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Reviews By newt5996
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Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 8/9/16 12:04 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

You may be asking yourself why a type of footwear is the title for a Doctor Who story. Well that’s because this is a story comes in a black and white disc that can be played in any real order and still understand the story as Morris works it out so the story doesn’t have to feel forced with the odd gimmick. He even uses the gimmick as a way so to prove that everything isn’t black and white and is put into the shades of grey in a social commentary that is still relevant today as the message is you can’t have your cake and eat it too. The order I’m listing this plot is the way I listened to it, but it can still be listened to in any order as I have done it both ways and you don’t lose a thing from the story. The Doctor and Mel land on the planet Puxatornee where they have to get some crystals to defeat some Quarks on the Space Yacht Pinto. The planet is derelict where they are criminals and are captured and forced to go back in time to stop the destruction as everything happened due to the President’s secretary being killed by an agent of the Slithergee race which started a war. The twist is when they get back to the future the timeline has changed so much that the Slithergee have peacefully taken over by basically using feminist tactics acting like as they as the minority must be the oppressed one. The Doctor and Mel leave as the Doctor and Mel arrive and the plot is basically repeated over again in what is a time loop.





This is a great plot as even though halfway through you can guess what happens, you are still interested as you don’t know how they are going to get to the future that is set up in the first half which is great. It allows Jonathan Morris to take his commentary about basically the idea of oppression and how it relates to the majority and minority and how power of being previously oppressed can lead to more unjust actions. It’s a great commentary that can be applied to today’s culture in some great ways that more people should be taking notice of. Morris does this by doing what was done in Inferno and creating parallel universes not where people are evil, but just made different situations. The main characters are Stuart, played by Francis Magee, and Reed, played by Audrey Schoelhammer, who in both universes want things to be better and will do anything to get it, but one universe has them be security men and the other has them be citizens which really shows how different people can be. Bonnie Langford is also good as Mel here as she has to be the one to ask the questions for the audience which she does very well and she provides insight to just how much she knows about what the dangers of time travel actually are considering how much her life was messed with by the Time Lords. Sylvester McCoy is in prototype Season 25 mode as he stays mainly quiet in the arguments as he knows the grass always seems greener on the other side, but rarely is.





The atmosphere is great here as both versions of the planet are destroyed in some way and almost every character is killed in some horrible way. Morris is great at doing dark and he can do comedy, but not always at the same time as here some of the comedy almost lessens the drama of the story. There are also problems with the style of this release as after the first half you know how this is going to end and what is going to happen to the Doctor and company as this is just there to fill in the gaps. Also the professor in this story is just annoying to me for some reason and I just don’t really like him.
From the Reviewer:
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Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 8/9/16 12:02 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Isn’t it odd that Doctor Who has never really done crime drama before? I mean they’ve done mysteries with stories like All-Consuming Fire, but never really anything with a crime drama formula that has worked well. I mean The Twin Dilemma may have thought it was crime drama but other than that nothing really present in Doctor Who. That makes it all the more odd that Andy Lane’s third novel, Original Sin, decides to go down this route for its story which makes it become another in the streak of great novels that has been flowing from story to story. The plot sees the Doctor and Benny go to thirtieth century Earth after failing to save a dying Hith, a giant slug species subjugated by humanity that have been using passive resistance by changing their names to reflect the species’ situation. It’s a really clever idea and I credit Lane with making it work well. Anyway the story has two main plots with the prologue with the Hith’s passive resistance leading to riots while the second plot is several characters investigating a Hith’s death which is just the opening to a large conspiracy with the twist that the Doctor and Benny are incriminated as murderers as someone has messed with a mind probe record of the death to see they were the murderers by Adjudicator Roz Forrester and her squire Chris Cwej who will eventually become the new companions as someone has to replace Ace. The end of the conspiracy reveals our villain who I won’t spoil if you do not know who the villain is already as the twist is well set up.





Most of the novel focuses on Roz and Chris as they are to become the new companions which is a good idea and allows Lane to have fun with the whole good cop, bad cop dynamic. Roz is an Adjudicator whose partner was murdered by an alien making her slightly xenophobic. She is a logical and experienced Adjudicator who is almost your stereotypical cop as she has a sense of justice but knows that people can be bribed. Roz gets the better dynamic with Benny of the two as they both have dark paths and have good senses of humor. Chris Cwej on the other hand is the opposite of her as Chris is the new cop on the block who is all wide eyed and ready to get to work. He is amazed by the technology of the world, will frequently use that technology in the fads like body bepples which basically makes him look like a teddy bear for most of the novel and is a skilled pilot. He also has a strong sense of justice and what I like about the relationship between the two is that they are purely business partners here and have nothing going for them. Roz begrudgingly respects Chris as she sees a bit of herself in him and doesn’t want to see him go through the same loss she went through when she was starting out.





