Ravenous I

Big Finish Box Set

1.1 Their Finest Hour by John Dorney

In the early days of the Second World War a strange and elusive craft attacks British targets. Could it be a German superweapon? Churchill calls for the Doctor’s assistance and with the help of a squadron of Polish fighter pilots the TARDIS crew take to the skies to investigate.

A call from Winston Churchill brings the Doctor and Liv on a detour to WWII while the TARDIS is calculating Helen’s whereabouts. There are mysterious things going on, with destruction on a grand scale, all leading up to the Battle of Britain, which happens just after this audio finishes, from the hints I was hearing. The Doctor and Liv go on the offensive, looking for the invisible craft that is destroying weapon depots and factories. Something is visiting from another world (a Heliyon spaceship) and it’s trying to turn the tide of war to the German side. And what that something is? That’s a really fun reveal that I won’t spoil here but I rather enjoyed it. A plot device I’ve heard/seen used before but it works well here.

1.2 How to Make a Killing in Time Travel by John Dorney

A disturbance in the vortex causes the TARDIS to land on the Scapegrace space station, where Cornelius Morningstar experiments in time-travel for nefarious purposes. But the Doctor’s plan to stop him winds dangerously out of control as the different agendas of criminals, murderers and alien dynasties conspire against him.

Somewhat forgettable, this story begins with Stralla and her boss, Cornelius Morningstar, in a confrontation over her attempts at creating a temporal wormhole. But the Doctor’s been diverted by her wormhole so he shows up to turn it off so he can leave. However Stralla isn’t as stable as she seems, making her a most interesting character as she isn’t your standard scientist in Dr Who, that’s for sure! So there’s a murder mystery, a battle between brother and sister, and deadly danger for all. It’s a fun romp but not one I’d care to repeat.

1.3 World of Damnation by Matt Fitton

Rykerzon is a maximum-security planetoid designed to hold the most dangerous criminals in the star system. The Governor plans to reform its inmates, with the help of the Kandyman. But two prisoners prove particularly troublesome: the alien fugitives known as the Eleven, and Miss Helen Sinclair.

The Doctor and Liv have finally tracked down their friend - but are they too late?

So the Doctor and Liv Chenka have finally found their friend Helen. She’s at Rykerzon, a maximum-security planetoid that contains criminals galore. Criminals whose minds are being bent and controlled by the concoctions of the Kandyman, working for the governor. Or so he thinks… This story is really just a setup for the next one, Sweet Salvation, with people wandering about and the mystery of what’s really going on being solved. Not a favorite, despite the introduction of the Kandyman.

1.4 Sweet Salvation by Matt Fitton

The Eleven has the authorities in the palm of his hand and an entire world held to ransom when the Kandyman cooks up a deadly confection containing a secret ingredient. In a last-ditch attempt to prevent disaster Liv teams up with a desperate criminal, and the Doctor must decide whether Helen is still his friend.

Throughout this story I wanted to just yell at Helen “Tell him!” She never tells the Doctor about her sonamancer powers and I just want to shake her. He somehow knows that she isn’t telling something but Liv trusts her and that gets them through. It’s just frustrating to me as I don’t expect that it would change anything. But maybe the Doctor would think that by having those powers, she’s been taken over by the Sonamancer? And is there no struggle within herself to contain the powers? She appears to be able to just not use them and be done with it. How very odd but it shows that she’s not dependent on them, that’s for sure.

So this story sees the end of the first set of Ravenous and it’s a hum-dinger of a tale! The Doctor and Liv have found Helen but rescuing her could be tricky with the Kandyman and the Eleven around, running the show. Though their teamwork is tenuous at best as the Eleven seems to want a better sidekick, more reliable. Like Helen! Helen who saves him but then he doesn’t want to be saved. There are moments that are supposed to be a connection between Helen and the Eleven that I just didn’t really get the feeling of camaraderie from that I was expecting. But the surrounding story is amazing and a serious romp, with a whole planet for the Eleven to take over. Subdue the populace and victory shall be yours! The Kandyman really is a genius in the kitchen but not much else. Can’t wait for #2! Who really did survive… (always the bad guys, of course!)

Paul McGann(The Doctor),Nicola Walker(Liv Chenka),Hattie Morahan(Helen Sinclair),Mark Bonnar(The Eleven),Ian McNeice(Sir Winston Churchill),Laurence Dobiesz(Wilhelm Rozycki),Gyuri Sarossy(Jan Ostowicz),Tracy Wiles(Secretary / Ground Control),Beth Chalmers(The Heliyon),Roger May(Cornelius Morningstar / Verdarn),Judith Roddy(Stralla Cushing),Sarah Lambie(Gorl),Jane Booker(Dron / Yetana),Christopher Ryan(Macy),Nicholas Rowe(The Kandyman),Amerjit Deu(Governor),Charlie Condou(Crabhead / System / Jarl),Pippa Bennett-Warner(Ruzalla),Beth Goddard(Ludina Braskell). Other parts played by members of the cast.

Writer: John Dorney, Matt Fitton

Director: Ken Bentley

Release: April 2018

Laura Vilensky 2019