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< 85. Red
87. The Gathering >

86. The Reaping

Rating Votes
10
14%
17
9
18%
22
8
30%
38
7
17%
21
6
13%
16
5
6%
8
4
2%
2
3
1%
1
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
7.7
Votes
125
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Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
5
Replay Rating:
5
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: The31stWAHReview Date: 5/6/19 2:20 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

This is an essential story for Peri, as it fills in some gaps in her backstory and explores what exactly happened after she left with the Doctor. Nicola Bryant delivers a deeply emotional performance and Colin Baker is excellent as usual: their moments together at the end of Part 2 are about as far away from the corrosive bickering of their TV episodes as you could get. Some genuinely creative audio production (channel flipping, multiple conversations happening at once, the steady downpour of rain) and an intriguing mystery plot help elevate this story as well.

Because aside from that? I really wish the American accents weren't the dealbreaker they often are with Big Finish but...they're hard to listen to, and Part 1 in general feels too long and overstuffed. It's a shame, since there are othwrwise quite a few things that couod have made this outing more memorable than the zillion other Cyberman stories.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
6
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 10/15/17 4:16 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Yes, this story and "The Gathering" function together as a sort of prequel to "The Harvest", but it's really not necessary to have heard the heard that story first. "The Harvest" is a complete and self-contained story. "The Reaping" and "The Gathering" don't add anything of value. They just provide a tortuously convoluted answer to a continuity question no one ever asked ("How was System developed?").

I'm not going to try to convince anyone that Joseph Lidster is a bad writer. He's written several extremely popular stories for Big Finish, and went on to contribute scripts to "Torchwood" and "The Sarah Jane Adventures". That kind of success speaks for itself. But I hate most of his work, and I don't think I hate any of it as much as I hate "The Reaping". To me, it sounds like an incredibly amateurish attempt to copy the style of the new series. And it does what Lidster has done several times before... it introduces brand new characters that we have no connection to, and expects us to care about them because they are important to an existing character. This never works. It didn't work with Liam in "The Rapture", it didn't work with Gemma and Samson in "Terror Firma", and it doesn't work with Kathy and Janine here.

It's hard to avoid talking about "The Reaping" and "The Gathering" as a unit. They were clearly conceived and developed in tandem, and neither really works on its own. But most of the connections between them are contrived, like the fact that both adventures begin at the Goggle Box. Worst of all is the whole "8687" business. Not only is a corny in-joke and a cheap copy of the "Bad Wolf" concept from the TV series, but it serves no narrative purpose. But then, neither of these stories is particularly concerned with story. It would have worked much better as a single release done in the style of "Project: Lazarus". The main concern of these scripts is the character drama, which would be fine if it wasn't handled so artlessly.

This story is clearly trying to do an "Aliens of London" (another story where the alien plot took a back seat to the character drama), but it doesn't come close. Farting aliens aside, that script does an excellent job of balancing the two sides of the story without them getting in each other's way. I don't think I appreciated how good "Aliens of London" really is until I heard this.

There is some interesting stuff happening with the Cyberman story, once we finally get around to it. The Doctor tricking the Cyberleader by taking him to Mondas in 1984 was a clever resolution to the plot. That's good continuity... it draws on the history of the series in a way that serves the story. But then we get the epilogue, which is just horrible. The death of Janine is arbitrary, pointless, and so poorly presented that I howled with uncontrollable laughter the first time I heard it. I could not believe what I was hearing.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 9/27/17 3:56 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The death of a family friend sends Peri back home to 1984 after several travelling with the Doctor. Her arrival creates a lot of tension with her family, while at the same time the Doctor begins to find evidence that the death is part of a far more sinister plan.

This came out after the revived series had begun and Doctor Who had begun to look at the consequences of companions travelling with the Doctor to those they left behind, and this story has a quite a bit of that as the full impact of Peri's decision on her family and her best friend are beautifully explored, with some superbly crafted characters who are dealing with emotional . The story is set in America and the accents are solidly performed.

This is also a very well-done Cybermen story with some truly horrific moments as well as an over the top insane Cybermen scene.

The only reason it doesn't rate higher is the ending is a very cheap one with pointless deaths caused by an unbelievable plot twist to help the writer get out of a corner.

Still, despite that, this is a very solid adventure.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: kfb2014Review Date: 11/11/14 12:53 pm
3 out of 4 found this review helpful.

Timely by accident, with the last of the current run of Dr Who on T.V with Peter ending, last Saturday, and with a very similar story line of Cybermen being created from the recently deceased, this release see's a similar story arc. This however is one that see's Peri returning to her family amidst the funeral, family and friends that she has not seen for only a few months. Throw in the Doctor, who quickly gets himself into trouble with the Cybermen controlled Police Department. With a lone surviving Cyberman trying to convince the Doctor to pilot a time machine back to the beginning of the human race so that he can then convert the first homosapian's as Cybermen to finally have a new race.

This is what I affectionately call a full fat adventure, less of the Big Finish extrapolation of the Doctor Who drama, and more akin to a traditional written 6 parter which would have graced our T.V. screens. Nicola Bryant has more to play in this other than the typical companion role, and with the return of her into her family that typical dysfunctional element of the "family" unit is apparent, which allows Nicola to show a much more extended range of emotional response than we get normally. Colin plays this more Doctor than previous Doctor Who adventures before, if that makes sense. There is a quite commanding presence of the Doctor's humanitarian side with his need to not fulfil the requests of the last Cyberman standing.

Enjoyable, good solid stuff, and very much in vogue with the older style offering.