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Reviewed By: gallifreyvidcastnews on 11/27/15 12:07 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
One of my favourite Dorian Gray audios to date, this audio takes a mundane premise usually reserved for fluff fanfiction - two characters swapping places - and plays it entirely for drama. This release doesn't have any monsters - though the actions of Mr. Gray and Mr. Moore could certainly be characterised as monstrous - and instead of wrestling with werewolves as in the last release, in this story Dorian wrestles with questions of nature versus nurture and how much our identities are dependent upon our circumstances. In many ways, this raises some of the same questions about morality's dependence on circumstance as Series Two's amazing The Immortal Game, albeit in a more subtle manner. This story that began as such great fun concludes with a sense of tragic inevitability, and in doing so brings both the worlds - Dorian's world and the ordinary world - together in a way that hauntingly echoes a certain Doctor Who quote: 'Some people live more in twenty years than others do in eighty. It's not the time that matters, it's the person.'

Other Recommended/Related Stories

Reviewed By: traves8853 on 11/26/15 8:09 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
The Marian Conspiracy starts off with the Doctor meeting Evelyn Smythe, a fifty-year-old dotty university lecturer, who the Doctor realises is a nexus point - can't remember if the term was fully explained, but it appears to be a point in history that is under threat of revision. This is merely a plot device which is only ever under threat because of the Doctor's presence as he is nearly forced to marry one of Evelyn's ancestors - which surely means that this is a paradox as if he hadn't of been there then there wouldn't be a problem in the first place? The story itself is entertaining, engaging, steeped in history and is populated with interesting; well-detailed characters. 9
Reviewed By: traves8853 on 11/26/15 8:06 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
The Sandman: This audio story was recorded on 4 and 5 March 2002 at The Moat Studios, with some parts narrated by the Doctor, and was directed by Gary Russell. The space convoy known as the Clutch is home to the Galyari: a race of reptilian aliens that live in fear of an ancient, brutal monster they called the Sandman who haunts their dreams every night. Other people know him as the Doctor.

The Galyari are known for manufacturing weapons. The Doctor has tried to dissuade them of this practice despite the fact it would leave them in poverty. Eventually, he helps the inhabitants of a world they were trying to invade and sets himself up as some kind of bogeyman and employs scare tactics to try and prevent the Galyari from their warlike ways - till one day a real Sandman comes!

Is about different perspectives of the same event; Evelyn hasn't long been with the Doctor long so doesn't have the same unshakeable belief in the Doctor that the audience has, and the Galyari are genuinely terrified of him. Yet, Evelyn is mainly reduced to issuing sarcastic remarks and asking questions. Once the real killer is dealt with the Galyari don't ask for repatriations from the Doctor despite their strong beliefs on civil justice, whereas the Doctor is rather nonchalant about the whole thing and the explanation is rather drawn out which is a little tedious.

Gary Russell's direction is as sharp as ever, and every episode does something different: setup, shows the Doctor as a villain, the Doctor goes on the run and the finale pulls everything together. The music is haunting, nebulous and ethereal, whilst also being subtle and dynamic. The modulation of the Galyari voices is heavy handed and at times recondite, so why they would want to mask the voice of Anneke wills is mystifying.

Despite some of the Doctor's dubious motivations, this is an enthralling tale. I am happy to suspend my disbelief for something that has a new perspective on things. Although, truth be told it wasn’t much effort. I think some will have a problem with the Doctor be shown to be anything less than whiter than white, but that's a shame because despite its faults this trying to do something different and although it will never match the status of 'Spare Parts' or 'Chimes of Midnight' this is still well worth a listen.
Reviewed By: xeryus63 on 11/26/15 5:34 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
This is one of the best Jago & Litefoot stories.
Adding Strax to the mix makes a great combination of Jago & Litefoot from Classic Who with Strax from New Who.
The plot isn't anything remarkably new.

But what makes it is the characterisation.
Strax really fits well into the world of Jago &Litefoot , and he isn't just poor comic a square peg in a round hole.

It all fits together seemlessly. It's probably as perfect a fit as you could imagine.
Everything you could wish for in Jago & Litefoot. Just brilliant

Big Finish should definitely use Strax again somehow with them, but would need some new twist for them to work together and not just use him just for the sake of it, it needs to be a good story.
This sets the bar really high for future paternoster gang use.
So Big Finish have a steep hill to climb for their "difficult second album".
But I would guess they'll use Madam Vastra & Jenny in with our heroes next, cause if they don't they'll be missing a massive opportunity for a crossover.
Reviewed By: adamelijah on 11/26/15 10:50 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
By far, the best of this Season's Early Adventures. The story opens with the Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria landing on a space ship affected by a Black Hole and they run right into the Doctor's people.

This is just a superb script. The portrayal of Victoria is probably the best I've heard in Big Finish as it really gives her a strong portrayal. The story plays with some fascinating Sci Fi concepts in the Black Hole and how it effects time. The script has a lot of twists, turns, and surprises and a great sense of mystery with the return of an old foe. Guerrier really keeps this in balance and manages to do a lot of very bold things while still keeping with existing continuity. I did have mixed feelings of the portrayal of one returning character as his actions seemed a little rougher than he usually operated.

