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< 5.11 - Ferril's Folly
6.1 Tales From the Vault >

5.12 The Cold Equations

Rating Votes
10
31%
21
9
34%
23
8
12%
8
7
13%
9
6
1%
1
5
3%
2
4
3%
2
3
1%
1
2
0%
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1
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Average Rating
8.5
Votes
67

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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 11/15/15 12:18 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

'The Cold Equations' is a two hander with Peter Purves and Tom Allen playing 'Oliver Harper'. It's a sad wistful tale. Oliver is a city trader from London 1966 and was introduced in 'the Perpetual Bond'. An odd but ingenious choice of new companion. You would benefit greatly from listening to Oliver's trilogy of stories in order: 'Perpetual Bond', 'Cold Equations' and finally finishing with the 'First Wave'.

Steven and Oliver are trapped in the remains of a satellite floating above a shattered Earth. Running out of time Steven asks Oliver for full disclosure of the event’s leading up to this point and gets what he asked for.

The chime like music playing softly in the background with a slow beat creates an ethereal frosty atmosphere as it introduces us to the story and it's a shame this disappears after the opening titles, only reappearing occasionally. Instead it's replaced with noises that set the background like creaking printers or bubbling air purification systems.

Peter Purves impersonation of Hartnell adds an impish caricature of the Doctor's voice when he reads Bill's lines - sans fluffs. Purves is very capable but Tom has a much more interesting and fresh character. Tom’s performance captures the feel of the sixties in the repressed tones of Oliver's voice filtered through a Received Pronunciation accent. Oliver is a fascinating character as he feels so out of place but at the same time being made for this production. Oliver adds an air of mystery to proceedings and is a very English companion. To be honest I imagine that his stuffy character would be too similar to Hartnell's Doctor to be a long standing arrangement, but as a more Mayfly character works.

Oliver reveals his secret, a very human secret and the scene handles it with real pathos. It’s a deeply emotive moment, and touches on issues of the time.

More of a traditional narration and it's a relief that Tom is here to alleviate that. Very few actors in the range have captured the voice of the respective Doctor, Hines is probably the best but even he manages to only do it intermittently. Coupled the slower style of storytelling with Tom's voice only punctuating the narration occasionally throughout. Despite a slow start there is a lot here to hold attention and provide interest. The science aspect is surprisingly good and works well. A very respectable effort and an above outing for the range.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 9/9/15 4:27 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Continuing the trilogy of stories concerning companion Oliver Harper, The Cold Equations by Simon Guerrier sees the Doctor, Steven and Oliver arrive at a satellite and partake in a cross between a base under siege story and the we're all going to die story as air runs out. That's really all there is for plot and doesn't do anything new with the ideas. It just is used as a crisis state to reveal Oliver's secret which is done right. Instead of leaving it for the finale they reveal it here that to truly applaud the story I have to reveal so when you get to the spoiler warning stop reading. Guerrier also nails Steven's character and uses Steven's knowledge of flying to help them get out of the situation. There really isn't much else to say except the direction and music is wonderful so I can give it a 7/10.











SPOILER WARNING! Oliver is gay. And honestly you think something like that would be out of era for the Hartnell Years, but by using Steven as a companion who is from the far future, it really works. It also helps that by all accounts Hartnell was accepting of anyone around him who was gay so that also helps it work.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
5
Plot Rating:
NR
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: komodoReview Date: 2/25/14 11:44 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Great acting and very good science. In many ways this was a great story, but I found that it felt a little disjointed. There were points where things seemed to just hop ahead or maybe I was just having trouble paying attention. I think perhaps so much of the story was a set up to the big secret rather than tell a story in its own right and this lessens it. Perhaps the story should have been longer and there was too much editing.
The secret too, left me underwhelmed. By the end I was just thinking "hope it isn't ... " and it was, which was boring really. The Doctor and Steven's reactions to it also left me wondering why they even bothered. Nothing wrong with it being in the story, but I felt the lead up to it, was too much; like telling everyone they are going to love your joke and then being the only one to laugh at it. This same reveal could have been done far more effectively without building up expectations.

On the plus side the mechanics of orbital manoeuvring gave Steven a rare chance to use his expertise and surprise people. Oliver is working out well as the second companion and I think the next episode will be worth looking forward to.

I think I was also thrown by the similarities part of this story had with "Space Pirates" an awful original episode I recently listened to. This one had much better special effects.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
NR
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: jolyonReview Date: 7/9/12 5:08 pm
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Another strong release. The Peter Purves first Doctor is a fun interpretation, Tom Allen is a welcome addition to the TARDIS crew as Oliver and this story gives space pilot Steven Taylor a chance to shine. Who would think that maths and science could be this exciting to listen to? Even the extras are fascinating. Oliver's secret is a gift to storytelling with the benefit of hindsight. They'd never have done it at the time, but now, it feels bang on what they would have done - very clever!
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