‘RECORDED TIME AND OTHER STORIES’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Four Mini-Adventures with Sixy and Peri
Here’s to the 150th CD release of ‘Doctor Who’ by Big Finish!
In August 2011, I made my first 12 CD subscription of ‘Doctor Who’ from Big Finish. There was a reason why I did this. I wanted to own ‘The Five Companions’ on CD, since it has Nyssa in it and I could only have it as a subscribers’ exclusive CD special for Christmas. I couldn’t purchase it on its own.
Therefore I made sure when I made my first 12 CD subscription of ‘Doctor Who’ from Big Finish, it had ‘The Five Companions’ with ‘Army of Death’ attached to it. But how was I to start my subscription? Well I was lucky, as the CD release at that time in August was with Colin Baker’s Doctor.
Not only that, but it also had Nicola Bryant as Peri who I loved watching and listening to in ‘Doctor Who’. Not only that, but it was a four single episode story CD release like ‘Circular Time’ which I love. And not only that, but this was the 150th CD release of ‘Doctor Who’ made by Big Finish at that time.
So I was lucky to start of my first 12 CD subscription from Big Finish with a memorable and luxurious ‘Doctor Who’ audio CD featuring four stories starring Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor and Nicola Bryant as Peri. I love it when Big Finish produce four single episode anthology releases like this one.
‘Recorded Time and Other Stories’ is a joy of an audio CD to listen to. I’ve happy memories listening to this audio CD and enjoying each of the four episodes in turn by various writers. I only listened to this once back in August 2012. But I retained those happy memories as I heard this CD release again.
I’ve now had the CD cover of ‘Recorded Time and Other Stories’ signed by Colin Baker at the ‘GEEKS Salisbury Comic Con’ in July 2017 and by Nicola Bryant at the ‘London Film & Comic Con’ in July 2017. I’m lucky to have met these two ‘Doctor Who’ stars and to have the CD cover signed by them.
The first story of this CD release, ‘Recorded Time’, is by Catherine Harvey. It’s an historical adventure where the Doctor and Peri meet Henry VIII. I enjoyed this romp of an historical adventure as it was interesting, amusing and tense to listen to how the Doctor and Peri try to amuse that King Henry VIII.
I’ve studied history at school to know about the Tudor Times and to know that Henry VIII was not a nice king and was a force to be reckoned with. Paul Shearer delivers a wonderful, exuberant performance as Henry VIII. It was tense when Henry got angry when he was not being pleased with.
I enjoyed how the Doctor and Peri try to wiggle their way out of a situation with Henry VIII and sometimes failing miserably. Peri’s singing to Henry was amusing to listen to and to be fair, she is a good singer. Colin’s Doctor gets mistaken for a Fool by the King, due to his colourful, absurd clothes.
The focus of the story is on a Scrivener who somehow manages to predict the future before history has been written. The Doctor and Peri discover this Scrivener and learn of the devious plan Henry VIII has in mind to rewrite history. He also intends to have Peri as his next wife, which isn’t so good.
The story also features Anne Boleyn, who is the mother of Queen Elizabeth I. I like how Anne Boleyn is portrayed in this story. She seems to accept her fate when she’s about to be executed by Henry VIII. She also seems glad to hear from the Doctor that her daughter, Elizabeth, will be a great queen.
‘Recorded Time’ rating – 7/10
The second story, ‘Paradoxicide’, is by Richard Dinnick. Now to be honest, I found this one a bit complex. It’s not terrible, but this one would require a few more listens to get a grasp of the story. It starts with the Doctor and Peri in the TARDIS, hearing a voice-recorded message from…Peri herself.
This story does get timey-wimey, as the Doctor and Peri visit the legendary lost planet of Sendos. They soon meet up with the female superior thinking Volsci, who want to acquire some galaxy-busting super-weapons. They happen to be stored inside the fabled Armoury on the planet Sendos.
The Volsci are pretty vicious, led by Joan Walker as Centuria with Raquel Cassidy as Inquiza. They don’t treat the Doctor and Peri well and are of the opinion that the female gender is superior to the male. They also treat the people of Sendos as enemies, especially when one male is begging mercy.
