Steve MollmannSteve Mollmann

Steve Mollmann is a Ph.D. student in English, studying the depiction of science and scientists in 19th-century Britain. With his Secret Writing Partner, Michael Schuster, he wrote the novel Star Trek: A Choice of Catastrophes; he's also written or cowritten stories in various Star Trek and Iris Wildthyme collections. His nonfiction has appeared on Tor.com, in academic journals, and in a science fiction textbook. You can read more of his reviews at Science's Less Accurate Grandmother.

All articles by Steve Mollmann

 

Doctor Who: Dark Eyes 2 review

Who would have thought that 2013 would be the year where we’d have Paul McGann as the Doctor on television… and not on audio? Though he may have joined the fray in The Light at the End, it’s been over a year since he starred in Dark Eyes, and so
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Doctor Who: Lords of the Red Planet review

You can’t be a Doctor Who monster without ending up with an “origin story” at some point (if not multiple ones). Maybe this wouldn’t be necessary if more monsters were just aliens with a hate-on for humans, but many of the Doctor’s most iconic foes are victims of modification in
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Doctor Who: The Queen of Time review

Stories about omnipotent entities are, one suspects, hard to make dramatic. Beings like the Celestial Toymaker and Star Trek’s Q can change the rules of the story at will, which makes it hard to be involved in it. You need to understand what’s going on. It’s perhaps noteworthy that of
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Doctor Who: Afterlife review

Hex is dead. Sally and Lysandra are gone. The Doctor and Ace are at odds. That’s the status quo at the beginning of Afterlife, picking up from the end of Gods and Monsters. Much of the beginning of the story is a two-hander between the Doctor and Ace, as Ace
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The Avengers: The Lost Episodes: Volume 1 review

Before listening to The Avengers: The Lost Episodes, Volume 1, I’d never once seen an episode of the classic ITV spy series The Avengers, despite a vague desire to do so. I love Diana Rigg and Joanna Lumley as much as the next person, but there’s not just enough hours
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The Nicholas Courtney Memoirs: A Soldier in Time review

Big Finish’s recent “Twelve Days of Christmas” sale gave me the opportunity to pick up a release from way back in November 2002: The Nicholas Courtney Memoirs: A Soldier in Time, part of the short-lived Big Finish TalksBack series. This 3-CD release sees the late Nicholas Courtney narrating his life
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Doctor Who: The Time Machine review

After no small delay, here’s The Time Machine, the last instalment of Destiny of the Doctor, featuring what was until very very recently, the current Doctor. Jenna Coleman née Jenna-Louise narrates Matt Fitton’s story, which features double guest stars in Michael Cochrane and good old Nicholas Briggs. Sadly, there’s no
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Bernice Summerfield: The End of the World review

Bernice Summerfield is away. Hence, we end up with the one and only instalment in the Jason Kane series, The End of the World by Dave Stone. Complete with a rocking theme by Matthew Cochrane and David Darlington, The End of the World sees Jason teaming up with his old
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Bernice Summerfield: Freedom of Information review

One of the many things to like about the current run (“current” as in where I am at, not where the actual line is at) of Bernice Summerfield stories is the development of a stable of consistent writers. Rather than Bernice being farmed out to people who seem to have
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Bernice Summerfield: The Judas Gift review

The Tub Full of Cats may have began the eighth season of Bernice Summerfield, but Nick Wallace’s The Judas Gift kicks it into high gear. The Draconians have come to the Braxiatel Collection — not to occupy it, oh no not that, but to present it with a gift and
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Doctor Who: Upstairs review

Maureen O’Brien and Peter Purves team up as Vicki and Steven in Mat Coward’s Doctor Who Companion Chronicle, Upstairs. With O’Brien narrating, Purves playing Steven, and O’Brien doing everything else, it’s a return to a part of the Hartnell era that I actually have very little experience with — The
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Bernice Summerfield: The Tub Full of Cats review

