- Best Main Range Story
- Best Writer (Marc Platt)
- Best Director (Barnaby Edwards)
- Best Cover Design (Alex Mallinson)
- Best Music & Sound Design (Jamie Robertson)
- Best Guest Star (David Schneider as Ernest Bratfish)
This is the first series of Eighth Doctor stories since Big Finish started doing a series of stories in 2009. This is McGann’s first story since ‘The The Death’ in March 2011. Now lets review this story at the very beginning. The Eighth Doctor gets a brand new theme tune which totally took me by surprise. I actually started again when it ended because I wasn’t quite sure what I thought of it and to be honest I still don’t. I think as time goes by it will be grow on me but it was a clear indication that this was a new era and that Lucie Miller is in the past or the future depending on where the Mary Shelley stuff happens in the Eighth Doctor’s timeline. Written by Marc Platt this is the first Cybermen story since ‘Legend of the Cybermen’ in June 2010. It’s fair to say that Cybermen have been treated far better by Big Finish than by Steven Moffat and Russell T Davies on TV.
Mary Shelley first appeared in the 2009 story ‘Company of Friends’ and if I’m honest I cant say that I was that desperate for her to return. However Big Finish do have a good track record with bringing things back that don’t instantly scream out as a massively popular thing. Julie Cox has returned to reprise her role as the famous author. The story takes places in Vienna where the Doctor and Mary stumble across a Cybermen who is being paraded around as ‘The Silver Turk’. The story starts off as an attempt for the Doctor to try and destroy them but then it moves on to trying to convince Mary Shelley about how evil they are. It’s the classic moment from the 2005 adventure when the Doctor tries to convince Rose about the Daleks being evil but the Doctor being too blinded about their evilness. This is something that is done very well in this story but it doesn’t take over the story and makes way for the proper story.
I like how this story ties in to the events of The Tenth Planet, the idea is that the Cybermen that we have in this story are trying to send a signal to Mondas, quite like ‘The Elite’ where the lone Dalek is trying to send a signal to be rescued. My interest in this story started the moment I saw the cover and realised they were using the original Cybermen design which in my opinion was the best design because it looks the most human whilst at the same time looks alien. The voice sounded right as well and it gives Nicholas Briggs the opportunity to do his usual Cyberman voice. Paul McGann is very good as the Doctor. His performance seems different to the sort that we were use to when Sheridan Smith was staring with him and Julie Cox affords him the chance to play the Doctor differently. Julie Cox does well with a role which is clearly going to have limitations when the stories start going into space or in the future but for this story, Cox does a good job and has some good scenes. The big name for me in this story was David Schneider who has appeared in countless comedies over the last twenty years or so. For me he is the guy who plays the BBC executive who wouldn’t commission Alan Patridge’s Monkey Tennis. His role in this was slightly comedic and I actually thought the tone was just right and as a result Schneider’s performance was very enjoyable.
The final part of the story is a bit of an odd ending because it is implying either that the fake Doctor will return in a future story or just that it’s kind of fun to think that the fake Doctor is around. I don’t know what it is but to be honest I don’t think they should have ended like that. The Silver Turk is a mixed story. It starts off well and loses its way in the middle before finding it again and ending on high. It’s a typical Marc Platt script and that’s why it manages to hold itself together and become an enjoyable story and whilst it’s a bit of an underwhelming story to Mary Shelley’s time in the TARDIS, the future looks good.