Stories:
2552
Members:
750
Submitted Reviews:
6389
Reviewers:
295
2. The Window on the Moor >

1. The Bleeding Heart

Rating Votes
10
0%
0
9
29%
6
8
29%
6
7
10%
2
6
14%
3
5
5%
1
4
10%
2
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
5%
1
Average Rating
7.0
Votes
21
The Ninth Doctor Chronicles - Series 1
7.1
Boxset Average Rating
Director:
Writer:

Purchase From:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 6/3/17 11:26 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Reporter Andriana Jardsel and her cameraman arrive on the planet Galen where a peace conference is being held. The planet is perfect as it's a place of peace and tranquility where no conflict or violence can happen until a string of strange murders occur and it's up to the Doctor to find the truth.

Nick Briggs turns in an overall very solid performance doing the Ninth Doctor. It did take him a little while to find a sweet spot. Early on in the story, it sounded like a more obvious impersonation. Also, those early scenes seemed to have the Doctor speaking in shorter clipped sentences. Once he gets going, it's easy to forget that it's Nick Briggs and not Christopher Eccleston.

Claire Wyatt turns in a very rich performance as Adriana. Her character is the type of person that's seen in the background of a Doctor Who story, never called on to be the companion or assistant and I like the idea of her being called into that role. She goes on quite a journey with far too her than meets the eye. Both did incredibly well as this story has a full cast feel to it.

The story has a really strong emotional core and manages some really powerful moments that I didn't see coming at the beginning. The story is set prior to Rose and it's an adventure I could easily see the Ninth having had. It's just one that wouldn't have made sense to air. Overall, a very impressive lead off story.

Other Recommendations

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
5
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
5
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: thisoldcanReview Date: 5/17/17 5:44 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

In the opening story of Big Finish's first Ninth Doctor story, Adriana Jardsel (Clair Wyatt) has come to the peaceful planet Galen, to cover the diplomatic talks between two warring races. But a chance encounter with a stranger known as 'The Doctor' marks the start of a series of strange, tragic events on Galen. Adriana and this mysterious Doctor must work to save the planet, and maybe even the universe as well. The Bleeding Heart starts off the Ninth Doctor Chronicles with a decidedly average. The story features a good performance by Clair Wyatt, and a varied performance by Nicholas Briggs, while the script by Cavan Scott isn't the most inspired Ninth Doctor story on the planet. Rather similar to Rose, but with obvious changes, it serves as a solid, though unadventurous opening story to the Ninth Doctor's tenure at Big Finish.

Clair Wyatt takes the lead in this story, playing Adriana Jarsdel, a news reporter sent to cover the peace talks on Galen, who quickly finds herself in the middle of a dangerous adventure with the Doctor. Wyatt takes on the role of "companion du jour" well, giving an enjoyable, strong performance throughout the release. Her scene where she first meets the Doctor stands out to me as my favorite scene, as she comes across as very confident in her acting alongside Briggs. She handles the more emotional moments well enough, such as finding out her companion has died, driven insane, or her sacrifice at the end of the story, but they come across as a little too forced for my liking. The man of the hour, Big Finish executive producer Nicholas Briggs takes on a wider role here, playing narrator and voice of a variety of bit characters, as well as taking on the role of the Ninth Doctor at times. Briggs is best when he's not portraying the Ninth Doctor in this story; he has a very sure and steady narration style, and the wide variety of semi-nameless characters he plays in this story come alive very well throughout the story. But his impression of the Ninth Doctor sticks out like a sore thumb throughout the story. Briggs, who did a decent impression in Night of the Whisper, seems to have exaggerated his performance too much; the end result comes off as less Christopher Eccleston, and more Goofy with a Northern accent.

