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Reviews By ANTI-RAD
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# Ratings:
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Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: ANTI-RADReview Date: 9/15/18 8:43 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

MCCOY CLASSIC

Rich sound production, quality and FX evokes and helps establish a deep space dusty, arid and barren planet surface and environment.

One of the first Big Finish that I experienced after discovering while specifically searching for McCoy and Aldred quite awhile back now. The McCoy and Aldred team is a particularly special for me as it harkens back to a real life scene, cemented forever in my photographic memory, to the day I flipped on the tube and realized Doctor Who was cancelled and that I would never then seen the final episode! What a bummer that was. It marked the end of an era in multiple ways for me. But then years later... they were back! Therefore, they have served as a form of major continuity and interest from then until now: the bridge to contemporary material, with McCoy being a Doctor I appreciated and identified with that much more with age. Like Rrrrripe cheese.

Always a favorite team, as comfortable and personal as an old shoe --- and I mean this as a compliment. Pre-Big Finish McCoy and Aldred are also an important link with a few greatly favored early strange audios like The Left Hand of Darkness to Only Human and a couple in-between, and then to this fair oddity, Dust Breeding from the earlier Big Finish catalogue. In my opinion they are at their best in strange alien worlds or ones formed by or imbued with the surreal.

Sound arty? Well, jumping forward, we do in fact get Dust Breeding with a literal Art-induced plot that fits the ideal bill.

Listening to this again recently, I am loving the experience and story, which is simply in McCoy and Aldred standard, traditional mode. A perfectly satisfactory mold, just the way that fits fine --- plus an intriguing premise, distant space (way out there) on some sparsely populated planet in the middle of nowhere --- and sentient space dust.

The acting was great. Aldred and McCoy make Time stand still with their perhaps unparalleled consistency and unbreakability in owning their characters.

After the first disc, my impression is that is a very cool story indeed - spoiler excluded.

After the conclusion and second disc I can say:

Great villain/enemy with zany concept and tone all supported extremely well by all elements of the production. Most importantly: Amusing.

Star-studded cast including Beevers and John. Masterful, high-fidelity sound production. Very amusing and classic in concept/story and performance including some beautiful servings of obligatory well-carved cheese, only true McCoy fans could care to acknowledge.

Hardcore. Awesome.

This was 4/5. 9/10.

* I typically use a simple 5-star rating scale = 1,2,3,4,5, translated:
1 star = 1,2 ; 2 star = 3,4 ; 3-star = 5,6,7 ; 4-star = 8,9 ; 5-star = 10.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: ANTI-RADReview Date: 9/15/18 4:52 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A great space adventure in the far future somewhere probably a only few light years away from Earth in deep space.

Susan, the Doctor, Ian and Barbara. A mysterious vessel, space vegetation, a mysterious figure, isolation and the vast emptiness in space.

Punching holes in dimensional space. The interior of the vessel: wallpapered with vines, some yellowing and withering.

All very good heady science-fiction at play. Solid state sound production (tinny, metallic, refined and fitting - subtle, appropriate) to aid and help paint an eerie ship and outer space scene. Very good to excellent writing and script.

Honestly I could give this 8 across the board, with the exception of Carol Anne Ford who must receive a 9 or 10 at minimum and presents the story from Susan's point-of-view along with voicing the other crew to perfection. The other voice actor also was a perfect aid and great balance - an interesting character.

I could really rave about all the actors, Doctors and companions in these audio productions, but Carole Anne Ford is very special as proven over a few essential stories to own for the library. She is a talent and a perfect model for voicing, narrating stories such as the Companion Chronicles. She has a few really good stories thankfully and this is one of them. I love Carole Ann Ford's performance and voice. It's just great, where I can't say enough and thankful for it.

The writer also impresses, simply giving a well-thought and satisfactory space adventure. One that does tie in to continuity but more importantly crafts a clear story that allows the sound production and reading to shine.

Again solid 8s but as an overall package, a solid 8 or 9, or on my simple 5-star scale an easy 4/5.

While there were only two great actors on display here, it really doesn't matter. They fill the void literally and figuratively. And the story matches the economy of the format and running time.

I liked this one a lot. It's a slower burn but the type of audioplay I like to hear. After it's over, and perhaps after a future repeat listen, ask yourself two questions:
1) It the concept simple but intriguing where it might not blow you away but is it worth thinking about for a quick ponder, do you experience the universe of First Doctor, and Susan?
2) Is it worth rinsing with some Time and repeating punching another hole for in the future.

As a Doctor Who fan who seeks and wants the vintage experience or engimatic space adventures, for me it's a yes. Conceptually and according to the established book of Who, I give this high marks.

Also it's a good Carole Ann Ford one to have for the collection, and to enjoy many more times in the future.

It's light and just about right. The final question that surfaces for me is: Are you experienced? (As I hear reverberating electric guitar notes emanating out forward and across the interstellar horizon and winds of Time, rippling in sleek black gravitational space waves)

I recommend some quality headphones and pitch black darkness with at most a faint light in the distance.

A worthy Doctor Who audioplay.

This was 4/5. 9/10.

