Years ago, Lucie Miller made her first debut, as well as her final adventure, but now she returns for some in between! Released this month(July), The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller follows her and The Doctor’s adventures, set in between series 1 and 2 of the Eighth Doctor Adventures themselves. And to borrow a oft-used catchphrase from the wrong incarnation of The Doctor, Allonsy!
The set opens with The Dalek Trap by Nicholas Briggs. Bombastic, full of action and absolutely filled to the brim with Daleks galore… which was surely a given in a Nick Briggs Dalek tale. However, Briggs is able to offset this with a very well-done focus on Lucie, and re-introducing the character to the ears. Plot-wise, there isn’t much coherence, but the ideas that have been flimsily stuck together are all very well done by themselves, so the story remains enjoyable. And finally, Sheridan Smith and Nick Briggs give wonderful performances, as they spar of each other extremely well. And it says something to how enjoyable the story is when my only major qualm is the blatant foreshadowing and cringe-inducing Lucie-Bleeding-Miller gag.
Alice Cavender follows up on the opener with The Revolution Game, which is much lower-key than The Dalek Trap. However, even while I do tend to gravitate to smaller scale stories like The Revolution Game, I found this one to be dull, predictable, and almost superficial. Taking Lucie to a intergalactic roller derby sounds like it should be a fun romp, yet none of the jokes really land and even Paul McGann and Sheridan Smith struggle to elevate the material. In saying that however, I will give props to the production for the technical aspects, as they are very successful in creating a fleshed out world. One of the few outright clunkers Big Finish have produced.
The House on the Edge of Chaos, written by Eddie Robson, is the third story and my favorite of the set. Mashing up Downton Abbey and Sci-Fi hi-jinx, Robson crafts not only a great tale, but some great material for all the characters, including Rupert Vansittart as a wonderfully evil baddie, and Paul McGann finally gets something sizable to do, something the previous stories lacked. This is also a nice way to rebound from The Revolution Game, as it is a reliability small scale story as well, yet is done with great pacing and fresh ideas. Definitely the must-listen from the set, and is up there with other Lucie Miller tales such as Human Resources, Max Warp and Death in Blackpool.
The finale of the hopefully first of many Lucie Miller box-sets is Island of the Fendahl by Alan Barnes. A highly original take on the Fendahl, who have popped not once, but twice this year with Night of the Fendahl in the Torchwood range, is lovely and is almost close to beating out The House on the Edge of Chaos for top spot in the set. Tying everything from the set up nicely, and featuring a twist that puts responsibility on The Doctor is more than welcome. Great stuff.
This set is weirdly a mixed bag when it comes to the consistency of quality. The Dalek Trap, The House on the Edge of Chaos and Island of the Fendahl are all quality stories, but The Revolution Game is one of the worst single stories I’ve heard from Big Finish, which while it happens so little, makes it even more noticeable. Overall, The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller: Volume 1 gets a iffy 7.5, verging on 7/10.
The Further Adventures of Lucie Miller: Volume 1 is now out from Big Finish at https://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/doctor-who-the-further-adventures-of-lucie-miller-1954