It has seemed for a while now, at least to this listener of Big Finish's Doctor Who audio dramas, that the main (or monthly if you prefer) range has been neglected to wither. So much of what has been expecting in recent years has been in other ranges while the one that started things nearly two decades ago feels almost like an afterthought at times. Occasionally, however, there's still something interesting to come out of the range. "Red Planets," the August 2018 release, is just such an example.
Back in the 1970s and into the 1980s, the only way fans of Doctor Who often could encounter an older story was by reading it. The Target novelizations, slim books often running little more than 150 pages, was the cornerstone of the show's merchandise. These days, of course, that isn't the case with a multitude of watching options to choose from including DVDs and streaming platforms. That hasn't stopped such demand for new Target style novelizations of twenty-first-century episodes which BBC Books debuted a set of earlier this year. Among them was the most recently aired episode, the 2017 Christmas Special "Twice Upon A Time," written by a stalwart making one last comeback: Paul Cornell.
The name Michael Bay and the phrase "great film" don't often appear together. Bay has proven with films such as Armageddon and the Transformers franchise to be the poster child of the current Hollywood "wham-bam-thank you ma'am!" style of filmmaking. That is to say, the kind of filmmaking that emphasizes style over substance. And yet, back in the mid-1990s, Bay got the mix right for one film. That film was The Rock.
Before 2005, there was no better-known writer for Doctor Who than Douglas Adams, the man who became famous for The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, was Doctor Who's one-time script editor and responsible in part for the Fourth Doctor classic City Of Death. There were also the stories The Pirate Planet, Shada (which, despite never finishing its recording in 1979, has now become the most completed Doctor Who story of all time), and The Kirkkitmen. For decades, all that most fans knew of the latter story was that it may or may not have been an intended Doctor Who movie and instead, Adams (never one to waste ideas) used elements of it for his later novel Life, The Universe, And Everything. Now, Krikkitmen has become a Who story after all, a novel published by BBC Books. How does this version of it stand up?
As of writing, we are eighteen months into the presidency of Donald Trump. That time in office has found his administration, intelligence agencies, and the news media focused on lingering questions from the 2016 election.
Doctor Who's fifth season is an interesting one. Essentially one long series of "base under siege" stories, it was the season that gave the series many of its iconic monsters. Coming smack dab in the middle of it, and just before the monster-less "The Enemy Of The World," came "The Ice Warriors." With the titular creatures still appearing in the series as recently as Peter Capaldi's final season, it's safe to say that they've become mainstays across TV and spin-off media. How does their debut story stand up after fifty-one years?