Cavan Scott's script is a bit too similar to Rose at times, but that serves it well usually, giving new listeners a rather familiar story to start off, even if it is a bit unadventurous. The biggest strength of Scott's script is the rather interesting gimmick of the planet Galen. It's been done a few times before, a peaceful place not being all that it seems, but Scott makes it his own by introducing elements of the Time War into his story. I really liked how Scott built up the eventual revelation at the end of the story, with various characters seemingly driven insane by grief, attacking other characters. It felt a little obvious what was coming, though I enjoyed the explanation more than I thought I would. I also really liked the characterization of the Ninth Doctor in here, as a man overcompensating for the horrific tragedy he thinks he just delivered to his own people. His care for Adriana at times, both in making sure she's okay following the death of Stan, and after he forces her to stop taking her psychic dampening pills, is very much in line with a lot of the Ninth Doctor's era. Scott did a wonderful job bringing that aspect to audio, and it's something I hope we see in the other stories. While these aspects of the script were positives overall, I found the script's derivative nature much more mixed, personally. While I think it was a smart move to open the set with a story very similar to Rose, I think it made of a disappointing opening story. There are several similarities (companion meeting the Doctor through a chance encounter and slowly being swept up in the adventure), though it's also very similar to many other companion introduction stories. Yet, I couldn't help but feel that the story just didn't really have anything going for it most of the time. The ending was strong, even if the death of Adriana felt shoehorned in to give a reason why the Ninth Doctor didn't have a companion to start, but other than that, it felt like a decidedly average story, start to finish.

Tom Webster provided the cover art for this release. It's a fairly simple cover, featuring the Ninth Doctor with Camille Coduri and Bruno Langley in character, with various effects. It's not the most inspired cover on the planet, but it has bits I find interesting overall, like the "previews" of the story on the Ninth Doctor's jacket, and the background with a dying planet. I'm not complaining about it, but I'm curious why Big Finish didn't put Eccleston's face in shadow, like they do for the Third Doctor Adventures; at some point, they said that for Doctors where they have someone else taking on the role of that Doctor, they want to obscure the face a bit, to make it distinct from that body of work. I think Big Finish gets away with it because they make it very clear it doesn't feature Eccleston at all, but I find it an interesting choice nonetheless.

Overall, The Bleeding Heart is an average story through and through. Featuring an enjoyable enough performance by Clair Wyatt, and, when he's not portraying the Ninth Doctor, a solid, varied performance by Nicholas Briggs; Briggs' impression of the Ninth Doctor leaves something to be desired, especially considering the strong work he did for Night of the Whisper. Cavan Scott's script is a relatively solid affair, though it never rises beyond playing it safe. It's derivative of Rose and other companion introduction stories, and while it captures the character of the Ninth Doctor well, it failed to really grip me as I was listening to it. Overall, it's a thoroughly average start to the set, though there's nothing wrong with playing it safe to start.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 5/10/17 8:20 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

