Big Finish
2017 output

Released 2017

Starring Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann and John Hurt

Synopsis: An overview of Big Finish's 2017 releases.


Ingenious Legacy by Stephen Maslin 10/1/22

1st Place: Time in Office
by Eddie Robson
(Fifth Doctor, Tegan & Leela)

Irreverent and laugh out loud funny, without ever spilling over into silliness. The number of references to stories past is beyond number, without any of them ever feeling redundant. Peter Davison and Louise Jameson are as good as ever, but Janet Fielding stars, finally being given material worthy of her talent. A must for any Classic Who fan.

2nd Place: The Outliers
by Simon Guerrier
(Second Doctor, Polly, Ben & Jamie)

A very strong second place, with some of BF's best music and sound design (not least a recurring Radiophonics-style soundscape that is absolutely breath-taking). The "Season 4 Crew" continue to impress, notably Elliot Chapman as Ben, but what stands out is the writer's ability to create a sense of scale without a huge cast and without acres of verbal exposition.

3rd Place: The Ingenious Gentleman Adric of Alzarius
by Julian Richards
(read by Matthew Waterhouse)

Who'd have thought it? Matthew Waterhouse being fantastic! Helped by a one-of-a-kind script, he is a revelation, and bearing in mind his fraught relationship with Tom Baker during the making of Season 18, his take on the Fourth Doctor is a real eye-opener. Mr Waterhouse, all is forgiven.

4th Place: The Contingency Club
by Phil Mulryne
(Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan & Adric)

Anything with Clive Merrison in it has a head start in the any-good stakes, and though the motives of the villains are a bit daft, this manages to be touching without being mawkish, and fiendish without being sadistic. Aside from the always excellent Mr Merrison, Lorelei King's Red Queen is a delicious audio presence, Olly McCauley's Edward is truly affecting, but best of all, the Season 19 regulars sound as if they've beamed in direct from 1982. (Oh, and yes, Matthew Waterhouse is fantastic again!)

5th Place: The Morton Legacy
by Justin Richards
(Second Doctor, Polly, Ben & Jamie)

Another triumph for the Second Doctor's merry band. The narrated "lost story" feel works really well again here, and one can only marvel at how fresh this particular TARDIS crew sounds some five and a half decades after its conception. The resolution at the end of the penultimate scene is a bit naff, but you can't have everything.

...and THE WORST?

The Time War, series 1.

Starts really well... but then the Daleks turn up.

Doom Coalition, series 4.

In spite of a great companion pairing in Liv and Helen, Big Finish continue to waste the talents of Paul McGann on bloated and portentous sound-and-fury.

The War Doctor, series 4.

The crap idea of the oxymoronic War Doctor is made a whole lot worse with dialled-in non-performances, and scripts constructed out of un-risen bread dough. The only good thing one can say about The War Doctor series 4 is thank God there isn't a series 5. This is infuriating bilge, and a sad, sad epitaph for the great John Hurt.