‘Island of the Fendahl’ (Audio)

‘ISLAND OF THE FENDAHL’

Please feel free to comment on my review.

Fendahl with the Eighth Doctor and Lucie

Paul McGann and Sheridan Smith in ‘Island of the Fendahl’.

In many ways, all the preceding stories in ‘The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller’ have been building up to this one. It’s time for ‘Island of the Fendahl’ by Alan Barnes, which is pretty exciting. 🙂

Alan Barnes is an aficionado of the Eighth Doctor era, having written many stories with the Eighth Doctor in comics and audios. He’s also the creator of Lucie Miller’s character in the Big Finish stories.

‘Island of the Fendahl’ is of course a sequel to the Fourth Doctor story ‘Image of the Fendahl’. I wondered how they would do a sequel to ‘Image of the Fendahl’ with the Eighth Doctor and Lucie. 🙂

Then again, Big Finish has done a ‘Torchwood’ story with the Fendahl recently, so what do I know? It was also very gripping to hear this story, especially how it follows ‘The House on the Edge of Chaos’.

In the story, the TARDIS ends up on the remote island of Fandor on the 1st of August 2007. Lucie goes out to find help whilst the Doctor has gone into a trance for a few seconds. But trouble’s afoot.

Everything seems to be building up to a return for the Fendahl, which the Doctor thought he had destroyed many years ago. Can the Doctor and Lucie find some way to destroy the Fendahl forever?

I do like the links to ‘Image of the Fendahl’ in this story. It was also intriguing how there are connections to ‘The Dalek Trap’ as well as other tales leading to how ‘Island of the Fendhal’ happen.

Paul McGann is very good as the Doctor in this adventure. He carries forward what went on in ‘Image of the Fendahl’ really well and brings in the sense of urgency required to defeat the monster.

It was shocking and quite a turn when the Doctor happened to be the host for the Fendahl instead of somebody like Thea Ransome. It’s also intriguing how the Fendahl skull got to escape destruction. 😐

Sheridan Smith is equally good as Lucie Miller in this adventure. Lucie gets anxious when the Doctor goes into a trance-like state. She uses her wits to use the sonic screwdriver to open the TARDIS door.

Lucie gets caught up in the mania of what’s happening in the Fandor island village itself. I like how she reunites with the Doctor halfway through the tale and how she picks up details on what goes on.

The story’s guest cast is as follows. There’s Carlyss Peer as Diane Howard, who is a police detective looking for the whereabouts of Maxine Mitchell. She meets up with the Doctor in solving the case. 🙂

There’s Atilla Akinci as Dieter Fendelman. And yes, he is related to Dr. Fendelman in ‘Image of the Fendahl’ since he was his uncle. I like Dieter is a friendly sort and is willing to help Lucie and the Doctor.

Paul Panting guest stars as Freddie, who turns out to be Friederich Stael, the brother of Maximillian Stael from ‘Image of the Fendahl’. Freddie continues his brother’s work on the Fendahl which is bad.

Lauren Cornelius guest stars as Maxine Mitchell, a girl who goes missing and is reported missing to be the police. But she happens to be involved in these Fendahl proceedings, arranged by Freddie. 😮

And there’s Bethan Dixon Bate as Mrs. Morrison, landlady of a pub on the island. She’s not friendly when Lucie and Diane want to use the pub’s landline and is involved with the Fendahl proceeding. 😮

It was pretty tense in terms of how the story concluded. The Doctor gets possessed by the Fendahl who tries to bring things full circle with all the adventures that Lucie and the Doctor have had lately.

But Lucie ends up making a brave decision which causes the Fendahl to be defeated when using the TARDIS’ HODS system. Thankfully, all is well in the end and the Doctor gets restored back to normal.

Incidentally, there have been more adventures that the Doctor and Lucie have had as well as the ones featured in ‘The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller’ box set. I guess the box set wasn’t big enough. 😐

As well as ‘The Dalek Trap’, ‘The Revolution Game’ and ‘The House on the Edge of Chaos’, the Doctor and Lucie have had adventures on the pod planet of Cliento and the twin moons of Akh. Interesting!