If you can count on Daniel O’Mahony for anything, it’s crazy sci-fi ideas wedded to strong character insight. His previous Bernice Summerfield audio drama, Timeless Passages, was one of the best, and I don’t think I’ve ever read a piece of prose by him I didn’t like. The premiere for
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Doctor Who: The Dark Planet review

Who would have guessed that a lost Hartnell six-parter from the guy who brought us The Ice Warriors would be dull? Doctor Who: The Dark Planet, like so many Lost Stories, is a worthy and laudable attempt to recreate a story we never got on screen, but Matt Fitton’s adaption
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Bernice Summerfield: The Empire State review

The past couple Bernice Summerfield stories have seen Benny on a vaguely-explained mission to get “help” for the Braxiatel Collection, as war is imminent and the Collection is continuing to malfunction. Summer of Love ended with Bev sending Benny and Jason on a mission, while Collected Works seemed to indicate
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Treasure Island review

The quality of The Picture of Dorian Gray and a special US$3 download offer was enough to tempt me into purchasing another “Big Finish Classic”, in this case their dramatisation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, starring Tom Baker! Upon launching into the story, I realised that I have probably
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The Adventures of K9 review

One of the unique joys of Doctor Who is the manifold and various dimensions it has extended into. Beyond the parent series, beyond even Torchwood or The Sarah Jane Adventures, we get things like Jago & Litefoot, Bernice Summerfield, Faction Paradox, Cyberman, for some reason, even Vienna… One dimension completely
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Bernice Summerfield: The Oracle of Delphi review

At the end of Summer of Love, Benny and Jason are sent on a mission — consult the Oracle of Delphi. You know, in Ancient Greece. Quite why wasn’t very clear to me, beyond a general sense of the dire political situation around the Braxiatel Collection. Quite how wasn’t clear,
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Doctor Who: The Light at the End review

In his producer’s notes for Big Finish’s Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, The Light at the End (standard edition, as that’s all your humble reviewer can afford — also, he wasn’t really excited by the idea of photos of Colin Baker with bamboo photoshopped in), David Richardson observes that Big
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Bernice Summerfield: Summer of Love review

Over on my book review blog, I’m always singing the praises of the Bernice Summerfield anthologies, which weave their way in and out of the ongoing audio series. The anthologies and the audios serve to reinforce one another, the prose stories giving smaller stories that adds to the character depth
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Doctor Who: The Space Race review

One regeneration after Fanfare for the Common Men, the Doctor is back in 1963 — this time with Peri, in a Soviet rocket base, ready to experience The Space Race. Jonathan Morris’s story is a hard one to quantify: it begins with the Doctor attempting to help the Soviets recover
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Bernice Summerfield: The Worst Thing in the World review

“We could all do with a fun break that doesn’t necessarily have to relate to anything else like Bev now being in charge of the Braxiatel Collection and it not quite working out.” The next adventure of Bernice Summerfield and Jason Kane brings them to the Drome, the galaxy’s newest
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Bernice Summerfield: Timeless Passages review

Though he’s contributed to the short stories before, Timeless Passages marks Daniel O’Mahony’s first contribution to the Bernice Summerfield audio range. But what a contribution it is. As part of Bev Tarrant’s continuing mission to convince the galaxy that things at the Braxiatel Collection are perfectly normal post-Braxiatel, she’s sent
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Bernice Summerfield: The Tartarus Gate review

The seventh season of Bernice Summerfield marks some changes — the series title, for one, has lost its “Professor”. And then the Indiana Jones­­-style title construction has gone: this is The Tartarus Gate, not Bernice Summerfield and the Tartarus Gate. Not to mention a swanky 2000s logo, and a whole
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Professor Bernice Summerfield and the Crystal of Cantus review

“This isn’t just another story — Professor Bernice Summerfield in an exciting adventure with the Cybermen!” The sixth season of Professor Bernice Summerfield comes to an end with Professor Bernice Summerfield and the Crystal of Cantus. The previous story, The Goddess Quandary, hinted at big events to come, and in
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Doctor Who: Fanfare for the Common Men review

