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< 34. Spare Parts
36. The Rapture >

35. ...ISH

Rating Votes
10
7%
10
9
10%
14
8
30%
43
7
23%
33
6
12%
17
5
8%
12
4
10%
14
3
0%
0
2
0%
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1
1%
1
Average Rating
7.1
Votes
144
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User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
8
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Replay Rating:
9
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8
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Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 6/24/17 5:08 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Here's a point that has to be dealt with up front. There's something inescapably parochial about a story that celebrating English as this one does. What's so special about English? There's something distinctly odd about the Doctor celebrating one particular language as he does. Much of the time, characters use the words "English" and "language" almost interchangeably. It's awkward, and a little bit off-putting, but I'm prepared to forgive it on the basis that this is a story produced by and for people who speak English. What makes the English language special, as far as this story is concerned, is that it is the language of its audience.

Has there ever been a "Doctor Who" story more suited to its Doctor/companion team than this one? Not only does it take full advantage of Colin Baker's love of language, but it actually makes use of the fact that Peri is American.

I have to say that I just love this story to little bits. It's certainly not perfect, though. I'm not entirely sure the story makes sense, and despite having listened to it many, many times over the years, I couldn't adequately explain it to someone else. But in this case, that really doesn't bother me at all. Not only is the story bursting with interesting idea, but the dialogue is outstanding, making the whole thing an absolute delight to listen to. The script also shows an impressive command of structure. Notice how the Doctor's and Peri's investigations proceed separately but in parallel. That's not an uncommon technique, but I've rarely seen it deployed as smoothly or effectively as it is here.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: HoovianReview Date: 10/16/16 4:26 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A great fun story. See if you can spot the Blackadder and H2G2 references. A highly enjoyable story all round. Highly recommended.
A more intellectual story written for those who love words.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 8/24/16 3:30 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

...Ish is a story it took me a while to get into. It plumbs deep philosophical depths. There's a theme of anarchism v. order that works its way through the tale. Do dictionaries and other rules that establish boundaries give our lives definition or do they serve as a straight jacket that limit freedom of expression. At times, ...Ish is also a love song to the English language. No other Doctor could pull this story off in the same way that Baker does.

While the plot may be a bit more cerebral than typical Doctor Who, there's some good humorous moments throughout. The Sixth Doctor and Peri seem to have hit their stride over audio in terms of how the characters relate. Overall, this is a great example of the experimental approach taken by early Big Finish. While this approach could be hit and miss, this one was definitely a hit.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
4
Has Prerequisite(s):
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Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 7/6/16 12:52 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

…ish came after two powerhouse stories, Spare Parts, the story that tells the genesis of the Cybermen and was written by Marc Platt, and Neverland the powerhouse finale to the second season of Eighth Doctor Adventures which sets up the 40th Anniversary story to come. This is important to notice as …ish is a story that people don’t really like which is a shame and I beg you reader to take a second glance at it because I think you will find that it has an almost perfect set up for the team of the Sixth Doctor and Peri. The plot involves the Doctor and Peri going to a meeting of lexicographers where Professor Osefa, an old friend of the Doctor’s, is trying to determine the longest word in the universe, the literal first word with the help of Book, a supercomputer designed as an enormous dictionary when suddenly she commits suicide with her note containing several spelling mistakes and it is up to the Doctor to find the murderer, yes it was a murder and not a suicide. This uncovers a conspiracy about the ish which is one syllable that starts to infect everyone at the conference as it apparently has no real meaning, even though it has to have a meaning.





Author Phil Pascoe really knows his Doctor Who as the structure of the story is very standard, yet mixed somehow with the inaugural Sherlock Holmes novel A Study in Scarlet, but he understands his characters completely well. Colin Baker’s Doctor is right in his element as, like Banto Zame said in The One Doctor, talking to him is like talking to a thesaurus and so he knows just how many words he can use. The Doctor relishes the chance to solve a murder involving language as he loves language to the highest degree. Colin Baker just is in love with this script as he has so many chances to flex his vocabulary and as Baker is a fan of puns and wordplay and Pascoe knows how to do wordplay the dialogue in this story is the best part of the thing. Nicola Bryant as Peri is also really good here as everything feels like she and her relationship with the Doctor is straight before The Mysterious Planet which could have helped the show save itself from cancellation. Peri feels like a real person in this story which I love because really Nicola Bryant is a good actress when she gets good material to work with and here she has stuff to work with. There is also a highlight with Peri having an almost romantic relationship with Warren.





Warren is basically the lexicographer’s equivalent of an anarchist as he wants to destroy everything to find the omniverbon which would destroy the universe. His relationship with Peri is manipulative to the point of abuse as he is working in the shadows to try and get everything to go his way. Pascoe also hit the jackpot in making this cast so small as there are really only two other characters. Cawdrey played by Oliver Hume who is the Doctor’s sidekick for the majority of the story until Peri gets her turn with Cawdrey. He is the weakest of this story’s characters as he really is there to fill the companion role of asking questions as Peri is being independent from the Doctor. There is also Book who is extremely witty for a supercomputer. Book is supposed to know everything about language even if as a computer he is unable to actually understand what words mean. His reactions to things have this sort of dry wit about them which I just really like.





The direction in this story is also great as Nicholas Briggs gets around exposition dumps by intercutting them to flashbacks or having the dialogue cut between the Doctor and Peri learning the situation to keep everything on its toes. Sadly this story has one major flaw in that it feels like it is from a first time writer which could have easily ruined this story. Warren’s plan doesn’t make sense and what does could easily lead to the universe being destroyed as Pascoe thinks that the stakes have to be the highest they can possibly be. The flashbacks can also get pretty boring even if it was a smart idea for Briggs to put them in. I don’t usually talk about the music, but it is usually some of the best parts about the story, but Neil Clappison’s score is really forgettable and I just feel like Clappison didn’t know what he was doing in this story.