A blockbuster nautical tale of ships, shipwrecks and legends from below the waves engulfs the Sixth Doctor and Jamie. Can the Doctor fully fathom what’s going on – or is even ‘Old Sixie’ out of his depth this time…? 5* (4 episodes, 2 CDs, 115 minutes + extras)
‘The Wreck of the Titan’ is the hugely enjoyable middle story in the Sixth Doctor and Jamie trilogy, linking ‘City of Spires’ and ‘Legend of the Cybermen’. (In the Doctor’s timeline, it actually follows the ‘extra’ second story in the ‘trilogy’, the magnificent Companion Chronicle ‘Night's Black Agents’, which should not be missed.) You could enjoy it as a standalone story, enough explanation is provided if you haven’t heard the earlier instalments, but the mystery that runs through all three stories to this point (including ‘Night's Black Agents’) is much more satisfying if followed from the beginning. And you may even solve it before the Doctor does…
The Doctor wants his old friend Jamie to have a really special first trip in the TARDIS since their unexpected reunion – ‘a night to remember’ - a first-class crossing to New York on the ‘Queen Mary’, 1936. And for once, the Doctor even has tickets! A pity then that it seems he’s landed them on the wrong ship, in the wrong time, on the worst possible night… and that’s only the start of their problems…
Barnaby Edwards’ story is a splendid maritime epic that shifts and changes shape on the Doctor (and the listener) not once, but several times, as the Doctor desperately fishes for one theory after another to explain the increasingly incredible events that he and Jamie are living through. Just when we think he’s getting to the bottom of things, a new wave of events breaks over them and leaves them floundering again. It’s great fun to listen to with never a dull moment, but with time for some of the quieter character scenes that the best ‘Doctor Who’ scripts are so good at. One elegiac soliloquy in Episode 2 is enough to bring a lump to the throat of any long-time fan, even though we *know* everything will be alright – there’s a trilogy to complete after all!
There’s definitely the feel of a cinematic action epic of a bygone age about this wonderful story; one made back in the days before CGI, when huge sets had to be built for real, and real waves and ‘real’ monsters broke over them. The music and sound design are always great in these ‘Big Finish’ productions, but Howard Carter’s creations for ‘The Wreck of the Titan’ are outstanding. The spectacularly filmic score is a perfect match for the scale and flow of the story; this will be obvious to every listener, but it was fascinating to read the details revealing why it works so well, in the Musician’s Notes in the CD booklet.
Colin Baker and Frazer Hines are a delight to listen to as always and so are their characters. With two adventures behind them since the Sixth Doctor was give a second chance to travel with (by now middle-aged) Jamie in an improbable version of the Highlands, their old matey rapport is back in full flow. Miranda Raison and Matt Addis play superb companions for the trilogy regulars throughout this story. I won’t say more about their characters because that’s part of the mystery, but they provide all the heroism, humour and even romance that the guest stars of any silver screen adventure should.
The two opening episodes are carried (superbly) by just the four excellent actors and the ingenious story – a trick the classic series very occasionally used, to equally memorable effect. Then comes the half-time cliffhanger… and it’s a beauty! A thrilling moment in its own right, for me it was also the point when the clues contained in ‘City of Spires’ and the strong suspicions growing through ‘Night's Black Agents’ all fell into place, logically and impossibly… By that point in the saga many fans will guess exactly where the Doctor is, but it takes him another two episodes cleverly strewn with a shoal of red herrings to work it out… then, as realisation hits: “Oh Jamie!” (And I’m guessing that it’s probably even worse than either of them think…)
Alexander Siddig and Christopher Fairbank complete the small but especially strong cast for those two closing episodes, as their enigmatic characters pull the Doctor and his companions still deeper into classic aquatic action with celebrated powers of the sea. But what are they doing here at all? With ideas and theories swirling around him, the Doctor is swept along by the rush of events until… everything becomes terribly clear… and the final part of the trilogy can begin!
This is a terrific adventure for a great Doctor and companion pairing, with a top guest cast, excellent script and outstanding music and sound design. And a cliff-hanger ending encounter that practically guarantees you’ll want to immerse yourself in the next story, as the ‘Legend of the Cybermen’ unfolds… 5*
(Disc 1 has a 10 minute suite of the excellent incidental music after the episodes and 15 minutes of enjoyable and informative documentary tracks follow the episodes on disc 2. The CD booklet has cast photos and interesting Writer’s and Musician’s Notes.)
