Click here to return to the main site.

Audio Drama Review


Bernice Summerfield
The Adventure of the Diogenes Damsel


Starring: Lisa Bowerman
Big Finish Productions
RRP: £10.99
ISBN: 978 1 84435 328 6
Available 30 September 2008

Diverted to Victorian London by persons or powers unknown, 27th-century archaeologist-for-hire, adventuress and inadvertent absent mother Professor Bernice Summerfield finds herself beset with problems of a kind that those unused to time travel could barely even imagine. What are the plans of the mysterious Lord Straxus? Who is Ludvig Cooray and what has the number 7 got to do with all this? Can Bernice acquire the help of Mycroft Holmes, the cleverest man of the age, and, more importantly, how is she going to get home...?

The Adventure of the Diogenes Damsel is, as you have probably perceived from the Sherlockian title, a sort of sequel to an escapade Bernice Summerfield (Lisa Bowerman) experienced back in her days aboard the TARDIS with the Doctor in the New Adventures novel All-Consuming Fire, in which she met Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. However, this time around (because Sherlock is currently in hiding, having faked his own death at the Reichenbach Falls) Bernice teams up with another member of the illustrious Holmes family, his even smarter brother, Mycroft (David Warner).

However, Mycroft is not the only “sort of” reference to other fictional worlds, particularly those of Doctor Who. For example, writer Jim Smith also throws in a suspicious character called Straxus (Peter Miles), though he’s a different incarnation than the Time Lord encountered by the Eighth Doctor and Lucie in their audio adventures. Other allusions include some fictional place names from Who, a possible reference to Faction Paradox and also to the Transuranics (from Sapphire & Steel), the latter two groups being described as enemies of Straxus’s people.

This, of course, means that Doctor Who and the Bernice Summerfield series could take place in the same universe as Sapphire & Steel, though it could get confusing if David Warner as Mycroft were to meet David Warner as Steel - not to mention David Warner’s Unbound Doctor!

Warner and Miles (for whom Smith has written before, in the Kaldor City series) are both excellent, and Smith’s script is a deliciously rich concoction.

The only problem is that the production team has created such an appealing set-up that I didn’t really want Benny to get back to her own time! We are told that she and Mycroft experience several other, as yet undocumented, adventures, so I fervently hope that at least some of these will one day see the light of day. Until then, make the most of this excellent adventure.


Richard McGinlay

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£7.25 (
£7.99 (
£9.89 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.