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Reviewed By: NewWorldreviews on 10/3/15 8:11 am
2 out of 3 found this review helpful.
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
Unfortunately, whereas The Romance Of Crime was an enjoyable slice of 70's nostalgia, The English Way Of Death doesn't quite come together quite as it should. I think the problem lies in the fact that it is an adaption, and therefore loses something in the translation from print to audio. Part one's pacing and the timeline of events, for example, feels very erratic and often all over the place, while part four slows up considerably, going from capture to escape to capture again. A lot of the humor was also lost in part four that made the story so enjoyable in the first place. One element which did shine through, and showed how English Way Of Death may have been a superior novel to Romance Of Crime, was the characterisation. Whereas Roberts revelled in the cliche in Romance, here the cliches are just a basis to launch some interesting characters. Zodall, the main villain for example, comes across as more of a real character than Xais, and actually shows some real thought. Once again, the post production side of Big Finish is well controlled and considered, with some brilliant performances from Tom and Lalla, ably supported by a much more active John Leeson. The guest cast are brilliant too, with Terence Hardiman stealing the show as the possessed Stackhouse. Jamie Robertson's music and sound design are pitch perfect too, making the whole thing feel epic, but also in line with the best of Dudly Simpson's work. If only The English Way Of Death wasn't such a packed book to begin with, I think we could have a masterpiece. What we have is flawed, but with much merit, and well worth a once over.
Reviewed By: adamelijah on 10/3/15 6:03 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
In the first of the second Doctor Early Adventure stories, The Doctor, Ben, Polly, and Jamie arrive on a colony world where the Doctor had previously helped to liberate it from oppression, but something sinister is going on and it appears an old friend of the Doctor is dead.

Elliot Chapman does a very good job as the recast Ben. However, his lines are limited as Simon Guerrier believed the role would be read in at the time he wrote the script, and we have Ben disappearing for his "holiday" in typical 1960s fashion in Episode 3.

The first two episodes do a great job setting up a mystery as to what's going on, and there are some solid cliffhangers as we're given mysteries as to where the population is, what's going on with the robots that dominate the city. Ultimately, the payoff was somewhat disappointing and a bit non-sensical. The conclusion could have worked, but only if the tone had been right for a very campy silly story, but that wasn't what the Yes Men was.

There were so many ideas present here, but none of them come to fruition: the Orwellian idea of being watched constantly, the Danger of manipulating data, rights for artificial intelligence, how people in politics become corrupted, regret at when old friends change. Unfortunately, none of these ideas are properly developed and the result is an ending that just doesn't have proper foundation.

Overall, though, this isn't a bad piece, but it could have been much better.
Reviewed By: Alfred on 10/3/15 5:19 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
This is the equal best post regeneration story in all of classic and new Who (matched only by Troughton's Power of the Daleks). The Autons, based on clothing shop dummies, are a terrifying adversary. The action does not miss a beat, the acting is brilliant, the writing superb. The characters are established effortlessly in minimal time and the tone is set for the remainder of Pertwee's considerable reign. A masterpiece.
Reviewed By: Alfred on 10/3/15 5:02 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
This is a 6 part story in the exceptionally strong season 7 (Pertwee's first). It features UNIT (hoorah!) and the Third Doctor is at his supercilious, cantankerous best - a personality trait that not all Who watchers like but which I admire as it makes Pertwee's Doctor unique. He plays him as one who feels superior to others, is lacking in humility and is often not, therefore, that likeable.

Weaknesses: Taltalian's accent grates. The wheels-within-wheels plot is undercut a bit when UNIT has the shoot out with the intriguers in which people are shot (and probably killed) and yet, later, when the government connection is revealed, the Brigadier, the Doctor and General Carrington chat as if nothing has happened - the Doctor even comments "bit of a case of the right hand not knowing what the left does" (or similar) and they all laugh!

Reviewed By: Alfred on 10/3/15 4:32 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
This is one the best from Colin Baker's tenure. Lytton and his crime gang are very watchable, some good picaresque cliches; so are the renegades on Telos. The cybermen are menacing with one unfortunate exception (see below). The range of scenery from London sewers to the exterior of Telos and the cyber tombs is good.

The negatives are the cyber controller appears hilariously overweight, there is a torture scene, something which is out of place in a family TV show and the Doctor appears to enjoy a bit of violence.
Reviewed By: Alfred on 10/3/15 4:17 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
The White Guardian and (even more) the Black Guardian are among the lamest creations in classic Dr Who and blighted quite a few seasons. The acting of Wrack and her off-sider is particularly bad. For me, Tegan never really impresses and Peter Davidson always comes across as battling to make the most of a show that had gone downhill from its halcyon days. That said, this episode has some good ideas and characterisations and the space scenes with the sailing ships are quite artistic in their realisation.
Reviewed By: kfb2014 on 10/3/15 3:10 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
Lisa Bowerman is given the role of narrator in this seventh Doctor story. Playing the part of Bernice Summerfield, she is accompanying the Doctor at a conference. A conference about language what sparks Bernice curiosity is when a banished language, a language which is considered evil is mentioned in one of the conferences. A young attendee at the conference strikes up a conversation with Bernice after she realises that Bernice is a friend of the Doctor. After a conversation about the "banned" language Bernice feels she ought to find out more why this language had been banned. As you can image this is the journey down the rabbit hole for Bernice which leads her to the academics who want either to find out more or to discover the language itself. However anyone who has tried to discover more about the language as been arrested, or even worse have disappeared. Bernice learns that there are others who apparently have fragments, items, where the language is upon. Bernice get drawn deeper and deeper into finding out more about why this has been hidden, and more over what has happened to those that had tried to find out more. Bernice goes through a series of escapades to find the truth, when she does it comes as quite a shock, especially to Bernice....

Lisa is an accomplished producer, actor and writer, and is no stranger to the Big Finish world, in all shapes and guises, however, this is a difficult beast to drive, a solitary story line, with only the briefest assistance from another actor. So it is imperative that she is able to hold your concentration with the Eddie Robson story. I think that the story is intriguing and has good pace, and also generates an interest proposition, however I think that Lisa is not best suited at the delivery, she is far better when she is sparking off a cast of people. This is due to her ever present enthusiastic style and general high energy portrayal of the character of Bernice. It does not quite work in giving me the same sort of result as say Peter Purvis in his Companion releases, or Frazer Hines. I think although a decent story, it is let down by the almost Jackanory/Book at Bedtime style. For that it is not the best release in this series that I have listened too.
Reviewed By: Alfred on 10/3/15 3:00 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
This is one of the greats of Doctor Who. The action is set in swinging 60's London, which is very engaging. It has only a few small faults such as the lace-up cyberman boots, the sequence where Zoe calculates the trig in her head to guide the missiles is not convincing and the climax relies too much on reported action. It is very hard to go past this story when lining up your top 10's or 20's across all incarnations.