Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Wake Review

The Wake opens with a short montage; ‘101 things you should know about Irving Braxiatel’, where Lisa Bowerman and Miles Richardson effectively recreate several scenes from the books to ensure all listeners are completely up to date with our remaining characters. Braxiatel met Bernice thousands of years in the future, he was there when she married Jason, he was there when she was alone and friendless, and then many years later he was there when Jason died….

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Bernice Summerfield - Series Five and Six

Bernice Summerfield series 11 has began over the summer, and if you havent been introduced to the series yet then trust me, you are missing out.
Here's what you need to know about this series fantastic history:

Series Five: 4 audios, 1 short story collection, 1 book, 1 novella collection, 1 Special Release
Although the series arguably took this opportunity to rest on its laurels, it was coming off a great high from Series Four. These are all good audios, although the real story can be seen slowly moving forwards in the books.

Series Six: 5 audios, 1 book,1 novella collection, 1 short story collection
Braxiatel has been plotting behind the scenes for a long time and here, although it takes some time, the range goes head to head with its arch-antagonist. Every release builds on the last to make this possibly the most ambitous series yet, even if things do get muddled towards the end.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Bernice Summerfield - Series Three and Four

More reviews, posted online a while ago, bring me up to Series 4 for the Bernice Summerfield marathon. Check the website linked to for plenty more coverage of Big Finish’s other ranges…

Series Three: 1 Short Story Collection, 4 Main Releases, 1 Excelis Tie In
Bernice's Life at the Collection begins to settle down, but things remain far from peacefull.

Series Four: 4 audios, 1 Short Story Collection
Monster of the Week! Bernice rushes around the universe encountering the worst it has to throw at her, but she's missed something 'big' going down at home... Probably the most consistantly strong series so far.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Bernice Summerfield - Series One and Two

Why should you care about Bernice Summerfield?
As I mentioned in my last post, I've been working through Big Finish's Bernice Summerfield range since late last year. This marathon includes around fifty full cast audio dramas, at least ten full length novels and ten more short story collections and a few novella anthologies... And that's just since the range moved to Big Finish in 1999.
Big Finish have just announced that Series 11 is coming soon, and it should be an excellent place for new listeners to jump on as a major long running plot arc is drawing to a close. So if you're interested in dipping your toe into this fantastic range, here's the reasons why you should give them a go. Click on the pictures to be taken to to the Audio Reviews website for in depth analysis.

Series One - An Exquisite series of audio adaptations of Virgin's original Bernice Summerfield books

Buried Treasures - Big Finish's first ever 'Subscriber Bonus'

Series Two Books - When Big Finish considered taking over the range these stories introduced a brand new continuity for them to explore. Proudly introducing: the Braxiatel Collection.

Series Two Audios - Brand new adventures for the same old professor

Friday, 9 April 2010

Bernice Summerfield: The Plague Herds of Excelis

Listening to Plague Herds if Excelis without having just worked through the preceding Dr Who Excelis adventures is an unusual experience. Although it does have a go at filling you in on the details you can’t get around the fact this is a sequel, and so I am going to assume you have at least a passing idea of what occurred previously. Set ‘after’ the final Excelis trilogy it show the world left in ruins after the Doctor abandoned it. It’s also harks back to the very first play in the series, with the reappearance of Iris Wildthyme and a few other tidbits…

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Bernice Summerfield: Death and the Daleks

The appearance of Daleks in Death and the Daleks (formerly known as the ‘Axis of Evil’ before it started turning up on people’s doorsteps) may or not have come as a complete surprise after all. Thematically it sits roughly alongside the rest of the ‘monster’s audio series which have insisted on using traditional monsters for the last three plays. It’s a big, bold sequel to ‘Life During Wartime’, which means that if you haven’t read the collection you’re immediately at a disadvantage. Despite the brief ‘previously on Bernice Summerfield segment’ there’s no chance to get to know newbies Moskoff and Anson as intimately as you should. It’s also the first full Bernice story penned by Paul Cornell since BF got the license, so straight off the bat you expect something special…

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Bernice Summerfield: Life During Wartime

The Fall
Bernice returns home to the Collection and things aren’t how she expected. In just a few pages Paul Cornell briefs us on the setting and purpose of this collection and just from the very tone of it you can see how different it’s going to be. Both of the previous collections have suffered from a lack of purpose and cohesion, this time, apparently not.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Bernice Summerfield: The Poison Seas

Introducing traditional ‘monsters’ into Series 4 to attract Doctor Who fans over into this mini-range is a pretty shameless piece of advertising, however for the most part it seems to have worked. The first two plays of the series are very strong releases, taking the strengths of their respective monsters and using them to their advantage to tell a completely ‘new’ story. Sadly, on this third release, things start to stumble.