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Reviewed By: adamelijah on 4/27/15 5:18 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
Elizabeth Blunt travels to Mega-City One to do research and conduct interviews on her favorite topic: the novels of Slick Dickens, an anti-hero and thug who was the subject of novels that are very popular in academic circles but banned. However, when Slick Dickens starts to kill real people with whom the character has a grudge she runs into Judge Dredd.

This is a very fun production. It manages to maintain a great comic book tone while gently poking fun at Noir and the genre of novel from which Slick originate, while at the same time lampooning the often heady academic deconstruction of everything.

Written in a similar format of the Doctor Who Companion Chronicles, with two actors reading the story, both do very well here. Helen Kay does a great job creating this character torn between her youthful love for Slick Dickens and her more academic side. Toby Longworth makes all the characters work including Dredd. His, “I don’t have relationships” line was hilarious.

The plot twist ending was pretty predictable for anyone whose ever read a mystery like this, but I do give the writer credit for throwing in some good misdirection to throw us. Overall, this is an enjoyable tale with no previous knowledge of Judge Dredd required.
Reviewed By: Grumpy Old Man on 4/27/15 4:46 am
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Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
I really enjoyed this story, Turlough and the 5th Doctor make for quite a good combination (it's a shame there are so few stories with this line up). The incidental characters are nicely engaging, I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Turlough and Jasper Jeakes, though I couldn't have taken much more of Flowers as he was a little on the irritating side. Overall an amusing (particularly the Doctors attempt to educate Turlough in the ways of cricket) and enjoyable story.
Reviewed By: Grumpy Old Man on 4/27/15 4:40 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Reviewer Says: Previous stories required!
I started this story with low expectations but had started on the Thomas Brewster arc so decided to give it a shot. Turned out to be a lot better than I had expected from the ratings to date. I generally associate Paul Magrs with "off the wall" and the central idea was certainly in keeping with this (though not as much as some of his stories, remembering that this is the guy who created Iris Wildthyme). The plot device to enable time travel at the start wasn't the most nonsensical idea I've ever heard and worked reasonably well in the context of the story. The performances were good, though I found the incidental sound to be fairly minimal (Big Finish usually go to town on the jungle soundscapes). Overall not a chore to listen to but with limited replay value.
Reviewed By: adamelijah on 4/26/15 10:20 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
The Long Game is a somewhat underrated story. Whether, that's because it's not quite as good as the stories that surround it or what but I think there are two good plots.

The first is the overall Satellite 5 plot which is a pretty typical Doctor Who potboiler. There's a mystery, a strange and creepy situation on Floor 500, and a truly great performance by Simon Pegg as the villain. The Doctor does a good job arousing intellectually lazy humans to be curious to find the truth. It's nothing special, but it's pulled off with good style.

The Adam Mitchell plot is fascinating to me and it's an interesting take on a companion as we witness a full fledged companion wipeout. It's not enough to want to see the stars or to be special or a genius, to be a Companion for more than just an episode requires a strength of will and character that he didn't possess despite whatever genius he had. His failure put the Doctor and Rose's life in danger.

While it's not essential viewing, it does set up the Series finale as the Doctor leaves others to sort out the details with horrific consequences.
Reviewed By: adamelijah on 4/26/15 10:06 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
The story isn’t bad, but it’s not a great opening for the impossible girl arc. The plot was intriguing but had a bit of a throwaway ending the point of the plot wasn’t the real point of the episode but to introduce Clara as the new Companion.

There’s some nice flashy moments like the Doctor riding a motorcycle up the side of a building (sort of ), but it’s all Sound and Fury not really signifying anything.
Reviewed By: adamelijah on 4/26/15 7:11 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
Relative Dimensions has the Doctor trying to give Lucie the “perfect Christmas” by having her make Christmas dinner for him, his granddaughter Susan, and his great grandson Alex. The Doctor hopes that Alex has a lot more Time Lord in him than he appears to and that somehow he has telepathic Time Lord abilities buried somewhere as his DNA is only 7% Galifreyan. Given that, the Doctor’s talk about leaving Alex the TARDIS seems a tad ambitious. The idea of the Doctor as a scheming Great Grandparent wanting to ensure someone carries on the family enterprise is an interesting idea, but I’m not sure how well Marc Platt pulls it off.

I do give Platt credit for not making this story overcrowded unlike, An Earthly Child, but the monster were given is hard to really get emotionally involved in. There’s a lot of interaction between the family, and the story does manage to get you to care about what happens with Alex going on the TARDIS, but there are few scenes that provide genuine or warmth, although they are there. And I have to puzzle as to what the Doctor’s overall plan was in setting up this Christmas with Susan and Alex, along with Lucie. The effect on Lucie is to make her feel like she doesn’t quite fit and to think the Doctor really doesn’t want her to travel with him, but wants Alex. Was it his plan that Lucie and Alex would fall for one another and travel on the TARDIS? have no idea and the script doesn’t let us know.

There are some good moments in here and the music is nice, but this is probably my least favorite story this season, but given how strong Series 4 is, that doesn’t say much. It’s still not a bad story.

Other Recommended/Related Stories

Reviewed By: adamelijah on 4/25/15 7:36 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
The 2012 Christmas Special has a lot to commend it. I have to give credit to Stephen Moffat. It’s easy to make shadows or gothic statues scary but snowmen, that’s another accomplishment entirely.

It says something about the Doctor that even when he tries to go into isolation instead of doing what a normal person would do and going to some isolated place and parking the TARDIS, he parks in the air above Victorian London. Jenna Louise Coleman turns in a good performance particularly given her story was meant to establish a sense of mystery. There are also great funny moments courtesy of Dan Starkey and some emotional ones.

There are problems with this one in terms of logic, and also the lack of development of Doctor Simeon. Still, this is a case where everything that’s right with the story and particularly it’s style, outweighs the problems with its substance.
Reviewed By: adamelijah on 4/25/15 12:26 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
This story has a good premise at its core with a time travelling tour bus that crash lands in Wales instead of its intended destination of Disneyland. The Doctor turns in a decent performance (except for one of the weakest "Doctor speeches" in show history but I think that's a result of the writing.) I also find Mel to be a lovely person who just happens to have an annoying habit of screaming all the time. The 1950s music when it played or sung was very nice and there were some good scenes of the Welsh countryside. I liked the idea of quick growing aliens, though here it's done a bit too quickly. I also appreciated an authority figure reacting sensibly to an alien visit.

The story really falls down in execution. The characters of Hawk and Weisuller take up several scenes and are actually rather pointless to the plot. And as to their actual effect on the story, to put it nicely, well let's say, they're not exactly Jago and Litefoot. The resolution to both cliffhangers was really weak, though if it helps the cliffhangers weren't all that great either. The villains look absurb with their visor sunglasses and overall are surprisingly weak. The plot is contrived. And the incidental music is really bad throughout, particularly in battle scenes.

I could see this story as being "so bad it's good," and that sort of rating is interpretative. All Delta and the Bannerman was missing was commentary by the crew of MST3K. I can't really see it as comedy in the Douglas Adams style of Pirate Planet or City of Death. There's daftly executed parody and then there's a poorly executed story that can pick a tone and uses poor music. In the end, the story is another off-7th Doctor Tale from Season 24.