Audio Drama Review – Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor Adventures: Ravagers

Hello, everyone. It has been a while since I listened to one of the Big Finish Doctor Who audio dramas. I was excited to listen to this one since it stars both the ninth Doctor, who was back to Doctor Who for the first time since 2005, and the Ravagers, which seem to be making an appearance in the upcoming series. Having finished it, I’m even more excited now for series 13, which premieres on Sunday!

1.1 Sphere of Freedom

On the Sphere of Freedom, the Doctor is about to shut down an evil Immersive Games business empire. He’s assisted by a valiant galley chef called Nova. But his plan spectacularly fails… And who exactly is Audrey?

Mini Review

Eccleston fell back into this role fabulously, and it was like he never left. It was such a joy to have him back as the Doctor. However, the story started out a bit weird with the beginning really being somewhere in the middle, and I didn’t care for how most of the run time was dedicated to telling the story of how the Doctor made it to the point heard in the first track. I did like the new companion, however. She seemed to have quite the personality and will probably be great at keeping the Doctor on his toes. The villain of the episode was pretty obvious early on despite the attempts to make it mysterious, but the way it unfolded did leave me curious about where the story goes from here.

1.2 Cataclysm

Nova is dislocated in time while the Time Eddies are out of control. Meanwhile, the Doctor is about to face the end of the universe. Or is that just the Battle of Waterloo?

Mini Review

I really liked this story. It was action-packed and super timey-wimey with the Doctor crossing his time stream and visiting places all out of order. The story also shed some light on what the Ravagers are, which was very interesting. It had some great Doctor and Nova moments, as well, and I was really loving the two of them together. My only complaint would be that it was hard to follow at times because the story bounced around so much, but it didn’t impede my enjoyment of hearing how the mystery of Audrey and the Ravagers unfolded. The story once again left off on an exciting cliffhangers that made me want to move straight on into part three despite already being up way too late.

1.3 Food Fight

The TARDIS is starting to get a little crowded! Audrey finds herself haunted by a ghostly Doctor.

Mini Review

This story was a pretty good way to wrap up the Ravagers arc. It definitely makes me anticipate seeing them on the show in the new series. It was just as convoluted (AKA timey wimey) as the second story of this arc, but it all came together in an interesting and logical way. I loved the explanation for why Nova knew how to ask the right questions and am looking forward to getting more adventures with her and the ninth Doctor.

Comic Book Recap & Review – Doctor Who: Missy (2021): The Master Plan

I’m excited to get back to integrating some comic book material into my content now that Trope-ical Readathon is over. Today’s post is a recap and review of the most recent Doctor Who comic, which centered Missy as the main character instead of the Doctor. I was excited to get to this arc because Missy is one of my favorite characters and probably my favorite incarnation of the Master.

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Audiobook Reviews – Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious Audio Dramas

I finally finished the Doctor Who Time Lord Victorious multimedia event. Rather than reviewing the last three audio dramas individually, I thought it would be more expeditious to do mini reviews of each along with a summary of my thoughts on the entire event. So, here goes!

Mutually Assured Destruction picks up with the 8th Doctor directly after the events of All Flesh Is Grass. It doesn’t really stand on its own without having read previous installments of the event. There are some enjoyable moments with the 8th Doctor, but the Daleks were incredibly annoying in this one. There are very few characters other than the Doctor and the Daleks, and most of the audio is Daleks screeching at each other, which got on my nerves quickly. This story also once again repeats the theme of being the last of one’s kind, which is kinda old for Doctor Who at this point. Overall, I recommend skipping it and give it 2 out of 5 stars.

Genetics of the Daleks is one of my favorite entries in Time Lord Victorious even though it doesn’t have strong ties to the overarching story. It has an interesting, multi-layered plot that doesn’t focus solely on the Doctor. The other characters are interesting, and Tom Baker as the fourth Doctor is at his usual level of greatness. I enjoyed hearing his reaction to finding out he would eventually become the Time Lord Victorious. The ending really surprised me and made me wish I could do the escape room that this story is a prequel to. Overall, I really enjoyed this one and recommend it whether you’ve been following Time Lord Victorious or not. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars.

