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< 171. The Seeds of War
173. The Lady of Mercia >

172. Eldrad Must Die!

Rating Votes
10
3%
2
9
4%
3
8
19%
14
7
28%
20
6
26%
19
5
11%
8
4
4%
3
3
3%
2
2
1%
1
1
0%
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Average Rating
6.6
Votes
72

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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
5
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 12/18/15 11:53 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

I am a big fan of Marc Platt's writing, but I am sure even he would admit that 'Eldrad Must Die' is not one of his best. It's very, very, very average with nothing that stands out about it other than what Star Trek fans call continuity porn. For instance, this isn't just a sequel to 'The Hand of Fear'; it also draws heavily on 'Mawdryn Undead'. As a result, we have some pretty useless by play between Turlough and an old friend of his, which doesn't advance our understanding of Turlough. This is in tandem to the main plot which is pretty much the same as 'The Hand of Fear': Long dead Alien resurrected only to die again by the end. The crystalline cutthroat is as much a one trick pony as the Silurians; everything about this is familiar and predictable.

The production values and acting are up there with the best. The music is understated and the acting is extremely competent. The soundtrack relies much more on sound effects to create atmosphere making it feel very much like you are watching TV with your eyes closed rather than the big Hollywood blockbuster feel of latter Big Finish main range offerings like 'Terror of the Sontarans' that are the sonic equivalent of a teenager who has over done it with his dad's Old Spice.

Overall, this is even paced and quite bland for the most part; its one redeeming feature, however, is the writer's strong imagery that is prevalent through all his work for Big Finish. This combined with the clear directing and understated soundtrack form the basis for what could be an excellent audio adventure, but on its own that just isn't enough.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: kfb2014Review Date: 5/10/15 2:39 am
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

After a brief respite we are back with Doctor No. 5. Peter Davidson and his band of merry brothers and sisters are back, and by that I mean Turlough, Nyssa and Tegan, it is starting to sound like the FAB four. I think the use of three companions stories is relevant in the whole Doctor Who history, but I am for one not sure if we are just using them for the sake of it now we get to the umpteenth release with No.5. However, that slight critic aside this story is a belter.

The Doctor is faced with sorting out the potential take over of the Earth by a genocidal tyrant Eldrad. I am sure that people more knowledge than myself on Who Universe will point out that there are some vague references to a previous Who, but for the life of me I struggled to recall. Please email me and let me know via the web site. But that aside if I review this from the point of someone listening to this on it's own, and it's merits as a Big Finish produced story then it is a real winner. Essentially a crystalline entity that has the ability to regenerate from a mere fragment of his own self, is intent of returning to full power and majesty, in order to do this however he sets about utilising the inhabitants of a British seaside town of Amberside, by slowly turning each and everyone and everything into silicon. For me not a bad thing for some of these places dotted around the coast of Blighty. However when an old school chum that Turlough bumps into reveals to him that everyone from his "Hogwarts" style school of yesteryear knew that Turlough and few others where from another world, it enables his old chum (whom is in the clutches of piecing together the last components of Eldrad) to use Turlough to do just that.

There is a real feel of the era that the fifth Doctor was around in this, and especially good use of the accompanying music is made which give it that feel. Even the language makes you think you are back in the early 90's. Big Finish are fine craftsman at their work that is for sure. Peter, Doctor is everything and more you actually feel he has moved No.5 on now, Tegan and Turlough and Nyssa for that matter are all as ever wonderfully reminiscent of that era of Who they are from, in the race to whom I consider the best companion performer however, my mark goes to Sarah Sutton as Nyssa, I just take to her and her whole character so much more than the others.

Wonderful stuff, wonderful nostalgia well worth the price.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
NR
Plot Rating:
NR
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: NewWorldreviewsReview Date: 4/30/15 2:03 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Over the years, Big Finish have done many sequels to previous stories in the TV series. The Bride Of Peladon, The Butcher Of Brisbane, The Osiedon Adventure; so many stories from the show's long history have been plumed for inspiration. And, while it may seem like it's near the bottom of the barrel, The Hand Of Fear is a story that had plenty of material to be mined for a future story. So Eldrad Must Die would seem, at first glance, to be a story with massive potential. However, unlike most Marc Platt scripts, Eldrad Must Die feels oddly cold and clinical, and filled to the brim with cliches. It's simply an excersize in nostalgia, rather than any attempt to advance the ideas originally present in Hand Of Fear.

