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@Esterath @Iris Wildthyme Ooh, lots of things. 

–The War Doctor (for many, MANY reasons)

–Rewriting of the Time War

–Mischaracterized Tenth Doctor

–Unnecessary Zygon subplot

–LGTW being just a regular war with shooty things and lasers 

–Rose not being, um, Rose

–Making Gallifrey all about the children (as opposed to the twisted, evil thing it had become in the LGTW of the RTD Era)

–The idea that the Doctor has always been "going home", which ignores the central facet of the character that he is constantly running from his home as an outsider (plus his home = very corrupt, stagnant, etc; everything he isn't)

–The fact that, at the end of the day, there was no need for Gallifrey to come back

–The fact that we had to unearth the (tired and boring) gag of QE1 for the Tenth Doctor's subplot

It should have been a fun runaround with Ten/Donna, Eleven/Clara, Eight/??? (Fitz?), and Nine/Rose (if possible). Instead, we got something that kind of changed previously established continuity for no particular reason.

1 hour, 14 minutes ago on Conversation @


Just rewatched Series 7B (specials included).

The Snowmen – 6/10

The Bells of Saint John – 8/10

The Rings of Akhaten – 8/10

Cold War – 6.5/10

Hide – 8.5/10

Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS – 4/10

The Crimson Horror – 7/10

Nightmare in Silver – 3/10

The Name of the Doctor – 6/10

The Night of the Doctor – 6/10

The Day of the Doctor – 3/10

The Time of the Doctor – 5/10

Average: 5.91/10

Didn't realize how much I disliked this run until I rewatched it. 

1 hour, 35 minutes ago on Conversation @


I mean it's not just a "fannish" thing to do, it's just easier. I'm not demanding that they start calling them the Eleventh/Twelfth/etc Doctor in-universe; there'd be no reason to other than in the rare multi-Doctor story. But in fanfiction and the like, using a well-established numbering system just makes... sense

1 day, 19 hours ago on Moffat Questions “Twelfth Doctor” Title


Good choices; I especially agree with Fearmonger, Chimes, Pirates and The Kingmaker. I feel that The Next Life is a tad continuity-heavy (i.e. the Divergent Universe arc) to be chosen, and I really disliked TLATE. Regardless, this is pretty much all MR picks, and my top 15 would probably include some 1st Doctor Companion Chronicles as well.

2 days ago on Happy Birthday, Big Finish! 15 Picks for 15 Years


Iris Wildthyme's Top Ten EDAs –– updated!

10. EarthWorld

9. Father Time

8. Vampire Science

7. The Blue Angel

6. The Shadows of Avalon

5. Fear Itself

4. The Tomorrow Windows

3. The City of the Dead

2. The Year of Intelligent Tigers

1. The Scarlet Empress

2 weeks, 4 days ago on Conversation @


Ah, yes. RIP Jon Pertwee. Of his (televised) stories, I'd go with Spearhead from Space, Inferno, The Curse of Peladon, Carnival of Monsters,  and Frontier in Space. If anyone's looking for Third Doctor expanded universe stories, I'd recommend: The Blue Tooth, Old Soldiers, The Prisoner of Peladon, Find and Replace, The Last Post, Ghost in the Machine, The Scorchies, and The Mega on audio. Book-wise, I'd go with Catastrophea, Verdigris, Rags, and Interference.

2 weeks, 4 days ago on The 3rd Doctor: Five Favourites


Another day, another moment where I wish desperately that I lived in Wales. 

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Series 8: Watch Deep Breath First


@SteviePenny While I think they are overused, the real problem isn't their appearance in every series (or frequently in Big Finish audios), it's that the writers don't know how to do anything original or interesting with the Daleks. Give me a story like Jubilee/Dalek and I'll happily enjoy the Daleks.

