Yes! Sheridan Smith, the bonafide National Treasure, has returned to Doctor Who as Lucie Miller. It’s not a huge spoiler to say that last time we heard her, she died. Yet here she is again, at an earlier time in her travels with the Doctor – and good job too.
India Fisher’s Charley Pollard was great, but in truth she probably outstayed her welcome, while we didn’t quite have enough of Sheidan Smith‘s Lucie Miller. So it’s a pleasure to have her return in this brand new box set from Big Finish.
Well you probably want to know if it is any good…
The Dalek Trap by Nicholas Briggs
The Dalek Trap is a very odd story and I’m not sure what I really think about it. This is primarily a Lucie Miller story, the Doctor is side-lined for large parts and the Daleks are also largely redundant. Nevertheless, it’s a good way to get back into the groove and Smith is excellent. I normally enjoy Nicholas Briggs’ writing and, although there are some nice moments, it feels emotionally and intellectually hollow. It’s easily the weakest and least fun story of this collection but in hindsight I like it more now than when I finished listening to it. Perhaps it’s simply a grower, requiring a little thought after the event. And who doesn’t love it when Big Finish do Daleks anyway!
The Revolution Game by Alice Cavender
The next adventure is the lightest story on this set and if anything, possibly a bit rushed. If it was a regular monthly release it could have been extended to four parts without too much more plot added. There are some lovely characters and we could have done with more of those moments as being with these people is particularly enjoyable. It’s not quite as predictable as you think it is going to be and yet there are parts where The Doctor and Lucie find out what is going on a little too easily. There are also some rather brilliant jokes (which I won’t give away here) and there’s a lot of fun to be had for all.
The House on the Edge of Chaos by Eddie Robson
Eddie Robson presents The House on the Edge of Chaos which provides an interesting diversion from the previous tale. It probably tries a bit to hard to be quirky and subvert your expectations, but for the most part it succeeds and is a rewarding listen. If I was nit-picking, it probably should be a bit scarier and it also brings to mind other aspects of Eddie Robson’s previous work. Despite all this, there is much to enjoy here and because it’s such a different tale to the first two, it finds a welcome place on this boxed set.
Island of the Fendahl by Alan Barnes
The final story, Island of the Fendahl, is the highlight of Volume One. It is simply tremendous. Given the title, there are some things you know that you are going to get – and you get them in spades. This could have been a wallow in fan-pleasing overindulgence, but instead the strength of the tale and the way it is told completely engages the listener. After the first few minutes ‘The Wicker Man’ element of this story comes to light and the only thing missing, sadly, is Edward Woodward. The leads are at the height of their powers, the guest actors are milking their roles for everything that they have. I even listened to it twice! In fact I might listen to it a third time!
On the whole this is a very good box set – there are some misses, but they are more than made up for by the joy of having McGann and Smith working together again.
This title was released in July 2019. It will be exclusively available to buy from the Big Finish website until August 31st 2019, and on general sale after this date.
Four new adventures featuring the Eighth Doctor and Lucie Miller
“It’s a funny thing, livin’ a ‘life or death’ life. Fightin’ monsters. Seein’ alien planets and spaceships and stuff. Thinkin’ about it… it’s sort of addictive.”
It’s been several months since Lucie Miller, Blackpool’s mouthiest, landed up travelling through time and space in the company of the Doctor, the last living person to believe that frock coats are acceptable apparel.
They’ve met Daleks on Red Rocket Rising, Cybermen on the planet Lonsis and alien monsters eating glam rockers at a service station just off the M62. But their greatest adventures are yet to come…
1. The Dalek Trap by Nicholas Briggs
The thing about black holes is, they’re big and they’re black and they’re deadly, and you’d have to be mad to go anywhere near them. Because anything that falls inside a black hole ends up crushed in the singularity.
Unfortunately, the Doctor just went mad, or so it seems, and flew his TARDIS beyond a black hole’s event horizon, causing him and his companion Lucie Miller to end up marooned on a planetoid just inside the event horizon. Along with a Dalek saucer… and something else. Because this is no ordinary black hole…
This is the Cradle of the Darkness.
2. The Revolution Game by Alice Cavender
It’s Lucie’s birthday, and her birthday treat awaits. But whatever she’s expecting, it’s not what she’s getting on the colony world of Castus Sigma in the year 3025: ringside seats for the interplanetary Retro Roller Derby – sponsored by Heliacorp, “turning sunlight into gold”!
It’s more than just a game, though. For the competitors, it’s a matter of life or death – a New Life with Heliacorp, or a living death on Castus Sigma.
Or, on this fateful day, a very actual death. Because there are strange creatures living out on the plain, beyond the colony. Creatures with every reason to want to sabotage the games. Creatures with a grudge.
3. The House on the Edge of Chaos by Eddie Robson
The TARDIS brings the Doctor and Lucie to a vast house on the planet known as Horton’s Orb. The only house on Horton’s Orb, in fact. Outside its outsized windows there’s nothing. No land, no sea, no sky, no life. Just an endless expanse of static.
Inside the house, there’s an upstairs and a downstairs – servants below, gentlefolk from the finest of the house’s families above. Alas, there are altogether too few eligible ladies on the upper floors these days. Meaning there’s a vacancy for Miss Lucie Miller, single and unattached…
Outside the house, the static howls on. Except now, the static wants to get in.
4. Island of the Fendahl by Alan Barnes
The Fendahl is the death of evolution, the horror that lies in wait at the far end of the food chain.
The Fendahl is death itself.
And the Fendahl is dead. The Doctor destroyed it many years ago, in another incarnation, when he encountered it in a place called Fetchborough.
But if the Fendahl is dead… how can it live again, on the remote island of Fandor?
- Paul McGann (The Doctor)
- Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller)
- Nicholas Briggs (The Daleks)
- Atilla Akinci (Dieter Fendelman)
- Tom Alexander (George / Spartacus)
- Alicia Ambrose-Bayly (Tallulah / Alana Kelly)
- Lauren Cornelius (Maxine Mitchell)
- Bethan Dixon Bate (Landlady)
- Madeline Duggan (Sash)
- Amanda Hurwitz (Raz Kalisto)
- Joe Jameson (Berrigan Horton)
- Jonathan Keeble (Clegg)
- Matt Lloyd Davies (Jik Gelliska)
- Carla Mendonça (Evangeline Horton)
- Paul Panting (Freddie)
- Carlyss Peer (Diane Howard)
- Rupert Vansittart (Darius Horton)
- Emily Woodward (Frances Horton)