Big Finish’s main Doctor Who range kicks off its fiftieth anniversary celebrations with Eddie Robson’s Fanfare for the Common Men, the first of three stories set in 1963. Fanfare for the Common Men picks up a small continuity reference from the first-ever Doctor Who episode, An Unearthly Child, where Susan
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Doctor Who: Death’s Deal review

The penultimate Destiny of the Doctor story of course brings us to Doctor no. 10, and his most amazing companion, Donna Noble. Darren Jones’s Death’s Deal brings Catherine Tate back to Doctor Who for the first time in three years, as the Doctor once again scrambles after a dangerous object
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Doctor Who: Daleks Among Us review

There are some Doctor Who companions, I suspect, who you can use again and again and again. Jo. Sarah Jane. Tegan. Peri. Ace. Lucie. Donna. Though they’re all well-rounded characters in their own way, they lack overly complicated backstories or motivations — they travel with the Doctor because they find it
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Doctor Who: Mastermind review

Mmm, Geoffrey Beevers. Ever since 2003’s Master, I’ve been hooked on this guy’s portrayal of the Master. What a deliciously evil voice. I’ll follow him anywhere… even into a story featuring Yee Jee Tso. What is it with Big Finish’s determination to cast that guy in roles that pair his
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Benjamin & Baxter review

Between series Five and Six of Jago & Litefoot, Big Finish Productions released Benjamin & Baxter: The Real-Life Stories of Christopher Benjamin and Trevor Baxter, a two-disc interview by Nicholas Briggs with these two venerable actors. Though Big Finish releases have been chock-full of interviews for some years now, it
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The Picture of Dorian Gray / The Confessions of Dorian Gray: This World Our Hell review

The Picture of Dorian Gray is the first “Big Finish Classic” I’ve heard — a series adapting classic (i.e. public domain) works of literature into full-cast audio dramas. (The other two so far, fact fans, are Phantom of the Opera and Treasure Island, though I was excited to learn that
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Jago & Litefoot: Series Six review

The “back to basics” approach of Series Six of Jago & Litefoot is announced from the moment one opens up their box set — or in my case, the audiobook download — and sees the covers of the individual stories. Series Six returns to the faux leatherbound look not seen
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Doctor Who: The Alchemists review

I forget when The Alchemists was supposed to come out originally, but I think it was a while ago — in the slot eventually occupied by The Time Museum, maybe? Anyway, Ian Potter’s First Doctor and Susan Companion Chronicle is finally with us, and even if it was originally due
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Doctor Who: Council of War review

Council of War may mark the debut of John Levene as Sergeant Benton in Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles, but more significantly to me, it’s the Doctor Who audio drama debut of Simon Barnard and Paul Morris, best known as the pair of geniuses behind The Scarifyers. While Council of
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Doctor Who: Night of the Whisper review

Okay, this time I’m being more reasonable. The ninth instalment in Destiny of the Doctor is Night of the Whisper by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright, which joins the very short list of Doctor Who stories to feature the Doctor as played by Christopher Eccleston — up to this point
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Doctor Who: Enemy Aliens review

I became a Doctor Who fan in 2001. I was introduced to the show in 2000, with The Curse of Fenric, and that began a love affair with the show that was cemented into place with Remembrance of the Daleks, The Invasion of Time, and the TV movie (yes, really).
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Doctor Who: Starlight Robbery review

Klein’s adventures with the Doctor continue in Starlight Robbery. But forget about her — I’m here for Garundel, the loveable frog merchant (that’s a merchant who is a frog, not a merchant who sells frogs) who first appeared in author Matt Fitton’s Black and White. Stuart Mulligan utterly won me
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Doctor Who: Shockwave review

This spring, my wife and I watched every Ace story, from Dragonfire to Survival, so it’s the era of classic Doctor Who I have the most immediate recollection of. It’s also one of my favourite periods (seriously, the only bad story in that whole lot is Silver Nemesis), so the
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Doctor Who: Persuasion review