3 weeks ago on Series 8: New Teaser Trailer “I see into your soul, Doctor”


Surprisingly enough (I say this as someone who's been disliking the Main Range as of late), every release in the rest of the 2014 lineup (Breaking Bubbles, the Seventh/Ace/Hex trilogy, and the Peri/Six trilogy) all look set to be cracking stories. I'm just glad that we're getting the Rani at last; maybe a Fourth Doctor Adventure is in order?

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Meet the New Rani


@Gustaff Sorry for the late reply–– probably not, as I'm more keen to do a sort of series of mini-reviews about the essential books or Companion Chronicles. So if you'd like to review the set, be my guest!

1 month ago on Conversation @


On the contrary to Gustaff, I rather liked the New Adventures box set. It's nothing major, nothing world-shaking, but it's good stuff, particularly Random Ghosts. The Revolution is the major dud for me, mainly because it tonally doesn't fit with the rest of the box set. It's best to treat the next three as one major story, which I thought had some nice character exploration for Bernice (which is rather amazing considering the amount of time she's been around). 

As for the other Big Finish releases this month (I haven't gotten Masquerade as I'm not a fan of Fifth Doctor/Nyssa)...

Second Chances was a good, if not great, ending to the Companion Chronicles. It's a downer for sure, and needs some light fare to follow it up, but it's good. The symmetry between the episodes is very nicely done. 7/10

Destroy the Infinite was bad. It's everything I dislike about Nick Briggs's Doctor Who, and its charmless first episode could have been condensed down to ten or so minutes. Another dud for the FDAs, I'm afraid. 3/10

1 month ago on Conversation @


@TheOncomingStorm Very much so. The Scarlet Empress (his strongest work, in my opinion) is one of my favourite Who stories of all time.

1 month, 1 week ago on Comparing the Different Arcs of the Revival


If we want to talk about soapiness/soap-opera-esque elements in storytelling, I'd look no further than the familial antics of the Ponds ("She's our daughter!" "She's grown up with us the whole time!" "She killed the Doctor!" "No, she killed his robot clone!"). Now, while I like both eras, it's hardly fair to criticize the RTD era for having soap opera elements when Moffat's has its own fair share.

1 month, 1 week ago on Comparing the Different Arcs of the Revival


I don't want a companion to be a challenge; I want a companion to feel genuine. The other greatest mistake in her characterization (aside from turning her into a cypher) was not retaining the memories of JttCotT. 

1 month, 1 week ago on Clara Oswald – A Question of Perspective


@MrRazza Trust me, the companions do much better once they're off the screen. If you want your mind to be changed about the Sixth Doctor's companions, get Peri and the Piscon Paradox for Peri and The Fires of Vulcan or The One Doctor for Mel. Note that The Fires of Vulcan is a Seventh Doctor story, but it's a great dramatic showcasing for Mel; The One Doctor is out-and-out comedy, and it's perfection. And most people credit Peri and the Piscon Paradox as not only Peri's best story, but also one of the best Big Finish stories ever (and it was written by Nicola Bryant's boyfriend!).

1 month, 2 weeks ago on The Sixth Doctor: Five Favourites


Not to be a broken record, but I'd like to extend five audio favourites for the Sixth Doctor, because (in my opinion) that is where he really gets to shine. Those would be The Marian Conspiracy, Doctor Who and the Pirates, Davros, Jubilee, and The Wormery. They are, in order, a fantastic historical, a hilarious tragedy (and my favourite Doctor Who story... ever), a gripping character piece, the darker cousin of Dalek, and a hilarious piece with great atmosphere that pits Colin Baker against the cosmic bag lady herself, Iris Wildthyme. All must-buys, in my opinion.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on The Sixth Doctor: Five Favourites


Nah. If they had brought her back early on in Eleven's era, then maybe; I feel it's been a bit too long. Plus, I doubt that Moffat had any grand designs on the character when he requested for her to be brought back; I imagine he was in the early stages of forming what would become the arc for the Eleventh Doctor and thus was toying with the ideas of another author.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Bring Back… Jenny, the Doctor’s Daughter


Ah. NSAs. Well. I'll get the Richards one, maybe the Goss as well (I've loved his CCs). As for Tucker, I'll have to see.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on First 12th Doctor Novels Detailed


@LGwalchmai95 Byronic amnesiac with a wig.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @


@The Mind Probe Doctor Who and the Pirates is a Sixth Doctor audio that is a musical. In my opinion, it's the best piece of Doctor Who of all time. 

