His Dark Materials (BBC)

I was aware of this story and the books, but had never really thought about reading them. So when the BBC announced their new series I decided to give it a go. I have to admit that I had low expectations as they’d not exactly done a great job with War of the Worlds.

But, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. It was actually very good indeed. I watched all of the episodes, and, whilst I can’t say it was a story that I found totally gripping or interesting, it was actually good.

I think they’re making more of this too. I would definitely watch more if they do. If nothing else I expect it’ll be diverting.

The other thing it’s made me do is to get the first of the audio books. I haven’t started listening to it as yet, but I’ll get to it eventually.

Revisiting Survivors

Survivors is a relatively little known TV show from the 1970s. It was about a virus that killed off almost the entire population of the planet. The people who were left were the ‘Survivors’. This is of course the subject of quite a lot of TV shows and films these days, but back then I think it was quite ground breaking.

It only got 3 seasons on TV, but, a few years ago, Big Finish, a company that makes some of my favourite audiobooks brought it back, with the three lead actors as well. Big Finish produced 9 seasons of it, each with 4 hour long episodes. It was brilliant. In fact, so much so that I’m revisiting the whole thing this year. Starting with the TV series. Which, in my opinion, stands the test of time, and is actually better than a lot of TV these days.

Survivors from the 1970s took a slow approach to storytelling. Or maybe that was the norm back then? Either way, it took its time in each episode. It had a natural feel too that somehow made it more believable.

I’ve enjoyed watching this again, and remembering the characters, the story and the where it took us.

Now that I’ve finished watching it I’m going to move on to listening to all of the audio stories that Big Finish Productions created. There are 9 box sets of these, so that will probably take me a while to get through I should think. When I do, I think I might post a summary of my thoughts on the whole thing.

Space 1999 (Big Finish Audio)

A new version of Space 1999 from Big Finish

I’ve been a fan of Space 1999 since I was a kid. I just loved it. The idea was awesome, the show was awesome, but it only got two seasons, which was a shame really.

I’d hoped for a long time that Big Finish would bring it back, and they did. Releasing the first story “Breakaway” on the 13th of September last year. The date was significant. In the series the 13th of September was the date that the moon left earth’s orbit. Of course, that was back in 1999, so Big Finish releasing it on the 13th of September 2019 marked 20 years since the original story’s event.

The new version is excellent. It keeps to the original story but brings in a few new elements. I’ve listened to it twice now and it’s simply excellent.

The Sons of Kaldor

DW4D0701_thesonsofkaldor_1417

One of my all time favourite 4th Doctor episodes is “The Robots of Death”. It’s a great story and has some truly fantastic lines. It has been followed up a couple of times as far as I’m aware. One of the follow ups was “Corpse Marker“, a BBC audio book which I was really excited about, but fundamentally didn’t deliver on its promise and was, in the end, a real disappointment.

The next one I’m away of is “Robophobia”, which is a 7th Doctor story from Big Finish. I’m not a big 7th Doctor fan and so I haven’t heard this one. Perhaps I should give it a listen.

Now there’s “Sons of Kaldor”, the first story in the latest season of the 4th Doctor from Big Finish. I was a bit nervous about this story. I didn’t want to face the same disappointment as I had with “Corpse Market“. I didn’t need to worry about that. “Sons of Kaldor” has a very similar tone and pace to the original Robots of Death, it’s been carefully thought through and at its core it’s a good story.

The most important thing is that I really enjoyed it, and it’s a good start to volume one of this season. I’ve now listened to all of the stories and they’re a good bunch, and well worth listening to.

Big Finish: Survivors – Series 6

I’ve been waiting for this for some time now, and really looking forward to it. Today it is released, and I’ll almost certainly be buying it today.

In preparation for series 6 I decided to listen to all previous 5 series in order. That’s the Big Finish series of course, not the original television series or the remake. I thought it would be a good wait to get ready and have the timeline and stories straight for series 6. I’d forgotten just how good Big Finish have made survivors. They’ve done an amazing job on it. It’s totally consistent with the original and yet extends it seamlessly.

When I’ve absorbed series 6 I’ll let you know the verdict.

Oh dear, that was truly awful

TWMR014_thedollhouse_1417

I’m a big fan of Big Finish, and only very rarely do they drop their standards, and even when that does happen it’s only dropping a little bit. In fact, on the whole the standard is so high any drop is really noticeable. However, on this occasion I have to confess I’m almost at a loss for words.

I’ve been enjoying Big Finish’s Torchwood output since they started with season one, and so I bought this episode on good faith. But all I can say about it is that it is so far beneath their normal standard that I almost can’t believe that they made it at all. I also can’t fathom out why they’d want to make this story. It has none of the regular characters in it, it’s set somewhere completely different, and it shows none of the characteristic Torchwood elements to it.

I can’t begin to understand why Big Finish made this. I just hope that it’s a blip. If it isn’t then that’s a real problem.

Doctor Who, the Helm of Awe

DW4DPHP03_thehelmofawe_1417SQ

Since Philip Hinchcliffe came back to do stories with Big Finish I’ve been really impressed with the results. So I was truly looking forward to hearing this latest story. I started it off and was quite interested to begin with although I did find the story a little formulaic. In fact the whole of the first episode was a little disappointing. At this point I was a bit worried about the story and if it would indeed live up to expectations.

But it was around the mid-point of the story that it felt like it had really turned and was just like the rest of the Hinchcliffe stories, which are excellent.

I’m pleased that i was wrong about this story, I’m glad that it turned out ok and wasn’t a dud. That would be terrible.

The First Men in the Moon

BFCL010_thefirstmeninthemoon_1417

As you probably know I’m a fan of Big Finish. Sure, not everything that they do is brilliant, but a great deal of it is. I was really impressed with their rendition of The Invisible Man with John Hurt and really looking forward to this. Now it’s out. I haven’t listening to it as yet, but I love the story and I hope that they do it justice.

A verdict will be forthcoming!