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< The Valley of Death
4.2 - The Queen of Time >

4.1 - The Dark Planet

Rating Votes
10
12%
5
9
16%
7
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3
7
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8
6
42%
18
5
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Average Rating
7.2
Votes
43
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User Rating:
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Replay Rating:
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10
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Reviewed By: kfb2014Review Date: 3/20/16 9:45 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Dark Planet, is a lost story, “Hayles’ storyline was rejected on February 26th, 1965 because story editor Dennis Spooner feared that it hewed too closely to Malcolm Hulke's unused serial “The Hidden Planet”. In September 2013, Big Finish Productions released an audio adaptation of “The Dark Planet” by Matt Fitton” as per the first Doctor’s handbook. So what have Big Finish done, or moreover what as Fitton done, with, this not so much lost gem as unwanted one. Well quite frankly it is a masterpiece, of audio drama and audio engineering, and Big Finish once again demonstrate why they are so good at doing what they do. This has a cast of 4 all in, and through the superb use of sound, music, and effects, you get the feeling that this is a drama with a cast far bigger. It has the feel of being much more expansive, with the use of the re-working by Fitton and clever story plots, it feels very much a first Doctor story but also it feels fresh, which when we consider that this was written 40 odd year or more ago now, is tantamount to Hayles original working of the concepts for a Who series. The story like most first Doctor ones fall mainly in two categories, historical or Alien creature, but the main theme through out all of them is a desire to want understanding, tolerance and the ability of trying to attain a utopia of common ground. This even within the title is pretty much a give away as the story starts, we are greeted with Ian showing Vicki the wonders of developing photographs (it really is starting to give it’s age away) cut to Vicki stating what is wrong with using computers, and it starts to put the whole thing into perspective of this being written when it was, it is good the Fitton respects the era well here I feel. The lesson in photography is the tell in this story. We have a planet, who have two aboriginal races, except they are etherial and not of human form, they are the most basic of elements, one is a race that have transcended to being that of light, the other, have taken the form of the dark and shadows, and there in lies the rub. Both races are facing destruction, and end of days, as their sun is dying. However both have been developing ways to re-ignite or continue, but at the cost to themselves and each other. Step in stage left the Doctor, who, is their if nothing to enable both waring fractions to work together, for the better of the planet, with, their own selfish and destructive wants. Phew, what a story, what a moral and what a stunning release. Amazing, loved it. Well worth checking out if you are into Who or if you are simply after a quality 1st Doctor story, that in truth should have made it to the screen, thank god it didn’t and thank god Big Finish were able all these years later to add their magic to it and make this something really special.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
8
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10
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Reviewed By: doctorwhomoffReview Date: 12/17/15 4:38 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

An incredible story with one of my favourite TARDIS teams, a truly alien culture and a bittersweet ending that make an intriguing story. I would've loved to see sixties tv who try and pull this off on screen, I would rather have this than the web planet.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 9/12/15 10:18 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

The story is set early in the Universe on a planet with a dying star with a conflict people creatures of light and creatures of the shadow.

The Dark Planet has some very interesting moments, particularly in the middle three episodes as it develops into a bit of a parable about prejudice and war, while throwing in some clever high concepts. There are also some nice moments between the members of the cast in the first episode.

Yet, it's hurt by the fact that it's very padded in the first two episodes. This would have been far better as a four parter. The concept came from Bria Hayles who also provided the original idea for the Lost Story, "Lords of the Red Planet," and there are many parallels between the two stories. One key difference is that the guest characters here are less emotionally engaging.

Still, while flawed, this story has some good moment even though it's the weakest tale from the final series of Lost Stories.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
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NR
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Reviewed By: komodoReview Date: 12/16/13 8:25 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

There are some interesting ideas here, though not really strong enoiugh ideas to warrant six episodes.

The story takes the doctor to a planet populated by people of light and dark and explores some cultural ideas about racism and intollerance as well as ideas of science and what forms life can take. In that sense it is the kind of science fiction that would have fitted in well with the early doctor episodes. In that sense its quite good and for a first doctor fan, this is something to be happy about.

The realisation of this story on audio falls short though an the only word I can use to describe it is "laziness" This lacks the attention to detail of Farewell Great Macedon or Masters of Luxor. The story doesn't hold us and the actors are not voicing their parts with passion. My biggest concern is how William Russel's voice switches from Ian to the Doctor without changing. This never happened in Macedon. Was the production rushed? Was Russel uninspired by the material? I don't know, but this is not the only sign of liziness in the production.