In Review: Big Finish: The Diary of River Song Series 06

But first of all, she must ensure he makes it out of Totters Lane alive!

Synopsis: River Song has many ways to amuse herself away from her husband. And with access to the Doctor’s diary, she knows exactly when he might be around, and when best to slip in unnoticed and liberate valuable trinkets…

But first of all, she must ensure he makes it out of Totters Lane alive!

The Yeti & The Great Intelligence © Haisman & Lincoln and used under license. With thanks to Hannah Haisman and Candy Jar

Review: The Diary of River Song Series 06 is the best entry in the range yet. Thank you, Big Finish, for producing four more love letters to classic Doctor Who. 

“An Unearthly Woman” by Matt Fitton is a prequel to “An Unearthly Child. There are marvelous nods to the pilot, including role reversals early on. I also really enjoy how effectively Fitton blends modern social commentary into the story. Claudia Grant, Jamie Glover, and Jemma Powell are the stars of the show, however. They’re preternaturally good in their respective roles. Indeed, the tale plays out the way it does, because the actors bring the original Tardis crew to life so perfectly.

“The Web of Time” by John Dorney is a poignant prequel to “The Web of Fear.” Captain Ben Knight is central to the story — the emotional and moral heart of it. Ralph Watson returns to reprise the role, giving an extraordinarily affecting performance. This installment demonstrates why it’s so important for Big Finish to bring back original actors when they can.

“Peepshow” by Guy Adams is my favorite story in the set. The unapologetic comedy is flawlessly realized by the writer and the actors. Everyone is obviously having a grand, joyous time in this tale set during “Carnival of Monsters.” Author Adams even gets in on the fun playing pitch perfect Ogrons. Structurally, I especially loved the explanation for how River fit in those events relative to The Third Doctor.

Finally, “The Talents of Greel” by Paul Morris is a prequel to “The Talons of Weng-Chiang.” Christopher Benjamin makes an extremely welcome return as Henry Gordon Jago. The story lies in character beats. Alex Kingston, Benjamin, and Nicholas Goh as Li H’Sen Chang and Mr. Sin inhabit a narrative that’s exactly what it needs to be — musical duet included.

I’m looking forward to Big Finish topping this effort. Although, that will be hard to do.

Cast

Alex Kingston (River Song), Claudia Grant (Susan Foreman), Jamie Glover (Ian Chesterton), Jemma Powell (Barbara Wright), Ralph Watson (Captain Ben Knight), Christopher Benjamin (Henry Gordon Jago), Owen Aaronovitch (Mr Newbold / Mitchell), Guy Adams (Ogrons), Samuel Clemens (Corporal Buscombe / The Intelligence), John Paul Connolly (Casey), Edward Dede (Lloyd Walker), Kathryn Drysdale (Erin Harris), Nicholas Goh (Li H’Sen Chang / Mr Sin), Lizzie Stables (Sheila Page / Nightstalker), Dan Starkey (Commander Sturmm / Sontarans), Mandi Symonds (Maude / Neon), Milly Thomas (Celestine Sorbonne / Maisie Bunting), Clive Wood (Dibbsworth), Angus Wright (Magnus Greel)

Production Credits

Script Editor Matt Fitton, John Dorney

Written by Guy Adams, Matt Fitton, John Dorney, Paul Morris

Creative Director for the Haisman Estate Andy Frankham-Allen

Cover Artist Tom Webster

Director Ken Bentley

Executive Producer Jason Haigh-Ellery, Nicholas Briggs

Music Howard Carter

Producer David Richardson

Sound Design Howard Carter

Theme Music by Howard Carter

9.7
Big Finish: The Diary of River Song Series 06
  • Story
    9.0
  • Performances
    10
  • Audio Production
    10

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
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