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Reviews By JMChurch25
# Reviews:
60
# Ratings:
109
Avg Rating:
8

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 9/25/17 5:45 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The year is 2085 and the world is on the brink of another Cold War. Mutual assured destruction could happen in the blink of an eye with both the East and the West primed and ready with intercontinental nuclear missiles on standby. It's in to this tense situation that the Seventh Doctor, Mel, and Ace land and encounter a professor Ruth Drexler desperate to find the mysterious and ancient Parliament of the Silurians that might be able to help the situation. With the Doctor and Drexler on the case, saving the world should be a no-brainer. But the Doctor has a mysterious mission of his own that could disrupt everything and put him at odds with even the Earth itself. This story is meant to conclude Big Finish's recent trilogy of Seven stories with 'High Price of Parking' and 'The Blood Furnace' and celebrate the Seventh Doctor's 30 year anniversary this year and it's one hell of a tribute. This story really does have it all in spades: an different story with a new take on a classic foe, the Seventh Doctor and his Machiavellian scheming, some great moments from both classic and companions, and the dark plot and twists that make Seven and his stories so interesting. All of the cast in this are also on their A game particularly McCoy who gets everything about his incarnation so right. He's dark and yet funny, voice all-encompassing, and always ahead of the curve with his plotting and planning even to the expense and morality of everyone around him. Langford as Mel and Aldred as Ace are as great as ever with specific parts to play in the narrative for once. Even Mel who normally gets a lot of the short stick has a role as the compassionate side to Ace's hardball and the Doctor's amoral nature and it's really her who ensures that the plot in this story gets foiled. While the side cast isn't quite as memorable, we do get Fiona Sheehan as the no-nonsense Drexler who plays really well off of Seven as well as Nicholas Asbury playing a Silurian puppet in control of the areas with the most to lose. While the plot is fine and good with it fitting really well not only in to the Seventh Doctor timeline but also the Silurians' canon as well, its the subplot that is the most intriguing with the Doctor's actual plans taking most of my interest. It elevates the story and the conflict up nicely and makes this one probably the best Silurian story I've heard in any medium. The soundscape and the design all also coordinate well and it all feels completely natural as it kept my interest the whole way through. My problems with this story are tiny in comparison to everything it does right. The Silurians themselves sound almost like Cybermen with their tone and voice inflections. I know these are supposed to be the species of Silurian from the Classic show and not New Who that Madame Vastra comes from and I love that but those voices did bug me just a tad. There are also some story beats that don't quite gel together as much as they should and the music is fine but not memorable. Overall though, I really loved this story and it's a perfect representation of Seven and his TARDIS team and how good his stories should always be. 
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 9/22/17 3:57 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Doctor and UNIT are called to a military cruiser where training exercises have been interrupted due to the discovery of an alien spaceship and a mysterious inhabitant nearby in the waters. Upon investigation, the Doctor discovers the threat of temporal particles leaking from the ship itself that are contaminating ship and crew with temporal fluxes and distortions. With an invasion not far behind and time short, its up to the Doctor and Jo to save the day. Compared to the previous story, 'Storm' doesn't feel quite as unique or interesting as it pretty much plays out as a standard UNIT / Three story. However, it makes up for that by having many of the individual components be a tad stronger than 'Far'.  Treloar's performance in this one feels a lot stronger as Three and his personality in both his positive and negative traits really shines in this one while Katy's is consistently good as Jo as always. However this one has a fascinating side cast that I really enjoyed particularly Robin Weaver as the standout alien Arianda. She's a fascinating figure in this story as she plays the entire crew and the Doctor with her niceties in the beginning but switches in to full on evil mode for the final half with some really strong interactions with Jo. Her moment when she's full on torturing her and threatening to take her memories away of the Doctor is deliciously dark and strong. Her powers and associated force of the Horofax are definitely different as well. It feels like a very unique twist having a "Firefly"-like group of miscreants brought together by judgment and prejudice be the main villains this time and it all works very well to the story's advantage. The rest of the story feels very boilerplate but in all the best ways and done to the very best in terms of quality. It's not really trying to stand out as much as 'Far' was and that's totally OK as it's a very fun little journey with enough to keep you invested with the Doctor and Jo forced to go on the run to solve the mystery and stop the villains before everything goes to hell. The soundscape is fine, plot fine, and the pacing fine as well with not much else to really discuss. But all in all, 'Horofax' is a fine UNIT story that will tickle the fancy of anyone who loves the Third Doctor era but the performances of the main cast and the villains are what you will remember after it's all over. 
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 9/21/17 4:31 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This is a very unique escapade for the Third Doctor in that it continues directly on from a TV story "Planet of the Daleks" (and if we're being very technical "Frontier in Space"). The Doctor and Jo have just defeated the Daleks on the planet of Spiridon and are headed back to Earth when the TARDIS gets pulled out of the vortex on to the planet of Far. The Doctor is expecting a planet of great prowess and technological achievement and so what he sees surprises the hell out of him. The planet has been completely decimated and taken over by the Daleks and a war is underway to take back the planet. Are the Doctor and Jo ready to take on the nightmare of the Daleks once again or is the weariness of the past few adventures beginning to take its toll? On paper, this one sounds like a very traditional Dalek story but there's a very specific reason for it to exist especially as a continuation of a duo of TV stories effectively making it a trilogy. After the past two stories and twelve episodes of effort in doing their absolute best to stop the Daleks, 'Conquest' essentially makes all of that null and void and really hammers home the futility of fighting the Daleks. With their persistence and diligently evil nature, no matter when and where they lose the battle they always manage to continue the war somewhere else stronger than ever. It's a brilliant idea for a story and a very powerfully dark message to convey for the Daleks and it really hits our two leads hard particularly Jo. This is really her story and Katy's performance this time around is absolutely stunning as her bubbly personality as Jo takes a little bit of a downturn with her realization that her efforts in previous adventures were seemingly all for naught. Her voice and inflection are so powerful in those moments and it brings some unique moments that we really don't get out of her character as much. But yet despite all of that, she never gives up and still does her absolute best no matter how futile it may seem and it shows how awesome Jo is at even at her worst moments. I also always love hearing Briggs as the Daleks in a story and getting them in a new Third Doctor gave me such chills especially in how dark they end up going. Many darker themes of a Dalek occupation (even mentions of concentration camps) are explored in this one even if we don't see them as much as I'd like. Combined with the creepy sound design and gritty tone that this one conveys and you get a really well done 'horror and futility of war' sci-fi story that really nails what it's trying to do. There are a few small annoyances in this one though that make it a tad less than perfect. The side cast is a little bit on the standard side and the script is a bit flat in that it follow a few overdone tropes that I really wish it hadn't. Once again Doctor and companion get separated for the majority of the story which annoyed me a bit, I'm never fond of extensive sewer sections of anything no matter how good something is, and the ending isn't the greatest or what I necessarily wanted especially considering the amazing setup and themes that it had spent so much with. Treloar's performance as Three is also a little weaker than normal and it doesn't stand out as much as other stories he's voiced for Pertwee. As a whole though, 'Conquest' is a great Dalek story with a strong theme, powerful performance by one of the best leads / companions in all of Who history, and a dark new edge to our favorite pepperpot menace. 
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 9/20/17 5:28 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