Another Doctor Who audio story, featuring Colin Baker as the Doctor. His companion here is Frazer Hines as Jamie. Who has returned to the TARDIS. This one follows right on from Dr Who City of Spires CD (Dr Who Big Finish) (Doctor Who). And these two do feel like chapters in one big story, so it's best to have heard that before hearing this.
The story Dr Who Nights Black Agents CD (Dr Who Big Finish Companion) (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) actually comes in between the two but that's a bit of a sidestep and you can hear this main trilogy without hearing that.
This particular story runs for four episodes, spread over two discs, and each part runs from twenty five to thirty two minutes approx. It sees the Doctor endavouring to take Jamie on a trip on the Queen Mary. Only to find that they've landed on the Titanic. On a fateful evening in 1912.
Whilst attempting to get back to the TARDIS and escape strange things begin to happen. And that's only the start of an epic journey involving several fantastical vehicles, desperate attempts to survive, and hints of something much bigger going on that the Doctor is now in the middle of.
Episode one fairly flies by, and allows for some great dialogue and character moments as Jamie and the Doctor both make new friends. Jamie's dialgoue is excellent and so in keeping with the character. He's not dumb, but there are things he simply doesn't know.
Part two sees the pace drop off a little slightly as this becomes a more linear tale. One of survival in extreme environments. All of which are well created although the music does feel a little intrusive at points.
Things shift in part three when the bigger story begins to come into play. After a fair bit of hinting as to what's going on this does manage some good drama. And then finally part four ends with what the two stories so far have been building up to. One very big cliffhanger. That actually will make you look at city of spires in a different light. But won't have as much impact on those who don't know the continuity of the original version of the show as it will on those who do.
So whilst this doesn't quite live up to the promise of part one and it is again a chapter in something bigger it's an entertaining bit of writing with some good delights on the way. And those who fall in the latter of the above mentioned groups will like that ending.
Disc one has a trailer for the third part of the trilogy at the start of it, and roughly nine minutes of the music from the story on it's own on it's final track.
Disc two ends with roughly fifteen minutes of interviews with cast and crew. The trailer and interviews should ideally be listened to after the story to avoid minor spoilers.
The third part of the trilogy is Dr Who Legend of the Cybermen (Doctor Who). It will pick up from where this one finishes. And it should on the basis of the story so far, be well worth a listen.
This is the hundred and thirty fourth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Colin Baker as old Sixie, and features a very welcome return to the series of fan favourite Frazier Hines as the irrepressible Jamie McCrimmon. There are four episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with cliffhangers and original theme music between each. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes. This is the second in a trilogy of three linked adventures to feature Jamie. There are some interviews with cast and crew at the end of the second disc and a few minutes of the soundtrack at the end of disc 1.
This is the second instalment in the joyously good `Jamie' trilogy from Big Finish. Following the events of `City of Spires', old Sixie decides to show the older Jamie the wonders of the Universe, to replace or even reawaken those memories that were wiped by the Time Lords. And of course to enjoy the company of his old friend once again. Landing the TARDIS on what he thinks is the Queen Mary; things soon start to go awry when the name of the ship turns out to be the Titanic. Or is that the Titan? It is clear that not all is as it seems as the pair and a few new found friends sail through what seems to be a shifting reality. The only thing that seems solid and real is the iceberg...
This is a fun adventure on many levels. It is a joy to hear Colin Baker's pompous and egotistical Six come up against a problem that he cannot understand, no matter how many theories he tries. All his compassion is there, and there is a definite bond between him and Frazier Hines' Jamie, which combine to result in a quite moving scene when it appears that the worst has happened to Jamie. Added to this is a loquacious script that gives Baker plenty of meaty dialogue to wrap himself around, and Frazier plenty of time to charm us with his delightful Scottish brogue.
The first two episodes are almost straightforward, setting up an unstable reality and then dealing with the aftermath of the iceberg. These are fun and exciting, but halfway through the story, from the beginning of episode three, things take an even stranger turn when some very improbable rescuers turn up. More adventure follows as we are kept continually off balance. There are clues here as to what is going on, and long time fans of the series (especially the Troughton era) may well latch on before the big reveal. But the big reveal when it comes is a shocker, and well worth the wait. It finishes on a bit of a cliffhanger, leading into the final part of the trilogy, `Legend Of The Cybermen'.
It's a brilliant story, 5 stars.
