In Review: Big Finish: The Diary of River Song Series 07

Sometimes she’s Melody, sometimes she’s River, but she’ll always unravel the case…

Synopsis: River Song finds many amusements away from the Doctor. Not least of them is solving impossible mysteries, cracking insoluble crimes.

Sometimes she’s Melody, sometimes she’s River, but she’ll always unravel the case…

Review: The Diary of River Song Series 07 is my favorite set in this range yet. Each story is a love letter to a different type of mystery.

Story

“Colony of Strangers” by James Goss is the Scandi-Noir entry. Goss nails the setting, the characters, the setting as a character, and River’s fish-out-of-water presence. The tropes of the mystery, and the tropes of the Doctor Who universe blended a little too well actually.

“Abbey of Heretics” by Lizbeth Myles is my favorite story in the set. I’ve always been a sucker for historical mysteries. This one is Ellis Peters meets Umberto Eco. Myles unapologetically ticks all the boxes with gusto. The only thing that would have made this better is if Sir Derek Jacobi had reprised his role as Brother Cadfael and been The Master in disguise all along.

“Barrister to the Stars” by James Kettle is Doctor Who’s twist on Rumple of the Bailey. Roger Hodgkiss, curmudgeonly barrister — transported lock, stock, and wig from a 20th Century courtroom — is facing a client and a murder case beyond his ken. Fortunately, that won’t stop him. In addition to every awesome other thing in this story, listeners are treated to a wonderfully unorthodox romance.

“Carnival of Angels” by Roy Gill is the main event. Every time I think they can’t possibly find a way to render the very visual Weeping Angels in audio, Big Finish proves me wrong. This 1930’s in New York Noir is everything the series couldn’t quite give us after “Blink.”

Acting

Alex Kingston is superb as usual. The supporting cast is perfectly suited to the specific mystery genre they’re in. I’m particularly impressed by Wanda Opalinska, who played her Scandi-Noir roles to perfection. I also enjoyed Aurora Burghart, who took on the Cadfael-esque part, and  David Rintoul, who absolutely inhabited the Horace Rumpole counterpart.

Overall

Thanks again, Big Finish! You make it easy to binge a whole box set in a day. I’m looking forward to The Diary of River Song Series 08.

9.8
Big Finish: The Diary of River Song Series 07
  • Story
    9.5
  • 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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