26 September 2012

Audio Catchup: Doctor Who: The New Fourth Doctor Adventures, Season One

I can't be bothered to do elaborate posts for what are essentially links, so here are all of the releases in the fourth Doctor's first-ever season of adventures for Big Finish Productions, which I've worked my way through over the last three months:
I'll excerpt my summative comment from the final one:
I’d like to take a step back for a moment and talk about this first season of the “New Fourth Doctor Adventures” as a whole, now that it’s come to an end. I was initially turned off by Big Finish’s marketing for it, since it was primarily nostalgia-based; I have no particular affection for Tom Baker over any other Doctor, and “Saturday night tea time in 1977” is an event I’ve literally never experienced. Destination: Nerva felt like it confirmed all my worst suspicions, but I found The Renaissance Man and The Wrath of the Iceni both very enjoyable — though Energy of the Dalekswas a big, big low point.

The consistent strength of this season, though, has been Tom Baker and Louise Jameson. I mean, I knew they were good on television, but it’s easy to get complacent with that sort of thing; even in Energy of the Daleks, they’ve never done less than give the Doctor and Leela their all. Every word that comes out of either character’s mouth is a joy to listen to, and that’s no small feat. The writing helps, too, of course: though Leela is a great character, one often felt that Louise Jameson made her so by overcoming scripts that didn’t serve her well. Justin Richards, John Dorney, Alan Barnes, and even Nicholas Briggs have really played to her strengths in a way one more usually associates with a “modern” companion like Charley or Evelyn, and she’s been all the better for it.

So, to my surprise, I find myself actively looking forward to the second season of the New Fourth Doctor Adventures. Tom Baker in action again, Mary Tamm back as Romana, Jonathan Morris penning a Wodehouse pastiche, John Leeson back as K-9, David Warner appearing in multiple episodes, and Nicholas Briggs writing 50 percent of the stories. What’s not to look forward to? (Don’t answer that.)

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