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Reviews By JMChurch25
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 2/23/18 5:30 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

WWII has officially ended and Churchill of all people should be happy. But an old friend once told him that a dark danger would occur for him on the day of his greatest victory and so Winston is understandably a little uneasy and unable to accept that everything is over. Taking to the streets, it seems that a menace from another world is at work on this most celebratory of days and it's up to Churchill to go undercover and save the day while at the same time getting out and meeting the common people of his country. Out of all of the stories in this set, this is the only one that really feels different to make this new set stand out. The overriding message that war doesn't necessarily end in a day even after an official end is declared and that a person might be needed in war but not necessarily in peace is one you don't see quite as much and is very much true not only to this fictional Churchill but also very much to the historical one which is a great touch exemplified here. Churchill is also not very good at going undercover and it's frankly hilarious at least for the first half. Once things come to the forefront, the plot gets deadly serious and it's there that this one really shines. It quickly turns into a hostage situation of sorts with lots of surprises, twists, and some fascinating political commentary that's different but yet interesting especially from the other Churchill stories. The Doctor (in this case the Tenth) is in danger and indisposed for the majority of the tale but it works in this case because it gives McNiece more of a chance to shine as his individual character. Without too many spoilers, his wartime spirit takes prominence not just as a good thing but as a bad thing too to the point where he's almost at the point of extending conflict and it takes other characters to talk him down. It's a great touch supported by strong writing and a good if minimal soundscape and it makes this last story easily the best in this set. 
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
6
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8
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Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 2/22/18 9:51 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

'Double' serves as Churchill's first experience dealing with the concept of parallel universes. In this case, there appears to be a universe where Britain has been occupied by Germany and another Churchill is leading a resistance force from the underground. How and why and especially where these signals are coming from becomes the overriding plot and mystery and this is of course where the Doctor is involved (in this case once again the Ninth). It's more of an amusing entertainment sort of tale than one trying to deal with any serious concepts like the others. There are however some cool touches in terms of plot and story in seeing how Churchill would lead an actual resistance in the face of loss as well as incidents and details involving a very strange mirror. McNiece continues to be good as Churchill and Nine with no real dip or change in quality from 'Conflict'. I personally love how Churchill narrates some of his own actions as things get crazier and Nine's involvement feels very appropriate and often hilarious especially in the beginning when he and Winnie first meet again. The rest of the side cast is great but it does feel like there are a lot more than usual that sort of take you out of listening and the feel of having Churchill telling us his memoirs that really adds charm and flavor to this series isn't quite as strong here. The soundscape is once again fine and I as a listener was easily able to keep track of what was going. It's certainly very different from what I was expecting to hear from this set having Churchill in an alternate universe and it has a few little nods here and there that I liked especially Nine's reaction to the mention of the R101 (look up the Eighth Doctor adventure "Storm Warning" for that). But it all does feel a little forced and plodding at times despite how unique it's trying to be and the premise of an alternate universe where the Nazis win is one that I feel has been done to death (and much better) in other media in video games, movies, and TV shows. I would also say that Barnes' script and direction really didn't enthrall me too much and it didn't lead anywhere that surprising. Out of this entire set of four stories, 'Double' isn't bad and certainly a decent listen but out of all of the other stories it definitely feels like the weakest for me.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
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8
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7
Replay Rating:
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Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 2/21/18 5:30 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

'Conflict' is a Ninth Doctor story that seemingly pits the Ninth Doctor and Churchill at odds with each other over control over a dangerous weapon that could turn the tides of the war. The premise on the surface is similar to 'Victory of the Daleks' but it ends up taking an entirely different direction where the premise is more in the journey to find the weapon as opposed to the conflict over actually having it. It also deals with alien mercenaries and another artifact with intense power similar to 'Young Winston' and in this way the central conflict does feel a little bit repeated. But 'Conflict does go more into depth with some of the details and especially with Churchill's conflicts and actions which are placed more in the spotlight. The theme ultimately becomes the question of what winning the war will ultimately cost and if certain advantages will be worth it in the end. I found this premise much more interesting and it's not often we see the Doctor so at odds with a normal stalwart ally. It's poignant and extremely gritty which feels appropriate for the setting and the soundscape is particularly good with the war and much more exciting a listen for me. The history is also much more interesting with links to the war itself and Churchill's highlighted life more tangible especially in the aftermath of the Dunkirk events. McNiece remains good taking over full narration and especially with his conflict with Nine. The Doctor in this story is mostly observing and hoping that Churchill will do the right thing but does appear with the right words and at the right time with a tangible plan up his sleeve. McNiece's voicing of Eccleston's Doctor isn't amazing but you can get the feel of him in his words and actions and he gets some powerful lines by the climax of the story. Gyuri Sarossy is the other important character in this story as Churchill's sidekick Lt. Fleming and he provides the black and white hero soldier that you see in most WWII stories well enough especially as he's primary in most of the action. All of these elements come to a head in one of the best climaxes of the Churchill stories thus far where (without giving spoilers) differing sides are forced to realize their mistakes and work together in order to save the world. While it's not quite a perfect stories as it does repeat itself more than once with some of its elements, "Human Conflict" is intense, challenging and a significant step up from the previous story. 

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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
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Replay Rating:
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6
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Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 2/20/18 9:43 pm
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"Young Winston" is a story about growth from past to present involving a dark pearl, mercenaries human and alien, and the decision on whether to head onto a new journey which feels appropriate for a starting story. It's slower but it's paced very well with some decent twists and uniquely played side characters with dark secrets that will drive the whole narrative. This story also gives us two Churchills with the older version once again played by McNiece and a newly introduced younger Churchill played by Iain Batchelor. Both of them do well and the connection between the two incarnations is very strong so they do feel very much as if they were the same person. The inclusion of Madame Vastra from the Eleventh Doctor era is a great touch and Neve McIntosh is amazing as always in that role.  It was so good to hear her character again even becoming the narrator for a good chunk of the story after the introduction / theme. Churchill and Vastra as a team work very well together with great chemistry especially at how opening and accepting each is of the other. Speaking of which, it was amazing to hear Eleven's theme again with a story and this along with along with Vastra gives you the obvious clue as to which Doctor is set to appear in this story. Eleven makes very sparse appearances in the tale compared to other Churchill stories but each one hits hard in the appropriate places when it needs to and he does a great job of tying everything together as a whole in the story. In addition, there are many tiny winks here and there for the audience of Whovians to enjoy with Churchill even breaking the fourth wall once or twice to keep the audience's attention. Unfortunately, those winks are very much needed as this story does get a little boring at times for me and the particular politics do not really intrigue me as much as other Churchill stories. However it's different enough to where I didn't mind too much as I was listening and I appreciate what it was trying to do more than I enjoyed listening to it. This doesn't make it bad though necessarily or drop the quality too much especially for those who can end up getting into the specific historical story details. So for what it is, "Young Winston" is another great story for Churchill, 11, and especially for Madame Vastra who is easily the highlight of the story especially since we've haven't seen or heard from her in such a long time. While it struggles a little bit for me, I get the feeling that other listeners are going to love this one and I'm glad to see the quality of this cast and especially McNiece as Churchill continue to stay strong. 

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