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Foxes Cast in Series 8


...Can't say I'm surprised.

1 month, 4 weeks ago on The Top Stories & Doctors (According to DWM 2014)


@supermoff Yes, but you could hardly call "Rain" a full trailer. They're both teaser trailers.

2 months ago on Weird and Wonderful


The Rain trailer is miles better than the official one, if we're being honest. And watching Chris Eccleston's eyebrows rise to astronomical heights as he morphed into David Tennant was hilarious.

2 months ago on Weird and Wonderful


That's Frontios finished. Quite grim, although no major side character dies (I was very much expecting Norna or Plantagenet to bite the dust). Interesting central conceit (very Utopia, in some manners), but the Tractators aren't particularly convincing nor compelling villains. Tegan really doesn't do much and Turlough mainly gets to access his "ancestral memory" through screaming and looking pretty in the background. I wish this TARDIS team didn't always get split up in stories, and I wish characters like Norna were given less screen time, simply to give characters like Tegan something to do. 6/10.

2 months ago on Conversation @


...AAAND more procrastinating on revising with The Awakening. Another lovely story, very solid; my only criticism was that the plot of the Malus was a bit hard to follow during the story (I worked it out all right with a minute of research), and that Tegan and Turlough didn't actually get that much to do. But that said, a lovely Fifth Doctor story; 7.5/10. I think I'll continue on with this TARDIS team and go onto Frontios.

2 months ago on Conversation @


Just watched Carnival of Monsters. Great little story, hilarious most of the time; the only problems were the getups the Lurmans were in (what was the design team thinking?) and the horrendously acted and conceived Inter Minorians. Honestly, every scene with the "conspirators" was just dreadful. So, overall, 8/10. Absolutely bonkers, and the sequences in the Miniscope more than make up for the dreadful scenes outside.

2 months ago on Conversation @


I don't think I ever made a post after I finished the Compassion arc (Interference to The Ancestor Cell). So, here goes.

I can break it down into one sentiment: I love Compassion, I hate how she was handled. To go story by story...

Interference. Well, it's Larry Miles. It's all a bit bonkers, and Compassion's somewhat sidelined what with the canon-shifting events contained within, but she's competently introduced, as is the chilling idea of Anathema/the Remote.

The Blue Angel. Compassion is sidelined, but I didn't care as I love this book to bits. 

The Taking of Planet 5. While I really don't like this book, as it's nigh-on impossible to read, Compassion gets some very interesting things to do. All the hints towards her future identity are very well structured in this novel.

Frontier Worlds. Another interesting outing for Compassion, as she and Fitz are the stars of this book. She's at her most ruthless and therefore most fun here. Nothing groundbreaking done with her character.

Parallel 59. Dull book for Compassion and the Doctor; brilliant material for Fitz. She does get to dabble in revolution and there's a fun, if grim, escape sequence.

The Shadows of Avalon. HALLELUJAH. While Compassion herself doesn't actually do all that much (her first chapter is, however, a lovely idea; the Doctor forcing her to spend time alone on Earth in order to become more human), this is the book where I finally saw her full potential. The ending sequence is absolutely fascinating.

The Fall of Yquatine. This really is Fitz's book, as the Doctor makes some awful blunders and Compassion darts in and out of the action. I'm INCREDIBLY uncomfortable with the relationship the Doctor and Compassion have here; whatever Nick Walters and Stephen Cole were thinking, I have no idea. While I adore this book, the Compassion/Doctor dynamic turns unnecessarily violent.

Coldheart. Boring. Compassion has some nice character development down in the caves, and... that's about it. 

The Space Age. Don't get me started on The Space Age.