This is the second story of a trilogy which is rather unusual, in that it features Jamie McCrimmon, who travelled with the Second Doctor (as played by Patrick Troughton), teamed with the Sixth Doctor, played by Colin Baker. So far, in the first story of the Trilogy, City of Spires, the Doctor has been reunited with his old friend Jamie, who doesn’t remember him at all. Together they foiled the plans of the Overlord, and have returned to find the Tardis. In the Companion Chronicle that fits in between City of Spires and The Wreck of the Titan the Doctor and Jamie have had further adventures in trying to get back to the Tardis, and in this story we now pick them up as they land. The Doctor has taken Jamie on his first ‘real’ trip in the Tardis, and thought he would use tickets that he has for travelling on the Queen Mary in 1936. Only, as Jamie is happy to point out, it’s not 1936 at all, and they’re not on the Queen Mary.
This is a brilliant story, and a fantastic second story in the trilogy. Sometimes second stories can fall between two stools somewhat, as they have to bridge from the first to the third story in an interlinked trilogy, and sometimes don’t stand quite so well on their own. But this story, written by Barnaby Edwards, is a treasure. Much of that lies in the way he has written Jamie and the Doctor, and the rest is due to the story itself. Jamie and the Sixth Doctor have a great relationship and Frazer Hines and Colin Baker have played this up really well. They have a great camaraderie, and this shows in every scene they do; and yet they are both strong enough characters to carry scenes on their own with total skill as well. Edwards has written Jamie perfectly, for those of us remember him from his travels with Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor in the 1960s.
The story itself is a really clever one. Playing on literary and historical and cultural conventions of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the writer has given us a story where Jamie and the Doctor are for large parts of the story having their own struggles to survive, and yet for much of the story the Doctor has still to try and work out what exactly is going on around them. The breadth and depth of the story is huge, with panoramic widescreen vision, and it is presented perfectly to the listener with a very small cast (Colin Baker and Frazer Hines work with only four other actors throughout), and in very well scripted scenes, where the audience can understand what’s being played out in front of them with no problem at all. You feel like you can ‘see’ this story unfolding across the giant screen, and it’s a ‘visual’ delight throughout. At the end, we are left waiting with a sharp intake of breath as we realise where the Doctor and Jamie are, and who they’ve just met, and we wonder what will happen in the third and final instalment of the trilogy coming next, Legend of the Cybermen.
on 31 May 2010
Following on from the previous Big Finish adventure, 'City of Spires', 'The Wreck of the Titan' sees the Doctor taking Jamie for a luxurious trip aboard the Queen Mary - only for the pair to find themselves on the Titanic, heading for its famous rendezvous with an iceberg in the mid-Atlantic during its maiden voyage. But something isn't right, and it soon becomes clear that all isn't as it immediately seems.
It would be difficult to describe much of the rest of the plot without giving away some of the play's surprises - suffice to say that 'The Wreck of the Titan' takes its inspiration not just from the Titanic, but also the novella with which the play shares its name, a real life curiosity which was published 14 years prior to the Titanic's ill-fated maiden voyage, and detailed a surprisingly similar maritime disaster. There are other literary allusions to, specifically to the work of Jules Verne, and frankly, the story becomes more and more intriguing with each twist. The listener - to say nothing of the Doctor - is kept guessing throughout as to what is really going on, and the eventual revelation is something that should set spines tingling among longer-term 'Doctor Who' fans.
It would be easy to criticise 'The Wreck of the Titan' for a lack of a proper resolution - it shouldn't spoil too much to reveal that it ends on a cliffhanger which leads into the third and final chapter of the Jamie trilogy, 'Legend of the Cybermen'. But whilst it's markedly different from the previous instalment, it's clear that this is the mid-point in a single, epic story. Listeners left with questions following 'City of Spires' will find some illumination here, but this story poses new ones too. It's easy to forgive the play its frustrations, though, as it's a very well crafted tale with a real epic feel to it. The sound design and music leaves you in no doubt that this is 'Doctor Who' on a scale which even the incredibly ambitious modern TV series would struggle to manage. It also boasts a great cast - Frazer Hines once again makes Jamie every bit the heroic leading man viewers of the Patrick Troughton era know and love, and it's easy to forget he's supposed to be decades older than he appeared on TV. 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Alexander Siddig plays a famous maritime adventurer who may not be all he seems, and Miranda Raison plays dual roles, one of which evokes strong memories of her turn as Tallulah in the TV show's 'Daleks In Manhattan'.
If you're looking for a one-off adventure, this probably isn't it - although it should be possible to follow the story, you'll get so much more by starting with 'City of Spires' - but it *is* a thoroughly gripping audio adventure that keeps you on the edge of your seat from its mysterious beginning to its surprising end.
on 9 February 2015
Jamie's back! I know that this is the middle story of a three-part run, but as I have not heard either of the others I cannot comment on how this fits in with the overall story arc, but no matter. This is a great standalone story with a much older Jamie and the Sixth Doctor, Frazer Hines and Colin Baker at their very best.
