Hey everybody, welcome once again to Big Finishing Move! This little slice of heaven where I get to flex my critical muscles on the works of Big Finish and let you my dear reader, know if I think they are worth a piece of your paycheck or should you save your cash so you can buy the fancy mustard you like the next time you’re at the deli.
Sorry for the wait on this one folks, I wanted to get this out as close to the release date as possible, but the winds of fate had me laid up in a hospital instead with little to no drive to write. Having since been released and working to put my life back in order it is time to get back on the horse again and get to writing, so without further ado, let’s dive into Doom Coalition 3.
TARDIS Team: The Eighth Doctor, Liv Chenka, and Helen Sinclair
Fresh off the the destruction of Syra, our travelers find themselves in a small town in the English countryside. Baffled as to why the TARDIS has deposited them here the Doctor and friends get swept up in a mystery involving phone calls from the dead. What is going one here and what, if anything does this have to do with the Eleven? Will the Doctor figure things out in time before the new villain, the Clocksmith can carry out his evil plan?
Oh, and we also have River Song going around blasting baddies in full religious habit, if that is your sort of thing.
I love for storytellers to prove me wrong. As a critic, hell as anyone who digests media on anything more than a surface level I can often feel the inner workings behind a story and how I as a consumer am being positioned for a certain reveal or reaction. There is a reveal in this story (I won’t spoil it) that I saw coming a mile out. It led to some interesting things once it was revealed in the story so I wasn’t mad at it, but I lamented that there was no sense of surprise. In my head I was already putting together how I was going to write about how the authors spelled out too much and that it is so much better when they challenge the audience with subtle teases that could easily be missed if not paying the strictest attention. Then the story went and did just that. I huge smile came across my face as I saw what they did with this. They played me, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
I want to take a moment to talk about the first story in this set, Absent Friends. This fantastic tale was written by John Dorney, who along with Matt Fitton is becoming one of my favorite writers at Big Finish. I adore this story, they do their best to tie this into the rest of the stories, but it truly is its own standalone work. I love everything about this story, all the twists, turns, misdirects, and ultimately, the heart. It shows that time travel isn’t all fun and games and can have true lasting consequences on the lives of the people we love.
To get real for a moment, I lost my mother at a young age. The last time we were together I was going on about giving all the family members nicknames because I thought it was clever. I was so busy in my own head that I barely paid my parents any attention as they dropped my sister and I off at our Grandma’s house. It would be the lat time I would ever see her alive and I was rattling completely inane garbage to her as if it was important. I bring this up because this is a story for people like me or have been through a similar trauma of losing someone without a chance to say goodbye. It’ll break your heart in a good way and make you wish, for just a moment, that your phone would start ringing.
*Ahem!* Okay, now that I’ve finished pouring out my heart and then dissecting it in front of you (an odd choice of words for a man who just had some heart failure) we can get back to the proper review.
Getting back to looking at this set as a whole, the performances are solid throughout. I’m still finding the character of Helen Sinclair a bit too green, but we begin to see her brush some of that off and become sharper and more savvy as the stories progress. She doesn’t have the hang of things yet, but she’s getting there and I appreciate that. Alex Kingston continues to have the time of her life as River Song. She has always thrown all she has into the character and you can tell she hasn’t gotten lazy or decided to phone things in just because of the move to audios only.
So much snaps into focus here. The writers have pulled back the veil to show us what is really going on. How little things that didn’t seem overly important at the time were actually building blocks for the overall narrative. This is exactly how the buildup to the final chapter should be done, dispensing information in an entertaining fashion while ramping up the tension and stakes for the ultimate confrontation. All that remains is to see if Big Finish can deliver on the promise they have built here. Doom Coalition 3 sets the bar pretty high, I hope Big Finish can clear it and bring home the gold. Pick this one up.
Purchase Doctor Who: Doom Coalition 3 Here:
Hey, we really appreciate you stopping on by. Since your still here I think you might like to check out the rest of One Of Us for all the other great stuff we have to offer. We have reviews, podcasts, and even some audio dramas available, including a nifty sci-fi survival series called The Orphans.
Check out my previous reviews:
Phantasmagoria, The Fearmonger, The Light At The End, The Spectre of Lanyon Moor, Storm Warning, Blood of the Daleks, The Chimes of Midnight, Seasons of Fear, The King of Sontar, White Ghosts, Dark Eyes II, The Crooked Man, Project: Twilight, The Evil One, The Harvest, The Last Of The Colophon, The Council Of Nicaea, Destroy The Infinite, Afterlife, The Abandoned, Zygon Hunt, Revenge Of The Swarm, Philip Hinchcliffe Presents Box Set, Dark Eyes 3, Mask of Tragedy, The Fourth Doctor By Gareth Roberts, The Exxilions, The Darkness of Glass, Dark Eyes IV, Requiem for the Rocket Men, Signs And Wonders, Death Match, Suburban Hell, The Burning Prince, The Cloisters of Terror, The Acheron Pulse, The Fate of Krelos, The Shadow Heart, Return to Telos, The Sixth Doctor – The Last Adventure, Doom Collation I, The Yes Men, The War Doctor: Only The Monstrous, Wave of Destruction, The Labyrinth of Buda Castle, The War Doctor Volume 02: Infernal Devices, Doom Coalition 2, The Paradox Planet, Legacy of Death, The Tenth Doctor Adventures: Volume 1, Gallery of Ghouls, The Trouble with Drax, The Pursuit of History And Casualties of Time (dual review), Aquitaine, The Peterloo Massacre