The Banquo Legacy. I love this book, its atmosphere, and its style of storytelling, but the authors wanted to tell a 19th century story, so they shunted Compassion to the sidelines once more. The way they did so is interesting, but it does nothing to further her character arc.

The Ancestor Cell. I'm in two minds about this book. Mainly, I hate it, and Lawrence Miles should have written it. Granted, he's bonkers, but he's good bonkers. Anyways, it's the last we see of Compassion in this continuity (she turns up in the Faction Paradox novels, I believe), and she gets to destroy some War TARDISes and run away from responsibility with Nivet. 

So, of her ten books, Compassion gets to shine in Planet 5, Frontier Worlds, Avalon, and The Ancestor Cell. 4/10, and two of them are badly written. Her concept is so fascinating, her initial characterization so brilliant, that it makes me so frustrated that nothing was actually done with her. If I had been range editor, I would've cut Parallel 59 to have Avalon happen sooner, cut Coldheart and The Space Age, and use the three empty slots to tell interesting stories with Compassion, Fitz, and the Doctor.

This era was wasted potential; we'll never have another Compassion, I don't think. C'est la vie.

2 months ago on Conversation @


@TardisBoy ah, missed that part. My apologies :)

2 months ago on 5 Could Have Been Companions


Sorry to make an incredibly fannish correction here, but Idris was not entirely the first time we had something like her. Compassion, an EDA character who first appeared in Interference, released in 1999. Compassion's arc later had her turn into a TARDIS in The Shadows of Avalon, and the Doctor and fellow companion Fitz then traveled around, ah, in her. While Compassion definitely didn't live up to her potential (there were plenty of interesting stories waiting to be told with her), this wasn't the first time we had a living TARDIS. However, Compassion was the "mother" of the Type 103 TARDISes, which were living beings; maybe a rival Time Lord (with Gallifrey's return) could be Idris/Compassion's spiritual successor?

2 months ago on 5 Could Have Been Companions


For anyone who's interested: Dalek was adapted from a Big Finish audio story, Jubilee, which I think is far superior to the televised story. It's only US $3.00 for a download, so I'd recommend picking it up.

2 months ago on Dalek or Cold War?


I'm glad they interrupted him before he could watch any more of The Sensorites, to be honest.

2 months, 1 week ago on Frank Skinner Cast in Series 8


Oh, Paul. He became the book's "event" writer, aside from Lawrence Miles. He wrote one of the opening Timewyrm novels; Love and War, which introduced darling Benny Summerfield; Happy Endings, which saw off Benny it a fabulous novel filled to bursting with continuity; and The Shadows of Avalon, one of the most imaginative Doctor Who stories ever, which did what was perhaps the most inventive thing in Who's history with Compassion. Not only that, but he wrote the Bernice Summerfield audio Death and the Daleks with its companion anthology, Life During Wartime; two of the hardest-hitting pieces of drama ever released by Big Finish. What I'm trying to say is, Paul Cornell "Gets" Doctor Who, but he doesn't let that knowledge restrain him. Which is why I'd be more that chuffed to have him back.

2 months, 1 week ago on Bring Back… Paul Cornell


**Edit: I'd also put Sara-Steven as one of my top First Doctor teams, and Fitz-Anji as one of my top Eighth Doctor ones. Oh, and also Izzy as well for Eight.

2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @


List time! Let's see, Enemy-Doctor pairings. As in, which enemy do I automatically associate with each Doctor.

First Doctor: The Daleks

Second Doctor: The Cybermen

Third Doctor: The Master

Fourth Doctor: Sontarans

Fifth Doctor: The Master

Sixth Doctor: The Forge or the Valeyard

Seventh Doctor: The Elder Gods/Eldritch Abominations/etc.

Eighth Doctor: Faction Paradox

Ninth Doctor: Daleks

Tenth Doctor: The Time Lords

Eleventh Doctor: The Silence

...and THEN favorite TARDIS teams for each.

