The Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) and Peri (Nicola Bryant) are joined by Peri’s new boyfriend Joe (Luke Allen-Gale) in four bite sized adventures surrounding a dead Santa, Shakespearean characters brought to life and animals who would be more at place messing about in boats – and that’s just the first story. In the other stories we have children made to order that you get to meet before choosing to have them, a never ending Christmas party where there is more than meets the eye and a lycanthropen menace from the past of the Timelords. This release does not want for variety and excitement.
Veteran Big Finish Writer Nev Fountain is joined by three names new to the company, Alan Terigo, Susan Dennom & Andrew Lias. Expert direction comes from John Ainsworth. The stories are so tightly packed, yet without feeling rushed as shorter adventures in one release. There is a great sense of fun that pleasantly sucker punches you with drama just at the right moments. A real human moral drama is present at Peri looking at the universe through her new partners eyes and what she does and doesn’t like in what she sees, and we are even treated to a ‘rare for Big Finish’ look at the more irascible Sixth Doctor who is not so sure about Peri having her own companion.
Of course the elephant in the room here is that I am late to the party with this review, being in part festively themed as it is, so is this only good for a listen when in the festive mood? Far from it. On catching up with this recently I had a great listening experience. The Christmas theme, whilst fun for the holidays, did not make it feel like something you could not enjoy on the merits of just enjoying the four stories.