‘THE CALENDAR MAN’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
The Calendar Man with the Eleventh Doctor and Amy
It’s time for some Eleventh Doctor adventures from Big Finish!
Having listened to ‘The Ninth Doctor Chronicles’ in 2017 and ‘The Tenth Doctor Chronicles’ in 2018, it was only fair for me to take a listen to ‘The Eleventh Doctor Chronicles’ by Big Finish. I’m pleased I have been able to listen to these three new series ‘Doctor Who’ chronicles CD box sets by Big Finish.
I purchased ‘The Eleventh Doctor Chronicles’ CD box set in September 2018 along with some other Big Finish items to celebrate the 55th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’. ‘The Eleventh Doctor Chronicles’ is of course a collection of four audio stories by Big Finish in the style of ‘The Companion Chronicles’.
I have heard rumours that Matt Smith has expressed interest in reprising his role as the Eleventh Doctor in ‘Doctor Who’ through the Big Finish audios. At this stage, nothing has come up yet. Until that time comes, I’m happy that Jacob Dudman is the narrator and playing the Eleventh Doctor here.
I enjoyed it when Jacob Dudman narrated and performed ‘The Tenth Doctor Chronicles’ CD box set. Knowing what Jacob is capable of in terms of being an actor and voice impressionist, I looked forward to hear what his voice would be like for the Eleventh Doctor after doing the Tenth Doctor. 🙂
The four stories in ‘The Eleventh Doctor Chronicles’ CD collection are as follows. ‘The Calendar Man’ by AK Benedict, ‘The Top of the Tree’ by Simon Guerrier, ‘The Light Keepers’ by Roy Gill and ‘False Coronets’ by Alice Cavender. All the four stories in the CD collection are directed by Helen Goldwyn.
It’s interesting to rediscover the Eleventh Doctor era through these Big Finish audios, as it’s not an era I’m particularly fond of when experiencing it on TV. But looking back, I’ve kept a certain fondness for it and I was looking forward to hearing these four audio tales with Jacob Dudman narrating them.
The first story, ‘The Calendar Man’, by AK Benedict has been a pretty enjoyable one to start off the box set. This is the first time I’ve come across a ‘Doctor Who’ adventure by AK Benedict herself actually.
‘The Calendar Man’ is a story that takes places during Series 5 of the new series where the Eleventh Doctor is travelling with Amy Pond. At this point, Amy has had plenty of adventures with the Doctor.
Listening to this adventure did make feel like I was back watching Series 5 of ‘Doctor Who’ when it was transmitted on TV in 2010. I could feel the thrilling suspense between the Doctor and Amy here.
Jacob Dudman’s voice for Matt Smith’s Doctor is spot on in this adventure. His Scottish voice for Amy isn’t exactly perfect, but I liked how Jacob had the Doctor and Amy interacted with each other.
I could definitely feel that Matt Smith was in the room and forget that Jacob Dudman was voicing him when narrating the story. It’s an authentic voice for the Eleventh Doctor much like for the Tenth.
In this adventure, the Doctor and Amy return to the TARDIS after having a watery adventure on some other planet. They return to pick up the distress call of one inhabitant of a misty colony world.
There’s no name given to this colony world but when the Doctor and Amy arrive by TARDIS, it happens to have lots of boggy marshland. It also seems for many of the people that nothing’s wrong.
Apparently there have been many missing colonists that no-one knows about. Only one person knows and that happens to be Eleanor Crooks as Olivia. The Doctor and Amy help to find the lost colonists.
But as they uncover more about what’s going on, the deadly truth becomes clear to the Doctor. He soon comes up against a terrifying foe in the form of a former fairy tale known as the Calendar Man.
Just to say, the concept behind this story is pretty interesting. It fits in well to the Eleventh Doctor about an entity that can erase people’s memories of people who have just died on this colony world.
It’s interesting how the Doctor and Amy interact with Olivia who has been keeping notes in her notebook. Olivia’s been trying to convince people that something is wrong, but nobody believes her.
The scene where the Doctor and Amy encounter a man on the verge of death before he dies and collapses into ash was terrifying to listen to. It was more disturbing when people came in afterwards.
They were ignorant when the Doctor and Amy protested that somebody died and they claimed the person they were talking about didn’t exist. It was so fortunate Olivia was there to verify their story.
Eventually, the Doctor splits up from Amy whilst she accompanies Olivia. Amy and Olivia discover more secrets about what’s going on, by entering rooms and cabins to find diary entries of someone.
The Doctor soon comes up against the Calendar Man and the interaction between them was tense. Jacob does a good deep voice for the Calendar Man in contrast to the voice for the Eleventh Doctor.
I must admit, a lot of the story did seem rushed. This is especially when there was a jump cut from a conversation between the Doctor and the Calendar Man to the Doctor joining Amy and Olivia in this.
It also did seem rather rushed in terms of the climax on how the Doctor, Amy and Olivia managed to defeat the Calendar Man. I’m sure it’s explained well, provided you give this audio tale another listen.
‘The Calendar Man’ is a reasonably good story to begin ‘The Eleventh Doctor Chronicles’. It was a little complex in places, but it suits the Eleventh Doctor era and Jacob Duman’s performance is superb.
The CD extras are as follows. There are behind-the-scenes interviews with Jacob Dudman and Eleanor Crooks, conducted by director Helen Goldwyn on ‘The Calendar Man’ which I enjoyed hearing.
‘The Calendar Man’ rating – 7/10
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