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Reviews By JMChurch25
# Reviews:
68
# Ratings:
117
Avg Rating:
8

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 11/17/17 5:31 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This is another story with somewhat of a reputation behind it similar to 'Nekromanteia'. Fans seem to either really love it or hate it with no middle ground in between and it's one of those audios you don't bring up on forums or Whovian chats for fear of starting a flame war. *BIG SPOILERS FOR THE PREVIOUS STORY HERE ON*. It picks up right where it's predecessor "The Fate of Krelos" left off as the TARDIS is forced on to the planet of Telos by K-9 who has been taken over by the Cybermen. The Doctor knows the planet all too well as that is where the adventure "Tomb of the Cybermen" took place in a prior incarnation and is where the supposed last resting place of the Cybermen was located. Speaking of which, that's exactly where the story seems to take us as we then get a special guest appearance by Frazer Hines as both the Second Doctor and as his highlander companion Jamie McCrimmon. As both teams seem to be on a collision course for each other, the Cybermen on Telos have re-awakened and have a plan for the now cyberized inhabitants of Krelos in order to return and conquer the universe. This is a story that certainly has a lot going on and is very continuity heavy in an effort to seemingly appeal to the fans. While it does work in many places, it does very much fail in others to the point where if you don't know the Second Doctor era at all or the story 'Tomb of the Cybermen' you might be a little lost. It ends up being a very unusual use of the Multi-Doctor format that is definitely different and memorable but at times it does feel like a missed opportunity. Despite the description and premise, characters never meet up in any way that's tangible or interesting even when the setup is practically begging them to. That to me is a big disappointment and one that I feel drags down the story quite a bit especially from how it was hyped up. I'm also still not a huge fan of the music in this one and the climax ends up feeling very muddled in that it's a pseudoscience gobbledygook explanation that felt was forcefully pulled out in the worst possibly way. Thankfully, the overall script and story is thankfully solid enough to where it isn't a complete disaster. I like the references that do work and I always love hearing the old style Cybermen in a story. Their menace feels so much more artificial and eerie than some of the newer versions and they are replicated beautifully here. The performances work across the board especially in the two leads Baker and Jameson and we get to learn more about the Doctor’s ethics of interference more so than I've heard in a while which I did enjoy. All of these factors save this story from being a major disappointment and leave it as only a minor one. Is it as bad as fans make it out to be? Not quite but it's certainly not as good as the other side makes it out to be either. Combined with it's predecessor, "Return to Telos" is a middle of the road story with many things that work and many things that don't. I appreciate it for what it's trying to do and it's always a treat to hear the old-fashioned Cybermen again but it could've been so much more. 
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 11/16/17 11:04 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Fourth Doctor and Leela have landed on the mountainous futuristic planet of Krelos for some time away fishing and relaxing. But dark skies are gathering and a mysterious explorer far up in the mountains is looking for help. Meanwhile, K-9 is messing around with the TARDIS circuits and has reactivated the Second Doctor's TARDIS interior while in the process finding a mysterious piece of clothing lodged within the walls. What do all of these things have in common and what exactly is going on with the metal dog's circuitry causing him to act so funny? The first part of a two part story, 'Fate' follows a lot of trends of similar stories in that it feels like a huge amount of setup set to pay off in its second part. However unlike future installments of the Fourth Doctor Adventures where this is done somewhat poorly, this one really nails the atmosphere in starting off very calmly but adding a growing sense of dread and ominous feeling the further along it goes. It then culminates in a big pay off with one unexpected line at the end that suddenly shakes you from your revelry and throws you right in to the thick of things. I kind of like that about it and totally get what writer Nicholas Briggs is going for here but I can imagine that a lot of fans weren't necessarily satisfied with just how much build up there was. That's not to mention that it's not exactly subtle either in that you can more or less instantly tell where it's going to go with the villains from the minute you hear the atmosphere of the planet and the ramblings of the two main side characters on the nature of the standards of technology on the planet. It's not bad and it leads to a very creepy and creative place but it's not exactly as subtle as I think Briggs wants it to be. There are also elements of stories old and new especially in a surprising Twelfth Doctor source twisted around in a very different way (you'll know it when you here it) which I really liked. The performances in this one aren't much but they are all good. If I had to pick one out of the bunch, I would say that I love Tom Baker's performance as Four here especially as he reminisces on his past in his prior self and gets really riled up as the situation grows dire. Both of these characterizations were a really nice touch and something you don't see out of this Doctor very often. In particular, there is a strong conversation between Four and Leela that is the easy highlight of the piece. Baker and Jameson really do a great job in bringing out the best and contrasting viewpoints of both characters wonderfully but this time really pushing to the point where we actually see the Doctor walk away to try to negate the argument like a child. That was a major first and something I wasn't expecting to hear. Despite all of these things however, 'Fate' does have some flaws that I would be dishonest to ignore. Weirdly enough, the music in particular rather bugged me to the point where at times it really drew me out of what was going on like a bad B movie. That was rather unusual and I really don't why in particular as I normally either enjoy the score or don't really notice it but for this story it didn't really fit the story. It also did get a little lost in the second part and I'm still not 100% sure where Krelos fits in to the bigger picture of what's going on. Overall as the first of a two parter, 'Fate' works fine but as it's own story outside of the second part (which at time of writing I haven't heard yet), it works a lot better. It certainly never bored me like some other Fourth Doctor stories and it felt genuinely threatening and scary by the end to where I wanted to see where it was going to go in its finale. In that sense, I'd say 'Fate' is definitely worth a listen provided that 'Telos' is just as good.  
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 11/3/17 8:18 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

