Despite the tardy review, Big Finish were right on time with their seasonal presentation. ‘Blood On Santa’s Claw and Other Stories‘ is a set of Sixth Doctor and Peri adventures, all focused around Christmas. It’s a simple concept but a terrifically well executed excursion.
Doctor Who and Christmas go hand in hand now thanks to RTD and Steven Moffat for all of those specials. Now that New Year seems to be the new direction it’s lovely that Big Finish have picked up the Christmas mantle. If indeed it is something beyond just this year and last year’s Eighth Doctor Krampus tales.
Nev Fountain and a group of new writers all seem to be on the same page when it comes to writing style, which makes this a fantastic listen for the fans. The stories, though obviously each separate stand alone, bleed into one another rather nicely. There are some common themes and reoccurring elements which may be coincidental or perhaps set down by Producer David Richardson.
Joe is the one reoccurring thread that, while addressed, feels jammed in. By the end though it’s a natural fit and Joe (played by Luke Allen-Gale) is a welcomed addition to these stories. Speaking of stories, here’s a brief rundown of them. Brief because the stories are light on time and saying too much may just take away their impact.
First up we have ‘Blood on Santa’s Claw‘ which is a humorous story of rebellion and literature.
‘The Baby Awakes‘ is an emotional journey for Peri as her and her new boyfriend Joe are forced to make decisions about their faux future together. It’s a haunting but lovely story which displays Nicola Bryant’s acting beautifully.
‘I wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day‘ is a surreal, almost dreamlike episode about a party that’s been going on for years. Think a PG Eyes Wide Shut without any of the hanky-panky.
‘Brightly Shone The Moon That Night‘ is a mad house of fun. To say anything else would be a shameful spoiler.
It’s been a good year of Monthly Adventures and yet, somehow, ‘Blood On Santa’s Claw And Other Stories‘ seems to be one of the best releases. It’s got great stories, some interesting music and some really strong and interesting performances throughout. Even if you aren’t listening to this at Christmas it’s a great bundle of stories that will be sure to entertain and be loved each Christmas. I believe this will accompany ‘The Chimes of Midnight‘ as a seasonal must in the years to come.
This title was released in December 2019. It will be exclusively available to buy from the Big Finish website until January 31st 2020, and on general sale after this date.
Blood on Santa’s Claw by Alan Terigo
The Doctor, Peri and Joe land on the planet Naxios, where they discover the body of Father Christmas.
Who killed him? The strange individuals dressed in Shakespearian costume or the talking animals wearing waistcoats digging in the tunnels?
The Baby Awakes by Susan Dennom
The Doctor, Peri and Joe visit the Ishtar institute, where the term ‘designer babies’ takes on a new and sinister meaning. Will our heroes survive Christmas day?
I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day by Andrew Lias
A Christmas party that’s been going on for three years. Strange silver robots who guard the Christmas decorations with lethal force. What is the secret behind the festivities on Tate Galactic?
Brightly Shone The Moon That Night by Nev Fountain
The TARDIS crew encounters a shameful secret of the Time Lords. History has been rewritten, and this time it’s all the Doctor’s fault.
- Colin Baker (The Doctor)
- Nicola Bryant (Peri Brown)
- Luke Allen-Gale (Joe)
- Heather Bleasdale (Cordelia)
- Cliff Chapman (Iago)
- Steven Elder (Rudolph)
- Dawn Murphy (Ratty)
- Roger Parrott (Toad)
- Becky Wright (Mole / Witch)