1. The Sirens of Time


The Light at the End encouraged me to seek out Big Finish’s first multi-Doctor story from way back in 1999 and I began listening to the first part of The Sirens of Time last night to see how it compares to their latest multi-Doctor adventure.

The following review may contain spoilers.

The first episode involves the 7th Doctor (Sylvester McCoy).

An agent from the Celestial Intervention Agency arrives on Gallifrey with a warning about an imminent invasion fleet.  Time Lord time vessels have been rendered inoperative.  The only clue they have is that there’s a history distortion and, within that distortion is a trace of artron energy – the Doctor’s!

Alone in the TARDIS, the Doctor receives a message from the Time Lords that’s too garbled to make out.  The cloister bell tolls, and the Doctor hears an distant sound.  He lands and goes to investigate.  He hears a woman, Elenya, shouting for help and goes to rescue her from quicksand, meeting a cackling woman along the way.

The crazy woman is there to attend to a prisoner, but she plots with bio-assassins that have been sent to kill the prisoner (its “employers” not feeling that life imprisonment was an adequate punishment for his crimes).

The Doctor has a strange feeling that he’s met Elenya before but he can’t track down the memory.

The Doctor and Elenya encounter the assassins and try to take refuge with the prisoner.  The Doctor pleads with the bio-assassins for their lives, but they have their orders – to leave no witnesses!  They open fire…

The first thing I noticed about this episode is that it plays a lot less manic than the modern adventure.  There are really only two threads of the story to follow – what the Doctor is doing, and what the prisoner is doing.  This makes it much easier to follow.

Also, there isn’t so much of the loud music threatening to deafen you, nor are there quite so many lengthy sound effects that make you wonder what’s going on.

As an adventure, it feels more like a traditional “normal” story than anything particularly special.  While it won’t grab a modern audience, it’s also not likely to encourage newbies to continue listening.  Nevertheless, it’s a solid start to the story.

More later…