The Diary Of River Song series 02 by Guy Adams, John Dorney, James Goss and Matt Fitton (CD review).

The Unknown by Guy Adams 

Saturnius, a spaceship on course to a mysterious planet that never seems to arrive is the setting for this first story of four.

River Song has to interview a mysterious stowaway whom the crew have locked up. She’s suffering from memory problem and doesn’t realise who the annoying little man with an umbrella is.

The stars are going out all over the universe and they are running out of time.

The claustrophobic setting is a classic one with the small cast pinging off each other and there’s a fairly monumental ending although as it turns out it’s just the beginning.

Five Twenty-Nine by John Dorney 

An awful event will occur. River Song doesn’t know what it is but she’s working damn hard to find out. This is a bittersweet visit to Earth for River, making new friends and losing them. Once again, it’s been beautifully expressed by John Dorney.

This story feels like an expression of how we live life without thinking about death until we are forced to. There is a slow inevitability of what will happen to the people in this but we still get attached and hope for the best. This is powerful writing and the end of this episode is very moving.

World Enough And Time by James Goss 

River’s new job as a temp on a company called Golden Futures is not panning out they way she would like. There is a new managing director who’s trying to be hands on but has been swamped by the paperwork. He’d like to investigate, after all he is the Doctor, but needs a prompt from River Song.

A little lighter in tone we get River and Sixie in one episode as they both investigate independent of each other.

The Eye Of The Storm by Matt Fitton 

The great storm of 1703, which caused huge death and damage in the south and down to the west country of England, turns out to be a major one and there are two Doctors and a River Song with conflicting opinions and what the best course of action should be. This historical with a twist takes a real event and injects a little River and a twist of Daniel Defoe into the mix and you can’t miss the Fifth Doctor doing the full King Lear.

They are both trying to achieve a certain aim but going in decided different directions. River must attempt to steer the course of the Doctors and of true love. No pressure then.

It turns out that River has to add her own personal touch to save the Earth.

This story clearly identifies the different personalities of the two Doctors. Again it uses a real historical character to ground the story into a lived experience.

This is an epic adventure wrapped up in an historical event that many people won’t be aware of that caused untold death and damage.

This series of stories is a lovely and ambitious use of a time travelling heroine. It moves from epic space adventure to quietly desperate end of the world through a crazy factory setting to an even more epic finale set in London. Amazing and moving. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll listen again to admire the clever plots and neat finish.

Sue Davies

January 2023

(pub: Big Finish, 2022.  5 CDs 310 minutes. Price: £35.00 (UK), $42.51 (US). ISBN: 978-1-78575-425-8)

cast: Alex Kingston, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Sam Alexander, Justin Avoth, Ann Bell, Jessie Buckley, Alan Cox, Barnaby Edwards, Salome Haertel, Robert Hands, Paul Keating, Anna Maxwell Martin, Aaron Neil, Sara Powell, Robert Pugh, Gemma Saunders and Dan Starkey

check out website: https://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/the-diary-of-river-song-series-02-1471

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