Echoes of Extinction is an interesting pair of stories involving the 8th and 10th Doctors and a sentient psychic weapon. The plot once again focuses on the extinction of a race, but the psychic weapon kept me intrigued with the stories. Each story is pretty short, but they act as a good start and end point to the entire Time Lord Victorious event without tying too closely into the overarching narrative. It’s a bit timey wimey, but I’m pretty sure the 8th Doctor story comes first. So, I recommend starting with that one, but it probably doesn’t really matter. Both Doctors were fantastic in this, and overall, it was fun to listen to them. Therefore, I rate it 4 out of 5 stars.

Final Thoughts On Time Lord Victorious

I’m honestly glad to be done with it. There were parts of it that I loved, but the majority of the stories were mediocre at best. I was so excited to get to see the Doctor come a little unhinged and face down death itself, but there was so little of that in these stories. I don’t feel satisfied. The Daleks once again became the entire focus, which made me frustrated because I wanted the Kotturuh to be the main foils for the Doctor this time. I love them, but the Daleks have been done to death and back again. So, I rate this crossover event a 3 out of 5.

Have you read some or all of the Time Lord Victorious multimedia event? What were your favorite and least favorite parts?

Audiobook Review – Doctor Who: The Minds of Magnox

Goodreads Synopsis

A brand new standalone adventure for the Tenth Doctor, which also forms part of the Time Lord Victorious story arc, read by Jacob Dudman.

The Doctor travels with Brian, the Ood assassin, to the planet Magnox, one of the greatest receptacles of knowledge the universe will ever know. The Doctor needs to ask a vital question, but the answer is Grade 1 Classified! In order to gain an audience with the Minds of Magnox themselves he must take a dangerous test. Is he smart enough to get through?

Meanwhile, Brian gets involved with the criminal fraternity and is given a job: to assassinate the Minds of Magnox. However, others also have the planet within their sights….

Jacob Dudman reads this exclusive audio adventure by Darren Jones, and this edition also features a short coda to the story.

My Review

What I Liked

This is probably my favorite story, so far, of the Time Lord Victorious multimedia project. It is a tight story with an interesting, self-contained plot. While it is clearly interconnected with the overarching story of the event, it tells a good story of its own, which some other entries were lacking. I liked the premise of a planet ruled by people who have access to all the information in the universe and the answer to every question. I also enjoyed seeing the Doctor become obsessed with discovering whether his actions in other parts of the TLV event had made the universe a better place. The consequences of this obsession are ironic given the harm caused by it. This entry also contained another stand out performance by Brian the Ood, which I absolutely loved. He really is such a demented, yet fun, character.

The narration really brought this story to another level, as well. It was top notch, and Jacob Dudman did a great job impersonating the Doctor and making Brian the Ood sound eery. The coda was also fantastic and is probably my favorite scene from all of Time Lord Victorious, so far.

What I Didn’t Like

There isn’t really anything negative that stands out to me about this story.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this audiobook is a great entry in the Time Lord Victorious event. It has a fun and interesting story with fantastic narration. Therefore, I rate it 5 out of 5 stars. If you are a fan of Doctor Who, I recommend it!

Book Review – Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious: All Flesh Is Grass

Summary

This story picks up where The Knight, The Fool, & The Dead left off, with the 10th Doctor facing off with the Kotturuh to defeat death once and for all. Unexpectedly, two earlier versions of himself, the 8th and 9th Doctors, have teamed up with the Daleks and the vampires to stop him. Major battles ensue, and the Doctors’ alliances become tenuous and fraught with peril. The 10th Doctor struggles to accept that no one should have the power over life and death, including himself, while attempting to prevent his supposed allies from wreaking havoc throughout the Dark Times.

What I Liked

This is a fun adventure with multiple doctors. I enjoyed getting to read them playing off each other, especially the 8th doctor interacting with his two later versions. The story was action-packed with several battles and a lot going on to tie the disparate story threads of Time Lord Victorious together. So, it was never boring. Brian the Ood and Mr. Ball were once again a comical treat, and I hope they show up in more media outside of Time Lord Victorious. I also found the idea of the Doctors fighting each other to be an interesting premise, and seeing the 10th Doctor truly adopt the mantle of Time Lord Victorious as he tries to control time and defeat death was magnificent to read.

