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185. Moonflesh

One wouldn't normally expect to find elephants, gorillas and rhinoceroses roaming free in Suffolk in the year 1911. One wouldn't normally expect to find an extra-dimensional police box at the same time/space location either. Two aliens, named the Doctor and Nyssa, exit said box, only to find themselves pursued by a hungry lioness – for they've landed in the private hunting grounds of the famous e... (more)

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Rated 6/10 on 4/22/14 9:10 pm
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Review By NewWorldreviews 4/20/14 12:39 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Reviewer Says:
No previous stories required.
It's no wonder that after the success of The One Doctor, Big Finish wanted to try a similar style of story. So it was natural that they would turn to the comedy duo of Gareth Roberts and Clayton Hickman to pen such a story. It's not a suprise that, while Bang-Bang-A-Boom! is a good story, it's a bit of a comedown after that wonderful story. It's attempting to do much the same thing, but it isn't quite as successful. However, that doesn't make it unsuccessful. In fact, it's still a pretty good audio.

The plot isn't particularly gripping, but this story very much more than being concerned with fussing with a plot. The plot concerns itself with a song contest in space, essentially very much like the Eurovision Song Contest, but in space. The story, however, also concerns itself with trying to emulate Star Trek and various other sci fi properties. However, the one problem with this story is that it is trying to do too much at once. It's trying to ape too many different and independent cult materials, meaning that it suffers from diminishing returns. The material that it's trying to present means that it's never can attain true greatness or humour of The One Doctor. Some of the humour is also a little childish, and reliant. I suppose that knowledge of those cult in-jokes is really needed to truly appreciate this. However, things like the dramatic cues every time someone dies is the kind of overvalued humour that is common with children's programmes of the last decade. So I suppose that it might just about fit. Some of the twists and turns in this story (like the discovery of the murderer or the revelation of the peace conference) are so ludercrous they make the end of The Android Invasion look sensible. However, I suppose that's the point of them: if they were sensible then they wouldn't have the same impact. Everything is exaggerated or blown out of proportion. I suppose that it's all part of the feeling of exaggeration.

The characters in this are also blown out of all proportions too. Each and every one is little more than a stereotype, but this does really fit in with the story. Each character has a distinct personality, from the almost-Nazi like ranting of Loosly to the smokescreen generating Eleanor Harcourt, they all have a distinct personality. And it's so nice to see them allowed to let go, very much like in The One Doctor, and just allowed to act it up. Certainly there are times where subtly could have been the order of the day. Even McCoy starts to ham it up, although again it's all in keeping with the spirit of the piece. In fact, it's only Bonnie Langford who plays the material completely straight. I'm sure that the recording sessions were a blast for this story. Nicholas Pegg and Andy Hardwick also really let go in direction and in music, just allowing the songs in the contest to be completely hammed up. But then again, aren't they always in this things?

In total, I think people give Bang-Bang-A-Boom! a bad name simply because it failed to live up to there expectations after The One Doctor. The main reason why I think people disliked this so much was the idea that it wasn't parodying of Doctor Who, but rather a lot of other sci fi/real world institutions. Not as many Who fans could proberbly understand all the Star Trek jokes, as they could digs at there own show. However, while the humour can grate a little and the acting is hammy beyond belief, Bang-Bang-A-Boom! is still a funny story, and a ok one too.
Review By nowwearealltom 4/19/14 9:27 pm
0 out of 3 found this review helpful.
The format is interesting and somewhat cleverly done (although whichever disc you listen to first, the second one is going to be a bit boring and predictable). It's reasonably enjoyable.

So why the low score? Because it's racist. Irredeemably racist. The "appeasement" timeline is basically a far-right parable against immigration and the dangers of political correctness. Ick. It's the kind of Doctor Who story your drunk, racist uncle might write, if you have one of those.

Morris can usually be relied upon to write a good script. I'd like to see the alternate timeline where he managed to turn this one in without a bunch of racist trash slap bang in the middle of it. But sadly, that's not the timeline I live in, so this one's lucky to get a 3.
Review By chrisscorkscrew 4/19/14 1:30 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Reviewer Says:
No previous stories required.
The whole story is just a joy. The mix of historical irreverence and clever plotting kept me hooked all the way through, and I was constantly wrong-footed as the story took yet another twist. The acting is particularly good and it's obvious that the actors are having as good a time as the listener.

Recommended to listeners who like their stories with a rich vein of humour, manipulations of the timeline or a historical setting. This is one story I will be revisiting over and over again.
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Review By: NewWorldreviews
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