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Reviews By NewWorldreviews
# Reviews:
25
# Ratings:
2385
Avg Rating:
7

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: NewWorldreviewsReview Date: 10/6/17 10:04 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Season Eight is famous for having some of the most well-loved stories in the show's history: Terror Of The Autons, The Daemons, The Mind Of Evil, even The Claws Of Axos are well-regarded tales that are looked upon with affection by the fanbase. But Colony In Space is often forgotten by fandom, which is a shame, as it's actually a bit of a gem. It has a strong plot, interesting characters and some excellent production work that makes it a bit of a shame its so overlooked.

One thing that's very strong here is Mac Hulke's plotting. It's rock solid, with each of the different elements intersecting well with each other. Often, I complain that newWho episodes are packed full of far too many elements, and this is certainly the case here. However, this is spread out over three hours, unlike the forty-five minutes newWho is usually afforded. The many elements to this story stop it from becoming dull, and falling back upon the capture/escape elements that typify so many of these Pertwee six and seven part Doctor Who stories. One area in which this story really shines is the characterisation. Each character has believable and interesting motives, the most notable being Caldwell (played to perfection by Bernard Kay). He's the sort of character we can easily relate to: an ordinary man trying to do his job, but finding the company he's working for is using more and more unscrupulous methods that he can't live with. It's a great little touch that just helps bring the whole thing to life.

Sure, there are a couple of complaints: the alien civilisation do feel a little generic, and the Doomsday Weapon ultimately turns out to be a bit of a McGuffin, despite the interesting potential. That said, I still feel Colony In Space's rock-solid plotting, clever characterisation and astute and subtle political commentary make it a little bit of a hidden gem in Doctor Who's history.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: NewWorldreviewsReview Date: 10/2/17 9:24 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This release from the Dark Shadows line is something a little different. While it still features the occult and the eerily creepy atmosphere that Dark Shadows normally possesses in spades, Speak No Evil is much more of a character piece. It's therefore a refreshing change from usual Dark Shadows fare, even if it stumbles a little bit on the final act.

One thing that really makes this story enjoyable is it's standalone nature. Anyone who's never ever heard of Dark Shadows before can easily pick this up. That might leave hardcore Shadows fans put out, but if you enjoy good, engaging character drama, you'll probably get on fairly well with this release. Both Tad Collins and Marie Olson are fascinating characters: both put up fronts to protect themselves from their dark pasts, and, as the episode wears on, we see these fronts fall away. Scott Handcock doesn't shy away from the usual Dark Shadows themes and content completely, however, and the ending employs some occult magic in a very dark twist, that, while feeling more Twilight Zone than Dark Shadows, feels totally appropriate. This is backed up by two strong performances from Arthur Darvill and Katharine Mangold, particularly considering neither is actually American, yet put on very convincing accents.

The only issue with this episode, in fact, is that, while the first two-thirds of the story are fairly slow burning, the final third seems to deposit a lot of plot upon the listener. However, that doesn't detract from the fact that, for the most part, Speak No Evil is a tightly written, excellently acted character piece that manages to do something different with the Dark Shadows format at Big Finish.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
6
Replay Rating:
5
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: NewWorldreviewsReview Date: 10/1/17 10:08 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

42 has a mixed reception. And, while it's certainly an interesting experiment, it's also hard to deny that it's utterly vapid and forgettable. Sure, there's some good ideas, a decent plot, some good acting and some fantastic direction and effects work, but 42 feels distinctly unmemorable.

One thing that 42 does well is in steering away from monster-filled action. Sure, we have possessed humans with the 'burn with me' catchphrase. However, this all feels grittier, and the story feels better for it. It's a realistic presentation of space travel, which, while good in some ways, is also a little bit of a drawback. At this point in the RTD era, 'realistic' space travel (of the Alien variety) was very much the order of the day for future set stories (like Gridlock and The Impossible Planet), and I think it's here that this approach starts to get a little bit wearing. 42 also suffers from massive structural and pacing issues: leaps of logic just happen because the story needs them to happen, and the real time gimmick just falls apart because of this. Were this a two-parter, this could easily have succeeded a lot better, as it would have had time to flesh out the plot and develop the characters.

That said, there is a lot of good in 42. Some of the acting, especially from Michelle Collins is very impressive, while Who stalwart Graham Harper's direction is fabulous. And even the CGI here is fairly impressive. It's just a shame that because this was a single 45 minute episode, the story had to feel so compacted. Still, it's forgettable, so you won't be wound up for long.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
5
Plot Rating:
4
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
3
Effects Rating:
5
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: NewWorldreviewsReview Date: 9/30/17 9:45 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

While The Lazarus Experiment has a nice central premise, and a superb guest turn from Mark Gatiss, it's a story that, sadly, leaves the viewer underwhelmed with it's simple plot, strange structural choices and some flat out baffling design decision.

The idea of a scientist rejuvenating himself is a sound one, and follows the RTD principle of taking an aspect of modern-day life (this time plastic surgery) to bizarre levels. However, the story has no real momentum, despite the lightning fast pace. As such, the whole thing ends up feeling hollow: nothing more than surface details to both plot and character. It doesn't help that the final 15 minutes appear to have been tacked on at last minute, leading to a conclusion that falls flat because we've already been through one seemingly definitive conclusion. Then, there's all the forced (and I mean forced) set-up for the finale, which just doesn't work, because it lacks total subtlety. Every scene draws attention to it, instead of integrating it into the narrative successfully. This was also the episode where it became apparent that Martha's family just don't work at all. They're so one-note and bland, and Russell spent no real time building them up that it just feels like a waste. Whereas Rose and Donna's family's at least try to ground themselves in reality (even if with Jackie, Pete and Mickey it felt like Russell was hitting you over the head with it), but Martha's family are built out of stock clich├ęs from Eastenders.

Overall, while The Lazarus Experiment shows some promise, it just fails to deliver on that promise to any extent. Lazy storytelling and characterisation couple with some terrible CGI (seriously, that Lazarus creature?) and the usual Tennant era irritants to make a poor story that could have been so much better.

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