What I Didn’t Like

The pacing of this story was strange. It seemed to jump from battle to battle with little breathing room or explanation of what was going on. I figured it all out before the end, but a little more down time in the story would have probably helped keep the story from feeling too jumpy. I also wish more time was devoted to the 10th Doctor when he was the Time Lord Victorious. It is such an interesting idea, and he did not take on that mantle for very long in the book. I would have loved to see him struggle with it a bit more.

I was also disappointed that the Kotturuh were defeated so quickly. I really liked their introduction in the last book and wish they had been a bit more formidable since they were literally death-bringers. Instead, this book was yet another Dalek story. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Daleks. However, I also wanted something fresh from the overall story of this book and multimedia project, and I didn’t get that from this at all. It felt like I was reading about Time War Part 2 by the end of the book.

Final Thoughts

All Flesh Is Grass was a fitting crescendo to the Time Lord Victorious project. It is a short, fast-paced read and a fun multi-doctor story. Just like many of the other Time Lord Victorious works, this book is fun, yet somewhat frustrating, because it does not live up to its full potential. However, despite the weird pacing and rehash of previous story beats and monsters, the interaction between the Doctors and getting to see even a glimpse of the 10th Doctor take on the Time Lord Victorious mantle is worth giving it a read. Therefore, I rate it 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review – Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious: The Knight, The Fool, And The Dead

‘So,’ she said, ‘the trick is to spend our days trying to live instead of trying not to die?’

The Knight, The Fool, And The Dead, page 126

There is a lot to like in this short Doctor Who novel. The tenth doctor has traveled to the Dark Times shortly after declaring himself the Time Lord Victorious, a being who has the discretion to write the rules of time as he sees fit. He is also struggling and running away from his own impending demise after being told a prophecy of his impending death/regeneration. During his adventure to this time period, the Doctor quickly runs into the Kotturuh, a species who judges all creatures by their potential contribution to the universe by imposing life spans on them. This removes the immortality all species had at creation, and, in effect, begins the occurrence of ‘natural death.’ The tenth Doctor, along with an Ood assassin, a survivor of the Kotturuh, and a scientist, struggle to determine how to stop the Kotturuh from passing judgement on more planets before death sweeps across the entire universe.

I enjoyed the fast pace of the book, and it was an easy read. I was able to finish it in a couple hours. However, I do think the shortness of the novel detracted from its ability to tell an excellent story rather than just a good one. I loved learning more about the Kotturuh, and they truly are an interesting foe for the Doctor, especially at the stage of his life during this story. The physical description of them was eery and learning more about how they set lifespans was interesting, if not totally understandable or believable. I also really enjoyed the comedy of Brian, the assassin Ood, and was happy with his appearance in this book since I enjoyed him in previous outings as well. There were hints of depth and greatness sprinkled throughout the book, such as in my favorite quote shown above, but I would have liked more existential musings (especially from the Doctor) given the entire book is about death. The ending, however, sets the Doctor in an interesting place and role, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with it in future installments of this multimedia project.

Overall, the book is a good and enjoyable read that is somewhat constrained by its length, lack of depth in approaching a topic such as death, and confusing/unbelievable scientific explanations for the Kotturuh’s abilities. Therefore, I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Comic Book Review – Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious: Monstrous Beauty

Monstrous Beauty is a three-part comic that was published in the Doctor Who Magazine as part of the Time Lord Victorious multimedia project. In this comic, we find the 9th doctor and Rose after they accidentally venture into the dark times at the very beginning of creation. Throughout this adventure they face multiple obstacles and encounter new, but ancient, species that seem to have a taste for blood.

