Comment on Eighth Doctor Drabbles

  1. Well don't take anything I wrote as gospel, I made it all up to explain what happened. It's interesting they decided not to show us what would be the more typical episode (the running down corridors and defeating the bad guy) and instead leapfrogged us forward to what happened after.

    Re. Vortisaurs: Of course you want to pet one! I haven't listened to this episode recently, did they mention that Eight (sort of) had a pet Vortisaur named Ramsay when he was traveling with Charley Pollard? Evidently they also feature in some of the Eighth Doctor books.

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    1. Escher Snakes

      I thought it was an effective narrative choice, actually, even though I had to work harder at the beginning of the ep -- we've seen enough of the running down corridors defeating bad guys that we can fill in quite a lot for ourselves, very easily. And I've always always loved the implications of interstitial adventures between official episodes; so much more scope for the imagination!

      Yes, they DID mention, when he was gentling Margaret, that he had a pet Vortisaur! But not its name, no. Storm Warning and Minuet in Hell, I see from the Tardis wikia. Now that I've reached the end of this Lucie Miller season, I'm wondering if I should jump back and pick up some of the Eight stories from the main line, seeing as I had apparently went at all this the wrong end around. Do you have any opinions?

      (And not just to pet one! A pet one, of my very own!)

      Last Edited Wed 22 Aug 2018 12:51PM EDT

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      1. Well, on the one hand, I always want more people to listen to audios because that gives me more people to talk about audios with. On the other, I don't know that there is a wrong way to get into the audios. There are so many potential entry points and the one you picked is as good as any other. I also, as you know, have a tendency to listen to things out of order (Continuity is not the boss of me!) so I have no room to tell ANYONE that they should listen to anything in any order.

        That said, some of the early audios are fantastic. Others, like all the early Doctor Who stuff, are...bad. You can tell Big Finish were still finding their footing with the stories. The early audios feature a very different sort of Eighth Doctor - more Tigger than Eeyore and more in keeping with the movie version than what you heard with the older, more sarcastic version who traveled with Lucie. Also, knowing the backstory always makes things make more sense; for example, the Doctor saying "I could become so much worse than this" has a bit more meaning if you've heard "Zagreus" where he is much worse.

        If any of that sounds appealing, listening to the early audios might be for you. If you have a paid subscription to Spotify you can listen to a lot of early Big Finish for free (you can listen to them if you don't pay for it too but I think the tracks may play randomly, which isn't very helpful).

        And if you really, really want a Vortisaur, you may at the very least want to listen to "Storm Warning."

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        1. Escher Snakes

          That said, some of the early audios are fantastic. Others, like all the early Doctor Who stuff, are...bad. You can tell Big Finish were still finding their footing with the stories.

          You know, I've been wondering why I've been enjoying these so well, when I've been so meh about their Holmes audios. Part of it, I think, is that I simply don't agree with them on what makes for a worthwhile Holmes story. But it sounds like I might also have lucked into a better run of Who audios.

          And if you really, really want a Vortisaur, you may at the very least want to listen to "Storm Warning."

          I'm listening to Shada right now, but it sounds like I might have to go for Storm Warning next.

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          1. SHADA! I was just thinking about that story. The CD used to live in my car, but I was on a road trip last week, realized I'd left it at home, and was irked with myself. I know the characterization in it isn't exactly right, since it was written for the Fourth Doctor and although Eight and Four are similar (particularly in their early years) they aren't exactly the same Doctor, but I really enjoyed it. Lalla Ward's Romana is very good in it. I love that she's essentially writing Doctor Who fan fiction from the president's office on Gallifrey when it starts.

            If you decide to listen to "Storm Warning," you'll probably get a sense of whether you want to listen to the rest of the earlier stories. Much like the Lucie season you listened to, that first Eighth Doctor "season" (let's say "Storm Warning" through "Zagreus") is very much planned as a set in that elements of each story build toward the big finale. You could probably skip around if you wanted, but you will miss things about the overarching mystery. Of that season, my favorites are "The Chimes of Midnight" (which is among practically everyone's favorites), "Seasons of Fear" (which I relisten to regularly), and "Zagreus." "Sword of Orion" and "Embrace the Darkness" are solid science fiction stories. The rest...well, I was indifferent to some of them and others I outright HATED, some of which might have been unfair since bad American accents REALLY irk me and I couldn't get past that while listening.

            Last Edited Thu 23 Aug 2018 08:09AM EDT

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            1. Escher Snakes

              (Coming back post-"Storm Warning"...)

              Thanks for the heads-up about there being an arc -- I wouldn't have caught that, from just this first story.

              You know, the American accents in Holmesian things are always terrible, too -- so terribly distractingly broad and exaggerated, with such inappropriate regionalisms! Sometimes I can listen to them fondly, but sometimes I just... can't. For myself, I could have done without the Geronimo/"How" stuff in "Storm Warning." (I know it was just a throwaway, but Brits always fuck up Native stuff in the most 1950s way possible.)

              That aside, that episode was solid fun -- I see what you mean about this being a more Tiggery version of the character. (And I *still* don't know if I want to continue on in a Lucie or a Charlie direction for now!)

              Oh, and one more thing: I still absolutely want a vortisaur.

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              1. No, I'm with you on the Geronimo bit in "Storm Warning." I had no recollection of it being there so it took me by unpleasant surprise when I listened this time around. I really should have warned you about it - I'm sorry about that.

                As far Charley or Lucie, they both have good episodes and they both have some clunkers. I don't know if you can really go wrong either way. Although if you decide to continue with Charley, unless you're someone who has to watch/listen to every episode, I'd advise skipping some altogether. It is not worth it to suffer through "Minuet in Hell" just for the 2 minutes of Ramsey leaving the TARDIS in the beginning of the audio and the story doesn't add to the arc enough for you to miss much by skipping it. "The Stones of Venice" is bad but, if I remember correctly, at least somewhat less painful; I don't think it adds to the arc at all. I haven't relistened to "Invaders from Mars" yet but I remember detesting it just as much as "Minuet" the first time around so that's not promising. And I remember absolutely nothing about "The Time of the Daleks" other than "Foreshadowing" takes place right after it.

                I can't give you much advice on Lucie's second season since all I remember is a vague sense of being impatient and unhappy with it, but that could have been me just being grumpy for reasons we've already discussed.

                And I'm not surprised - Vortisaurs are cool!

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