Doctor WhoMusic/Audio

The Diary Of River Song Series 04 by Emma Reeves, Matt Fitton, Donald McLeary and John Dorney (CD review).

River Song (Alex Kingdom) returns in a new series of four adventures. This proves to be a great challenge for a woman armed only with a sonic trowel and really great hair.

Time In A Bottle by Emma Reeves and Matt Fitton 

A test for River Song. She needs to get to a place that has no time at all. Lucky she’s such a talented archaeologist then. Professor Jemima Still (Fenella Woolgar), a former classmate and now a lecturer on the lost civilisation of Liperia. They are not friends but River can’t resist. She needs to create a bubble of time and she’s uniquely qualified because of her Time Lord DNA. Always knew that would come in handy.

Kings Of Infinite Space by Donald McLeary 

The Discordia are unleashed. River is on the run but the time travelling Discordia is always it seems they are one step ahead. Using the vortex manipulator is draining her fast and the Discordia (Christopher Naylor) have the upper hand.

This is a fast-paced episode which introduces new characters at an alarming pace. It’s very entertaining and reminds me a little of being drunk. Some great voice work here by a very small cast which reminds me why I love audio so much.

Whodunnit? by Matt Fitton 

Melody Malone (Alex Kingdom) has walked straight into a murder mystery. There’s been a car crash outside a mysterious castle and she’s mislaid her injured husband. There are a variety of sleuths in the castle but someone keeps picking them off. Meanwhile, the butler appears to be Franz Kafka and he definitely didn’t do it.

Don’t question why we seem to have River’s alter ego just go with it and enjoy the ride. It’s going to be a bumpy night.

Someone I Once Knew by John Dorney 

What would you do for love? Don’t get me started and more to the point don’t get River Song started. She might get angry and you won’t like her when she’s angry.

She’s out of time with the Discordia and the Doctor who she’s tried to keep out of this is finally in her life again. Except this time it’s the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) and they’ve never met. Except that’s not how he remembers it. Prepare to turn to jelly as husband and wife are reunited. The final story about the Discordia takes an unexpected direction but all the better for it.

This boxset has everything you could want. The opening adventure sets up the big bad and makes us think six impossible things before breakfast. The second story is a breathless chase through the universe as River discovers the impossibility of escaping the time travelling Discordia. The third story feels at first like a time-out as we get a Melody Malone mystery but, of course, it moves the whole thing along. Finally, the fourth story rips out your heart and tramples on it. *Shakes fist at John Dorney*. This story is the perfect wrap and with Tom Baker as the Doctor it’s all our Christmases at once.

‘The Diary Of River Song’ has an acute sense of humour which continues to make this series a delight. Alex Kingston is always full throttle and the supporting cast don’t let up. Don’t get me started on the sublime Tom Baker. He can come and do my voice over anytime.

Sue Davies

February 2023

(pub: Big Finish, 2018. 5 CDs 322 minutes. CD & download: price: £35.00 (UK), $42.17 (US). ISBN: 978-1-78703-503-4. Download: $36.14 (US). ISBN: 978-1-78703-504-1)

cast: Alex Kingston, Tom Baker, Nigel Anthony, Nicholas Asbury, George Asprey, Ewan Bailey, Timothy Bentinck, Josh Bolt, Nathalie Buscombe, Adele Lynch, Shvorne Marks, Christopher Naylor, Alex Tregear and Fenella Woolgar

check out website: https://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/the-diary-of-river-song-series-04-1742

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