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165. The Burning Prince

The Drashani Empire – a galaxy-spanning civilisation, the glory of Rome set among the stars. But for decades now, the Royal Houses of Gadarel and Sorsha have been at war, each claiming the Imperial throne.

The wedding of Prince Kylo and Princess Aliona was meant to change all that – a blessed union between the Houses, a new hope for the Empire. Until Aliona's wedding galley crash-landed on the planet Sharnax – and all contact was lost.

The TARDIS lands aboard the ship carrying the fiery Kylo in search of his lost princess – but with a sabre-toothed monster roaming its corridors, the Doctor soon discovers he's not the only alien presence aboard.
Peter Davison (The Doctor), Caroline Langrishe (Shira), George Rainsford (Prince Kylo), Clive Mantle (Tuvold), Dominic Rowan (Corwyn), Derek Hutchinson (Altus), Caroline Keiff (Riga), Tim Treloar (Tyron), Kirsty Besterman
Written By
Directed By
Ken Bentley


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Review By Gcookscotland
Rated 9/10 on 7/3/13 8:54 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
The Doctor finds himself on a ship with a Prince with a firey temper where he's not welcomed with open arms. Really good story!
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
Review By Eiphel
Rated 5/10 on 11/14/12 4:00 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
One thing I can certainly say about the Burning Prince - it evokes the Sawardian era particularly well. Grim, macho, action thriller stuff with a heaped helping of death and destruction. Unfortunately, I tend to find such stories quite a lot of noise and bluster, and that issue is only exacerbated on audio. Action thrillers are not really my thing in any medium, and I find them particularly ill suited to audio. On top of that, I was initially very excited by all the talk of seeing an Empire rise and fall, of political houses and marriages of convenience. That stuff really does interest me. I enjoy conflicts between personalities and philosophies, and don't get much interest from conflicts between characters and external obstacles, unless those characters are particularly compelling, and the conflicts serve as character study.

That's not the Burning Prince's raison d'etre however. It's a high-speed survival thriller, throwing a motley bunch from disaster to disaster without pause for breath, peril growing ever higher. Unfortunately I find that rather tedious in and of itself, and once it became apparent that that was what I was listening to, I hoped it might be carried by the strength of its characters and direction. All credit to Peter Davison, who is excellent here, and really keeps things ticking over, but beyond him I was left cold.

Best of the supporting cast was the pilot Shira, and she features least of all. Wearily stoic Tyron was somewhat amusing and endearing, but once the joke wears thin, it becomes apparent he isn't serving any purpose. Most memorable, though, are Kylo and Aliona - but for all the wrong reasons. Kylo is pathetic. A clueless, simpering wretch who fails to elicit any sympathy and grows worse as the story progresses. In the final episode he is so phenomenally stupid as to defy credibility and I confess the scene in question took me out of the story so badly I lost all focus on what was happening thereafter. Aliona, meanwhile, is an extreme pantomime villain. One-dimensional in totality, all of her dialogue just shouts 'Baddie baddie baddie!' without a hint of motivation or philosophy.

I had been looking forward to this story and this trilogy, but I'm afraid this story was neither what I expected, nor what I enjoy. I'll give it a 5/10 largely on the back of Davison's great showing.

(Oh, and what was with the bizarre pace-breaking Tegan sequence? That seemed really peculiar.)
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
Review By jb_masta
Rated NR/10 on 10/18/12 2:56 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
After the continuity heavy seventh doctor trilogy, The Burning Price is a breath of fresh air.
Placed after the TV story Arc Of Infinity, and between the audios Omega and The Elite, the Fifth Doctor lands on a spaceship instead of the Amsterdam hostel where he planned to meet Nyssa an Tegan. On his own, he gets accused of spying and sabotage. Nevertheless, he still get involved in a rescue mission for princess Aliona (Kirsty Besterman) on the planet Sharnax, home to the fierce Igris.

The princess' ship crashed on the way to meet prince Kylo (the titular burning prince), who she is to wed in order to bring peace the the Drashani empire.

A range of characters, awkward situations and a mystery to solve, you can't go wrong with The Burning Prince.

A great story, if only for its change of pace from recent releases. The story is picked up in the forthcoming sixth doctor release the Acheron Pulse, and wrapped up in The Shadow Heart with the seventh doctor. If You want to check the first episode out, go to the catalogue of big finish podcasts (