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By Paul Scoones

I've recently been enjoying a brand new Doctor Who story, and for once it's not a novel or a comic strip. Playing one episode a night, I was enthralled as the Fifth Doctor encountered strange events aboard a German U-boat in the First World War, intrigued by the Seventh Doctor's struggles in an inhospitable jungle and astounded by the sound effects as the Sixth Doctor becomes caught up in a series of what might best be described as ‘temporal shockwaves’. And all this before the three Doctors came together on Gallifrey to somehow overturn the calamity that has befallen their homeworld.

I am of course talking about The Sirens of Time, the first in a series of new Doctor Who audio adventures from Big Finish. The Big Finish adventures are, unlike the myriad of spin-off pretenders (each narrowly avoiding the strictest sense of copyright by the careful omission of certain key names), over the last decade, the real McCoy (and Baker & Davison!). They're officially recognised by the BBC - even to the extent of having production codes (The Sirens of Time is 7Z). In the absence of a new television series - and in November this year, it'll be exactly an entire decade since the regular series ended with Survival in the UK - we ought to embrace these new productions.

As yet, accessibility is a problem - the only way New Zealand fans can obtain these new stories is to order them direct from the UK, an expensive exercise that ideally requires a credit card and an internet connection. By next issue, I hope to offer an easier, possibly cheaper, local alternative, but if you have the means to do so, I thoroughly recommend purchasing The Sirens of Time. It's an experience not to be missed!


This item appeared in TSV 58 (September 1999).