Klein is back! Hot off the success of UNIT: Dominion, everyone’s favourite not-a-Nazi is puttering along at UNIT with her new assistant, Will Arrowsmith, when up pops the Doctor, tiring and nearing the end of his seventh life. Persuasion begins the third of 2013’s audio drama trilogies, featuring the Doctor,
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Doctor Who: Trouble in Paradise review

Nev Fountain is back! Trouble in Paradise doesn’t so much celebrate the Sixth Doctor as seen on screen (thankfully), but the Nev Fountain variety of Doctor Who, seen far too sporadically over the years in Omega, The Kingmaker, and Peri and the Piscon Paradox. A comically exaggerated world of blustering
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Doctor Who: Smoke and Mirrors review

Like Babblesphere before it, Smoke and Mirrors is smart to show us a Doctor we often get to hear in audio (the Fifth) with a companion team we don’t (Adric, Nyssa, and Tegan). Season 19 of the original Doctor Who sports one of my favourite companion teams, and I was
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Doctor Who: Babblesphere review

With Babblesphere, the Destiny of the Doctor audio dramas cross over into territory that Big Finish regularly gives us in full-cast audio dramas — recreating the Fourth Doctor era is something that happens once a month these days. Thankfully, then, Big Finish has opted to switch things up a bit
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Doctor Who: The Dalek Contract / The Final Phase review

Normally I review Big Finish’s Doctor Who audio dramas in the units in which they are released, because those are the units in which you, dear reader, can purchase them. So, a box of Jago & Litefoot might include four stories, but I write only one review because you have
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Doctor Who: Vengeance of the Stones review

Like Hunters of Earth, the third (and Third Doctor) release in Destiny of the Doctor, Vengeance of the Stones, plugs into an unfilled gap in Doctor Who history. Narrated by Richard Franklin, Vengeance of the Stones reveals just how it was that Mike Yates came to join UNIT. Andrew Smith,
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Doctor Who: Phantoms of the Deep review

Jonathan Morris is back in Phantoms of the Deep, making him, I am fairly certain, the first person who is not Nicholas Briggs to pen two original tales for Tom Baker. But while we might associate Morris — especially in his Fourth Doctor mode — with light, frothy tales such
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Doctor Who: Shadow of Death review

Hunters of Earth kicked off AudioGO’s fiftieth anniversary Doctor Who series Destiny of the Doctor by doing something we’ve rarely seen — a story from before An Unearthly Child. The second release in this series, Shadow of Death, takes the opposite tack, giving us a very period-bound story. Simon Guerrier’s
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Doctor Who: The Justice of Jalxar review

It’s the early twentieth century, and the Doctor and Romana need help investigating aliens in London… so who do they turn to but the investigators of infernal incidents? The Justice of Jalxar reunites Jago and Litefoot with the Doctor in a sequel to The Talons of Weng-Chiang, but adds Romana
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Doctor Who: War Against the Laan review

War Against the Laan concludes the space epic begun in The Sands of Life. While it won’t win any awards (I hope), War Against the Laan is a solid story that succeeds for the most part based on its characters. The highlight of both The Sands of Life and War
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Doctor Who: The Sands of Life review

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure the last Big Finish three-parter was 2010’s Survival of the Fittest, which featured on a double-disc release alongside the one-part Klein’s Story. If so, the rare form is long overdue for a revival, which comes with the second release of the
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Doctor Who: The Auntie Matter review

We might best categorise my reaction to the first series of Big Finish’s Fourth Doctor Adventures as “mixed” at best. I struggled through many of these stories: Destination: Nerva (“at the halfway point of this two-part adventure… the Doctor and Leela had had a couple awkward conversations with authority figures
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Doctor Who: The Library of Alexandria review

Sometimes I wonder if Simon Guerrier writes his First Doctor Companion Chronicles on autopilot. “Oh, yes, here’s another brilliant adventure.” It would justify me writing these reviews on autopilot. “Oh, yes, here’s another brilliant adventure.” And that goes double for William Russell. Though Guerrier has written many, many First Doctor
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