Stories:
2849
Members:
725
Submitted Reviews:
7904
Reviewers:
337
Reviews By JMChurch25
# Reviews:
230
# Ratings:
279
Avg Rating:
8

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 2/20/19 11:00 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

'Lights of Skaro' ends Series 1 of the New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield on an incredibly strong note with Benny, Ace, and the cast from the previous story trapped on the homeworld of the Daleks. But not all is as it seems and dark secrets are about to come out regarding why the situation is happening that will affect everyone involved, not least of all Bernice herself. More than one member of the TARDIS team is about to be put in the doghouse and this time it may not necessarily be the Doctor.

While the plot of the audio is a little bit bare bones barely amounting to a few conversations and back and forth chases, what Nev Fountain's script has to say about the titular menace themselves in the days of their creation is fascinating and some of the best we've ever gotten from a Dalek story. It also doesn't let anyone off the hook necessarily especially in how things came about past and present especially when combined with a dark and suspenseful atmosphere that even succeeds in making the planet of Skaro mysterious again. There's so much to unpack about it that I would love to discuss further but really it's best for the listener to just be surprised, revel in the soundscape, and simply let the drama play out.

The cast is mostly good with Bowerman again pulling off a stellar performance on the whole. While the Seventh Doctor and Ace barely appear in the story, their actions and presence are still very much felt and both McCoy and Aldred do well with what they are given. There are a few minor problems outside of the plot in that the biggest surprise of the story is a major tease and nothing more, some of the side cast are still relatively underutilized, and the final moments where Bernice rejoins the TARDIS team feel a bit underdeveloped and almost unearned. It also doesn't quite justify the set's extensive length combined with the rest of the set and this could've easily been an amazing two-parter all by itself. As a story though, 'Lights of Skaro' is definitely a great one if a tad imperfect in it's storytelling and cast and a decent way to cap off a good set for Bernice and the Seventh Doctor team.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
6
Replay Rating:
5
Effects Rating:
5
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 2/20/19 5:15 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

"Random Ghosts" is easily the strangest story of the first Bernice New Adventures set presenting us with a 'Groundhog Day' situation but playing it in entirely the wrong order. The main idea is that Benny, Ace, and a group of other characters are being forced to live the same day on a strange planet trapped in a strange time loop. In listening to it, you'd swear that the tracklist was on random shuffle with the way everything is structured and it does end up being a little bit of a mess in the long run. But you have to give immense credit to Guy Adams for trying something different and there are plenty of strong individual moments that save it from mediocrity.

It plays with some interesting themes associated with the premise especially in regards to how the truth comes across and can be modified to get across a different meaning and at times the drama between each team member can be gripping. But none of the cast is really all that interesting and Lisa Bowerman's performance is good but not great. Sophie Aldred, in particular, is a major weak link as Ace being back to the worst persona of her character in whining too much about how she's not taken seriously and causing conflict wherever she can. It also gets super confusing in places especially as it more or less plops you in without any good reason or explanation until a third of the way in. It also has a pretty boring soundscape in general and a lot of the minor sounds and elements do grate on you in places before the big final reveal that's more or less spoiled by the final story's title. 

A lot of other reviewers see this one as one of the best Bernice stories out there which I can totally get to a degree. Maybe there's something about it that I just wasn't understanding that a lot of others like more. But for me personally, I just found 'Ghosts' incredibly annoying despite the creativity on display with it and was glad to see it end and set up something a bit more coherent for the final story. 
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 2/19/19 10:41 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

"Good Night, Sweet Ladies" starts where 'Revolution' left off with Benny sent by the Doctor to search for missing companion Ace on the ruinous landscape of a barren moon. Finding a couple of strange survivors in a place that's supposed to be abandoned, there's a lot on the moon of Adolin that doesn't add up and that's not including the Dalek wandering around the corridors.

"Good Night, Sweet Ladies" sets up several intriguing mysteries to be uncovered while placing a stronger cast in a tense and intriguing setting. But the script and direction by Una McCormack are also really fantastic throwing several emotional monkey wrenches into the last third that wrench up the drama while setting up more questions for the rest of the set. This is as far from the humor and tone from the previous story as possible and one particular moment between Benny and a surprising entity is beautiful and yet completely soul-crushing. It makes for extremely powerful and riveting listening and Lisa Bowerman really nails the emotional acting required for this kind of a story. She is the first and one of the biggest heavy hitters for Big Finish for a reason and the weight of those final moments combined with her stellar acting would alone make this one well worth the listen.

But at the same time, the rest of the elements of this one work well too carried by the grounding of that main performance. The atmosphere is incredibly creepy, all of the reveals nail biters, and it pulls another twist with Dalek lore that I really enjoyed. The rest of the cast are also good too although one performance by John Finnemore starts off good but does end up a little disappointing. Still, this is a fantastic story and another that I wasn't sure where it was going to go until the final moments. It doesn't do much for Benny's ultimate goal as it sees her still headed off to search for Ace on yet another planet. But at the same time, the journey to get there with 'Sweet Ladies" is so good and compelling that despite some weaker moments it still feels earned and more than justified. It's not perfect but it's right up there with some of the best and it's one of Summerfield's finest.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 2/19/19 5:25 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

When a fateful reunion occurs in a tavern on an alien world, a new adventure begins for Bernice Summerfield as she's desperate to get off-world dragging along a drunken and unusually disoriented Doctor. From there, "The Revolution" turns into a very odd opener for the first 'New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield' set that includes bike chases, surprise manipulators, and perhaps one of the strangest yet surprisingly creative premises I've ever heard in a Doctor Who audio.

While the plot is very much on the standard side with Benny and the Doctor moving from place to place being chased and shouted dialogue at, the surprise ideas that this story ends up working with are surprisingly novel and frankly hilarious. I wasn't sure frankly what to initially expect going into this first set (as I'd heard the second series with Sutekh prior) but what I certainly wasn't expecting was how laugh out loud hilarious this first story would be. The comedy in Nev Fountain's script is some of the weirdest and yet funniest you'll ever hear in a Doctor Who audio and the writing successfully inverts the normal relationship between the Doctor and his companion so that the companion has to be the driving force of the story while the Doctor is dragged along for the ride. It suits the premise of these 'Bernice Summerfield' sets very nicely and it's so strange and yet oddly satisfying to hear this happen to McCoy's incarnation in particular who almost hurts things more than helps in more ways than once especially once you realize what's truly happened to cause the situation.

The cast are all good with Lisa Bowerman immediately re-establishing herself as a great leading lady, McCoy is downright hilarious with touches of his Doctor edge hidden beneath random lines and drunken ramblings, and the side cast is almost something you'd hear in a Douglas Adams script with how strange and yet oddly suited they are to this universe. This is certainly not going to be everyone's cup of tea as the humor is a bit out of the norm and the formulaic plot can get tiresome especially with a lackluster villain or two. But for what it's worth, I personally had a ball with 'Revolution' and was a tad sad to see it end as the main plot began to kick in for the rest of the set.

Community

?>