Big Finish have marked recent anniversaries with special releases with four stories for their Doctor of choice, and this time around it’s Colin Baker’s turn. This quartet is stronger than some of the previous releases, with no obvious duds among them.
The set begins with Recorded Time, a historical tale by Catherine Harvey in which Peri catches the eye of King Henry VIII at a time that he’s tiring of Anne Boleyn. Playing on a couple of real historical oddities, this is a bittersweet tale in which the time travellers can hardly be said to win. 7/10
Disc 1 also contains Richard Dinnick’s Paroxicide, which suffers at the start from a few unnecessary lines that could have been trimmed to keep the pace sharper. It’s a timey-wimey story that uses quite a few sci-fi clichés but which overall works well. 7/10
The second CD begins with Matt Filton’s A Most Excellent Match, which, from the very first line, is obviously going to have fun with the Jane Austen catalogue. Nicola Bryant clearly has fun with this story, as does Philip Bretherton in his triple role as a number of gothic heroes. My only concern is that this slightly goes on too long. 6/10
Don’t be put off by the start of Philip Lawrence’s Question Marks. The strongest of the four stories, this takes a scenario that Big Finish themselves have used before – let alone other iterations of the Who universe – and spins it in a very different direction. Colin Baker seizes the opportunity to show his range in this story, and the ending is him at his finest. 8/10
Verdict: An enjoyable anniversary collection
Click here to order Recorded Time and other stories from Big Finish