* I typically use a simple 5-star rating scale = 1,2,3,4,5, translated:
1 star = 1,2 ; 2 star = 3,4 ; 3-star = 5,6,7 ; 4-star = 8,9 ; 5-star = 10.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
2
Plot Rating:
2
Acting Rating:
6
Replay Rating:
2
Effects Rating:
2
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: ANTI-RADReview Date: 9/15/18 1:45 am
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Failed opportunity to deliver (and could have been easily so via not changing any core events, but deleting one unnecessary character and enhancing one crucial scene).

Should have been on better side of average at minimum, with an acceptable but very slow, plodding plot. Not very thrilling, but even this was not the biggest problem that forces this mandatory lowball rating.

Began borderline mediocre-good minus that dropped firmly in just-acceptable mediocrity, but appalling faltered at end to very poor due to crappy writing and direction.

Great cast with Purves front-and-center playing Steven, Narrator, and Doctor. Marsh's Sara more in accessory mode. Sontarans.

While well-performed on all accounts and characters, 60% through I began hoping for some more action, climatic or exciting moments, etc. Ironically, the objective of the plot in the final act suffers from an intentional literal "anti-climax" and a just bizzare intervention by a strange poorly placed or fitting child character, a little girl called Tinder, which really attached dumb associated characterization and questionable writing---I mean really questionable.

Basically along with the anti-climax the prior introduction of Tinder literally just causes the story at this point to just fail and collapse. I suppose there was either some cryptic intent of author or simply poor creativity heavily dampening the whole experience, resulting in more of a waste of time. Annoying.

Up to the end, I had steady rated at 2/5 stars waiting for some kind of thrill or climax, which could have bumped rating to a welcome 3/5, but instead got the worst possible ending after investing a boring 1.5 hours plus plus a really crap side character(s) additionally spoiling the whole thing. Tinder burn.

Worst Sontaran story ever? Maybe. Waste of Purves and Marsh. The Sontaran acting was very nice, space fleet scene could have greatly elevated, but nope - not so much as a ship's engine heard. Total fail. This is an audioplay, where was any audio representation/direction of events, FX, , etc?? Massive writing and direction fail. It really wouldn't have been hard to just keep this anti-climatic but acceptable. But now I have no choice but to rate this in the "poor" character.

AFTERWORD

I am not sure what is going on with Guerrier's writing lately or the occasional bad direction/production blunder as 'heard' here. After 65 releases, it must be burn out or other preoccupations for Guerrier and crew. Or hopefully just a rough spot. The Yes Men does not hint at wellness. So far I have invested and listened to 2 out of the 4 Early Adventures, due to his credit, his authorship of his Sara Kingdom classic companion trilogy awhile back in expectation of a full cast adventure. For this release, and especially after the aforementioned, I was thrilled to find one.. BUT... this and especially The Yes Men were just absolute dismal bombs.

I have the other two Early Adventures penned by Guerrier sitting on the shelf and regardless of my extreme bad experiences, I continue on.

This was 1/5. 2/10.

* I typically use a simple 5-star rating scale = 1,2,3,4,5, translated:
1 star = 1,2 ; 2 star = 3,4 ; 3-star = 5,6,7 ; 4-star = 8,9 ; 5-star = 10.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: ANTI-RADReview Date: 9/14/18 11:59 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

EXCUSE MY BUILDING BLOCKS - CLASSIC ZOE, JAMIE. BIG CLASSIC

An amusing and pretty funny first episode that started off as a 60s faintly zany-trippy 2nd Doctor era story akin, albeit more lightly in association to early stories like The Mind Robber, Toymaker or even notes of Alice in Wonderland...

The following episodes confirm elements of the aforementioned and bring a decent story of deadly games.

Enjoyable enough and probably measured better in those terms by mid-play, for better-or-worse depending on one's favor of this Doctor and companions and relative era.

The third act and final episode was quite good and raised the bar, definitely placing this on the better side for me.

The excellent aspect of this play was that it actually dealt with notions about time, isn't that what Doctor Who is rudimentarily about? Also the absurdist qualities akin to Alice in Wonderland built very nicely - a sign of good writing with little amusing bits. This makes me more of a fan when I think about it.

Plus I liked the panting, bug-eyed Snap and Dragon!

Early "playful adventure" when they had odd cosmic and enigmatic, bizarre chatacters in 60s Doctor Who.

- Remember the little Dutch boy
- a bit of the Dr. Strange.

And the great payoff in the final act particularly, and unexpectedly, made me raise the lever again on rating another notch up to classic status.

I am very, very appreciative that Hines, Padbury and co. made this episode into a performed audio reality.

Vintage early Doctor Who story transmuted into 21st Century audioplay gold. I think its special enough for multiple reasons, including Hines and Padbury's performance turning back the clocks forward, literally.

For old Who fans who have yearned for old, old school stories and aesthetic, you couldn't ask for much more, doubled here in a unique offering with its references and associations that probably stands as a one-time deal and an ideal Lost Story.

Everything gels by story's end and... enough to call it a Big Finish classic in augmenting Who canon.

This was 4/5. 9/10.

* I typically use a simple 5-star rating scale = 1,2,3,4,5, translated:
1 star = 1,2 ; 2 star = 3,4 ; 3-star = 5,6,7 ; 4-star = 8,9 ; 5-star = 10.

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