At the Pinehill Crest Hotel in Kent, three random events with seemingly no connection are all taking place at the same time. One is a cross-stitch event, quiet and content. Another is a scientific convention based around a time travel experiment. The other one is a New Age spiritualism gathering with a dark motive behind it: to summon the dreaded Scourge to Earth. When the Seventh Doctor, Ace, and archaeologist Bernice Summerfield are pulled in to the commotions, threats come at them from all sides and all angles dark and mysterious. But what is on the Doctor's mind by his actions and this time is he going too far? Minus the horrendously bad cover art (I mean seriously.....it looks like it was photoshopped together in the worst possible way), this is a story that does what future stories such as "Nekromanteia" try (albeit with a very different premise and setting) and succeeds. One of the first stories Big Finish used to step into continuity outside the show, 'Shadow' takes darker and more adult ideas (in this case centered around depression) and tackles them in a very mature way without losing itself to shock and over the top parody as well as existing very well as a great Doctor Who story. The plot starts off relatively inconsequentially but gets bigger and more epic as time goes by and more details are revealed that connect everything together and while the tone is a little bit all over the place with so much going on, the themes and good elements here tie everything together in a way that other stories have a hard time with. There are also a ton of surprises and twists going on here full of drama, humor, and power that makes this one stand out from Big Finish's initial run of stories. Sylvester McCoy is wonderful here and his portrayal of Seven's Machiavellian manipulator is on full display here which has always been his most intriguing quality. From minute 1 of this story, this Doctor knows exactly what is going on and what he has to do with the Scourge to order to save everything. At the same time however, the alien menace this time around have prepared for him and so he's forced to compensate through most of the story in a surprising way that keeps things extremely interesting. His two companions Ace and Benny are great here too in the humorous sarcastic hardass kind of way that really makes this team one that I need to listen to more often. The supporting cast are extremely varied in terms of performance and plot but they all work well for the most part even if it gets a little confusing jumping between all of their conventions at first. The threat of the Scourge is also much more unsettling than Doctor Who usually goes with its one-off monsters and the performances of the cast really sell them as an intimidating foe. Despite a few moments of unevenness and complications that I think come from the nature of where it came from as a story and the fact that it does take a sharp dip in quality after the amazing set up and cliffhanger of the first episode, "Shadow of the Scourge" is a wonderfully dark tale with stronger themes, an engaging menace, and a scheming Seven at his absolute best. Give this one a chance outside of the lackluster cover and synopsis and I guarantee you won't be disappointed. 

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