We start off with a very unique story in Who canon as this one takes place after "The Day of the Doctor" but before Series 1 began with "Rose" meaning that this takes place in a dark time where the Ninth Doctor was supposed to be more or less newly regenerated. But this may not be the case after all as this story displays. The battle weary Nine lands on Galen, a supposed planet of peace and an ideal location for finding rest and guiding diplomatic relations. But violent death and murder is causing discord and something is causing innocent beings to kill each other in the name of “healing their pain”. As the Doctor gets pulled in to the events along with a news reporter Adriana Jarsdel who is there to cover and investigate the situation, the question is asked: is the Doctor really on Galen to find peace or is there another reason behind his arrival? Within seconds, we as listeners are introduced to the different format of these stories including Nicholas Briggs’ narration and his acting as Nine and don't worry reader, it works fine. Those of you who happen to be familiar with some of Big Finish's other non-standard outing such as 'The Churchill Years' or almost anything with the first Three Doctors will be well and comfortable. For everyone else, it may be a little bit jarring but nothing that a good few minutes of listening will accommodate you to. 'Bleeding Heart' is a thrilling CSI-like story with an intriguing plot, a truly fascinating and devastating premise, and Nine in one of his most intriguing performances we've yet heard out of him in his era. This is not quite the Ninth Doctor we know as this is before we truly met him in the New Series and you can easily tell despite some of his lighter moments here. This is the Doctor fresh out of the war and we do get some of his harshness and cruelty here especially near the end of the audio with his interactions with Jarsdell and his realization of what is causing the plot. The plot device created here is one of the most heart-breaking and devastating links back to the Time War I've ever heard and has to be a new favorite of mine as well as a new low for both Time Lords and Daleks. It's something I wouldn't have been surprised to hear play out in the War Doctor series but the fact that we get this with the Ninth Doctor really makes it stand out and it's amazing hearing this particular Doctor handle something of this magnitude. We also get a strong side cast in particular the cynical reporter Jarsdell with a secret that of course will play an important and sad end in the climax and tons of New Who references sprinkled throughout that will thrill all Who aficionados. There are one or two problems here and there though in that the alien races are a little confusing in who is who and what is what at least for me and I wish the ending had a bit more time to breathe and develop as opposed to the 10 minutes or so we get and the rushed denouement at the end. But these are minor problems in a fantastic audio that shows the tortured pre-Rose Ninth Doctor at the beginning of his life before his transition to acceptance began. I'm sure we'll see that transition play out in the other stories but for now this window in to a time we don't know much about alone makes this story a must-listen. But combined with an interesting story, great cast, and a strong link back to the Time War attached to that window? This one is a new favorite for me that everyone needs to hear ESPECIALLY those people who mistakenly skip Nine in their re-watches / canon. I can only hope the other stories in this set are this good for this Doctor.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: ActiveGambitReview Date: 5/6/17 8:40 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A Quick Summary: "The Bleeding Heart" is a good start to the Ninth Doctor Chronicles. Nicholas Briggs reads most of the story similar to an audiobook, providing an impression of Christopher Eccleston's Doctor. It's a well paced story that isn't hard to follow, with minor (but good) characterization for the Ninth Doctor. The plot is entertaining for a majority of the story, with a shaky ending. The music and sound effects are reminiscent of Series 1 and everything does seem like an episode that could have fit into Eccleston's single season on TV. Overall, I was pretty pleased with the Bleeding Heart and think it's worth listening to, at least once!

This story is set before "Rose" (S1E01), and has some mystery elements to it as the Ninth Doctor and a reporter, Adriana Jarsdel investigate a murder on a planet where violence was suppose to be impossible. It follows a format very similar to RTD's "Rose", as the story is never told through the Doctor's perspective. Instead, it tends to follow Adriana's point of view, with her constantly running into/tagging along with the Doctor. There are moments where the Ninth Doctor's morals are questioned, which I found to be the best parts of the story and are handled very well in regards to the character of the Ninth Doctor. "The Bleeding Heart" could easily fit in with Series 1 of New Who in its tone, pacing, and themes. Unfortunately, I felt the ending of the story didn't have the impact it was meant to, and ended up being a weak in comparison to all that came before it. I won't spoil anything, but I was left just a little unsatisfied with how the ending occurs, after a majority of the adventure was good.

My main fear going into the story was with the impression of Eccleston from Nicholas Briggs; I thought he did an incredible job in the Destiny of the Doctor story for Nine, but the trailer for the Chronicles set made me a bit more nervous as it wasn't the strongest showing. In "The Bleeding Heart", Briggs is a slightly mixed bag. Sometimes his impression is extremely good, and everything adds up to really make it sound like the Ninth Doctor. There are other moments where I felt Briggs was trying a bit too much to get it right, and it came across as slightly over the top and a bit off. Luckily, the former happens more than the latter, and any off moments were never bad enough to take away from my enjoyment of this story. No doubt Briggs is talented, and if these readings and his impression of Eccleston is all we'll ever get in the future, I felt it's strong enough to satisfy those of us that are craving more adventures with Nine.

The writing for the Ninth Doctor was (for lack of a better word) fantastic. His speeches and interactions with other characters were great, and he's given multiple moments to show some of what made this incarnation complex, exciting and charismatic. The rest of the cast give good performances as well, with Claire Wyatt being pretty entertaining as Adriana.

I have not listened to the other stories yet, but "The Bleeding Heart" was a nice start to the set of adventures. It's not perfect, but certainly enjoyable and worth a try.