Writer Alan Barnes, Sheridan Smith, Lauren Cornelius, Carlyss Peer, Bethan Dixon Bate, Atilla Akinici and Paul Panting in ‘Island of the Fendahl’.

Anyway, ‘Island of the Fendahl’ has been very enjoyable to listen to. I like how this works as a sequel to ‘Image of the Fendahl’ and Paul McGann and Sheridan Smith do wonders as the Doctor and Lucie.

At the end of Disc 4 of ‘The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller’ – Volume 1, there are 12 tracks of incidental music to enjoy!

BONUS DISC

Disc 5 of ‘The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller’ – Volume 1 CD box set is a bonus disc featuring a behind-the-scenes documentary with the cast and crew on each of the four episodes. The documentary begins with an introduction by script editor/writer Alan Barnes and writer/director Nicholas Briggs. Paul McGann and Sheridan Smith are also interviewed in this exciting documentary.

We go into how the return of Lucie Miller came about as well as the history of Lucie Miller, featuring contributions from executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery. There’s then a look into ‘The Dalek Trap’. This features interviews with Nicholas Briggs, Matt Lloyd Davies, Amanda Hurwitz and many more. 🙂

After that, it’s a look into ‘The Revolution Game’. There are interviews with writer Alice Cavender, Jonathan Keeble, Madeline Duggan, Tom Alexander and Alicia Ambrose-Bayly. It was fascinating to hear how Tom Alexander did the voice for Spartacus. It sounds rather different to his ordinary voice.

Next up is a look into ‘The House on the Edge of Chaos’. There are interviews with Carla Mendonça, Rupert Vansittart, Emily Woodward, Joe Jameson and Alice Ambrose-Bayly. It was very fascinating to hear Rupert’s thoughts on appearing in ‘Aliens of London’/’World War Three’ and playing a Slitheen.

And finally we get to ‘Island of the Fendahl’. There are interviews with Carlyss Peer, Atilla Akinci, Paul Panting, Lauren Cornelius and Bethan Dixon Bate. It was fascinating to hear how the sequel to ‘Image of the Fendahl’ was conceived and development before going into production. I like how the documentary concludes with the legacy of Lucie Miller and what the future might bring for her here.

‘The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller’ – Volume 1 has been an enjoyable collection of stories featuring Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor and Sheridan Smith’s Lucie Miller. I’m glad I’ve been able to hear more stories with this TARDIS duo and I’m looking forward to hearing more of their adventures.

It seems there’s a lot more to explore with Lucie Miller by having more adventures told, set during her time with the Eighth Doctor. It’s nice Big Finish can bring companions back in ‘Doctor Who’, especially ones they’ve created. I wonder if a Volume 2 will be made of Lucie’s further adventures. 🙂

‘Island of the Fendahl’ rating – 8/10

‘The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller’ – Volume 1 rating – 8/10


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2 thoughts on “‘Island of the Fendahl’ (Audio)

  1. Timelord 007

    My favourite story in the box set, tense, atmospheric & emotional, Sheridan’s performance is outstanding she mixes panic, worry with grit & determination at saving the Doctor against the Fendahl.

    I’m not the biggest fan of Alan Barnes stories but he’s written a gem here that had me gripped from start to finish.

    Excellent review Tim, 8/10 a fair rating for both the story & box set overall.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      I enjoyed ‘Island of the Fendahl’ very much when I heard it and it does feature a great performance by Sheridan Smith as Lucie Miller. It’s amazing she keeps coming back to doing these Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’ after having so much success in theatre and TV.

      Yeah, I have found Alan Barnes to be hit or miss of late when it comes to his ‘Doctor Who’ stories. But I certainly enjoyed this one and it’s good how he’s written this as a sequel to ‘Image of the Fendahl’.

      Many thanks for your comments, Simon. Glad you’ve enjoyed my reviews on each of these further Eighth Doctor and Lucie stories and glad you approve of my ratings for them.

      Tim. 🙂

      Like

      Reply

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