‘THE BLEEDING HEART’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Adriana Jarsdel meets the Ninth Doctor
The Ninth Doctor is back…sort of!
In May 2017, I purchased ‘The Ninth Doctor Chronicles’ from the Big Finish stall at ‘The Capitol II’ convention at the Arora Hotel in Gatwick. It was a lovely purchase, especially for my birthday. I couldn’t wait to hear the stories in this CD set, though I eventually listened to them in October 2017.
‘The Ninth Doctor Chronicles’ is a collection of four audio stories by Big Finish in the style of ‘The Companion Chronicles’ range. Christopher Eccelston, who played the Ninth Doctor, has yet to reprise his role from the new TV series of ‘Doctor Who’, since he doesn’t feature in this audio CD set.
But that doesn’t mean that Big Finish can’t do some new audio adventures with the Ninth Doctor without Christopher Eccleston playing him. Thus ‘The Ninth Doctor Chronicles’ was born and Nicholas Briggs was chosen to narrator of the four stories as well as to play the Ninth Doctor himself.
Nicholas Briggs had narrated audiobooks of Ninth Doctor stories before including ‘The Clockwise Man’ for BBC Audio and ‘Night of the Whisper’ for the ‘Destiny of the Doctor’ series. He also has a knack of doing a good voice impersonation of Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor himself on audio.
The four stories in this CD collection are as follows. There’s ‘The Bleeding Heart’ by Cavan Scott, ‘The Window on the Moor’ by Una McCormack, ‘The Other Side’ by Scott Handcock and ‘Retail Therapy’ by James Goss. All four stories in this CD collection are directed by Big Finish actress, Helen Goldwyn.
‘The Bleeding Heart’ by Cavan Scott is a ‘Doctor Who’ story set before Series 1 of the new series begins. Yep! This tale takes place after the Time War for the Ninth Doctor and before he meets Rose.
Cavan Scott has contributed to the Ninth Doctor era before. That was when he and Mark Wright wrote ‘Night of the Whisper’ for the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’ to celebrate the Ninth Doctor.
I’m surprised Cavan Scott didn’t write this story with Mark Wright for ‘The Ninth Doctor Chronicles’ CD set. But I’m very pleased he has contributed again for the Ninth Doctor concerning the last time.
I enjoyed ‘Night of the Whisper’ so much and hoped to gain the same enjoyment of exploration of the Ninth Doctor’s character in this one. It’s not the same however, but it was still intriguing anyway.
In this story, the Doctor visits a planet called Galen. This renowned as the ‘planet of peace’ where talks between two warring races occur. The Doctor hopes to find some peace, as he’s visiting Galen.
However, that does not go according to plan as a death occurs to disrupt the diplomacy of the two warring races. With help from the news reporter, Adriana Jarsdel, the Doctor uncovers the mystery.
I found this an interesting tale about the Ninth Doctor where he’s just come off from the end of the Time War. This is a version of the Ninth Doctor where he’s traumatised by his experience of the war.
Yet somehow, the Ninth Doctor gets to display all those goofy aspects to his character that I enjoyed so much in Christopher Eccleston’s performance. I was not expecting to find those in this adventure.
Nicholas Briggs is a brilliant narrator in this set of audio stories. Having enjoyed his narration of previous ‘Doctor Who’ stories including the Ninth Doctor ones, I was so engaged to listen to this one.
I also greatly enjoyed Nick Briggs’ impersonation of Chris Eccleston’s Doctor in this audio adventure. Sometimes I feel that Chris Eccleston is in the room, as Nick’s voice for him sounds pretty authentic.
During the story, there are times when the Ninth Doctor can be light-hearted and jokey through his Northern accent. There are also serious moments when the Doctor becomes edgy and dark in the story.
I would have liked to have heard more of that in this story rather than a balance of the light and dark in the Ninth Doctor. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed how Cavan Scott wrote the Ninth Doctor for this.
But considering that this is an audio adventure set after the Time War, I would imagine the Ninth Doctor would be greatly traumatised by this stage. At least this does get explored in this audio story.
Claire Wyatt guest stars as Adriana Jarsdel in this audio adventure. Adrian Jarsdel is a news reporter for ‘Cosmic Nine’ news. She meets the Doctor during the peace talks between the two warring races.
I’ve heard Claire Wyatt in other ‘Doctor Who’ audios by Big Finish. These include ‘Return to the Web Planet’ and ‘The Boy That Time Forgot’ with Peter Davison as well as ‘The Silver Turk’ with Paul McGann.
I enjoyed Adriana Jarsdel as a character in this audio adventure. She gets curious about the Doctor when he interrupts her news broadcasts. She can also be a one-off companion of the Ninth Doctor.
Unfortunately, Adriana and the Doctor discover something deadly when people start attacking them on Galen. This involves something concerning the Time War and a species called the Compassionate.
‘The Bleeding Heart’ is an enjoyable audio adventure from ‘The Ninth Doctor Chronicles’. It’s an intriguing tale for the Ninth Doctor before he meets Rose and after his involvement in the Time War.
‘The Bleeding Heart’ rating – 7/10
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