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User Rating:
1
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Reviewed By: thisoldcanReview Date: 1/19/18 11:24 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Nothing about this story is even remotely good. Llewellyn doesn't understand the character of Leela at all, and gives Louise Jameson bland writing that she struggles to make good. Tom Baker sounds bored as all hell throughout the story, the turnstyle of guest stars is too much and none of them leave any sort of emotional impact, and the story is a hacked version of Amy's Choice. But the worst part is that Llewellyn takes the time to explain away all the ambiguities of the story in the last three minutes, killing any good grace the story had, and making it one of the worst stories I've ever listened to.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
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8
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9
Replay Rating:
8
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8
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No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 1/19/18 5:30 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The second part pays off all the promises and intrigue of the first story and raises the stakes considerably as we learn what Sartia is after. As usual, the cast was very Tom Baker gets fun moments in this one and Romana ends the story with a rival. Whether her rival is "her master" as the extras suggested is another matter.

Marc Platt's careful world building and set up makes the conclusion to the season one of the better two parters in the Fourth Doctor Adventure range. Both are well worth a listen.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
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9
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8
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10
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No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 1/18/18 5:47 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The TARDIS lands in 16th century Italy under the paranoid rule of the Medici family. As the TARDIS team of the First Doctor, Steven, and Vicki encounter various historical figures including the famed Niccolò Machiavelli, they are split up and forced into an assassination plot to kill the Duke of Florence who just so happens to be the brother of the current Pope, Pope Leo X. However things get more complicated when it's revealed that the Pope himself is visiting Florence and so the Doctor must not only try to rescue his companions from the clutches of history but also work to prevent more bloodshed in this already very unstable city. As you can tell, 'Ravelli' is a pure historical done in every sense of the word which is the kind of story that Doctor Who and the First Doctor in particular used to be so good at but fell out of favor over time. Being a huge fan of Florence and Italy especially within this time period, this was an absolute treat for me and thankfully the story holds up extremely well. Alternatively narrated by Peter Purves and Maureen O'Brien with miscellaneous voices in the other roles, this is one that I'm sure sounds extremely dry on paper to the casual listener but it all ends up being very fascinating listening to all of these character interact in a "Game of Thrones" kind of way.  There's also a surprising hilarious undertone throughout the whole thing that really surprises you as you listen with more jokes, upbeat musical flourishes, and comic conversational clashes than I was expecting. The fact that it also stays a pure historical with no real sci-fi or alien plots and threats behind it works very much to the audio's advantage and you even manage to learn a thing or two. It does sometimes get a little bit confusing at times especially if you don't know the time period or the history but the narration works very well as connecting tissue in case you happen to get lost. In terms of the cast,  Peter Purves is good as the First Doctor and his main character of Steven even if his age does show a little bit in his voice. His Hartnell also sounds almost too grandfatherly and too comical with his voice a bit more high pitched and none of the edge behind it than is usual in a good Hartnell imitation like David Bradley can do. Maureen O'Brien is much better as Vicki and in her narration as she works to gain the confidence of the Pope himself and becomes a piece in the plot herself. The highlight for me is actually the side cast for a change which is not something I say often. Mark Frost as Machiavelli is BRILLIANT with a cold and calculating wit but not necessarily presented as evil or a villain by any means. The performance fits the historical context and the long history of his political career beautifully (especially in his publication of "The Prince") and his moments with the Doctor are the highlight of the story by far. Robert Hands is also good as Pope Leo with a realistic holy attitude but with still a voice of reason behind him and Ballard is also good as the darker Guiliano de Medici. There are also many superfluous characters that only add to the humor on display and make even the smaller moments in this story enjoyable. It doesn't stray too far from the standard Hartnell historical formula so there aren't too many surprises here but it's done so well and it's so engrossing that you honestly don't really care. I think there needs to be more pure historicals like this as 'Ravelli' is a great example of the quality these kinds of stories can bring to our ears. Despite some weaker characterizations and a bit of a bar to really get into it, it's a great audio for historical buffs as well as First Doctor fans and a new favorite of mine of the era. 
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Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 1/17/18 4:58 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

One of the earliest Companion Chronicles stories to come out sees the Third Doctor's first proper encounter with the Cybermen , an encounter of which was never seen onscreen in his era. Featuring his first companion Elizabeth Shaw (played by the sorely missed Caroline John who also narrates the story) and taking place after the TV story "Inferno" but before "Terror of the Autons", Liz's friend Jean has gone missing under mysterious circumstances. When the Doctor and UNIT are drawn in to investigate, it seems that an alien invasion is afoot with a more personal edge for Liz than even she is anticipating. The Doctor and UNIT are about to be reunited with an old enemy who is out to convert the world. First off, Caroline John is amazing as Liz in one of her better stories in a catalog of great stories. This is another personal story for her that provides some lost moments that we never really knew or had full details on. It seems absolutely fitting that some of these gaps would be filled in with an encounter with a foe we also never saw onscreen in this era. The characterization of the Third Doctor is also good in this story in that he's very warm with his connections especially with Liz but still with a touch of the odd around him remembering some of the mannerisms that made Pertwee's Doctor so interesting at times. His attitude towards the villain is very surprising and energetic as well as he brings up the points that humanity and the Cybermen are not that far away from each other. It makes me super excited for future stories coming out this year regarding the Third Doctor and the Cybermen as this is something that could really be expanded upon in a fascinating way. The story doesn't have too many surprises to it but it is certainly good at getting you involved with the story and there are some surprisingly disturbing details involving the Cybermen themselves and their conversion process that really throw you for a loop. The soundtrack is perfectly 70's and the atmosphere / soundscape is good though not quite outstanding. But it is perfectly in keeping with the Companion Chronicle style of story telling so I can't fault it at all for problems here and there. For an early Companion Chronicle story for Big Finish, 'Tooth' surprisingly does a LOT of things right with a great narration and lead, a standard but involving story, and an encounter I'm sure a lot of Whovians like me wish we'd seen in the TV show. It's a quick listen that I highly recommend especially for fans of Three or the Cybermen. 

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