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Reviews By Drew Vogel
# Reviews:
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# Ratings:
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Avg Rating:
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Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
5
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
5
Replay Rating:
5
Effects Rating:
5
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 11/23/17 11:23 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

I hate this story. It's Lidster's usual overcooked melodrama. But to be fair, I can't complain that the framing device serves no narrative purpose this time. It does. It's purpose is to intentionally jerk the listener around for cheap drama. This is the kind of story that makes me shout angrily at the radio.

I can see that other people quite like it, as it is (at least at the time of writing) the highest-rated story in the "100" collection. To me, it is by far the worst of the four stories, but I don't expect to convince anyone of that. These things are very subjective, after all, and I have no wish to diminish anyone else's enjoyment.

The only really concrete criticism I can make is that the whole story depends on the outrageous coincidence of the villain meeting Evelyn at exactly the right time. You could say that Evelyn finding out about the death of the father of one of her students is already a bit of a coincidence, but that's the sort of coincidence that "Doctor Who" necessarily relies on all the time. This story relies on the added coincidence of the villain being in a position to exploit Evelyn's connection to Jacob.

Other than that, all of my complaints are entirely subjective. I just don't believe in, let alone care about, any of the characters.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 11/23/17 11:09 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Now this is more like it. Funny and clever. I love the idea that, had Mozart lived longer, he would have ended up running out of steam and churning out mediocrity. It's the sort of thing people sometimes say about Jimi Hendrix. And it's an attractive theory. There's certainly no shortage of musicians who were incredibly influential when they were young, only to mellow into blandness in middle age.

This story is a bit convoluted, though. John Sessions is brilliant as every character other than the Doctor and Evelyn. Of course, in a sense, they're all the same character, but in another sense they are not, and Sessions does a great job making them feel and sound quite distinct.

Still, there's something a bit unsatisfying about the story, and not simply the abrupt ending. It works as an entertaining curiosity, but it doesn't have the depth of Shearman's previous stories. I think it's fair to chalk this up to the single episode format. There's just not enough space for Shearman to make his usual pivot from clever gimmick to dramatic substance. Still, whatever the reason, this story is missing that greatness.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
6
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 11/23/17 5:35 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

I really don't care for this one. Oh, it's not without its charms, and the central idea is reasonably clever. But it relies a bit much on coincidence, and Evelyn's behavior is really hard to justify. To start with, she is acting under the ridiculous assumption that if Julius Caesar were born a girl, this would not change the course of his life in any way.

Am I overthinking the story? Yes, probably. But still, I can't listen to it without thinking that Evelyn is behaving rather stupidly, which pulls me right out of the story. I gather it's meant to be funny.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 11/23/17 5:04 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A wonderful historical story, and a really great story for Erimem.

The script does a great job of humanizing and (most importantly) contextualizing Vlad's behavior without softening him too much. He's still brutally ruthless, but the script takes great pains to present his point of view. It makes no apologies for him, makes no effort to redeem him, and allows the listeners to decide for ourselves what we think of him.

Peri is a bit annoying, but that's in a way a consequence of the genre. Peri is behaving like a companion in a "Doctor Who" story, where characters are rescued from the clutches of despotic villains literally all the time. She doesn't realize that she's in a different kind of story this time, and one which operates by very different rules. As a result, Peri ends up looking a bit silly, and even a bit dumb, as if she doesn't really understand where she is or how dangerous the stakes are. But that's not entirely her fault.

In tone, this story is very different from previous Steve Lyons efforts. But it shares some interesting similarities with stories like "The Fires of Vulcan" and "Colditz". Once again, there's a danger of the characters getting caught up in established historical events. The whole business with Vlad's wife falling from the castle, for example. It looks like Erimem is doomed to die, but the heroes escape by fulfilling their historical "destiny" in an unexpected way.

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