Synopsis: In this series of awesome adventures. The 8th Doctor and Liv Chenka go in search of their friend Helen. The search takes them to the battlefields of World War II, and other worlds where they find an unsavory conspiracy involving a couple of the Doctor’s old adversaries.
Review: Unfortunately due to life stuff getting in the way. I’m fairly late with reviewing this box set, but having said that. I’m really happy that I got to listen to it.
The set consists of four stories with the linking narrative of The Doctor and his companion Liv trying to find their friend Helen, who was lost in the previous series. The search sends them on various adventures, which eventually lead to an unholy conspiracy, which could threaten the entire galaxy.
The first story ‘Their Finest Hour’ by John Dorney sees the Doctor and Live called in to assist their friend Winston Churchill with a mystery concerning an aircraft far in advance of anything the Allies have, which has been attacking Allied forces. Whenever you have the Doctor and Winston Churchill in an adventure together. You’re onto a winner.
Dorney has a lot of fun with the fact that Liv Chenka is from a period in time where Churchill’s significance to humanity was never celebrated as much as it is now. Therefore she hasn’t heard of Britain’s most celebrated prime minister.
Best of all though is the inclusion of the Polish fighter pilots that are a part of the RAF. With all the anti-immigration narrative we see in the news. It’s good to see Big Finish acknowledging and celebrating the contribution of Polish migrants during the 2nd World War. Especially given that it is something that has never really had much of the spotlight in the past.
‘Their Finest Hour’ is a story that makes you proud to be British, but also celebrates the brave Polish fighter pilots who helped the UK fight the Nazi war machine despite their own future’s being somewhat uncertain.
Ian McNeice once again puts in a brilliant performance as Churchill and pairing him with McGann’s 8th Doctor is a joy.
The second story ‘How to Make a Killing in Time Travel ‘, which is also by John Dorney sees the Doctor and Liv having to solve a mystery, which involves an experimental time machine, which has to be shut down before all manner of unsavory character use it for their own ends.
This is a fun story that lightens the mood after what was kind of a dark beginning to the set. It plays out very much like a caper where the Doctor and Live have to race in order to stay ahead of Cornelius Morningstar and various other characters that want the time machine.
The third and fourth stories ‘World of Damnation’ and ‘Sweet Salvation’ by Matt Fritton sees the Doctor and Liv finally reconnect with their friend Helen, but things are not as straightforward as they seem and the Doctor has some doubts about Helen and whether or not she is of sound mind.
These two stories are linked together and see the return of The 11 who has recruited Kandyman to his cause. For those not in the know. Kandyman was a character that we first met in the Classic Doctor Who episode ‘The Happiness Patrol’, which starred Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred. Kandyman was a sinister character who is made up of complex carbohydrates.
In this story. The Kandyman is using various foods to pacify the prisoners in an open-air jail where he is helping the governor keep control. This control over people with various foods is a theme that runs through both stories.
Nicholas Rowe puts in a wonderfully sinister performance here as Kandyman and actually elevates the character to a scarier version of how he was used in the Doctor Who series.Mark Bonnar is once again excellent as The Eleven and the scenes involving Helen and The Eleven in the opening episode of this story arc are a credit to bot Bonnar and Hattie Morahan acting abilities.
Overall. This set is must have for fans of Paul McGann’s Doctor and opens up what could well be an intriguing series of adventures for the 8th Doctor and Liv Chenka who is fast becoming a fan favorite when it comes to the Doctor’s companions.
- Voice Acting10
- Sound Production & Music10