I don’t hate this story, but I don’t love it either. The premise is interesting, and we get to see a little more of the dark times and some of the monsters that are supposed to make it so scary. It also did a great job of portraying the 9th doctor and Rose. The dialogue really made me feel like I was watching an episode with the two of them in it. The story also provided a glimpse into what the Gallifreyans were up to at this point in history, which was interesting but also confusingly contradictory to the current canon as outlined in the Timeless Children. For example, the Gallifreyan people we see in this comic clearly have mastered space travel, but their genetics are different from that of the doctor, which I assume means they cannot regenerate yet. However, one the most recent episodes of the show indicated that the first space traveler, Tecteun, was also the person who granted the Time Lords regeneration abilities. So, how can they have advanced space travel but not regeneration? Maybe I just missed some detail that explains this, but I still find it very confusing. Most importantly, the ending of this story was rushed and did not make sense to me at all. I think the story would have been better if it had more issues to flesh out the conflicts and resolutions.

Overall, I came away from this comic feeling underwhelmed and somewhat confused. While certain aspects of it were fun to see (it truly was a delight to see nine and Rose back together), this was clearly a forgettable, filler story to explain how the ninth doctor shows up in other parts of the Time Lord Victorious story. Therefore, I rate it 2 out of 5 stars.

Book Review – Doctor Who The Official Annual 2021

Goodreads Synopsis

The must-have gift for Doctor Who fans of all ages!

Join the Doctor for a brand new adventure in the TARDIS! Jam packed with activities, puzzles, stories and so much more, this beautifully illustrated annual will entertain fans for hours.

My Review

So, I bought this for the Time Lord Victorious tie-in information, but I read the entire book. It is filled with information about Series 12 of Doctor Who and provides diary entries from the cast that describe each episode. The book also has games and quizzes throughout, which showed me I need to re-watch this series of the show because I didn’t do so great on the quizzes. I learned some things from the book that I never knew, such as the reason for the TARDIS console having six sides. Overall, the book was filled with interesting info about the most recent series, but keep in mind the book is targeted for a younger audience.

As for the Time Lord Victorious part of the book, it was fun to read because it was written as if Melody Malone (AKA River Song) wrote it for a newspaper. The information provided a glimpse into the dark times and set up the overall narrative for the entire project. However, I found nothing here that I hadn’t already pieced together from the other media available. I would not consider this required reading for the Time Lord Victorious story.

This annual was a short, fun read that provided details about series 12 of Doctor Who, games, quizzes, and a setup of the Time Lord Victorious with descriptions of its key players. It was an enjoyable, but unnecessary, read. Therefore, I rate it 3 out of 5 stars. I recommend it for anyone wanting a refresher on series 12 without actually watching it. Children also may especially enjoy this book because of the games and puzzles it contains.

Audiobook Review – Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious: The Enemy of My Enemy

Goodreads Synopsis

The people of Wrax are happy to begin peaceful negotiations with the Dalek Empire. The two species are preparing to engage in an alliance that will last throughout the ages.


The only one who seems to object to this happy union is the Doctor. He knows that you can never trust the Daleks.


But more than that, he knows that the Wraxians should never have existed…

My Review

The Doctor is back in another installment of the Time Lord Victorious multimedia project, and he is working WITH the Daleks. After being abducted by the Daleks at the end of the last installment, the Doctor decides to team up with their Time Squad to find out what is causing disturbances in time, which have led to massive changes in planets and civilizations across the cosmos. Specifically, the Daleks are interested in investigating the Wraxian civilization for two main reasons: they shouldn’t exist, and they possess a weapon of great power that threatens all species in existence.

This audiobook moves the Time Lord Victorious story forward more than any other previous release. It does a good job of tying together previous entries in the series that seemed incredibly disparate up to this point while also setting up what seems to be a more interesting future story. The Enemy of My Enemy also works great as a standalone story. The Daleks were menacing, as usual, but they also possessed a level of deviousness that was fun to listen to. Nicholas Briggs did an excellent job giving each Dalek a distinctive voice and personality. I particularly like the Strategist and have enjoyed following him through different stories in this event. Paul McGann was a treat as the doctor, which I expected. I particularly enjoyed his delivery of dialogue related to the question, “What is life?” Overall, this was a well-acted, straightforward story that is a pretty strong addition to the Time Lord Victorious story arc, which earns it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Can the Daleks or the Wraxians be trusted? What is causing the disturbances in time and where did the Wraxians come from? Pick up this delightful audiobook from Big Finish now!