First: Ian-Barbara-Vicki

Second: Jamie-Zoe

Third: The UNIT Family OR Sarah Jane

Fourth: Sarah Jane OR Romana II

Fifth: Peri-Erimem

Sixth: Evelyn

Seventh: Ace-Hex

Eighth: Fitz-Compassion OR Lucie OR Charley 

Ninth: Rose-Jack

Tenth: Donna

Eleventh: Amy (solo)

2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @


So, after some searching last night, I was finally able to download all 20 of the old Doctor Who annuals. I've paged through several already, and it's... unsettling how completely different they are from the show. A personal favorite is the Third Doctor/Liz adventure entitled "A Universe Called Fred". 

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @


Other writers to have back: Jacqueline Rayner of the audios/books; Rob Shearman of the audios and Dalek; Kate Orman of the books; Paul Cornell of the books + Human Nature/The Family of Blood; Lloyd Rose, another fantastic female book author; Mags L Halliday, of the Faction Paradox novels and History 101; Paul Magrs (my darling) of the audios and books and Iris Wildthyme; Jonathan Morris of the books and audios; and many more who may have not been related to Who. I just listed several that have written for the show's media before in memorable, powerful books.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Bring Back… Helen Raynor


Short answer: yes. I've listened to dozens of Big Finish audios and feel that a Tenth Doctor series would definitely boost their sales. We'd replace the Lost Stories range with them, and then we'd have the Monthlies (5th-7th), the Early Adventures (1st-3rd), the EDAs (8th), the FDAs (4th), and the TDAs (10th).

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Is it Time to Give Big Finish the New Who Licence?


@Gustaff I'm very sporadic with my main range buys, so I got 9 titles. The Settling, No Man's Land, Red, Memory Lane, 100, Time Works, Faith Stealer, Terror Firma, and Night Thoughts. I just listened to The Settling today; it was absolutely incredible.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @


Did anyone else who listens to Big Finish audios get something during the May Day sale?

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @


I love Rose. Rose is without a doubt one of the realest companions of both Classic and New Who; an affirmation that even the most ordinary person is, in fact, extraordinary. Now, is she up there with the likes of Sarah Jane, Jo Grant, Donna, Ace, Evelyn Smythe, Lucie, Fitz, Compassion, etc etc etc? No. But that doesn't stop her from being a fantastic character and very worthy companion.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on A Bad Wolf or Just Plain Bad? Addressing Rose Criticisms


@Creepy_Ghoul I mean... why? Most of the stories of Big Finish are better suited to audio, either because A) they were designed that way or B) because they use the advantage of not having sets to create enormous, dynamic settings. And I hate to be a realist here, but any situation where any of these suggestions would occur seems really economically inviable for all parties involved. And lastly, you don't need visuals to make a story good, in my opinion.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on How About A Retroseries Spin-off?


Nice idea, but the Big Finish audios more than cover all of my classic needs. In fact, they do the stories better than the Classic era; looking at you, 5th, 6th, and 7th Doctors. 

2 months, 3 weeks ago on How About A Retroseries Spin-off?


@LGwalchmai95  Didn't one of Series 8's writers tease "behind enemy lines" as a clue for their episode? One can always hope...

And on a smaller scale (as in, companion-wise), it's happened in the Expanded Universe. Trix in the EDA novels does so, and Mila in the Big Finish Charley audios (although it's a bit... different). 

3 months ago on Conversation @


Most relatable: Rose or Donna. Least: River Song

3 months ago on Conversation @


Because it's been raining all day, I've been avoiding my English paper and instead listening to EDAs. The fourth season is really top notch; the two Christmas episodes (Death in Blackpool & Relative Dimensions) are absolute perfection.

3 months ago on Conversation @


If you want a good Doctor Who story with pirates, try the audio Doctor Who and the Pirates. One of my favorite stories of Doctor Who, ever. And Colin Baker sings!

