|Starring Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann and John Hurt|
|Synopsis: An overview of Big Finish's 2015 releases.|
Suburban Revolution by Stephen Maslin 15/11/21
1st Place: Suburban Hell
by Alan Barnes
(Fourth Doctor & Leela)
Big Finish's funniest 1970s period piece, with exquisite period detail. Katy Wix deserves a medal for her hysterical but totally believable performance as Belinda, and the rest of the cast aren't far behind. Though some might think that the slightly OTT aliens drag the story too far into self-parody, I absolutely loved it.
2nd Place: The Secret History
by Eddie Robson
(Fifth Doctor, Vicki & Steven Taylor)
This really shouldn't work but the chemistry between the Fifth Doctor and his two "wrong" companions is irresistible. (Maureen O'Brien is, as usual, exceptional, with Peter Purves not far behind.) There are some extraordinary "visual" images conjured up by the script, and Graeme Garden makes for a really good Meddling Monk too.
3rd Place: Flywheel Revolution
by Dale Smith
(read by Peter Purves)
The Short Trips range offers up unassuming gems such as this from time to time. This one is a charming little story, beautifully read, and perfectly suited to Peter Purves avuncular charm.
4th Place: Last of the Cybermen
by Alan Barnes (again)
(Sixth Doctor, Jamie & Zoe)
Wow! A script that comes from way out of left field, but which does not disappoint. No one could have predicted the story line from the title: a truly magical tale reminiscent of Sixth Doctor comic strips from the 1980s. This release was unjustly criticized in some quarters, but it is inventive, lovingly crafted and really affecting, streets ahead of some of the straight sci-fi being offered elsewhere.
5th Place: The Yes Men/The Forsaken
by Simon Guerrier/Justin Richards
(Second Doctor, Polly, Ben & Jamie)
Hard to separate these two, so I won't. The partly narrated format works incredibly well in these uncanny hybrids of 21st century "now" and 1960s "then". Fraser Hines' double-duty gets ever more impressive, as does Anneke Wills' change-of-gear from young Polly to older narrator. And don't you just love Eliot Chapman's take on Ben Jackson? I really didn't think any of this could have been possible.
and THE WORST?
No one seems to be enjoying making this, and that lack of enjoyment is infectious.
Boredom and unpleasant sound design on Planet Scandanavia.
The War Doctor, Series 1: aka Only the Monstrous
Monstrous indeed, but not in a good way.
Master of the Daleks/Eye of Darkness
Dreadful music, deafening Daleks and an homiletic ending that is truly bile-inducing.