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< Psychodrome
2. The Big Blue Book >

1. Emancipation

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10
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9
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1
8
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5
7
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3
6
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Average Rating
7.3
Votes
12
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Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 3/26/19 12:48 am
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

"Emancipation" is a decent, albeit flawed start to the Eighth March box set. In it, River Song shows up at a big party pretending to be Romana in order to collect a bounty by foiling an attempt to kidnap a princess. Leela's sent back in time to the party by the real Romana to find out what's going on.

There's some good interactions between River and Leela, and I also think there are some interesting ideas in the story about changing history. Unfortunately, the story is hurt by its flaws, it's far too talky for its own good. The idea of a device that can read a mind one and only one time is a bit impractical and inefficient for the use its given in the story. The way ideas are explored are overly talky and the story's pacing is a bit weak. Overall, a somewhat so-so installment that could have been better with a bit more polish.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
6
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: thisoldcanReview Date: 3/13/19 2:38 am
2 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Emancipation is a mostly solid start to The Eighth of March, presenting a fun adventure, filled with strong performances, solid characterizations, and a mostly enjoyable plot. Louise Jameson stars as Leela and Alex Kingston stars as River Song. Jameson and Kingston deliver excellent performances throughout the story, and the chemistry the two share is palpable. I particularly enjoyed their early interactions, when the two weren’t quite ready to trust one another, as well as the emotional performances the two give in the end. Lisa McMullin delivers her second Big Finish story, and first Doctor Who adventure, in a mostly enjoyable adventure, featuring a fun plot and enjoyable character moments, but also an ending that somewhat mars the story. The plot is, by and large, enjoyable, featuring a satisfying, romply plot that utilizes the main characters well. I particularly liked McMullin’s work bringing the sometimes convoluted plot together, and the way that she made the kidnapping plot feel fresh. However, the ending of the story, featuring Leela and River trying to save the princesses from certain death marred an otherwise solid adventure. It felt entirely contrived and forced; I felt that a certainly ambiguity to the fate of the sisters would’ve served the story better, even if it would’ve brought the runtime down, because it just felt wholly unnecessary. Beyond the plot, I did feel that while McMullin’s writing was generally solid, they sometimes felt a bit shallow. The uneasy alliance angle between Leela and River was never really fully explored after the first act, though that’s more an issue with runtime than anything else. Overall though, Emancipation is a solid, if sometimes flawed, start to The Eighth of March, with great performances and mostly good writing.
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: 3/11/19 3:51 pm
3 out of 4 found this review helpful.

"Emancipation" is a good story that starts off in one direction but quickly heel turns into something else entirely. On the surface, it looks like it's going to be a retread of a typical alien story like 'End of the World' or 'Husbands of River Song' but there are some shifts at various intervals that turn the entire story and what we were expecting to hear on its head. The soundscape and direction are nothing particularly special but the script by Lisa McMullin works well to the strengths of what the premise promises.

But really the highlight of the story is our main pairing of River Song and Leela of the Sevateem. This story represents the first time that these two have ever met and Jameson and Kingston are both as strong as ever with their performances. They have some intriguing chemistry together and it's potentially the most different dynamic of the set considering the other stories represent pairings we've seen before. Neither characters particularly trust each other at first but their strength and warrior-like tendencies blend well together and end up making them a force to be reckoned with. It's interesting in particular that at various points River is the one who messes up and it's Leela who picks things up and keeps things going. Considering how confident River is made out to be in a lot of her stories, it's a nice switch and I like that it gives Jameson more ground to stand on in regards to Kingston's sometimes large ego. But Leela's reactions to some of River's little quirks, in particular the snap that opens the TARDIS doors, are also fun and River gets more than her fair share of good moments. The rest of the side cast all work particularly the alien queen played by Julie Teal who is a very scummy character but wants to do right by her people in whatever way she sees fit. The princess character played by Catherine Skinner is a bit of a damsel in distress but there is a surprise in regards to her character that works nicely and you feel some major sympathy for her once the full extent of the situation is revealed.

The premise is nothing out of the ordinary and the climax and denouement are a little too fast for my liking especially with the potential that this pairing has together. But as a starting point for the set and as an individual story, "Emancipation" is a great tale and will definitely make fans of both characters very happy.