3 months, 1 week ago on Series 1-7 Face-Off Results: Nightmare Run (Episodes 1-8)


Just imagining how fantastic it would have been to see them reunited. Or even in the audio adventures, getting to have interviews with Lis and Tom together. Every time I see that picture–– any picture of Lis, really–– I tear up. 

3 months, 1 week ago on Tom Baker Reunion with Sarah Jane Was Planned


Wow, I was very drunk when I wrote that review of The Shadows of Avalon last night. Passover and whatnot.

Anyway, I'm reading The Fall of Yquatine right now. It's one of the most engrossing books of the range, so far. 

3 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @


1.The Scarlet Empress 10/10

2.The Shadows of Avalon 10/10

3.The Tomorrow Windows 10/10 

4.The Blue Angel 9.5/10

5.Fear Itself 9.5/10

6.Revolution Man 9.5/10

7.Vampire Science 9/10      

8.Interference 9/10

9.Parallel 59 8/10

10.Demontage 7.5/10  

11.Frontier Worlds 7.5/10

12.Unnatural History 7.5/10  

13.The Taint 7/10

14.Dominion 6.5/10

15.Genocide 6.5/10

16.Escape Velocity 6/10

17.The Taking of Planet 5 5/10

18.The Bodysnatchers 5/10

19.War of the Daleks 4/10  

20.Autumn Mist 2.5/10

3 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @


The Shadows of Avalon. 

Change is in the air; with great change comes great opportunity. Things change, and friends leave; life doesn't stop for anybody. And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time. Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large – I contain multitudes. Everything thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change. To say goodbye is to die a little. 

All that you touch / You Change. / All that you Change / Changes you. / The only lasting truth / is Change. / God / is Change.

Paul Cornell is hailed as a master of Doctor Who, which I believe is (more or less) true. He gave us one of the few companions able to succeed post-Sarah Jane: Bernice Summerfield. He gave the New Series Father's Day, centered on grief and loss; and adapted his book, Human Nature, into an extraordinary two-parter that contemplates the nature of one being and how changing that nature (say, by removing a heart) can change every facet of its life. 

He's run the gamut of Who: from the first successful Big Finish anthology (Circular Time) to panto unleashed (Oh No It Isn't!); from weddings featuring dozens of characters from dozens of books (Happy Endings) to an anthology of nightmarish wartime life (Life During Wartime). Though his contributions are few compared to, say, Terrance Dicks, there's something about them that heralds a distinct shift in the tone of the series.

The Shadows of Avalon is Paul Cornell folded into a piece of origami, crammed inside a paper bag, and encircled in wrapping paper. The Shadows of Avalon is Paul Cornell's Doctor Who experience, the only missing piece being Bernice Summerfield (although with enough references to make up for the loss of her boozy wisdom). I won't elaborate too much, don't want to get into spoilers (even though it was published in 2000). But... Paul Cornell writes like a fantasy author possessed, conjuring images as vivid as the cover art or the countless battles in the novel. This is a war book, like Autumn Mist before it; but unlike Autumn Mist, it makes the audience care about all the sides (which AM had no hope of doing, considering one side was the Nazis). 

I'm not being very eloquent here. What I mean to say is that reading The Shadows of Avalon had me curled out of my chair, hunched over the book like some ink-sucking vampire bat from beyond this universe. Like Compassion, I was guzzling the information, the plot twists, the rogue elements that kept making me believe that Cornell couldn't seal up all of the corners in 274 pages. I'm not even sure he did. But what he did close, he did with more than just a little flourish. 

This, as the quotes at the top indicate, was a story about change and grief. Change in an environment, and how it affects the inhabitants of the place; change of the self, and how one deals with something so beyond comprehension; change of the course of life, and how choosing the path less traveled by can be for better or for worse.

And about grief: about losing friends, lifelong companions, wives, soldiers, trust, security, guidance, a ruler. About how dreams can bend and break and reform, and how that is ultimately okay. How compassion can be molded and changed, but retain the same form. The dream lives, damaged, but rebuilding. 

Any way the wind blows...


3 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @