It is safe to say if you are an Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) fan, Big Finish has spoilt us this year. The 8th Doctor has had so many appearances across his timeline this year. Over the past few months, the Eighth Doctor has been everywhere, from Doctor Who: Once & Future to meeting up with the Paternoster Gang in “Trespassers“. The latest addition to the long-running Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor Adventures range is just the icing on the cake!
The Eighth Doctor Adventures: Audacity is out now from Big Finish Productions! But just what do these new adventures have in store for this fan favourite Doctor? Who’s this new companion set to shake up the TARDIS? And what frightening foes do this new duo battle with? All this and more in my review of the latest Eighth Doctor adventures!
A New Era of Adventure
We have had over 20 years of Paul McGann portraying the Eighth Doctor and making his home on Big Finish. Now, we are taking a pause on the ever-forward-looking journey and returning to the beginning of his life and early travels. I love how versatile his timeline is, able to accommodate new companions like this. In this adventure, the Doctor meets a new friend and battles with some old enemies.
Lady Audacity Montague (Jaye Griffiths) is a strong-minded and unconventional woman. We see she is of High Birth from the 19th century but has some unconventional world views, far from the norm of her time. She’s a powerful and strong-willed woman who is not afraid to speak her mind and pursue her passion. Becoming a companion, this passion includes watching and looking up at the stars. Although, as the story poses, perhaps she’s been gazing at them too closely.
Introducing this new companion may seem like a curveball, but it brings a new energy and cycle to the Eighth Doctor’s adventures. The chemistry and friendship are almost immediate. Audacity supports the Eighth Doctor but is very independent. She has a lot of inner strength fuelled by her passion and emotions. By the end of the set, even though it’s only two adventures, you feel like you have a great grasp on this new companion.
We may have a new companion that gives our ears such excitement. We have been balanced out with the returns of some familiar faces that The Doctor and Audacity face. This time, we are meeting “The Devouring” and our old metal friends, the Cybermen. These enemies are easily scariest for the imagination when listening to the stories. Of course, we have seen many versions of the Cybermen on TV, but the Devouring is another level.
I mentioned what question the story asks, with Audacity watching the stars in the sky. Well, the Devouring can watch you back. A creature that can not be seen, so the beauty of writer Lisa McMullin’s imagination and imagination Big Finish’s sound design creations comes into play. As listeners, we can come up with our own thoughts of what this being does. Action-wise, it just devours, and due to an unfortunate twist of fate, it has Audacity in its sights!
When it comes to the Cybermen, the story of “The Great Cyber-War” goes to the earliest incarnations of these emotionless machines. It’s a real treat for Cyberman fans, with their weakness to gold being a big plot point. It feels strange calling it a weakness, with them being no less brutal in the story’s gutwrenching climax. The Doctor is concerned that his presence will have an impact on the Cyber War. The Doctor being forced into a big point in the history of his biggest enemies was bound to cause some problems. Tim Foley’s two-part conclusion is a rollercoaster packed with fear and adventure!
Throughout Audacity, we see some beautiful emotional moments mixed with the high action and stakes. Yet the highlight for me is undoubtedly the partnership between the Doctor and Audacity. You believe that they can go off and have many adventures together. Audacity proves she can handle anything, including coming up against an old enemy in the Cybermen. However, she can also support the Doctor when he is most concerned and angry. We see him with his back firmly against the wall, in an intolerable situation to this incarnation of the Time Lord.
We head into the Christmas Season and await the next audio adventure with this new Tardis Team with In the Bleak Midwinter. Enjoying Christmas is something the Doctor never really gets to do, and I’m sure that the next set will be no exception. From the synopsis, it sounds like there’s nothing but danger ahead for the Doctor! However, there is a very special treat headed our way that was revealed at the end of the set. What is it? You’ll just have to buy it and find out! Without spoiling, I’m sure the upcoming set will delight longtime fans of the Eighth Doctor. What a delightful twist!
You can pick up your own copy of Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor Adventures – Audacity from Big Finish Productions. It’s available exclusively here as a collector’s edition CD boxset for just £19.99 or as a download-only copy for £16.99. For more reviews, all the latest news, and lore discussions, follow the team here at Tardis Central!