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< 1.1 - Domain of the Voord
1.3 - The Bounty of Ceres >

1.2 - The Doctor's Tale

Rating Votes
10
5%
3
9
13%
7
8
29%
16
7
27%
15
6
11%
6
5
7%
4
4
5%
3
3
0%
0
2
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0
1
2%
1
Average Rating
7.2
Votes
55
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
4
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: GuiannosReview Date: 5/22/19 5:55 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

I'll preface this review by emphasizing how much I love the pure historicals. If you're not a big fan of the format your opinion will probably be much lower than mine.

The Doctor's Tale is one of the more serious historical stories like The Aztecs or The Massacre as opposed to the more comedic historicals like The Romans or The Myth Makers. Chaucer is a great subject for the story as his work lends naturally to a pilgrimage setting, he was a man of high standing connected to political figures, and his criticisms of the Church could be played as controversial in his time (although I'm unaware of any backlash caused by his writings). With such a solid frame it's disappointing that the plot built around the premise is thin and has trouble supporting the story.

The weakest aspect of the story has Ian vying with Sir Robert for Barbara's affection behind her back in a play off of Chaucer's Knight's Tale. I'm all for the idea of Ian and Barbara pairing up after their time in the TARDIS but jealousy does not suit Ian and the subplot is stripped of the core chivalry from the source material. Barbara and Ian's courtship (if you could call it that) was far more subtle than what we get here and Ian comes off far more chauvinistic than his character is portrayed elsewhere.

Aside from that complaint, the story is decent but sparse. Barbara's motivation of finding out Chaucer's end is very fitting and hits just the right balance of her fawning over his work and being curious about a mystery of the ages. The side plot of Henry IV deposing Richard II is functional but feels like it should have been the main plot rather than taking a back seat to the Canterbury Tales homage.

If you love historicals or the Canterbury Tales you'll want to hear this one. It's far from perfect but it's got enough to like to justify a 4 parter. If that doesn't sound like it's in your wheelhouse I would skip this story as it's objectively the weakest of the first batch of Early Adventures.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
1
Plot Rating:
2
Acting Rating:
1
Replay Rating:
1
Effects Rating:
1
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: YorickReview Date: 11/5/18 4:09 pm
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Possibly one of the dullest things that Big Finish has ever released.

Dull characters spouting cliched "olde english" in a very A-Level theatre studies level. John Banks as Thomas Arundel is the worst offender of the lot.

A big misfire in my opinion. Avoid
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 2/13/16 1:19 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A pure historical set in 1400 featuring the first Doctor, Vicki, Ian, and Barbara. It's similar in many ways to, "The Massacre" as it's a tale of religious persecution and betrayal. However, it also has a sense of mystery in it as Barbara wants to find out what happened to Geoffrey Chaucer, the author of the Famous Canterbury Tales.

As a historical, this is well-written and it makes the history come alive. The only off note was the final confrontation in the woods with Thomas Arundel which came off as a bit over the top particularly for a story like this. Still, the rest of story works brilliantly.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: kfb2014Review Date: 11/29/15 3:48 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A rather compelling tale, with the first Doctor and his companions thrust into the 15th century, a world of "The Canterbury Tales" and Henry IV and all the skull duggery of that era. This has a an extremely strong story from the off and, but this coupled with a very loose structure, doesn't actually work for me at all well. In fact I would go as far to say that it sort of moves along on the backs of William and Maureen, solely on their acting alone. The overall feeling is that this is definitely "could have done better". That aside from this, the one thing that Big Finish, do so well is fill the soundscape with what appears to be many more actors than are actually present in this release.

The story takes our companions and the Doctor straight back into the era of early political intrigue and wrong doing cast against the back drop of Chaucer, prisons, political intrigue and deception. The separation element see's both the Doctor, Ian and Vicky all taking a different route. Presiding over New Year revelry. Not the best for the Early Adventure tales.