The end of 2015 for the Main Range is the now regular four part release. In the recent years there has been Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories and Breaking Bubbles and Other Stories. This year it’s the turn of the Seventh Doctor and Ace and the four single part stories have a link where the Doctor is letting Ace pilot the TARDIS. After the rather downbeat run of adventures with the departure of Hex, it was nice to have a more upbeat release. The thing about single stories is that I have in the past been rather down on them because I don’t think that 25 minutes is necessarily long enough to tell a story. Sometimes it works but its taken a long time for me to warm to the idea.
The first story You Are The Doctor was written by John Dorney and this is my favourite of the four stories. This sees the Doctor and Ace getting killed over and over again by the Porcians and the format reminded me of those books where you are given a choice and go to one page for one option and go to another page for the other option. The format worked well in this case and it was a highly amusing story. The second release written by Jamie Anderson (son of Thunderbirds creator Gerry) wrote Come Die With Me and see the Doctor trying to solve a puzzle that could result in his death if he gets it wrong. It was entertaining enough but it would be nice to see what Anderson could do with a four part adventure. His previous writing credits for Big Finish have been for the Terrahawks range and so with the Doctor Who range is something that could end up well based on what I heard in this release.
The third part sees Christopher Cooper make his debut for Big Finish with Grand Betelgeuse Hotel is an ok debut but I think that it suffered from being lost in the shuffle and like Anderson is someone that could well with a four part adventure. The final release is from another newbie with Matthew J Elliot writing Dead to the World was a story that could easily have been opened up to four episodes and sees an alien threat head towards earth and that is something that the Doctor hoped would never happen. I think the idea of a race that strikes fear into the Doctor was slightly wasted on a 25 minute format and this is where my reservations come from in the case of the single episode format.
You Are The Doctors and Other Stories is a good release and if it means that we get new writers that could show us what they are capable of then I will happily see more of these sort of releases. On the directing front I thought that Ken Bentley did well keeping four different stories flow just as well as the one that came before it. Bentley is the sort of director that you would want in this sort of situation. End of 2015 ended in good fashion.