2 out of 5 found this review helpful.
When I first started Doctor Who & the Pirates, I was looking forwards to a comedy-historical adventure on the high seas. What I got was a slightly amusing first episode, a straightforwards and unengaging second episode, a fairly-entertaining musical of a third episode and an anticlimax of a final episode. Like I say, the first episode did draw out a couple of laughs, and the format of Evelyn's narration worked brilliantly to help this. Her constantly getting details wrong or getting carried away with her retelling of the story made for some surprising and comedic moments. Then the Doctor comes into the story and begins his narration, which as I said, was straightforwards and boring. If you look closely enough, there are a few lines that work particularly well, but due to the lack of much plot substance or constant comedy, it felt a very shallow episode. The story continued to waver with the third episode. Once again, not much happened, although no one can deny the creativity and finesse of the songs that fill the episode. It then plummeted completely in the final episode once the Doctor, Evelyn, Jem, Captain Swan, Red Jasper and the pirates all reach the fabled Ruby Islands. The death of one of these characters was quite sad, but due to my lack of any investment into the characters thus far, it didn't bother me greatly. Nor did the revelation made by Sally, whom the Doctor and Evelyn are reciting their story to. The very end was executed with yet another light-hearted touch, but I didn't feel it suited the story very well, and only came off as a half-hearted anticlimax.
Whilst the story wasn't the best that Big Finish has to offer, it certainly wasn't the worst. As I said, there were some decent bits of dialogue and comedy that stuck in my mind, not to mention the very memorable music and songs from the third episodes. The performances were alright but forgettable, and the plot was quite entertaining, but very scarce. Overall, a 5/10, teetering on the edge of a 4/10