Doctor Who – The Ninth Doctor Adventures: Ravagers
It has taken more than a decade, but Big Finish finally did it! And Big Finish will forever live in my heart for getting Christopher Eccleston to return to the role of the Doctor in the first of hopefully many with ‘Doctor Who – The Ninth Doctor Adventures: Ravagers.’ This action-packed adventure is nothing short of timey wimey. There’s plenty of wibbly-wobbly too, as we start with the Ninth Doctor on the top of the world as he’s saving it.
By: Big Finish
Written: Nicholas Briggs
Starring: Christopher Eccleston, Camilla Beeput, and Jayne McKenna
Cover Art: Tom Webster
Director: Nicholas Briggs
Released in: May 2021
As explained in the included more than hour of behind-the-scenes footage, this version of the Ninth Doctor is early days before he met Rose. This plot detail does confuse me as I always thought he was just breaking in this regeneration in ‘Rose’ when he’s fiddling with his ears. But, I was thrilled they found a way to finagle more stories from the Ninth Doctor’s character. I loved the Doctor with Rose but wished there could be more for him. I recently wrote that I would get this story and am glad I did.
Hey, nobody’s perfect. And Eccleston will remind you why you can’t skip Nine! Many can’t get past Eccleston’s Doctor and his snark, but you’d have snark too if you were fresh off mass genocide from the Time War with a conscience to remind you constantly.
Valiant galley chef Nova dreams of a better life while slogging to and from her “job.” Is it slavery if they don’t know they are slaves? Well, yeah! A promise was made, and she’s here to make sure she holds up her end. But there may be something lurking in Nova’s past that would account for everything she seems to understand.
Enigmatic Audrey has her own set of morals. Genocide and slavery are just a day at the office for our dear baddy in this particular set of three separate stories. How far will she go for what she believes, and will the Doctor be able to stop her?
Sphere of Freedom
We open on the Sphere of Freedom as the Doctor is saving this world. Remember that valiant galley chef I mentioned? She’s completed her mission and running back in success. Just as the credits would usually role, something goes terribly wrong, and the plan spectacularly fails. Nova’s apparent death occurs before we even really meet her. But remember, this exciting opening story is a Nicholas Briggs story. I did warn you about the wobble.
In story two, Cataclysm, we find the Doctor making bad assumptions, which he sometimes does best. Briggs does a beautiful job of reminding us that morality is subjective. We all tend to rationalize our flaws to make them more palatable. The story’s antagonist is no different. Audrey must make a most terrible choice when seemingly all the options are bad. And the Doctor would know all about that, especially now.
‘Ravagers’ is quite a compelling story thus far, and Food Fight is no exception as the final episode. Eccleston steps in and proves he’s the same Doctor. Why let a little bit of being completely wrong stop you from saving the Universe? While yes, this was a hard-to-follow story. It gets easier on the relisten, as with most Whovian tales.
The only thing that really threw me off was that the sound effects were a touch heavy-handed compared to the dialogue, especially the background dialogue. However, Eccleston slipped back into this role after 16 years as if it were made for him. I found the story delightful and the characters just… Fantastic.
Make sure to grab your copy from Big Finish!