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Reviews By thevodkarose
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Reviewed By: thevodkaroseReview Date: 2/16/12 1:17 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The story was OK, but I found it difficult to engage with. I think it was the premise that let it down for me. Angelique, even without powers, would never be so weak. It was a plot device to get Tony involved that didn't ring true. It held over a little with Angelique almost second fiddle at times, something that she would never have allowed to happen in the original series, even when at her lowest points like during the Nicholas Blair storyline. She was at her most dangerous when so low, powers or not. So, without dropping huge spoilers, even the ending didn't work for me as that is at odds with that too. I can't deny it was well researched, the frequent (if heavy handed) continuity references prove that. It was just like it was written by someone who's read about the series, but not watched it. The main ingredients are present and correct, but the subtleties are missing.

If Angelique had had an ulterior motive for involving Tony beyond just needing help then and there, the plot could have stayed much the same but it would have been true to character and complete with all the little nuances.

I feel guilty for writing a negative review of Dark Shadows because they're usually so good. This is a rare example where it didn't work for me.
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Reviewed By: thevodkaroseReview Date: 10/15/11 7:25 pm
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

He's back in the main range, and it's about time.

During the final story of 2009s anthology release, The Company of Friends, a pre Charley, Lucie, et al 8th Doctor first meets the famous (some might say infamous) author of Frankenstein, Mary Shelly, (hereby referred to has 'Mary' for the fictional version, and 'Shelley' for the real historical figure). Of course, she hasn't written it yet - it looks like part of the fun of this arc will be dropping knowing hints to this fictionalised incarnation of Shelley. When she first appeared in the aforementioned one episode tale, there was no indication whether it was just a one off or more adventures were planned. Certainly at the moment two of her print contemporaries from that CD, Fitz and Izzy are still confined to one episode dramatisations. Perhaps it was always planned, or perhaps Julie Cox just shone enough as Mary in that first adventure to make bringing her back a necessity. Either way, one full story in and whatever the reasons, she has a certain magic as a companion that few other audio companions have quite attained so early on. Not wanting to drop too many spoilers, suffice it to say I can't wait to see what further wonders her reticule will bring.

The plot itself is a gothic and chilling one in the tradition of Platt's acclaimed earlier Cyber-script, Spare Parts. But whereas that story had literally a whole population of Cybermen by the end, here we have a sorry pair of spare parts that in some ways could be described as tragic. For part of this story the most compelling aspect is the knowledge that both we as an audience and The Doctor have about the true nature of The Cybermen. Yet as emotional beings, unlike the Cyberman, we travel through Mary's innocent eyes with humanity and actually feel pity for the poor suffering creatures, a pity that they cannot give in return. Humanising the monster was previously handled most notably of a Dalek in Rob Shearman's classic audio drama Jubilee which was also the inspiration for his TV script, Dalek. Well read listeners see that this is far from a recent dramatic device. Indeed didn't Shelley herself use similar methods when writing about Frankenstein's monster? How appropriate.

To those used with the more recent one disc adventures for the 8th Doctor, this release is a certain change of pace. It would be a mistake to label this as slow, but in comparison to the speedier predecessors, more time is taken to explore the characters and little nuances of the piece. For such a carefully structured script, this gives the horror elements plenty of room to breathe. Such an appropriate release for the month of Halloween 2011.
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Reviewed By: thevodkaroseReview Date: 8/21/11 6:31 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

It should go without saying, but spoilers ahead.

Not only do we get every era of the show at least touched upon, we get new histories added and even the trip to PT. It adds a new richness of colour not only to the Big Finish range but the classic series as a whole gets a fresh infusion of mythology. As if that wasn't enough already, by the end of the play we're not celebrating just the past, but the future of Dark Shadows. Superb.
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Reviewed By: thevodkaroseReview Date: 12/18/10 12:00 am
2 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Let's get this straight from the outset. This is not classic Big Finish by any means. Nor should anyone be disappointed by this. It's a fun romp with all (current as of 2010) Big Finish Doctors. Within that very constricting formula, Peter Anghelides has excelled in creating a multi-Doctor story. For the most part, each Doctor is kept seperate, and this works to the plays advantage. While mostly linear from a listener's point of view, it shakes things up a bit by not having things quite linear from The Doctors' points of view. Each successive Doctor comes with full memories (until the very end anyway) of his previous incarnations involvement, thus avoiding the continuity pitfalls so easy to sucumb to with this kind of thing.

In conclusion, this wipes away any disappointment lingering from Big Finish's previous attempt at shaking up the formula of stories with several Doctors (yes, Zagreus, I'm looking at you). The icing of the cake is that this all comes free of charge to main range subscribers. Are you not a subscriber yet? What are you waiting for?!

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