Young Winston by Paul Morris
A wonderful story to start this next box set of Nu Who stories with Churchill being the center of the plots, and adventures there. We also have the presence of Madame Vastra from the Paternoster Gang. The story is pretty much as it should be we have a dangerous psychotic who has to learn that an alien artifact that looks like a pearl can give the owner massive power, the power to overcome, control and ultimately the ability to potentially control the Continental United States. Luis Ortega is the evil incarnate and he is intent on his own gain. However, due to the intervention of the original owner whom passes the pearl to a young Winston Churchill who is visiting Havana, the pearl makes it way to London, and to relative safety. Until of course Luis learns of it’s new home, and with Carmen whom he has now took into a sort of held by her own will, seeks to gain the pearl and it’s power once and for all. Aided by Madame Vastra and the timely intervention of the Doctor who also rocks up, Churchill, puts pay with the help of his companions to Luis and his dastardly plan. What a cracking start to the box set, a simple but effective narrative that portrays a good 1 hour of entertainment and enjoyment. I throughly enjoyed this outing of the Nu Who and it makes a reputable start to the second of these special releases in the Churchill series. I especially like the portrayal of the Young Churchill in the shape of Iain Batchelor as mentioned earlier, he is standout for me in this.
Human Conflict by Iain McLaughlin
Human conflict By Iain MClaughlin is the second outing in the box set, and pitches Churchill again against his wartime adversories the Nazi, once again exploring the potential of a alien arms dealer trying to both end the war, regardless of whom she sells too, but in truth it will benefit her double fold, as once the human race as anhilitated themselves and left a radio active wasteland that will be the perfect habitat for an incoming alien race that thrive in these conditions. There is a lot of to and fro in this adventure, and we see that Churchill is not always guided by the morals of the Doctor. It is first most entertaining and wonderfully engaging, these stories are very much in the realm of high quality stories each one showing us a glimpse of Churchill through his life, his struggle. The nice thing is there are references that if you know what Churchill was like as man enhance the story telling by showing is weakness and defects, this is very apparant in the last story in this release. But more on that later. I throughly was engaged with this story and drifted off into the world that the actors wonderfully painted for me to be submerged in. Human Conflict is a classic Nu Who, with I think just enough of old Who to make it something really special. Cracking story telling and wonderful acting.
I Was Churchill’s Double by Alan Barnes
I must admit I approached this epsidoe and thought, I bet this is about the obvious a look a like that steps in to make the movements of Churchill easier when he wants to seem to be somewhere he isn’t. However, that is the furthest thing from the truth with this episode. The story actually is a wonderful adventure of parallel universe and manages to twist an older story telling pair’s work into the timeline in the shape of the Brothers Grimm. Wow, you have to admit that Big Finish when they get their writers to put out material they stretch the remits of the lines of wonderment. The whole story is a roller coaster and there are some nice reveals, again we have one of the Doctors seem to aid. I listened to this more than once and I have to admit that I felt it had an almost Rohal Dahl feel of “Tales of the Unexpected” a cultural note that some may need to look up. But this certainly had both science fiction and fable, legened going for it. The fact that it was not what I epected made this all the more entertaining and for me a standout of the four stories held here in within this release. I especially liked the way that Alan Barnes as made you the listener not expect what happens and that means that the story rolls along with it’s own rythm which makes for some superb entertainment. This is is top draw, and for me shows why the tenure of Big Finish produce and use the Who Universe far better than those at the BeeB.
Churchill Victorious by Robert Khan & Tom Salinsky
This for me was the perfect ending for the box set, we have a Churchill at the end of the war in Europe coming to terms with a lot of indifference from his country, although he has steered them through the darkest of times, there is feeling of realising that Churchill is of an era where he was good at making the tough decsions, but that is not necessarily what is required now that the decsions that need to be made are more to do with what is best for rebuilding a war torn country than that of making sure that it can survive and win a war. This episode touches on this in a tender way, and exposes that Churchill himself seems distraught that his people are not what he assumed and when the world becomes more clamer that it is not going to be as he anticipated, as people will have expectations other than the ones he thinks are the right ones. It uses the epsiode as vechicle of change for Churchill moving from old to new, and the idea of their being an alien bounty hunter entraping the Doctor and in turn trying to return to his own world, is somewhat a parallel with Churchill also being trapped in a world where he needs to move on.
The whole release in this second volume as been somethng I have to admit I thought I would and possible find hard going, but, it has were both entertaining, engaging and wonderfully on point at every turn. The stories are well constructed, wonderfully acted, and beuatifully produced, then again what would you expect from Big Finish, they are after all the purveyors of good and wonderful story telling, and no safer pair of hands could this tenure be placed. I look forward to hearing more, let’s hope there is going to be more.