The cast is strong, with a few minor issues. Deborah Wattling can't really bring her voice back to where it was when she was on television, and Frazier Hines's 2nd Doctor voice occasionally slips, However, that's more than made up for by overall good performances and a strong supporting cast highlighted by Janet Dibley.
Reviewed By: traves8853 on 11/25/15 6:16 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
'The Blue Tooth' isn't the most accomplished in the Companion Chronicles range, but it does attempt to provide us with those lost moments that would be memorable had been shown on the TV series. It fills in the details around Liz's departure and gifts us a proper third Doctor Cyberman adventure. Liz's friend Jean has gone missing and the Cybermen are involved.

The music is distinctly seventies with deep bass notes driving the more sombre scenes and organs inhabiting the lighter moments; the directing really makes the most of the story it has been given. The story is pretty light plot wise but involves Cybermen who are unfamiliar with Cyber protocols, use different terminology and have a different look than they should. Have these Cybermen achieved individuality?

It's surprising how often the body horror aspect of the Cybermen is unutilised in Cyber stories; this one makes no such mistake, even going as far as to detail the Cyber-conversion process. One thing I am not sure I like is the idea that the Doctor can just undo the Cyber-conversion process. It isn't just that it lessens the threat; there is something else I just can't put my finger on. Also, Liz as the narrator sets out the premise that this is an explanation as to why she left UNIT, although it’s never overtly stated at the end we can only assume that it's the fate of her friend Jean. I am aware of the show don't tell maxim, but we never see the effect this has on Liz either.
Reviewed By: newt5996 on 11/25/15 1:16 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
This audio is the official pilot for the Jago & Litefoot series of Audio Dramas and is the first Companion Chronicle that doesn't feature the Doctor in any form. Christopher Benjamin and Trevor Baxter reunite for a mainly stand alone story which helps reintroduce us to the pair of infernal investigators after The Talons of Weng-Chiang and introduces us to who would become a series regular, barkeep Ellie Higson played by Lisa Bowerman. Bowerman doesn't really have much to do here except introduce the story as she serves Jago and Litefoot drinks so they can tell each other their stories She handles her minimal role with aplomb which shows just how good of an actor Bowerman is.

Benjamin and Baxter also give great performances picking up right where they left off and the chemistry is still there. Andy Lane's story is an extremely intriguing one and is steeped in the Victorian setting. Basically the villains are the Autons, but made out of wood and having a human consciousness. There is also talk of black magic and the score is chilling. The way the story is told allows for some comedy interjections and of course awesome alliteration.

The only real flaw with the story is that the framing could have been done a bit better and maybe have had Ellie listening in on the story instead of being the server of drinks.
Reviewed By: NewWorldreviews on 11/25/15 12:02 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
The first of two brand new stories created by Doctor Who producer Philip Hinchcliffe is quite simply the most Hinchcliffe-y story anyone could come up with. It has everything - creepy ghosts, a colourful cast of characters, a deformed villain. If anything, this could come across as a story very much modelled on The Talons Of Weng-Chiang, but Ghosts Of Gralstead manages to do plenty differently in order to feel like a separate story, rather than just a rip-off of the earlier source material. I thought that the directions that the story took were very interesting indeed, and it was nice to see Hinchcliffe's imagination run riot, with no budget to stop him. One thing that is really pushed in this story is the envelope regarding violence, what with Mordrega devouring human brains and a rather brutal African chief. However, I don't think it ever crosses the line, and it perfectly in keeping with the tone of the time, even if it strays beyond it content wise. I think, like The Foe From The Future, this story is well paced. However, I did feel that the story could have been a hell of a lot tighter, particularly with the diversion to Africa, which pretty much was just used to fill out episode 5. While I didn't dislike the diversion, it was essentially an extended short story tied into the main thrust of the narrative, and was also used to write out one of the characters and set things up for the last part. But the first four episodes are electric - the best fourth Doctor action since The Crooked Man. I just loved the weird fusion of Ghost Light and The Talons Of Weng-Chiang, aand that is partly down to the skill of scriptwriter Marc Platt. The story builds with mystery, keeping you wrapped up in what's going on, despite having another three or four episodes left to listen to. Mordrega is a fantastic villain, with a very clear motivation and some great scenes with both the Doctor and Sir Edward. The idea behind the character of Clementine was also very cool as well - a girl who's mind is still stuck in a place where her body is not is a really clever idea. I loved the way that the first episode introduced so many disparate elements, but, by the end of the story, it's clear how they all weave into each other. The dark humour that runs throughout the story is really well appreciated. I also really like the characters too. As I said, Mordrega and Cleme were really strong characters, as were the whole cast. I particularly liked Abasi, particularly in his sub-plot with Leela, and the two body-snatchers. They just made such a good double act, a feeling helped by their grizzly fate at the hands of Mordrega. The cast also make the best of the material too. I loved the interaction between Tom Baker and Louise Jameson, particularly in the moments when one believes the other to be dead. The raw intensity from both actors is brilliant. Carolyn Seymour is also brilliant as Mordrega, and I have to single out the work of Andy Secombe and Sean Carlsen as the wonderful body-snatchers. They really are great. In fact, the whole cast are fantastic, aided superbly by Ken Bentley's direction, which keeps the story moving along really well. This is all topped off by Howard Carter's splendid music and sound design, which is a lovely throwback to the Simpson scores of old. The Ghosts of Gralstead is no Foe From The Future, but it is a really good story that very nearly achieves perfection, but is so good anyway, it doesn't really matter.