‘The Sirens of Time’ (Audio)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

The Three Doctors Reboot

This is the first Big Finish audio adventure in ‘Doctor Who’!

‘The Sirens of Time’ is a significant story in the history of ‘Doctor Who’. It is a multi-Doctor story featuring the Fifth; Sixth and Seventh incarnations of our Time Lord! It is also is the first of a long-running range of audio stories produced by this fantastic company that has lasted for over 15 years!

In 1989, ‘Doctor Who’ was cancelled on TV. In 1999, ten years later, Big Finish got the licence to produce audio dramas of the British sci-fi TV series. Producer Gary Russell commissioned Nicholas Briggs to write and direct the first ‘Doctor Who’ audio drama and things were never the same again.

This must have been exciting for ‘Doctor Who’ fans, without the TV show for ten years, to be getting brand-new stories in the form of audio. It would take a while before Big Finish gained its popularity and influence in later years. But this was a ‘small start’ leading to a ‘big finish’! Terrible joke, I know.

Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Peter Davison in ‘The Sirens of Time’.

It was decided that the first ‘Doctor Who’ audio by Big Finish would be a multi-Doctor tale, featuring Peter Davison; Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. Nick Briggs wanted to write an episode for each of the three Doctors and to have them all appear in the final episode for a showdown with the villain.

‘Part One’ features the Seventh Doctor only; whilst ‘Part Two’ features the Fifth Doctor only and ‘Part Three’ features the Sixth Doctor only. ‘Part Four’ would feature Doctors Five; Six and Seven at the end. I was pleased Peter; Colin and Sylvester all agreed to appear in this Big Finish audio drama.

A crisis occurs on Gallifrey, when the Time Lords are attacked by a fleet of hostile warships of the Knights of Velyshaa. Someone wants the Doctor dead and the Fifth; Sixth and Seventh incarnations face their own trials and adventures, before they work together and to deal with the sirens of time…

I did enjoy listening to this multi-Doctor story when I purchased the CD during a Big Finish sale in 2012. I’d got into the Big Finish audio adventures pretty early on and was immensely enjoying them. It was fair that I should listen to this first audio drama and find how ‘Doctor Who’ began in Big Finish.

Sylvester McCoy, Peter Davison and Colin Baker in ‘The Sirens of Time’.

It was nice to hear a multi-Doctor adventure with Peter Davison; Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. I was sad there weren’t any companions joining the three Doctors in this audio drama. But hearing the three Doctors in their separate adventures and meeting up together in ‘Part Four’ was enjoyable.

Sylvester McCoy is a delight to listen to as the Seventh Doctor. For him, this story presumably takes place when he’s travelling alone without Ace in the TARDIS. In his adventure for ‘Part One’, Doctor Seven arrives on an unnamed planet and he rescues a girl called Eleyna after she falls into quicksand.

Peter Davison is brilliant to listen as the Fifth Doctor. For him, this story takes place between ‘The Five Doctors’ and ‘Warriors of the Deep’ where he’s travelling with Tegan and Turlough. In his adventure for ‘Part Two’, Doctor Five is on a WWI German submarine as he meets a girl called Helen.

Colin Baker is wonderful to listen to as the Sixth Doctor. For him, this story takes place where he’s travelling alone after ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’. In his adventure for ‘Part Three’, Doctor Six finds he’s on the spaceship Edifice. He meets a girl called Ellie and he also finds this being called the Temperon.

John Wadmore, Mark Gatiss and Sarah Mowat in ‘The Sirens of Time’.

This story guest stars Mark Gatiss. Mark has a long association with ‘Doctor Who’, as he is currently an actor and a writer for the new series of today. Here Mark plays this German U-Boat captain called Schwieger. The Fifth Doctor meets him he visits the German submarine during the First World War.

The story also guest stars Sarah Mowat. Sarah has an important place in Big Finish, since she would go on to play Susan Mendez in the spin-off series ‘Dalek Empire’. Here Sarah plays three companions and a villain. Could the four characters be one of the same? I hope I haven’t given the game away?!

There’s also Maggie Stables as Ruthley. Maggie also has an important place in Big Finish, since she’s well-known to ‘Doctor Who’ fans as Evelyn Smythe, companion of the Sixth Doctor. Maggie delivers a delightful performance as Ruthley, a cackling old hag that the Seventh Doctor meets in ‘Part One’.

This story features the first appearance of the Knights of Velyshaa. These characters will become important in the history of ‘Doctor Who’, especially as one appears as a regular character in the ‘Dalek Empire’ series. Why they attack Gallifrey becomes a mystery for the three Doctors to resolve.

