The Eleven, Kandyman, The Ravenous, And The Doctor

“Ravenous 1” is a Doctor Who audio boxset from Big Finish Productions and is the beginning for four sets in this saga.  Paul McGann returns as the Doctor’s eighth incarnation.  As usual there are four episodes in this collection and follows on from the series know as “Doom Coalition”.

The creature known as the Ravenous doesn’t really make a profound appearance, but this set is a pretty engaging set-up so fans can explore what the latest threat will entail.

Writers John Dorney and Matt Fitton once again split credit for this series.  They are Big Finish’s more reliable scribes and once again prove why they get consistent work.

When “Doom Coalition” ended, one of the Doctor’s companions, Helen Sinclair, had been whisked off into time and space with the deranged Time Lord known as the Eleven.  So, this series starts off with the Doctor and Live Chenka on the standard mission of trying to retrieve her.  As any fan would expect, of course, the Doctor gets somewhat distracted.

In John Dorney’s “Their Finest Hour”, the first interruption comes in the form of one Prime Minister of Britain Winston Churchill, with a welcome reprisal from Ian McNeice. Nicola Walker has also returned as Liv Chenka, the med tech from Kaldor on the far future.  It seems that Polish squadron of fighter pilots have discovered a gap in the sky which is a clearly cloaked spaceship.  The Doctor finds an alien race with a rather unique of settling way waging war as well.  I guess fans would dub this a fairly traditional Doctor Who plot, and they would be right.  It’s pretty fun overall.  It can be interesting to see or rather hear Churchill encounter the Doctor’s earlier incarnations before the McNeice version came on the scene in the television series when Matt Smith had the lead role.  Of course, the nature of the series opens all kinds of doors there and has in other releases I have yet to hear.  So far, an entertaining start to this particular collection.

Dorney then takes a more darkly comedic turn with “How To Make A Killing In Time Travel”.  The Doctor and Liv haven’t quite caught up to Helen and the Eleven yet.  They instead find a dangerous experiment in time travel financed by a rather odious character named Cornelius Morningstar.  I think I would be rather odious with a name like that.  Roger May brings Morningstar to bombastic auditory life.  Beth Chalmers, Christopher Ryan, and Judith Roddy are included in the cast of this one.  It’s an effectively amusing addition to this series.

Matt Fitton finishes the last two episodes starting with “World of Damnation” in which the Doctor and Liv arrive on a planetoid which houses the most insidious criminals in the galaxy.  Mark Bonnar is back as the Eleven, who has some Time Lord version of a multiple personality disorder.  Hattie Morahan has returned as Helen Sinclair, who seems to have been given some kind of troubling psychic powers that cause some trepidation among the prison staff.  Nicholas Rowe has been cast as the Kandyman, in a very different guise from what was seen in the television serial “The Happiness Patrol”. Some of the encounters I was anticipating happened.  I did struggle a bit with understanding what was going on with some of the action sequences with all of the explosions and gunfire.  Sometimes, Big Finish does not make it apparent at least when I first listen to it.

Finally, “Sweet Salvation” brings this set to a close.  Here lies the glimpse of the Ravenous, whatever that will turn out to be.

Anyway, I found this collection to be pretty good.  I wasn’t really blown away by some of the twists and revelations.  Of course, this really does serve as more of an introduction, so hopefully there will be much more to salivate over in future releases.

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