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< The Foe from the Future
4.1 - The Dark Planet >

The Valley of Death

Rating Votes
10
8%
6
9
16%
12
8
39%
30
7
20%
15
6
14%
11
5
0%
0
4
1%
1
3
1%
1
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
7.7
Votes
76

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Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 1/4/16 11:27 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The setting of the first episode was a real nice change but the second half lagged a bit till the last half an hour or so. Quite a good resolution but the body doubles thing was just predictable. Liked the sense of an epic alien invasion which I think was mostly down to the thunderous effects and fantastic music. Very Sci-Fi ending and really like to know how they would have realised a lot of this on screen in the seventies. Also, it has the fantastic line: "Your explanations are worse than not knowing"

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: NewWorldreviewsReview Date: 10/28/15 11:25 am
4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

In complete contrast to The Foe From The Future, The Valley Of Death is completely zany. The plot is all over the place, with so many ideas any sain adaption would have stripped all of them out. But Jonathan Morris is frankly too clever a writer to do that, and instead manages to meld all of these ideas together to create a lively, engaging story. Sure, the plot is ludercrous, and at times the story feels like it's simply telling us what's happening, rather than conveying the events naturally. However, The Valley Of Death finds a more natural home on audio than it every would have done on television. The villain, Godrin, is so over the top it's untrue, but it feels in keeping with the light tone of the story. Nothing feels like it takes itself too seriously, which helps it suceed. Were it not so flippant with it's logic and tone, I doubt the story would have stood up to a lot of scrutiny. There are some beautiful images in this story: the eponymous Valley, the Luron mothership over Windsor Castle, the Sun Chamber etc.. Sure, a few ideas feel borrowed from the stories that Hinchcliffe produced, namly The Face Of Evil, Terror Of The Zygons and The Android Invasion, but these are twisted in a different way to how the TV stories were that it's enough to see them as distinct enough to stand on their own. Admitly, the story is weakened by the sudden shift in setting in episode 3, and it does make the title utterly redundant, but these never harm the story too much, and the Douglas Adams feel runs throughout it. Tom Baker and Lousie Jameson are the clear standouts here, putting in two great performances, really just having fun with the material. It's one of Tom Baker's most light-hearted portrayals of the fourth Doctor at Big Finish, but it fits in really well with the tone of the story. Louise is a riot too, being allowed to lead whole parts of the story away from the Doctor and working out bits of the plot. The rest of the cast are serviceable, although I did like Nigel Carrington's really hammy performance as Godrin. It just felt utterly of the time, but there was always enough menace behind the lines so as not to weaken his stature. Mind you, I did think that Jane Slavin did lay the American accent on a little bit thick with her rather outlandish speech. Ken Bentley's direction was excellent, and while I liked Andy Hardwick's music and sound design, to me it didn't really feel 'of the period', which was something I wasn't as taken with. However, while Valley Of Death has a few issues, it's still a really enjoyable story, with plenty of laughs and two great lead performances.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
6
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 3/18/15 5:57 am
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

"The Valley of Death" was from an idea by former show-runner Philip Hinchcliffe and was written by Jonathan Morris. This was originally written for the Graham Williams era after Hinchcliffe had left as producer. In it, an explorer sets for the Amazon rain forest on the trail of his great grandfather's discovery a century before.

The story deals with some great concepts including time bubbles where time runs slower inside than in the outside world and a very interesting alien race. This is dense and in many ways, it's so dense with concepts, it could have been served by being a six parter to flesh out its characters and concepts. As produced, this felt less like a true four parter and more like two two parters.

The first two parts are set in the jungle and have the Doctor and Leela unraveling the mystery of the Valley of Death, which is known as a second Bermuda triangle. This is all pretty good and enjoyable. It’s a nice adventure story that moves along at a good pace and is plenty of fun. The second half of the story is a bit of a letdown. Episode three and the first part of Episode four are pretty weak sauce. The plot in this part is very weak and contrived particularly with Leela and Edward being left unconscious in the airplane for the convenience of the villain.

The middle of episode four sees a bit of a comeback as the Doctor and Leela have some great moments. The ending is a bit odd but better than the one Hinchcliffe planned. While meant to recapture the fun of the Williams era, this one misses. ("How do you know it's an escape pod?" "It may be that sign that says ‘escape pod.’") The guest stars are no help. Thanks to Minuet in Hell and Invasion from Mars, Valerie Carlton isn't the character with the worst American accent in Doctor Who history but it is annoying. However, I will say that Nigel Carrington makes for a fairly good villain. Overall, this isn't anything special, but Tom Baker and Louise Jameson make it worth listening to.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: kfb2014Review Date: 8/2/14 2:24 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Professor Perkins travels to the darkest, distant Amazoian jungle to try and discover the lost city of the Magur’s. However he disappears. Many years later his grandson Edward decides to go in search of the lost city himself and also to see what has happened to his grandfather. Assisted by The Dr, Leela and the American photo journalist Valire Carlton, they set off aboard flight EP400 to Manus, and to the Amazon.
The flight however does not quite go as smooth as everyone would want. Needless to say an emergency landing is executed by the Dr. in to the “second Bermuda” triangle, near to the jungles of Manus. However, a tribe now under the control of a marooned and alien “Goduin” is now there little Yellow God*. Enslaving the locals and also creating a time bubble, he has also got Professor Perkins now working for him. Utilising alien technology he guards his little kingdom with artificially enlarged jungle animals, like man eating frogs. The arrival and survival of the Dr, and the ensemble give Goduin the belief that now is time for the final push for himself and his Lunon Race.
What we have here is a very high quality Dr Adventure, set in the 70’s with UNIT even making an appearance towards the end. It has a very thick multi layered plot that makes this much more than just the standard offering. There is at least three sub stories that twist and combine in the end act to conclude a very enjoyable way of spending 2hrs +. Not as good as the first but nevertheless excellent. It does emphasis the strength of Philip Hinchcliffe and Morris’s writing talents, making me look forward to the special releases from Big Finish in September of more of Hinchcliffe’s work.
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