Jul. 2nd, 2010

carmen_lj: (erimem; &peri yay)
Big Finish are having a whacking great sale tomorrow with the first fifty audios all reduced to £5. Which is great, apart from the fact that I stopped buying Every Single One somewhere in the fifties so, um, yes. Boo. Nevertheless, I shall use my complete knowledge of these first fifty for the powers of good! Like so:

So of these fifty audios, what would you suggest for the BF newbie?

006 The Marian Conspiracy (Six, Evelyn) A smashing historical adventure in Tudor times with a sympathetic, well-rounded portrait of Mary Tudor and the Sixth Doctor being calmer and kinder and all those things that make people say "gosh, he was rubbish on telly but he's awfully good on audio" (which I judge a bit cause he was awesome on telly, but y'know). Introduces Evelyn, who is merely Mildly Annoying at this point (probably should point out most listeners do not share my view of Evelyn as Most Consistently Irritating Companion Ever.)

009 The Spectre of Lanyon Moor (Six, Evelyn, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart) Basically an excuse for the Brig and the Sixth Doctor to have an adventure together, yay fanwank! But it is a jolly good adventure all the same. There are moors! It feels a bit like a Terror of the Zygons remix, set in Cornwall instead of Scotland, and with added awesome from the Brigadier. Evelyn is only A Bit Annoying.

011 The Apocalypse Element (Six, Evelyn, Romana) Er, you may be noticing a pattern here. Yes, it's another Sixth Doctor and Evelyn story, OH WELL. This one also has Romana and Daleks though. It's all exciting and action-y and Lalla Ward is rather marvellous in the first episode especially. More fanwank plottery as the Daleks invade Gallifrey, but it's a bit epic and there is Romana, yay. Evelyn is Bloody Annoying.

014 The Holy Terror (Six, Frobisher) Yes, other Doctors do have stories, they just don't seem as good as Baker's at this point. SORRY OTHER DOCTORS. Anyway, this one is brilliant. It's got Frobisher, the shape-shifting talking penguin companion, and a ridiculous amount of wit and charm and lolarious cynicism and all feels rather wonderfully Gormenghasty. With a bit of an I, Claudius parody. The Doctor and Frobisher are messengers from Heaven in the midst of a tricksy fight for who gets to be the next God of Everything. You could call it a BF classic, if you're inclined to do that sort of thing. "All hail the big talking bird!"

020 Loups-Garoux (Five, Turlough) Werewolves! Not the Sixth Doctor! Oh, this was my favourite BF for years and years and I still love it madly. It's the fifth Doctor and Turlough in South America getting involved in a power struggle between werewolves and the Doctor manages to get himself engaged to Eleanor Bron, who is a bit amazing, and mostly this story makes me Ridiculously Happy. There is Lovely Interaction between the Doctor and Turlough which manages to be simultaneously Quite Slashy and Quite Shippy for the Doctor and virtually all the women he's travelled with.

024 The Eye of the Scorpion (Five, Peri, Erimem) OH I LOVE THIS. I love it like delicious cherry pie. This is one that I think everyone should buy and listen to and love because it is the start of my VERY FAVOURITE BF THING: Team!Peri&Erimem. A lot of listeners talk about how BF redeemed Six and/or Mel for them and made them awesomes, but I thought them both awesome already and lo they continue to be so in audio form, but Peri, Peri was meh. She was...just there, like Dodo, minus the lovely hats. But combine her with Erimem and you get the very best of Big Finish companion teams, and one of the very best companion teams of all. It begins here, in ancient Egypt, where Erimem is pharoh and there be Exciting Political Shenanigans afoot.

029 The Chimes of Midnight (Eight, Charley) A deliciously spooky haunted house tale set in an Edwardian mansion. People are being killed in absurd, macabre ways; people are reacting in absurd, macabre ways. The first episode is practically perfect, and the rest are rather smashing as well. It's claustrophobic, creepy and terribly funny.

030 Seasons of Fear (Eight, Charley) My favourite Eight & Charley adventure. Charley and the Doc are having a perfectly nice time in Singapore when this dude called Grayle pops up to gloat at the Doctor about how he's killed him. Cause when he kills him he doesn't have the chance to gloat and, darn it, if you manage to kill the Doctor, you should totally get to gloat at him first. Then Charley and the Doctor have an Exciting Adventure through assorted historical locations with smashing banter and Charley having to drag around a whacking great sword and there are Romans and Edith of Wessex (Edward the Confessor's queen) being a bit annoyed about the Doctor because he left her at the altar. Also, Nimons. Gloriously good fun. You see why I love, yes?

038 The Church and the Crown (Five, Peri, Erimem) My favourite BF team in 17th century France with political sneakiness, plenty of swordfighting and a ridiculous amount of Three Musketeers jokes; how could that possibly go wrong? It couldn't, obviously. This is my second favourite of all Big Finishes and it is deliriously good as well as brimming with Stuff What I'm Easy For. It draws fantastic portraits of Louis, Anne and Richelieu, and is especially marvellous in its portrayal of Erimem, to whom the 17th century is a fantastic futuristic world. She gets to blows stuff up, unite disparate factions of French soldiers and lead them to defend Paris against the English. Case that's how awesome she is.

039 Bang-Bang-A-Boom! (Seven, Mel) I like season 24, and this is very, very season 24, in the best possible way. It's a great big parody of the Eurovision song contest with the contestants gettings murdered and the Doctor and Mel investigating and it is as camp and absurd and a wee bit cleverer than it sounds. Mostly it makes me happy.

040 Jubilee (Six, Evelyn) Or That One Dalek Was Based On. But while Dalek was a fairly straight up action/adventure, Jubilee is a twisted look at society and the cruelty of people through the glass of an alternate twentieth century where England got hold of Dalek technology in WWI and conquered the world. I've a very vivid memory of listening to this for the first time and, at one of the cliffhangers, thinking, "that's too obvious, it can't be *spoiler* so that means it has to be *spoiler*...no...no way, he wouldn't...omg, it is!" (Yes, I think in acronyms, shusht.) It's terribly good.

048 Davros (Six) A marvellous character piece with some nice dicussion on morality and some immensely good scenes between the Doctor and Davros. Save Genesis of the Daleks, Big Finish have managed to do a lot more with Davros, a lot better and in a lot more interesting ways than anything on the telly.

033-050-052 Neverland-Zagreus-Scherzo (Eight, Charley, Romana, Leela, K-9) Okay, so this is really three audios and one of them isn't in the sale, and probably the trilogy really needs you to have heard Storm Warning, or at least be aware of what happened there, and it's obvously more effective if you've grown somewhat fond of Eight & Charley, or at least followed their adventures for a bit, and it's a ridiculously ambitious story and the alternate universe arc was pretty consistently dull and didn't go anywhere and then it it couldn't, since they brought back the telly show but, but I still think this stories are pretty darn awesome. These are three plays that are very closely interlinked and incredibly different. They highlight just how flexible the Doctor Who format is, how absurd it can get, how epic, how grand, how intimate and quiet. They play with stories: a children's nursery rhyme creates a monster, a companion outgrows her role as Wendy but refuses to go home, music is used to create life and Gallifreyan legends are reborn.

It also sets up that rather awesome spin-off, Gallifrey.

more totally helpful words )


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