Benny here is filling the usual companion role with all the charm of Benny. Even though it hasn’t really happened the stuff Benny does in the novel feels like things that Benny would do as character as the thirtieth century is actually in her future so she doesn’t know what to expect. She isn’t xenophobic which just shows how times can change with the times and events happening around the galaxy. The Doctor is also great here as he gets himself arrested and has to find a way to convince Chris and Roz that he and Benny are both innocent of murder and shouldn’t be put to death even though he ends up breaking several other laws which is great as they are silly laws. The villain is also great as it is a return from the Classic Series with the reveal that he has been the one funding basically every plot that has involved some sort of robot in the shows history which I find fascinating and extremely plausible. Once you know who the villain is you will probably agree with me about this fact as well. The other characters are also great with the Hith being a great alien race miles above the gastropods seen in The Twin Dilemma and Beltempest is another character who is the head of another agency who is being paid off by the villain. Beltempest is our comedic relief as he has gotten himself a body bepple so he can look like an elephant which is hilarious to imagine.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
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Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 8/9/16 12:01 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The train of heavy emotions continue with the Main Range from Big Finish after Doctor Who and the Pirates or The Lass That Lost a Sailor and Creatures of Beauty being brilliant and dramatic and just some of the best things Big Finish have produced. Today I’m looking at a sequel to one of the tensest Doctor Who audios, Project: Twilight, with Project: Lazarus. This story is the first multi-Doctor story since Big Finish’s inception The Sirens of Time. The story like most sequels isn’t as good as the first story, but Project: Twilight is a hard act to follow and just because it isn’t as good that doesn’t mean that the story is bad. It is still one of the classics as Scott and Wright are both good authors who know what they are doing.





The plot is made up of four parts, but similar to The Ark, it is essentially two different stories with two different plots that are interconnected. The first plot involves the Sixth Doctor figuring out a possible cure for Cassie’s vampirism from Project: Twilight and takes Evelyn back to Norway where a professor is looking for a mythical creature which of course turns out to be an alien along with Cassie when there is a twist that Cassie has been working for the Forge after brainwashing by Nimrod reprised by Stephen Chance, and is ready to capture the Doctor to steal his DNA. Evelyn gets to shine here as she is the one who reverses Cassie’s brainwashing through reminding her of her son and how much she loves him. This first half of the audio is definitely the better half as it rocks the emotional relationships of the Doctor and Evelyn as Evelyn cannot live with the constant death anymore and needs to see something in her life change before she can continue travelling. The performance from Maggie Stables is extremely emotional as Evelyn deals with a lot of trauma which is heightened with the revelation that her days are numbered as she has a heart condition. I also love her scenes with Rosie Cavaliero’s Cassie, codename Artemis, who is clearly brainwashed and gets to be redeemed with the promise that the Doctor will find Cassie’s son. Cavaliero is great at playing the brainwashed Cassie and again has become like Nimrod. Colin Baker is also great as the Doctor here as he fights with Evelyn and almost wants to see the Forge reformed without Nimrod as everything could be done well. Nimrod is in the entire audio and is played by Stephen Chance where he is the main villain in a turn following the mantra that “I’ll survive Doctor. I always do.” which just feels like he will never be ended and is pretty much confirmed immortal. There is one problem with these first two parts as they are rushed and could have been three parts just so we could get more at the Forge and with Cassie.





The second half of the story takes place years later when the Seventh Doctor near the end of his life, returns to the Forge after a time storm where it is revealed the aliens from the first two parts are invading while the Forge have continued with Project: Lazarus. The project itself is to clone the Sixth Doctor which sees Colin Baker having a great performance as the clones once they realize he is a clone followed by the revelation he is only three days old. The plot here is paper thin and feels like things were cut out by the request of Gary Russell just so they could be less packed which is the other big flaw of the story. It could be added and this could become a six part story with a special release. Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy have some great repartee with each other as McCoy’s Doctor realizes something is wrong from the beginning and he is still being the manipulator behind everything while Colin Baker is emotionally damaged and we get to see just how bad everything gets. Nimrod is also in this section and is still great with Ingrid Evans as Dr. Crumpton who is the second in command of the Forge. Evans is the moral center here as she shows she has a moral center still even though she does some awful things. The imagery of the direction in these parts are very graphic with imagery and Gary Russell knows just how they are supposed to do here. The ending of the story has it seem like the whole Forge saga is over, but of course it isn’t as this audio and Project: Twilight will influence audios to come.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 8/9/16 12:00 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Beauty. What constitutes the concept of beauty? Is it the quality of the looks that defines beauty or the character of the person in question? This story would purport that it is almost both as an audio story you make up the looks as this is a story told about two warring races over how one race polluted a planet into becoming an ugly place to live and now many years on from the disaster experiments are going on to try and place everything back to normal. Nicholas Briggs here has placed his heart and soul into this story as he comments on issues present still today in society. This story has environmental themes about just how great the world was and while we can never get it to the way it was. It’s essentially a story advising against the idea that we have to live in a perfect world. By the end of the story the Doctor and Nyssa really haven’t been able to do anything to change the situation on the planet in question. Their actions are futile as those in power are too stubborn to change their ways. The commentary hits close to home as in today’s society with the internet the idea is that I’m always right and anything that doesn’t fit in with my view of the world is wrong and offensive. I don’t know how intentional this was on the part of Briggs who has control of the entire production here which makes it shine like a beautiful diamond. He tells the story by having four episodes without cliffhangers that don’t reveal the story in linear order as to fit in with the idea of aversion to change. You see the thought process as the narrative has to be pieced together from threads which illustrate this type of mindset brilliantly.





A story like this hinges on the performances presented and the atmosphere they generate and I have many props to give to people. First Sarah Sutton has to play Nyssa who is put through the wringer in this story as she is arrested and tortured for being beautiful. Her performance comes off very hypnotic as does every other performance in this story as Sutton gives this sort of air around her delivery that just makes you feel like the energy from your body is sucked out which is good as that’s the atmosphere this story needed. The same can be said for Peter Davison as the Doctor as he is forced into scientific experiments and almost commits a murder. The villains of this story are also very emotionally draining in just how good they are as everything starts to fall apart with Jemma Churchill’s Florian just sticking in my mind at the end of the story as she looks like she is listening to the Doctor, but she isn’t and stays static.

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