In Review: Big Finish: Diary of River Song Series 11: Friend of the Family

If she wants to escape, the words in her diary are not the only riddle she has to solve.
Song

Synopsis: River Song decides to investigate a temporal anomaly after a Luna University expedition makes some odd discoveries in an old Earth house. They find pages of her own diary with an inscrutable riddle written across them.

However, her investigation goes badly wrong. She is transported back into the past of the house and gets trapped within its grounds.

The house is the home of the Mortimers. With a limited ability to travel back and forth in time across eighty years and multiple generations, River finds herself witnessing key moments in their family history.

If she wants to escape, the words in her diary are not the only riddle she has to solve. However, not everyone in the house will survive what’s coming. Moreover, not everyone is on her side.

 

Review: The synopsis above contains all the plot points listeners need to enjoy Diary of River Song Series 11: Friend of the Family. Anything more would spoil the grand, bitter-sweet mystery.

 

Story

Every time I think Big Finish has exhausted its supply of time travel narratives, they succeed in surprising me. Sole scribe Tim Foley pulls out all the temporal stops in arguably the best River Song box set yet.

The mechanics of Diary of River Song Series 11: Friend of the Family is incredibly complicated, even by the usual standards. It’s obvious, though, that Foley has done the necessary work. Everything fits and flows as it needs to.

While part ghost story, part love story, and part locked room mystery, listeners are also treated to an exceptional character piece. Indeed, River experiences significant growth herself. I particularly appreciated how her relationship with the all-important diary changes.

 

Acting

Once again, Alex Kingston channels every nuance of River Song and then some. Of course, the wonderfully capable supporting cast keeps up with her in equally layered roles.

 

Overall

Thank you, Big Finish. Once again, you’ve allowed River Song to shine in ways that only audio could allow. I’m eagerly looking forward to Diary of River Song Series 12.

 

You can purchase Diary of River Song Series 11: Friend of the Family here.

9.7
Big Finish: Diary of River Song Series 11: Friend of the Family
  • Story
    9.0
  • Performances
    10
  • Audio Production
    10

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
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