Review: Bernice Summerfield: Big Finish Audio: Many Happy Returns

Many Happy Returns coverBenny is given a guided tour of her own life…

As the cast list for this feature-length adventure shows, this is a chance for just about everyone who’s been involved with the Bernice Summerfield adventures to contribute to a celebration of her life and times. It begins a little disconcertingly with some post-modern material (it’s not giving anything away to say you can skip this safely if it starts to irritate you as much as it did me), but becomes a fascinating set of glimpses of unseen key moments in Benny’s life.

At times, it’s laugh aloud funny, at other times, heartwarming (the lullaby that Benny recalls singing to Peter as a baby is simply wonderful), and even tear-jerking: the interactions between Benny and Jason indicate perhaps just what an error it was that the series moved them totally apart.

Unlike some “charidee” specials, this doesn’t try to incorporate the cause into the storyline. It’s a standalone Benny adventure which holds together very well, particularly given all the different creative forces, directors, writers and stars. It’s good to hear some of the old characters again, and the little glimpse we get of a potential future shows that chances are Benny will lose none of her fighting spirit (I can’t be the only one mouthing, “Bloody typical” along with the line in that scene.)

Verdict: It’s only £10, and it’s for a good cause – order it today and wallow in some nostalgia.  8/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order Many Happy Returns from Big Finish – and every penny goes to charity.

All involved gave their time for free, and all proceeds go to the charity Invest in M.E. If you’d like to make a donation to the charity, visit http://www.investinme.org

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