‘The Time Machine’ (DOTD) (Audio)

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Please feel free to comment on my review.

Tribute for Matt Smith – Celebrating 50 Years of ‘Doctor Who’

November 2013. It’s time to celebrate the Eleventh Doctor era of ‘Doctor Who’ with Matt Smith!

The 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’ has come and gone! What a month November was! On TV, the fans of ‘Doctor Who’ had ‘The Day of the Doctor’; the ‘Doctor Who’ Live After Party on BBC Three and the brilliantly funny one-off spoof special by Peter Davison called ‘The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot’.

Most importantly, November was a month to celebrate the Eleventh Doctor era with Matt Smith. Matt’s era included a vast amount of spacey timey-wimey adventures such as ‘The Eleventh Hour’; ‘The Impossible Astronaut’/’Day of the Moon’; ‘The Bells of Saint John’ and ‘The Name of the Doctor’.

Matt Smith enchanted so many TV viewers with his unique alien-ness; his manner of dress – tweed jacket and bow tie (“Bow ties are cool!”); and his habit of eating fish fingers with custard. His era has also been cemented by his companions like Amy Pond; Rory William; River Song and Clara Oswald.

For the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’, I wrote my personal fan-fiction story with the Eleventh Doctor and Clara to celebrate the Eleventh Doctor era. It was challenging but fun to write that story.

November 2013 concludes the ‘Destiny of the Doctor’ series, produced by Big Finish and AudioGo, with ‘The Time Machine’ by Matt Fitton. I enjoyed the ‘DOTD’ series to celebrate 50 years of ‘Doctor Who’. The ‘DOTD’ series; ‘The Light At The End’ and ‘The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot’ made the 50th anniversary for me.

As with previous stories in the ‘DOTD’ series (previously with ‘Death’s Deal’), this story is narrated and performed by an actor/actress who was in the TV series with a guest star as a supporting character. ‘The Time Machine’ is performed by Jenna Coleman who played Clara in the TV series and guest stars Michael Cochrane as Professor Chivers and Nicholas Briggs as the monstrous Creevix.

I’ve had the CD cover of ‘The Time Machine’ signed by Nicholas Briggs, who I saw at ‘Big Finish Day 6’ in January 2014. I also had the CD cover signed by writer Matt Fitton, who I met at the ‘Timey-Wimey 1’ convention in Brighton, November 2014. I hope I’ll get the CD cover signed by the lovely Jenna Coleman next.

‘The Time Machine’ sees the Doctor visiting Oxford on the 23rd of November 2013 (‘the day of the Doctor’) after tracking a temporal anomaly from a time machine created by Professor Chivers with help from Alice. Soon, the monstrous Creevix arrive and the Doctor has to find a way to stop them.

I’ve met Matt Fitton at ‘Doctor Who’ conventions and have chatted to him about ‘The Time Machine’. I enjoyed sharing how much I enjoyed this last story of the ‘DOTD’ series. I asked questions on how he managed to weave so many threads from previous ‘DOTD’ stories in this story.

Jenna Coleman is absolutely lovely to listen to on audio. I was so thrilled to discover that she was going to read this final tale of the ‘DOTD’ series. She’s not playing Clara sadly, but she was lovely to listen to. Here she gets to play the Doctor as well as the Doctor’s one-off companion, Alice Watson.

I loved Jenna’s impersonation of Matt Smith’s Doctor in this adventure. Jenna gets it so right with the energy and strange weirdness of the character. It’s clear that she gets on with Matt in the TV series and she’s able to get a clear performance of the Doctor and her voice is clear when she reads.

Alice Watson is a young physicist who works for Professor Chivers on his time machine. Alice is what you would call a science nerd at Oxford University. She’s not one for socialising and doesn’t read any fiction or make jokes. But she gets to help the Doctor when they solve the mystery of the Creevix.

Michael Cochrane guest stars as Professor Chivers. Michael was in ‘Black Orchid’ with Peter Davison and ‘Ghost Light’ with Sylvester McCoy. He’s also appeared in a number of Big Finish audios. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Michael at the ‘celebrate 50 – The Peter Davison Years’ convention in Chiswick, April 2013 and he’s such a gentleman.

Professor Chivers has been working on this time machine of his at Oxford University for the past eleven months with Alice. It’s revealed Chivers is actually Cedric (who the Doctor met in the first ‘DOTD’ audio adventure, ‘Hunters of Earth’ with Susan). I was amazed to find that Chivers was Cedric.

The monsters are the Creevix, voiced by Nicholas Briggs. The Creevix are giant insect-like creatures from another universe. They’ve come to change history with Chivers’ time machine; become the Masters of Time and destroy the Doctor. I found the Creevix’s monstrous voices creepy and chilling.

Now if you’ve been wondering what the point was with the Eleventh Doctor popping in and out of the previous ‘DOTD’ stories and sending messages to his previous selves, you’re going to have to find that out for yourself. I found it exciting. As Amy Pond would say, ‘this is where it gets complicated’.

I was very pleased when it was decided to use Murray Gold’s 2013 theme music of ‘Doctor Who’ for ‘The Time Machine’. It is right for the Eleventh Doctor and it closes the ‘DOTD’ series on a fitting note.

There aren’t any CD extras, apart from the Eleventh Doctor’s biography in the CD sleeve notes. If you purchase the complete ‘DOTD’ series as a bundle from Big Finish, there’s a behind-the-scenes making-of documentary on the series called ‘Meeting with Destiny’ with ‘The Time Machine’.

jenna coleman the time machine

I’ve enjoyed all eleven stories of the ‘Destiny of the Doctor’ series. ‘The Time Machine’ is a fitting tribute to Matt Smith’s era of ‘Doctor Who’ and it’s wonderfully narrated by Jenna Coleman. You might want to listen to this a few times, but if you’ve heard the first ten stories of the series, you shouldn’t have a problem.