This story also features Anthony Keetch as Coordinator Vansell of the CIA on Gallifrey. Vansell is a Time Lord that the Doctor has met before and would later meet in the Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’ including ‘The Apocalypse Element’. He warns the Time Lord President of the crisis on Gallifrey.

Nick Briggs voices the Temperon creature that becomes pivotal in the story. The Sixth Doctor discovers the Temperon in his adventure in ‘Part Three’ as it’s responsible for bringing the three Doctors together. But the Temporan isn’t the threat, as it warns the Doctors of the ‘sirens of time’…

The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Disc 2, there are trailers for other Big Finish audios in ‘Doctor Who’. There’s ‘Phantasmagoria’ with Peter Davison and Mark Strickson; ‘Whispers of Terror’ with Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant; ‘The Fearmonger’ with Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred; and ‘Storm Warning’ with Paul McGann and India Fisher.

If you’re a Big Finish subscriber, there is a behind-the-scenes documentary with ‘The Sirens of Time’ looking into the makings of Big Finish called ‘Talking ‘About My Regeneration’. This features behind-the-scenes interviews with cast and crew including Peter Davison; Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy.

‘The Sirens of Time’ has been an interesting and enjoyable audio adventure to listen to. It’s not the greatest multi-Doctor story I’ve heard in ‘Doctor Who’, but it started a massive series of stories featuring well-loved characters from a very popular TV show. This is an audio adventure not to miss!

Oh and I love it when Peter; Colin and Sylvester as the three Doctors bicker among each other. And this was way before ‘The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot’ happened for the 50th anniversary of the series!

‘The Sirens of Time’ rating – 7/10

The previous story

For the Fifth Doctor was

  • ‘Birth of a Renegade’ (RT Special)

For the Sixth Doctor was

  • ‘The Marian Conspiracy’ (Audio)

For the Seventh Doctor was

The next story

For the Fifth Doctor is

For the Sixth Doctor is

  • ‘The Spectre of Lanyon Moor’ (Audio)

For the Seventh Doctor is

  • ‘Dark Convoy’ (ST/Audio)
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Return to The Sixth Doctor’s Timeline
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6 thoughts on “‘The Sirens of Time’ (Audio)

  1. Timelord 007

    I remember the anticipation of this release & at the time Doctor Who was a show nobody cared about, i honestly thought Big Finish would produce 6-10 stories before lack of demand kicked in & they stopped making them.

    I’ve never been so happy to have been proven wrong, 18 yrs later & Big Finish has gone from strength to strength & it all started with this excellent exciting & intriguing audio drama.

    Brilliant review Tim, you given a clear concise spoiler free review my friend, i thought this was a cracking fast paced adventure with quality production values & a cleverly weaved multi-Doctor story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Bradley Post author

    Hi Simon.

    Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘The Sirens of Time’. I’m very pleased Big Finish went beyond their initial six stories and it’s good to have the classic Doctors and classic companions reunite for new adventures on audio for us fans to enjoy.

    My introduction to Big Finish came at a time when I was getting into the new series in 2008. It was ‘Circular Time’ that introduced me to Big Finish, but I’m glad I’ve been able to catch up on a lot of audio dramas and still enjoy them as I go through listening and reviewing them on my blog.

    Big Finish have a huge respect for ‘Doctor Who’ in both the classic and the new series. I know they come up with good stories and it’s fired my imagination in wanting to write my own fan-fiction series with the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy as I’m sure you know very well from reading my stories.

    I enjoyed hearing Sylvester, Peter and Colin in this audio drama as the three Doctors and it was so surreal to listen to them as a unit and way before ‘Five(ish) Doctors’ came along.

    Thanks for your comments, Simon.

    Tim. 🙂


    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Very pleased you still like ‘The Sirens of Time’ since it was made 20 years ago. I’m very pleased Big Finish is still going strong today.

      I hope to do a blog post about Big Finish’s 20th anniversary with ‘Doctor Who’ sometime soon. Not sure if I’ll hear ‘The Legacy of Time’ yet but I might pop in to watch/listen to the Big Finish YouTube livestream this weekend.

      Incidentally, my Series 4 ‘Doctor Who’ reviews on ‘The Sontaran Strategem’/’The Poison Sky’, ‘The Doctor’s Daughter’, ‘The Unicorn and the Wasp’, ‘Silence In The Library’/’Forest of the Dead’, ‘Midnight’, ‘Turn Left’ and ‘The Stolen Earth’/’Journey’s End’ are avaliable to check out on my blog.

      Thanks Simon.

      Tim. 🙂



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