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     Big Finish 001 – The Sirens Of Time:    
     Author:  BadWolf
     Dated:  Sunday, July 23 2006 @ 01:52 AM EDT
     Viewed:  1,306 times  
    DW Reviews Peter Davison as the 5th Doctor Colin Baker as the 6th Doctor and Sylvester McCoy as the 7th Doctor.

    Believe it or not July is the 7th anniversary of this Big Finish Debut so it is probably appropriate to go back and look at where it all started. For fairly obvious reasons Big Finish wanted to trumpet their arrival on the Doctor Who scene so we have a multiple Doctor story with the 5th 6th and 7th Doctors (Paul McGann signed up much later). The first three episodes feature each of the Doctors in a separate scenario and each ends in a (sort of) cliff-hanger.

    Episode one with the 7th Doctor arriving on a shielded planet and finding himself rescuing a woman called Elenya from quicksand before ending up in the middle of an assassination attempt on Sancroff; one of the Knights of Velyshaa. This episode contains some hints of actors and stories to come; Maggie Stables who plays a cackling crone called Ruthy will go on from here to become the 6th Doctors companion Dr Evelyn Smythe Sarah Mowat who plays 5 incarnations of the same being will become Susan Mendez and take memories of Sancroff to the Dalek Wars along with the Knights Of Velyshaa.

    (Continues below)

    Episode two sees the 5th Doctor landing the Tardis aboard a British merchant ship in the early part of World War One and being confronted by a woman named Helen (Sarah Mowat). Obviously it wasn’t going to be long before a German submarine sank the British ship and the Doctor and Helen are rescued by the same German submarine and separated from the Tardis. This episode I found to be the least interesting but it does have the first of three appearances by Mark Gattis playing different roles.

    Episode Three contains the 6th Doctor who comes closest to sensing that something bigger than the situation he finds himself in is going on after he arrives during a conference to discuss the “Kergon wonder.” He is immediately approached by a waitress Ellie (Sarah Mowat) and realises that he may have met her before. The time lords try to get a message to the doctor but this is prevented by Ellie. The Doctor discovers that the Kergon wonder is actually caused by a legendary time beast the Temperon being trapped which he releases.

    Episode four finds all three incarnations of the Doctor on Gallifrey but it is a very different Gallifrey from the one they know. Galifrey has been invaded and subjugated by the Knight of Velyshaa and all of the surviving time lords are being held in death camps. They learn that each of them (in the previous episodes) has altered the course of history at a vital nexus point in time which has allowed the invasion of their home planet. The three incarnations bicker and bind together as they discover that the Knights Of Velyshaa are holding the Temperon prisoner and are torturing it. Sara Mowat plays Knight Commander Lyenah and a Siren of Time during this episode. It goes without saying that the Doctors triumph in the end.

    There are some signs that this was an ambitious project for a first effort from Big Finish but it has to be balanced by the fact that it was important for them to show their wares. In many ways it works but in others it falls short. As far as I remember this is to this day the only multiple Doctor play where all of the Doctors are the Doctors and that they meet. Although there are other plays with the same actors they either don’t meet nor do they all play the Doctor. This was also the first time that these incarnations of the Doctor met so for many reasons (other than the obvious) this play marks a nexus point in Big Finish history. The first episode also provided a launch point for one of the actors who would go on the one of the most popular of the Big Finish Doctors companions and also provided some of the back story for Dalek War. Because of the unique circumstances this could be a good introduction for those new to Big Finish and there is just enough here to keep the experienced listener satisfied.

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