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Reviews for The Syndicate Master Plan: Volume 1

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Absolute awesomeness personified!

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Tuesday 21 May 2019
Rating:   10

I am a huge fan of Jane Slavin. She has done some brilliant work for Doctor Who before on Big Finish for several years before someone had the inspired notion to make her a companion! She is awesome. But a warning: this review contains some serious spoilers!

I am so delighted that Tom Baker came back to the role of the Doctor for Big Finish, and its been so delightful hearing him spar with all his old friends. But the chance for a new companion had to be done properly. And thank goodness Big Finish did do it properly with this set.

Firstly they wonderfully let Andrew Smith introduce the character of Ann Kelso in The Sinestran Kill. Which also features the delightful Frank Skinner as a DCI too! And this story is a brilliant intro to the character of Ann. Jane steps into the role as if she'd already been playing it for years. And the Sinestrans make for a very strong alien menace and this first story comes over like a Sweeney meets Die Hard kinda action fest! Its a sublime intro to a great character.

Planet of the Drashigs is an awesome follow on to Carnival of Monsters. And this time we have THREE types of the screaming outsized caterpillars to deal with! And along with that we have the wonderful Fenella Woolgar adding absolutely the icing on the cake on what is wonderfully rather like a Jurassic Park outting meets Doctor Who! Whilst some may say this doesnt seem all that original, this story to me still is brilliant, and has a great pace and John Leeson also joins the fun and he just adds to an already brilliant mix.

The Enchantress of Numbers is one of those wonderful stories where you have to pay attention, or else plot elements could seem a little confusing. But no, this story is very cleverly plotted and has a superb sound design and Tom and Jane just make it unmissable. This has the featuring of yet another historical figure, and again the Big Finish team see that the actress does the part full and superb justice. The lady this time being one Ada Lovelace. This story is definitely the most serious and bendy wendy of this first half of the Syndicate Master Plan set, but it is a very very strong story indeed.

The False Guardian for me was a true treat to end the first set on. Not only is this story bonkers and delightful, and full of what seemed to me total echoes of Douglas Adams but it also has John Shrapnel, who has long been another of my favourite actors. And its great to see him in a funny role for once, and he certainly delivers the goods as the False Guardian! But this story is a really zany and actually very amusing effort from Guy Adams. Hes long since shaping up to be another favourite Big Finish writer for me.

I couldnt have been more pleased with this set if I tried. Ann Kelso makes a brilliant and wonderful entry...and yet there are some wonderful darker moments that bring on a sense of foreboding....and Jane is absolutely the right choice for the new companion. Shes just totally awesome and this set just wetted my appetite for more of the Syndicate!!!!!

Yes, Big Finish have done it again!

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