With the finale of this first Series, the full force of the Time War finally comes crashing down. The timelines have been altered, both sides are prepared, and a desperate battle for survival begins. While the Doctor and his friends simply want to get out alive, Ollistra has her own agenda searching for a weapon that can end the War permanently and she will kill anyone who stands in her way. Surrounded on all sides by hatred and death and with the situation growing more desperate by the hour, it's all up to a man who will do everything to avoid a fight. 'One Life' is a brutal story with the Daleks slaughtering left and right and with plenty of juxtapositional flashbacks that tie everything back together. This time however, the Doctor's ego really gets the better of him and what's truly going on is so much bigger and more intriguing than a simple Doctor-Dalek / Time Lord conflict and chase. Two side characters suddenly become extremely important practically right out of the blue with a big twist about halfway through that changes what you think you knew about the set as a whole with one member of the side cast in particular holding the key to everything. It's an intriguing surprise and one that I'm sure will make this set warrant repeat listens in the future. I won't say too much more but in the end, it comes to a respectable (if a little bit confusing) conclusion that stumbles a bit but sees the status quo momentarily restored but the question remains: how much longer can the Doctor avoid the War? That will be what needs to be answered in Series 2 next year. 
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 11/3/17 4:42 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Captured by Cardinal Ollistra and the Time Lords, Bliss and the other refugees have been transferred to an internment camp while the Doctor has been press ganged and conscripted in to front line training for battle against the Daleks. Commandant Harlan has a reputation and philosophy to keep up and so his training is harsh and strict but the Doctor is not so easily intimidated especially after all he has seen and been through. But with the War looming closer every day, is this really a time to be making trouble? First of all, I love the cover of this one. The gorgeous Gallifreyan style with touches here and there fit the story and the Time Lords beautifully. The cast is also amazing this time with more of a focus on the Time Lord garrison than the refugee group which I somehow find a lot more interesting. In terms of the main cast, Paul McGann's dry wit and shenanigans as Eight in the midst of the training camp are simply hilarious. It's really nice to see something more positive and silly from him in the midst of a more serious set especially in some of the more fun moments that have a purpose. With lines like "all the most interesting people fail something at the Academy", if this is how the Doctor was at the Time Lord academy then we need a school days story with him desperately. But we also get hit with some strong feels too especially when his screwdriver gets completely destroyed by Harlan and casualties start to happen about two-thirds of the way through. Eight's thoughts on the Time War are right out and on the table in this story for all to see which brings him in to contact and conflict with everyone especially the Cardinal. Speaking of which, Jacqueline Pearce as Ollistra plays a more direct role in the story than in the previous one. She's cold, calculating and frankly intimidating and it's amazing when normal humans like Bliss are able to stand up to her in the way that they do. When events lead to a full out confrontation with the Doctor, it's frankly chilling with higher stakes than we've seen between the two and intense power and emotion behind every word. While the plot is bit on the basic side, it's done well enough to the point where you aren't bored with it. There are lots of references to deep Time War lore and information that will play a huge role later on even in TV episodes and it's a major change of pace from the previous story but in a good way. 'Conscript' ups the ante yes but it also allows us time to breathe and interact with the characters across the board even as the war eventually comes to the camp. While both prior stories 'Theseus' and 'Echoes' had a few flaws, I honestly had a hard time finding something to dislike with this penultimate story. It's well paced with surprising moments of both drama and comedy all at the same time, a strong conflict about the War with powerful arguments on both side, a great side cast you really come to know and like, and an intense cliffhanger that leaves you breathless for the finale. 

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