Peri gets to stand out from this story. I liked those moments when she uses her voice-print to get the Doctor after receiving a hint from him before he was taken away by the Volsci. She also gets to discover for herself what the recorded message in the future was all about before she soon makes it.
I like the interaction between the Doctor and Peri in this episode. There are some wry, humourous remarks made between them, especially early on when Peri asks ‘what’s that racket?’ and the Doctor assuming that she wants to play tennis. I did like the ‘Peri’-puns the Doctor makes at the end.
‘Paradoxicide’ rating – 6/10
‘A MOST EXCELLENT MATCH’
This is a very enjoyable episode by Matt Fitton, as it has a ‘Pride & Prejudice’ feel to it. That’s right! This episode directly takes its cue from the classic romance author, Jane Austen. And trust me! This was after I wrote ‘The Austen Code’ with the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy when I heard it in 2011. 😀
In this episode, Peri seems to be caught up in a world of ‘Pride & Prejudice’ when she has two suitors for her. This includes Mr. Darcy himself and Dr. John Smith who happens to be the Doctor of course. I liked the surreal atmosphere of this story and the references being made to classic works of fiction.
Having studied English Language and Literature for my A Levels and watched TV adaptations of classic works by English authors, I could feel the context of the episode’s atmosphere. This is especially as Darcy changed into D’Urberville from Tom Hardy and into Heathcliff from Emily Brontë.
The Doctor is trying to save Peri when she’s trapped inside this ‘holodeck’ fantasy world of ‘Pride & Prejudice’ she’s in. He gets help from Paul Shearer as Cranton, who seems to have put Peri into the fantasy world in the first place. It does get intriguing when the sci-fi elements take place in the tale.
The relationship between the Doctor and Peri is well-developed in this episode. It was amusing when the Doctor tried to propose marriage to Peri and she rejected him in a Jane Austen manner. I found it funny when the Doctor said Jane Austen would disapprove. He should know. He’s met her already.
‘A Most Excellent Match’ rating – 7/10
The last episode of this CD release is ‘Question Marks’ by Philip Lawrence. This is a tale where the Doctor and Peri seem to lose their memories and are two of five survivors aboard what seems like to be a spaceship. They do not know how they got there and who the other three crewmembers are.
The episode features Raquel Cassidy as Destiny Gray, the captain of this spaceship. In ‘Doctor Who’ circles, Raquel Cassidy is well-known for guest starring in the two-part TV story, ‘The Rebel Flesh’/’The Almost People’, with Matt Smith. She’s also done other Big Finish audios in ‘Doctor Who’.
The episode is so called because it’s the name Destiny gives to the Doctor when he doesn’t know who he is. The Doctor is called ‘Question Marks’ because of the question marks on his lapels. Get it? 😀 Peri gets named ‘Mystery Girl’. I liked it when she meets Destiny and when they find the Doctor.
I also liked it when Peri seems to have this ‘sort-of’ chemistry with Arnie McAllister, who is the youngest of the male crewmembers aboard the spaceship. There’s a moment when Peri asks Arnie to hold her when it seems like disaster’s looming. This was a sweet and tender moment to listen to.
Like ‘Paradoxicide’, the episode is also complex to listen to and requires more than one listen. It also features a surprising twist as the reveal of why the Doctor and Peri had amnesia gets explained. It was moving when the Doctor talked to Destiny about where he and Peri have been at the tale’s end.
‘Question Marks’ rating – 6/10
The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Disc 1, there’s a track of incidental music to enjoy. At the end of Disc 2, there is a trailer for ‘The Doomsday Quatrain’ with Sylvester McCoy. There are also behind-the-scenes cast and crew interviews with director Ken Bentley, Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, etc.
If you subscribe to Big Finish for ‘Recorded Time and Other Stories’ via a 6 of 12 CD/Download subscription, you’ll get the following extras. There are PDF scripts and extended extras of ‘Recorded Time and Other Stories’.
‘Recorded Time and Other Stories’ is a nice collection of audio stories with the Sixth Doctor and Peri. It’s not as good as ‘Circular Time’ and ‘The Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories’, but I have happy memories of this CD release and it’s very nice to have with Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant in it.
‘Recorded Time and Other Stories’ rating – 8/10
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