Big Finish, out now
A second collection of behind the scenes information about the prolific Big Finish lines…
Kenny Smith has taken over the reins from Richard Dinnick for this new glorified “episode guide” to the Big Finish ranges, and has made an excellent job of it. Gone are the many duplications and errors which marred the first book for many (although I think too many people weren’t prepared to look beyond the outer problems to see the good stuff within that volume), and we have a well thought out look at the next batch of main range stories, as well as subscriber bonuses, Eighth Doctor adventures, and assorted Who spin-offs, as well as a guide to The Tomorrow People, Stargate and Iris Wildthyme.
Smith has got input from a lot of the key people involved, and presents an overview of each section before a page (usually) is devoted to each release. The latter provides the technical details, a few key facts, and a soundbite as well as a synopsis of the story, all of which have already been put in context by the preceding articles. Inevitably there’s a bit of duplication but it allows the two parts to stand alone.
Of most interest to long term Big Finish fans is the material on The Tomorrow People, revealing the contents of Nigel Fairs’ lost sixth season, as well as the outlines for the seventh and eighth years which would have been run by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright. I think we all have to hope that the new CW series starting next month warrants the loss of the licence from Big Finish, and those who complained bitterly that Big Finish had “let the Tomorrow People go” should read these pages to see exactly how much they fought.
There are plenty of other little gems scattered through the pages: this isn’t the bitchfest that the Ben Cook book became at times, but there is more honesty about some areas than you might expect – certainly some things which were asked to be kept off the record are discussed openly here.
Verdict: With short pieces by Sophie Aldred and Louise Jameson to open and round off the book, this is an invaluable book for Big Finish listeners. 8/10