Has anyone been listening to Big Finish and Audio Go's Destiny of the Doctor series? I marathonned most of the episodes while I was in Germany, and have been listening to the Ninth Doctor one this morning (not quite finished it yet).
I was wondering what everyone thought of the ones so far. Here's my thoughts on them (possible small spoilers but I've tried to keep it spoiler-free):
1: It was nice to have a story with The Doctor and Susan before Ian and Barbara joined them. It was quite a small-scale, personal affair rather than saving the universe, and that makes sense to start the series off.
2: I don't know much about the Second Doctor so this was really my first proper introduction to him, but this story was so well-performed that even without Troughton, the character came to life. Very well performed, and a good story.
3: The Third Doctor and UNIT. Again, not too familiar with that era. I didn't get as much of a sense who the Third Doctor was as I did with the Second. Franklin did a good job, but I think Hines was just exceptional and a tough act to follow. The story didn't really grip me at first, I felt it took a while to get going, but it did get more interesting in the second half.
4. I was captivated by this one the moment I started it. A man in a replica of the Palace of Versailles, on a hellish world, walking round in period clothes speaking in phrases of 140 characters with hashtags. I instantly wanted to know more. I felt it really linked in with something we can relate to, in the same way The Bells of St John did with the wifi. Does it reflect the logical conclusion of our own social media? It did get me thinking.
5. Rather a highly-populated cast of characters to be performed by only two people, sometimes it can be hard to keep track. However, I didn't have any problem with this one. I loved the portrayal of Houdini, I really felt like I got to know him, his wishes and motivations. A really well-written character. And there's the appearance of a classic villain which I won't spoil, but is done quite cleverly to fit into canon without contradicting any of his established appearances.
6. Wow, Columbus was a dick. Seriously, a massive dick. But again, a fantastically well-written character. The actual villain of the story is slightly more forgettable, which is odd considering the nature of the character. The story is worked into the colonisation of America in a very interesting way, I thought. Again, a story I really liked.
7. This story was brilliant, and the best of the ones I've listened to thus far. It examines what you're willing to do for your beliefs, the risks of believing things unconditionally, and lots more besides. Sophie Aldred's impression of the Doctor does sound less Sylvester McCoy and more generic-scottish-person, but that doesn't really detract. It's less a Doctor story and more an Ace story anyway.
8. This story felt mostly like Charley Pollard's inner monologue, which is no bad thing. Charley and the Doctor are a great duo, and it's only times when they become a trio that they are weaker. In this case, just the two of them, it works really well. The story starts with a brief description of an adventure in London in the 1930s, an adventure I'd very much like to experience in some form, but doubt we will. And then without more than a few minutes sitting down they're whisked off on another one. Very fun, and very exciting.
I'm not sure yet where they're going with all the messages and things with the Eleventh Doctor into his past. Are they all going to play a part in his own story? Some of them feel like they might ("Don't destroy the macguffin" sort of things) but others just feel more like he's pointing his past self in the right direction at a time that he might otherwise be defeated, and less critical to his own situation. I'll be interested to see where it goes.
I'll probably post my impressions of the 9th Doctor's story once I've finished listening to it. So far I'm enjoying it but it's not the best I've listened to. That might change, though!