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1.2 - Fear of the Daleks >

1.1 - Frostfire

Rating Votes
10
15%
16
9
14%
15
8
31%
33
7
21%
22
6
11%
12
5
5%
5
4
1%
1
3
0%
0
2
1%
1
1
0%
0
Average Rating
7.8
Votes
105
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 11/2/17 1:30 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

I have to confess, I often have problems with attention. I often listen to Big Finish stories while sitting in front of my computer, and sometimes I get distracted by the internet, the greatest distraction ever devised. Sometimes it helps to listen to stories on my commute, but even them, sometimes I get distracted. Sometimes I get distracted because a story is dull, but sometimes I miss out on really good stories because I just can't seem to pay attention.

I've listened to "Frostfire" many, many times, and I feel that I'm only just now really getting it. I had previously scored it a 7, which for me means something like "There's nothing really wrong with it, but little to recommend it either". I've now revised that upward to an 8. The story is a bit a slow, and it's not especially memorable, but if you're willing to give it the attention it deserves, you might find that it's also beautifully written and performed.

Like quite a few subsequent Companion Chronicles, "Frostfire" has a framing narrative, so you're basically getting two stories in one. One is the story of Vicki's life after leaving the TARDIS, and this is quite fascinating. Marc Platt's script explores the inevitable frustrations that must come from living in an ancient, pre-technological past. Without ever giving the impression that she regrets her decision to stay with Troilus, Vicki nevertheless explains some of the downsides of her new life. The other story (the A-story, if you like), involves an adventure Vicki had while traveling with the Doctor and Steven. Despite the novelty of this new format, Platt gives us a story which fits the Hartnell era extremely well. Like many of the best Companion Chronicales to come, "Frostfire" is both modern and traditional at the same time.

And I really love the cover. I don't usually remark on that, but something about this cover really impresses me.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 12/26/15 2:55 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The first ever Companion Chronicle story is a great one. Like many Companion Chronicles, there is a framing story set years later and the story of what happened many years later.

The main story is a wonderful tale with the First Doctor, Vicki, and Steven visiting the last Frost Fair, and features Jane Austen, and a lot of atmosphere in a story of a monster terrifying London and plotting destruction of the Earth. However, the story's framing device is a also fascinating as we meet Vicki years later after she left the Tardis to marry the Trojan Cresseda in the ancient world and there's a great mystery that's playing between Vicki and the imprisoned creature she's telling her story to. There's a great sense of mystery and suspense and the ending has a great pay off.

The entire story is performed perfectly by Maureen O'Brien with Keith Drinkel making a very menacing monster.

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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 11/9/15 4:31 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The first two series of The Companion Chronicles focus on the first four Doctors, three of who were obviously no longer with us, so this was a great way to deliver earlier Doctor stories that until then had not really been viable and allowing us to hear characters that were both fresh and nostalgic. Obviously they were on to a winner as this went on for a further seven series; Maureen O'Brien takes centre stage as Vicki in the introductory story of the range.

Maureen seems to relish the chance to take centre stage and determined to make the most of it gives superb and natural narration. Maureen's narration is evocative, never trying to mimic Hartnell's voice just his tone she sails through this with ease. The understated soundscapes of this range, in this case supplied by Laurence Oakley and Robert Dunlop, always facilitate the emotive elements of the stories; Marc Platt's writing combines with the audio element sublimely. Between them they offer a rich scenic setting structured from music and words.

Vicki is telling this story as an ageing woman in 1164 B.C., many years after she left the TARDIS in ancient Troy to marry Troilus in The Myth Makers. We find out that, at first, not all has went well for Vicki, in her new life in Greece. The Doctor, Steven and Vicki arrive at the last of the great frost fairs, in London. After looking around they meet Jane Austen, and discover a dragon's egg. This tale mixes fantasy with the familiar, and stirs strong imagery in the listeners mind. It's well paced and has a resolution that can only be described as chicken and the egg. It doesn't quite have the emotional resonance that the best of the range has, but is very close to being perfect.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
5
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
3
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: celestisReview Date: 10/3/14 9:27 am
0 out of 5 found this review helpful.

I like both Maureen O'Brien and Marc Platt, but this did nothing for me, it took 3 goes to listen to it as I just lost interest.