MY BIG FINISH JOURNEY PART 19: RAVAGERS
After 16 years Christopher Eccleston is finally back! Back in August when it was announced he would be returning I was so excited. He is one of my favourite doctors and I have always felt it was a shame he only did one series. When his first volume was released, I instantly brought it and started listening. It was fantastic hearing him again and he was definitely the best thing about these audios. As well as this the production quality was so high it shows how far Big Finish has come in the last 22 years. Whilst Ravagers had some great moments and had production qualities you would expect from a Netflix show I think there were some problems with it. I think the story was hard to follow at times and personally I would have liked the Ninth Doctor Adventures be formatted more like how series one was with standalone stories rather than one big adventure spread over three parts. The three episodes: Sphere Of Freedom, Cataclysm and Food Fight all had some good ideas and some great moments but unfortunately it just wasn’t for me.
For me, the format and plot of Ravagers was too complicated and too all over the place. I think that Big Finish should have had three separate stories just like in series One. This would have meant the writers could have reintroduced Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor in a much better way. Whilst Eccleston’s performance was fantastic, I felt like the actor could have shone a lot more with three separate stories rather than one big story which caused me to have to concentrate way more rather than just enjoy him being back as the Doctor. The main plot of the story was that the Doctor found a planet where there were games for entertainment (very similar to the series one finale). The fears of the contestants gave an alien race called the Ravagers energy of some kind which stopped them invading the city. As you can probably tell this is already very complicated. It made it even harder to follow as everything that happened was back to front and in the wrong order. The games were causing people to be displaced in time. The Doctor was in 1959 London where a group of soldiers from 400 years ago appeared and started fighting. The Doctor got the help of someone who worked at the games called Nova. At a certain point Nova got displaced by one of the time eddies and sent to a random planet where she was attacked by robots which was trying to get rid of people’s intelligence. The Doctor found her and saved her and came up with a plan to reprogramme the robots to get rid of time particles which was causing the eddies and stop the CEO of the corporation (Audrey). I know I have not explained it well at all but that was the general plot of the three episodes. It felt like a mix of different themes from different Doctor Who episodes with people being displaced in time being very similar to Twice Upon A Time, the game station idea which was very similar to Bad Wolf and The Parting Of The Ways as well as timey wimey part of it which was very similar to Blink. Overall, elements of this plot has been done before and I feel like Ravagers just put together different parts of other stories in a very messy way.
I have said it before, but I will say it again, Christopher Eccleston’s performance was breath-taking. He sounded just like he did 16 years ago. Whilst I don’t think the plot or story was that good, I think the writing for his version of the character was perfect. He had all the little quirks he had in series one as well as some brilliant little speeches. The new companion, Nova, was just okay. She was very similar to Bill Potts. I think I just need more time to get used to her due to the story being very focused around the plot rather than her and the Doctor. The side cast were unfortunately pushed aside for the sake of the plot and the villains were very unforgettable as they didn’t really do much. The sound and music was outstanding thou which was something I really enjoyed about Ravagers.
Overall, it was great to have Christopher Eccleston back as he delivered three fantastic performances however, I feel like the complicated plot and format took away from what could have been one of Big Finishes best audios ever. I am hoping the second volume improves or at least has more separate stories as I would enjoy that much more.
I rate Ravagers a 5/10.
Written by: JACOB MOORE
Hi I’m Jacob and I do loads of articles on Doctor Who News, Big Finish, Classic who and more……
Hope you all enjoy 🙂