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Monday, November 23, 2015

REVIEW - Doctor Who: Shield of the Jötunn



Doctor Who: Shield of the Jötunn (Big Finish Audio)
Reviewed By Jesse Kiefer

Written By: Ian Edginton

Director: Louise Jameson

Sound Design: Martin Montague

Music: Jamie Robertson

Cover Art: Tom Webster

Number of Discs: 2

Duration: 120' approx.

Available on BigFinish.com

Listen to the trailer.


“We're saving the world, remember? Anyone who gets in the way is the bad guy in this.”

 November’s Doctor Who main range release rounds out a trilogy of stories with the Sixth Doctor and his newest big finish companion Mrs. Constance Clarke. This third and final story brings us Aliens, Vikings, Global Warming and more!

The solicit from Big Finish:

“2029 AD. In the desert of Arizona, billionaire philanthropist Dr Hugo Macht is trying to save the world from climate change. But his great project to "scrub the sky clean" with nano-atomic machines grinds to an unexpected halt when his diggers break into something unexpected: a Viking burial barrow containing eight corpses, a mysterious shield, an even more mysterious inscription... and a yet more mysterious traveler in time and space, known only as the Doctor.

And that's not even the strangest part of Dr Macht's day. Soon, it'll begin to snow. Soon, the Doctor and his Girl Friday, Mrs Constance Clarke, will come face-to-face with an ancient horror in the blizzard. A Frost Giant, in need of a new body. In need of flesh...”

I have enjoyed getting to know Mrs. Clarke and I’m curious to see how her story will continue. My introduction to Constance was out of sequence in the Last Adventure of the Sixth Doctor but she’s proven to be a fantastic fit for the 6th Doctor. Someone willing to push him just enough and put up with only about as much of his eccentricity as is necessary.

This story was interesting for a lot of reasons but one of the most surprising ones to me was the Doctor’s nonchalant attitude about global warming and Man’s attempts at “fixing” it. It makes perfect sense that he’d have a certain detachment about it but I guess I was still surprised by his seeming ambivalence to the the situation. They didn’t use this story to preach or to blame anyone which was interesting and really kind of perfect considering the Doctor’s perspective. His attitude played brilliantly against Constance Clarke’s abject horror. She finds out that the World War she’s been fighting and living through was not the last war nor was it the end of the problems for the humans leading her to wonder quite out loud… what are we even fighting for then?

A Few of my Favorite Things From This Month’s Release:
  • Louise Jameson! I didn’t realize she was directing this one and I have to say I was delightfully surprised to see it and happy to report (and not at all surprised to say) it was brilliantly directed. I didn’t realize she directed until I later heard her voice and thought boy that sounds like Leela… IT IS! (I then looked it up.) Fantastic direction, I hope she continues to direct some main range stories from time to time.
  • The Flashback, I don’t usually like narration, I’ve stated as such in these reviews but as a flashback device in the middle of a story it kind of works and I actually kind of love how they managed a narrated flashback in this story! 
  • Aliens vs. Vikings in the relatively near present day American Dessert (Arizona)?! YEP! This story was written and directed brilliantly because as bizarre as that is I really was able to accept that madness with relative ease.
  • There are a lot of little reveals and surprises in this story that just keep you enthralled and attentive. Hooray for plot twists!
  • Stand alone factor, knowing who Constance is would be the only useful bit of backstory but they really keep the pertinent info out there so you wouldn’t need to know anything in order to enjoy this story. This story would make a good stepping on point for new listeners, in my opinion.
I, again, have really nothing to complain about in this story. I enjoyed this one and think others will enjoy it too! I guess if you are sick of cautionary tales about the environment you might be annoyed by this but it’s really not a heavy handed indictment of behavior so much as a backdrop for a fun story. The Doctor was great, the companion was great, the threat was interesting, the supporting cast had fun interplay, you don’t need a bunch of backstory to enjoy it, I can’t see a reason not to give this one 5 out of 5 stars!

In series 9 (current series as of this writing) we saw the Doctor face vikings in “The Girl Who Died” do you enjoy it when the Doctor deals with Vikings? Have a favorite Viking Doctor Who story?  Let me know what you think in the comments below or by shooting us a message to letters(at)grawlixpodcast.com. 

5 Stars



Doctor Who: Shield of the Jötunn (Big Finish Audio Play)
Reviewed by Jesse Kiefer on Nov 23, 2015
Rating: 5Review of 'Doctor Who: Shield of the Jötunn' audio play from Big Finish Productions.

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