This is the thirty third release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Paul McGann as Eight and India Fisher as Charlotte Pollard. There are four episodes, roughly 35-40 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes.
This release is the sixth in the second miniseries of Eighth Doc stories, through which there is a loose story arc revolving around Charlotte Pollard's rescue from the R101 by the Doc back in their first adventure. This is the final story in the arc, and ties up the threads while blasting the door open for Zagreus and the boundary pushing Eighth Doc adventures that follow.
The story is a bit hard to summarise. Suffice to say that the Time Lords are a bit narked at the Doctor and his recklessness in saving Charlie. They have been firefighting, trying to contain the damage done, and now are trying to capture Eight and Charlie to properly resolve the situation. This leads them into a thrilling adventure in the universe of anti time, machinations of the Celestial Intervention Agency, a welcome return for Lalla Ward as Romana, some pretty hacked off ghosts, a meeting with an ancient and powerful time lord from the depths of Gallifreyan mythology, and the possible end of all time as we know it. Can the Doc save the Universe, Charlie and time itself?
It's a thrilling ride, full of complex sci fi concepts that are clearly exposited and it turns into a story that just draws you in and leaves you breathless for more. McGann carries it with a charismatic performance, full of energy and humour but able to get serious as the occasion demands, which leads to a very powerful ending.
It's a corker, but it does rely on you having heard some of the preceding nine Eigth Doc stories so not a good place for beginners to start. But for avid fans this is a classic adventure that will have you begging for more. 5 stars.
on 18 February 2009
Quite simply this is one of the best Big Finish audios of all time. Ok, so you do need to have heard the previous 8th Doctor audios to understand it but its worth buying them all.
"Neverland" feels very like a series finale on TV where many plot threads come together to form an explosive story. And what a story. It moves along at a blistering pace and you genuinly don't know whats going to happen next. Add to that a brilliant ending (I wont spoil the ending, but WOW) and you have a truely great Doctor Who adventure.
This is the 33rd story in the Main Range series by Big Finish, first released in 2002. Written by Alan Barnes, this story features the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann), travelling with Charley (India Fisher). The story is notably longer than most of these earlier Big Finish releases, at 150 minutes, and only over two episodes on the two cds, so there is a lot of room for slow burning tension to be built up, and for the listener to be fully absorbed in the unfolding story. This is a story where the arc of Charley Pollard builds to a climax, of sorts. The story is also notable for featuring a Gallifreyan theme, strongly, and to feature Timelords themselves – including the President Romanadvoratrelundar, and Coordinator of the CIA, Vansell.
In the last few stories, where the Doctor and Charley have been travelling together since the Doctor rescued Charley from the destruction of the R-101, the Doctor has been growing increasingly concerned with odd anomalies in the timeline. Now it seems that Charley’s rescue from her apparently preordained ‘fate’ has created an issue for the entire universe, and it may be all too much for the Doctor to be able to resolve.
On Gallifrey, the Timelords are concerned about the unravelling integrity of the Matrix. When they plot the emanations of the timeline anomalies, they find a disturbing truth. And it’s one that requires the Doctor to make a sacrifice, one he may well not be prepared to make.
This story does neatly wrap up, for now at least, the arc with Charley, but as to where it ultimately goes, we need to wait until the 50th release, Zagreus. At the end of this story, some people have met their doom, others have been redeemed, others have learned some harsh lessons, and the Doctor … well, the Doctor doesn’t seem to be quite himself.
I think the strength of the story is in its plot, in its strong Gallifreyan tones, in the top-notch performances by Paul McGann and Lalla Ward, and by Anthony Keetch as Vansell. The sound, and production values are excellent. I found some of the flippancy of the Eighth Doctor rather offputting in this story, and not quite true to what I believe his reactions would have been. But overall, a strong story, and one which has come about naturally from the previous stories, and which now naturally flows into the 50th release, Zagreus, where we pick up the story from here.
on 12 December 2010
This adventure is absolutely wonderful. It's brings to a close a season of six 8th Doctor Adventures with the return of former companion Romana, now President in a dark tale with the entire universe in crisis. Fairly standard Doctor Who stuff ... well it is, but while many audio dramas can be very good, very few move you quite as much as this one does. Numerous times you are stranded between being on the edge of your seat and being distraught. It is every bit as good as some of new TV series' finales where, when it's over you feel emotionally rung dry, and yet immensely satisfied.
I would agree with other reviews - you do need to have listened to some of the rest of the season to really get a good feel for it, but as with most of the TV series' finales you need to get a feel for the characters in order to fully appreciate the end. That's ok though, as most the other 5 adventures are brilliant too!
on 30 October 2007
The Doctor and Charley have to face up to the reality of their situation - Charley should have died when the R-101 airship crashed in the 1930s. The Time Lords intend to make the Doctor answer for his interference, but is that all they desire? In truth, their interest lies with Charley more than the Doctor, as she represents the key to accessing a domain outside of time and the possibility of the return of a hero of Gallifrey... or, perhaps, its final doom.
Another excellent audio adventure from Big Finish, 'Neverland' draws to a close a arc story around Charley and her true fate. Featuring Time Lords, Romana, Battle TARDIS and temporal warfare, this is a cracking tale. You would certainly benefit from listening to a few of the earlier adventures to get the most out of it - which is why I have given it 4 instead of 5 stars. You couldn't really call this a stand alone storyline!