And the story goes on…forever and forever…

‘The Time Machine’ (DOTD) rating – 7/10

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5 thoughts on “‘The Time Machine’ (DOTD) (Audio)

  1. Timelord 007

    Excellent review Tim, you grasped the concept of the storyline & arc in your review brilliantly my friend, i find it strange Jenna wasn’t playing Clara here but it doesn’t distract from it being a great story which ties up the DOTD arc superbly.

    I’m glad you spoke to Matt Fitton, i had a few conversations with him & he’s a great guy & very appreciative on feedback, bet when you go to conventions the Big Finish team go “look it’s that man again” lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Bradley Post author

    Thanks Simon. I’m pleased you found I grasped the storyline and arc in my review of this final story in the ‘DOTD’ series. Yes it was strange Jenna wasn’t playing Clara in this story. Obviously these ‘DOTD’ stories were written before Clara was established as a companion in the TV series. But I enjoyed this adventure and Jenna reads this adventure so superbly.

    Yes Matt was nice to meet at conventions. I would like to meet him again and hope to chat some more on his stories including ‘Equilbrium’ and the ‘Dark Eyes’ episodes he’s written. Well, I certainly do get recognised at conventions by the stars, thanks to Sarah Sutton I’m sure. 😀

    Thanks again. Glad you enjoyed my review. Tim. 🙂


  3. IWishIHadATardis

    Hi Tim

    A great review of the last and connecting story in the Destiny of the Doctor series.

    I really like the photo of you with Nick Briggs; the two of you look like you’re having a great time.

    I thought this was a really clever story, bringing all the ideas from the previous stories together, and very complicated. I think I’ll have to listen to the whole series again, and pin all the clues together soon.

    I thought Jenna Coleman did really well in her performance in this story, and Michael Cochrane did really well as Chivers. It’s great that Michael Cochrane has performed in quite a few BF audios, hasn’t he, and now he’s in this anniversary story as well.

    The Creevix were very nasty monsters, and Nick Briggs did really well bringing the menace and the threat of them to the audio story.

    Excellent, Tim, a really nice ending to this series of reviews.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tim Bradley Post author

    Hi Leigh

    I’m very pleased you enjoyed my review on ‘The Time Machine’, the last story of the DOTD series.

    I hadn’t expected such a warm response to my ‘DOTD’ reviews and realised how good timing it was to schedule them over Easter, especially with the fifth story ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ as part of ‘The Nyssa Challenge’. I will have to think of something good for Easter 2017 when it comes to my blog. I’ve got a few ideas I’d like to do then, but at the moment they’re in a lab/melting pot stages so I’ll have to think about those later on.

    Oh I enjoyed meeting Nick Briggs at that event, which was before Christmas in 2014. Colin Baker; Sarah Sutton; Sophie Aldred and Louise Jameson were also there too. It was a small event and held in a leisure centre, but it was such a happy day for me and I couldn’t have asked for a better early Christmas present to see my favourite ‘Doctor Who’ stars.

    Yes I liked how this story connected everything that was going on in the previous stories of the ‘DOTD’ series and what the meaning of the messages by Eleven to his previous selves were all about. It was all complicated when the Doctor explained it, but having kept track of these references and hearing/enjoyed these ‘DOTD’ stories so much it wasn’t that difficult and Matt Fitton did an excellent job I thought.

    I would like to meet Jenna Coleman someday; get ‘The Time Machine’ signed by her and tell her how much I enjoyed her reading of this story as she was really superb. I’ve met Michael Cochrane already and he’s a nice gentleman. Yes he’s done quite a number of these BF audios for ‘Doctor Who’ and also for ‘Graceless’, I believe. I’m pleased he was in this last story of the anniversary series and he clearly has a great voice for audio. I enjoyed his reading of the ‘Black Orchid’ novelization/audiobook he did in 2008.

    Yes Nick Briggs did well in voicing the Creevix for this audio adventure and they are pretty scary when you hear them. I wonder if the Creevix will return to ‘Doctor Who’ again and whether Matt Fitton will write them in another of his stories. Nick Briggs has a talent for doing various monsters in ‘Doctor Who’ and he’s lucky to be in two stories of the ‘DOTD’ series.

    Thanks Leigh. Very glad you like my ending to my series of reviews on this wonderful 50th anniversary series of ‘Doctor Who’.

    Tim. 🙂


  5. IWishIHadATardis

    Hi Tim

    Yes, I did enjoy all the DOTD reviews, it was nice to revisit them, and see how someone else experienced them all.

    Well, you’ve got plenty of time to think ahead to Easter 2017, so I’m sure those ideas bubbling away in the melting pot will come to fruition before then!

    That event does sound like it would have been a great deal of fun; with a small group, of really core people like that there, you would all have been able to have a really focused time and discussions, which would have been really valuable. A great time would have been had, I’m sure.

    It would have been tricky to tie all the elements together, and I agree with you, Matt Fitton did do a really good job of it. I think Jenna Coleman did do a really great performance in this story; while it was unusual to have her reading it, and her character of Clara not in it, I think it worked really well to have her performance in it, and to hear her characterisation of the Doctor and the other characters.

    Michael Cochrane has one of those instantly recognisable voices, doesn’t he, which lends itself well to this type of work.

    I think the Creevix would be great to have back again; they were a good creation, and it would be most interesting to hear more about them in other stories.

    I did really like all these reviews, Tim, it was great stuff.


    Liked by 1 person


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