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< 7. Theater of War
9. Nightshade >

8. All Consuming Fire

Rating Votes
10
18%
7
9
37%
14
8
29%
11
7
13%
5
6
3%
1
5
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4
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Average Rating
8.6
Votes
38
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Reviewed By: komodoReview Date: 2/28/17 1:38 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

All the way through, this feels like a cross-over, though a well executed one.
I actually put this one on without looking at the cover or the credits and I accidently entered it spoiler free so that the opening music and characters got my attention. This was the Sherlock Holmes music and this was Richard Earl speaking...
There is a very slow build up before the Doctor enters as a character and the story feels to flow very well despite its origin as a novel (one I have never read)

The plot itself is nothing special, but it serves as great scenery for a meeting between Holmes, Benny and the Doctor. Simply put it is Inter-dimensional aliens wrapped up in Holmes legacy with Seven playing the mastermind.
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Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 3/6/16 10:46 pm
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

All-Consuming Fire was always going to be a difficult one to adapt into an audio format. The book is one of the best Virgin New Adventures but it’s definitely meant to be a novel and not an audio. There were also a lot of more adult scenes that build up Victorian London as a very grim and gritty place to live in with brothels for the rich and some brutal descriptions of the spontaneous combustion in the novel that make it a novel not for kids. Now that would be less of a problem if this was made in the early days of Big Finish when their audience was mainly adults who could handle that sort of thing, but as their popularity grew their audience’s ages slowly dropped to younger teenagers so some of the descriptions are a bit too graphic for the audience. Yet while Guy Adams did tone the sexual bits down quite a bit the graphic violence in the story wasn’t shied away from. The death of Mrs. Prendesly in Part One is even a bit more graphic as you can hear the squelching of the skin as it burns and the way McCoy and Earl react just adds to the disturbing imagery.





The audio also does a great job with the background music getting you in the mood. The story opens with Big Finish’s masterful Sherlock Holmes theme setting the mood in the pre-credits sequence and using narration by Watson to keep the tone of the book intact. While yes the frame story with the Doctor, Ace and Benny observing the First Doctor and Susan with Holmes’ father is cut as it isn’t really necessary, narration keeps the idea that the story didn’t happen as we have just heard it with details and names changed to protect the innocent. The pre-credits sequence almost acts like its own little trailer for the story as it introduces all the main characters even though some of them don’t appear until the second half of the story. Guy Adams also does a wonderful job of converting some of the books more humorous scenes for audio, especially when the Doctor meets Holmes and Watson for the first time. The banter between Nicholas Briggs and Sylvester McCoy brings the prose to life much like what happened in Love and War.





Scott Handcock is once again in the director’s chair in his third novel adaptation after marvelously directing The Highest Science and Theatre of War. Handcock has a very distinct style with where he decides to put the music in the stories. His flair as it were is that he will often let scenes speak for themselves and of course have flowingly musical transitions between scenes. Even though he hasn’t directed a lot for Big Finish whenever he does direct it is a feast for the ears.





I’d also have to point out the stellar casting of the main villains of the piece. Sherringford is played by Hugh Fraser who is most famous for playing Captain Hastings in Agatha Christie’s Poirot and here he is pretty much an older version of Sherlock which he is supposed to be. Anthony May plays the secondary villain Baron Maupertuis who is much more big headed than he was in the novel which almost works better as he is a power hungry character who already has a lot of power. Adams does however cut out the demise of Sherringford which is described in great detail in the novel and while yes it may have been a bit much it doesn’t feel nearly as fulfilling as it was in the novel. While this is a nitpick with the novel it really bugs me whenever I’m listening to the novel.
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Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 12/18/15 12:18 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Books stolen from a church library set Sherlock Holmes on a collision course with the Doctor. We're given a very intriguing concept involving spooky ancient spirits, andea planned human invasion of alien worlds from Victorian England.

The plot is fun, if a bit dense, which often happens when novel plots are condensed down to adaptation as four part audio stories. The key to enjoying this is to properly set expectations. This is definitely a Doctor Who story guest starring Sherlock Holmes as opposed to a story where the two are equals. Thitngs really goes beyond Holmes' experiences in the last two episodes although he does a relatively good job rolling with the punches. While the actors are the same as for Big Finish's Sherlock Holmes stories, the characterization is different both because the novel was obviously written independent of other Holmes pastiches and the story was set prior to the seminal events of the the last two Sherlock Holmes box sets and therefore the characters are younger.

Understanding that, this story is a lot of fun. There's a great mix of suspense, mystery, and atmospheric moments, as well as some comedic ones such as Holmes' response to the Doctor's compliment at the end of the story. And there are a lot of enjoyable interactions between Bernice Summerfield and Doctor Watson.

One complaint is the role of Ace. She essentially only plays a part in Episode 4 in helping the Doctor and friend stay alive on an alien planet but makes cameos in the prior episodes to remind us that she is eventually in this story. It's an odd use of a popular companion and the cut scenes throughout the other episodes are a bit jarring.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
7
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Has Prerequisite(s):
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Reviewed By: kfb2014Review Date: 12/14/15 1:01 pm
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

To start with I have not read the book that this is based upon. I have read somewhere how the author did not immediately relish the idea of taking his story to that of becoming a dramatic production, which either tells you that he didn't want his work to be re-arranged, or perhaps he felt that it was better left as a book, and not a dramatic theatrical work. So for the uninitiated of us who have just this audio to go by then what we have is a splendid, almost indulgent chocolate box of delights which takes the world of Sherlock and mashes it up with the World of Who. So we are greeted with the skills of Sylvester as No 7, Briggs as Holmes, a good dose of Bernice Summerfield in the shape of Lisa Bowerman and Richard Earl as Watson, and not forgetting Sophie Aldred as ACE. Add to that a cast of quite stupendous standing as well and you are in for a treat, regardless of those that will make the comparatives. There is a definite and obvious Holmes centric start to this four parter. For the most part, there is a great deal of the action going on in Holmes, London, town, we are slowly introduced to the Dr as part of the ongoing proceeding of the story. The story also roams around the globe, and the final part which is based in the Indian subcontinent, then there for me is a massive second Indiana Jones film crossover going on, especially the part where in the film they all sit down to feast on monkey brains and baked snakes with eels stuffed. However that comparative aside, this is a massive, blockbuster, type filmes que' quality throughout the whole proceeding, and from start to finish, there is a definite feel that the story is massively more than your normal run of the mill. There is a slight amusing element when ACE and her figure hugging rubber suit (this is the part for all you BSDM Who fans) is referred to as "obscene" by Watson. It did make me take a moment, as Sophie I have always found one of those underrated sex sirens that have graced the Doctor Control Panel in his TARDIS (now this is starting to sound like a Carry On Film review). McCoy, Alderton, Bowerman, Earl and Briggs are doing this I think without breaking a sweat, that is apparent, they are far more than just seasoned professionals at this, it is, like just shifting gear and getting into the groove, you sort of get the feeling now that these guys, are like a band that has hit that part of their career where they don’t need to practice, it all just slots into place and works.

The basis of the story is summed up quite simply as Alien race needing a new place to reside, intertwined with ancient religious mystery's. Then couple that with a good does of timey whimey Who element and you have what is essentially a rip roaring, boys old adventure story. I thoroughly enjoyed this and as this is a Christmas release, I sort of understand the need to release this around this time as it will make a great escape from the normal Christmas noise that is passed for entertainment. So treat yourself and purchase "All Consuming Fire" but for me, I think after having the benefit of listening I would probably now read the book.