The plot is as dull as ditchwater, with a simple, cliched story that says nothing and does little else. The story plods uninspiringly along, never threatening to become anything interesting. Very rarely has one of Big Finish's sequels been this slow and plodding, and it reinforces the idea that Big Finish have simply run out of sequels that are worth telling. Unlike Marc Platt's usual stories brimming with intelligence and wit, Eldrad Must Die feels cold and clinical. Everything feels far too calculated, and that gives it the feeling that it's a story that Big Finish wanted to tell, rather than one that needed to be told. It lacks the spark that Doctor Who stories, particularly those that pick up upon elements of the previous TV cannon, usually have. Very little new material is added to the Kastrian mythos, aside from the character of Mulkris, despite the fact that it has the potential. The plot also just seems to come to a sudden hault, with the crystal growth just wilting away. Yes, I'm sure there is some science in there, but dramatically, it just doesn't seem to work at all. That, combined with the bloated and overlong episodes, means that any drama in this story is mined away over the course of the two hour runtime. I'm sorry, but like the collapsed quartzberg in the bay, this story very quickly falls apart. The plot quickly looses focus, with so many different elements that it just seems messy and complicated. In many ways, it does remind me of Arc Of Infinity in that it has so many differing elements that prehaps don't come quite together. So, prehaps, it's more reminiscent of season 20 than it would like to be. But to be honest, from the outset, it immediately feels like it's just riffing off the original: shouty Eldrad, a nuclear reactor going critical, a possessed companion. All the elements that constitute this story are similar to ones we have seen before, and it just doesn't interest anyone who is even remotely interested in anything new.

The characters are also a drab bunch, clearly inspired by some of the mid 80's worst efforts in characterisation. Mulkris should have been an interesting character, but instead she just comes across as a petulant child. Nancy Carroll at least manages to make her sound a little like Judith Paris did in The Hand Of Fear, but it's too little, too late to invest any sympathy in the character. As for Stephen Thorne, despite his excellent performance, he has so little to do, it's untrue. The major selling point of this is the return of Eldrad, and to get Stephen Thorne in, and then do so little with him is a great shame. Instead, for the most part, we're left with Charlie Gibbs, one of the most dullest Doctor Who characters ever. He's just your traditional bad boy, no questions asked. Not one part of him is even remotely interesting, and added to that, Pip Torrens' performance is so out of kilter with the rest of the material, it's untrue. His performance is off in so many places, and when he has to carry two out of the three episode cliffhangers, it's really noticeable. Nothing about his character seems to give the audience anything to like, and his performance turns us off even more. The rest of the guest cast stumble through the story, trying their best to remain dignified, but not one of them manages to standout in any way. As for the regulars, well only Sarah Sutton comes across as completely invested in the material. Mark Strickson and Janet Fielding feel rather forced, which, considering some of the poor dialogue, is no wonder. Peter Davison just sounds like he has no clue what is going on, which is no wonder. Peter defiantly sounds more comfortable in the stories which have little to no continuity. Here he just sounds plain lost, with a story that relies heavily on a story nestled in the Tom Baker era. Sarah is the only one who attacks the material with a complete sense of understanding. However, it's more the pity, because out of the four regulars she has the least to do. Ken Bentley's usually solid direction is way off here, his usual standard seemingly deserting him. Wilfredo Acosta's music and sound design does try to gain back some dignity, and, for the most part, becomes the most enjoyable part of the story. I particularly liked his 'dubstep Doctor Who' melody. But even this great work doesn't quite feel like the exemplary standard I've come to expect from Wilfredo Acosta.

Eldrad Must Die is a story with problems. These problems are huge, and lie unfortunately in a variety of places. Writing, performances and direction let this story down significantly, and it's these lacking elements that cause the problems to befall this story. In all honesty, the end product feels rushed, and very far from the standards we have come to expect from Big Finish. A bitter disappointment, considering it could have been so much better.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
5
Plot Rating:
NR
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: binroReview Date: 2/14/14 2:24 pm
2 out of 3 found this review helpful.

This story has decent performances and the usual great BF production values, but there's absolutely nothing that you can point to and say "HERE is why you should listen to this story!"

The only novel thing about this story is the return of Eldrad. It feels like someone came up with this title during a BF brainstorm session and since everyone laughed, they bodged a story around it.

In a sense this is BF at its worst -- as just a nostalgia act. Unless you've seen "Hand of Fear" there's nothing here for you.

Skip this one and go to Mercia or Prisoners of Fate instead.
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