Snakedance

Snakedance images.

Snakedance was a great statement of historical honesty.

The past is rarely anything like the fluffy legends we establish in its name.

That’s a key theme of Snakedance, where the Mara, last seen becoming a giant snake and evaporating in a puff of its own reflection in Kinda, is a popular figure in the local semi-mythological history of the planet Manussa.

Tony remembered Snakedance, the second story involving The Mara.

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The Fifth Doctor Box Set

The Fifth Doctor Box Set

The Fifth Doctor Box Set – better than you might imagine.

The Fifth Doctor Box Set is one of those instances where Big Finish pull just a couple of stories together, and usually sell them at a price akin to two new release DVDs (£25 download, £30 CD) – a big financial investment if the stories don’t live up to the enjoyment you could get from two new release DVDs. This box set reunites the ‘full Tardis’ crew – Nyssa, Tegan and Adric returning alongside Fifth Doctor Peter Davison for two ‘early Fifth’ era stories. So ultimately, before you shell out for this one, you have to ask yourself one question – how much do you like Adric?

Tony checked out the Fifth Doctor Box set from Big Finish, including Psychodrome and Iterations of I.

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The Eleventh Doctor #11

The Eleventh Doctor #11.

The Eleventh Doctor #11.

The ongoing saga of the Eleventh Doctor, Alice, Jones and ARC against ServeYouInc and in particular the villainous dream-come-true merchant known as the Talent Scout is nearing its end, which means this issue of the Titan Comics Eleventh Doctor series turns towards the wrapping up of plot strands. In this issue we find out how the Talent Scout came to be, what his connection is to the mysterious entity of which ARC is essentially the living brain (keep up, this is an Eleventh Doctor saga!), and why he’s been plaguing the Doctor and co for so long now.

Tony reviewed The Eleventh Doctor #11 from Titan Comics.

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Fortitude Episode Ten

Fortitude episode ten

Fortitude episode ten – finally, we’re getting somewhere.

It’s been an insanely long, hard slog, but just before it packs up its snow shoes and goes home, Fortitude’s arrived Somewhere Rather Interesting.

First of all, we now know how Billy Pettigrew ended up dead, and we know whether or not it had anything to do with ground-penetrating radar, ice hotels and that big bloomin’ mammoth.

Tony reviewed Fortitude episode ten.

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The Renaissance of The Master

Anthony Ainley presided over the renaissance of the Master.

The 80s saw a spectacular renaissance of the Master.

The Master was originally a Doctor-specific creation. He was the Anti-Pertwee, and his original function in Doctor Who was to provide either a convenient ‘Moriarty-style’ thorn of evil genius in the Third Doctor’s side (mainly, but not exclusively while he was trapped on Earth), or to be a gateway through which other monsters of the week could rock up in our part of the galactic neigbourhood, con the bejeesus out of everybody and threaten to kill us all, or turn our planet into a planet-sized wheel of brie.

Tony examined the renaissance of the Master, throughout the Peter Davison era in particular.

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Masquerade

The cover of Masquerade.

Masquerade – paper faces on parade…

Doctor Who Does Dangerous Liaisons.

There you go – capsule review for you. The Fifth Doctor swanning about in ruffles and a powdered wig? C’mon, who doesn’t want to play with that?

Tony reviewed Masquerade from Big Finish.

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Peter Davison

Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor.

Peter Davison, preparing to battle evil and score runs as the Fifth Doctor.

As well as being the youngest Doctor to date when he took over the keys of the blue box, Davison at 29 was the Doctor who had had the most public recognition from his prior TV work, at least since Hartnell’s Army Game days.

As WarpedFactor began a celebration of all things Fifth Doctor, Tony looked back on the pre-Who career of the man who gave him life – Peter Davison.

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Partners In Crime

Catherine Tate as Donna Noble in Partners In Crime.

Donna Noble finds the Doctor again in Partners In Crime.

Whereas the opening scenes of Rose had shown the rut into which Rose Tyler had fallen, and the opening scenes of Smith and Jones had shown Martha’s role as universal organizer and peacemaker within her extended family, Partners In Crime opened as a mirror-image double act – Donna Noble, now smarter, more with it, and brimful of chutzpah, blagging her way into the Adipose Industries HQ, on the same day and in a similar way to the Doctor.

On the seventh anniversary of the launch of Donna Noble’s series of Doctor Who, Tony looked back at her re-introductory episode, Partners In Crime, to see exactly how the template was changed for this series, leaving behind much that had gone before.

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Donna Noble

Catherine Tate as Donna Noble.

Donna Noble – the most important person in the universe.

It’s fair to say that since Doctor Who came back in 2005, companions of the Doctor have rarely come to an ideal end. Trapped in parallel dimensions, made to live forever, hardened into soldiers, left stranded in the past, retained as a memory in a library’s data core, turned into a Cyberman (if you’re of the view that Danny Pink was a companion). But if you ask most Whovians for the most tragic fate experienced by a modern companion, one name comes screaming to their lips:

Donna Noble.

Tony paid tribute to his personal favourite of the New Who companions – the one, the only Donna Noble.

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The Darkness of Glass

The cover of The Darkness of Glass.

The Darknes of Glass – creepy stuff.

Given the launch of the fourth season of Fourth Doctor adventures at Big Finish with The Exxilons, a story which promised much but delivered sadly slightly less, you might be rather reticent about splashing out on the second story in the season, The Darkness of Glass.

Reticence on this occasion is entirely unwarranted – go, buy it now, it’s a spectacular return to form.

Tony examined The Darkness of Glass. It was very dark indeed.

Read the piece here.

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