This is an epic story that would make a great film, or a great two or three part TV adventure. The amazing sound effects and incredible music bring the story so much to life that you can imagine it as clearly as if you really are watching it.
The story begins simply. The Doctor wants to give Jamie a treat....a cruise on the Queen Mary. They quickly discover that they are not where they think they are. They have landed on the Titanic.....but a Titanic with missing passengers and doors that are welded shut? Where are they? Can this really be the Titanic? How come the books in the library are empty?
Shipwrecked, chased by polar bears, trapped inside a sunken ship with no way out, the Nautilus, Captain Nemo himself complete with giant squid and a giant whirlpool and for fans of the classic series a twist at the end that you will not be expecting, I found this exciting and thoroughly enjoyable. Included is a bonus recording of the brilliant music, plus members of the cast reminisce about the recording of this adventure. Worth every penny!
on 6 June 2010
The second Doctor's most stalwart companion, the impetuous Highlander Jamie McCrimmon, continues his journeys with the Sixth incarnation of the Time Lord after the pair were reunited in preceding story Dr Who City of Spires CD (Dr Who Big Finish) (Doctor Who).
Whereas the previous adventure really focused on the renewed relationship between the pair, this one really gets into the story, and when the travellers find themselves aboard what appears to be the doomed ship HMS Titanic, The Doctor has to use all his wits to save himself and his companion from a date with Davy Jones. However it soon becomes apparent that all is not as it seems, and when the Nautilus appears from beneath the waves the Time Lord begins to realise that an old and dangerous opponent has reared his head once more...
Frazer Hines and Colin Baker seem to pick up nicely from where they left off at the end of 1984 TV serial Doctor Who - The Two Doctors  [DVD] , while the supporting cast are all excellent. With a fast-paced adventure full of intrigue, and a spine-tingling (for old fans) cliffhanger ending, this is another fine audio play from Big Finish and a tantalising lead-in to the final part of the Doctor/Jamie trilogy.
on 28 October 2015
To have Doctor Who and the Titanic come together is like a dream come true. It is even better when your all fictional Hero (The Doctor) mentions one of your real heroes (Wallace Hartley- Titanic Band Leader), I think it is a great adventure, superb and definitely worth a listen.
on 21 May 2010
I was less keen on the first part of this trilogy that Big Finish are doing, which feature's Colin Baker's Doctor and Frazer Hines in a welcome return as Jamie McCrimmon (Dr Who City of Spires CD (Dr Who Big Finish) (Doctor Who)). I felt that it was a little too obviously the first part of a trilogy, and considering it's length, wasn't a particularly satisfying story.
Anyway, this story picks up where the previous one left off. The Doctor and Jamie arrive on a ship - as it transpires an incredibly famous ship (The Titanic - no spoiler, you find this out immediately). However, all is not as it seems. Over the two discs, the story is filled with intrigue and misdirection. It's not particularly complicated, mind you, more a series of reveals that the Doctor has been wrong about what is happening. This is also quite a literary story (though if there's anything you're unfamiliar with, they do explain it). Jamie, The Doctor and the other main characters from this story meet up with a number of famous characters from fiction (including people from 20,000 Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea). Often, the Doctor has a clear idea of the situation that they find themselves in (not, obviously, always) but in this story, every theory that the Doctor has proves to be wrong - until the end, when there is a final reveal letting the characters and the listeners know where they've been for the whole time. No spoilers, but what you think of the reveal at the end here depends largely on your attitude to continuity in Doctor Who. I think it works well enough, but some might find it a tad irritating.
Colin Baker and Frazer Hines are, as always, excellent (as is the small supporting cast); the story, although it doesn't *really* have a resolution, (in much the same way as the previous story) moves along at a good pace, most enjoyable. It messes about a little with reality (in, I suppose, the way that the previous episode did? Though the reasons for that were different - as far as I know, need to wait for the resolution in the next episode). It does link back to some of what was going on in the previous episode (mainly the "black water") - which does make one feel a little better disposed to that story.
This does stand-alone a *little* better than the last (I think it's just a better story than City of Spires was). That said, unfortunately, I think that to get the full enjoyment from this, you'll need to hear the next part.
As with all the Big Finish CDs, it also has an entertaining "extra" section at the end. Always nice to hear these.
An exciting little story, which, hopefully should link up well with the next part Dr Who Legend of the Cybermen (Dr Who Big Finish).