1930, Charley finally gets to go to Singapore. But all is not pleasant, for the Doctor has found an enemy who claims to have met him before–Sebastian Grayle.  He has made a deal with the Nimon, hoping to acquire immortality. And the mystery of anti-time surrounding Charley is deepening.

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Eighth Doctor Audio: The Chimes of Midnight

chimes
Writer: Robert Shearman

Director: Barnaby Edwards

Producer: Gary Russell & Jason Haigh-Ellery

Running Time: 1 hour, 56 minutes

Companion: Charley Pollard (India Fisher)

Summary: The Doctor and Charley arrive at Edwardian house on Christmas Day in 1906. The house exists outside of time in an endless loop. When the grandfather clock chimes the hour, a person living in the house dies. Can the Doctor find the murderer? Why is the house trapped in a loop? And why does Edith, the scullery maid, seem to know Charley?

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Eighth Doctor Audio: Invaders From Mars

invaders

Writer and Director: Mark Gatiss

Producers: Gary Russell & Jason Haigh-Ellery

Executive Producer: 1 hour, 34 minutes

Running Time: 1 hour, 34 minutes (2 cd’s)

Companion: Charley Pollard (India Fisher)

Summary: The Doctor and Charley arrive in New York in 1938 on Halloween, the night Orson Welles will broadcast his infamous radio play based on HG Wells’s War of the Worlds. Except this time, the Martian invasion is real. The Doctor also discovers that anti-time is slowly destroying history.

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