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The Romance of Crime

Rating Votes
10
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9
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Average Rating
8.0
Votes
61
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User Rating:
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Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 6/8/16 8:07 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

My biggest fear for this review is that it is going to be very repetitive because the audio adaptation of The Romance of Crime, is much closer in style to the adaptation for Love and War in that it is a straight adaptation from book to audio drama. It doesn’t do anything to change to problems of the plot (for a more in depth analysis on that look at my review of the original novel) and the only real thing for me to analyze is the acting, the direction and the music choices of this story.





This is the first story since 1980s Warriors’ Gate to feature the TARDIS team of the Fourth Doctor, Romana II and K9 sharing an adventure together. Just reuniting the cast is an achievement as Tom Baker and Lalla Ward had a famously rough divorce. Luckily time can indeed heal as in their recording sessions in 2014 shows that same romance seen in their time together on television. Tom Baker and Lalla Ward also are great at delivering the dialogue of this story as it is translated directly from the pages of the novel. I could honestly listen to them going all day and I almost did. Tom Baker has not lost his touch as the Doctor as he knows exactly where to put the accents on his lines to keep it hilarious. Lalla Ward is also great especially comparing it to her performance in stories like Zagreus, Neverland, and The Apocalypse Element being closer to the character seen in the novel Blood Harvest. Romana feels like Romana. John Leeson also plays K9 in this story and he is doing a great job imitating David Brierly who has already passed away. This is helped by the vocal effects done by Howard Carter who does a great job in making the effects seem real.





The supporting cast is all perfectly casted in their roles with three actors standing out from the rest. First is Miranda Raison as Margo and Xais who is great as being the cold Margo and the evil Xais. Her tone is able to convey so much as she goes from cold to scared to megalomaniacal all with the drop of a pin. She is better here than in her Doctor Who television appearances in Series 3 as she is allowed to explore a great character. Second is the brilliantly casted Marcus Garvey as Pyerpoint who is exactly what I heard in my head when reading this character’s lines. Finally we have Stokes who in the novel was extremely campy. For the audio Dorney’s adaptation and Briggs’ direction turned it up to eleven with Michael Troughton playing the artist. Troughton sounds almost flighty as the character which is great n I honestly love it.





Speaking of the direction, Nicholas Briggs is able to make the story feel more in tune with the era of the story. This is helped by Howard Carter’s score which really sounds like something Dudley Simpson would have put in if this story was on television.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
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Acting Rating:
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Replay Rating:
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Has Prerequisite(s):
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Reviewed By: kfb2014Review Date: 8/26/15 3:00 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The Romance of Crime, is a big massive Who adventure, with, aliens, double crossing, dollops of political double crossing, and, of course the observation of greed and general skullduggery by those in power and those who should know better. The crux of the story is that penal colony thats sole purpose is to dish out retribution to those imprisoned upon. We have a corrupt prison/judge/executioner Pyerpoint and then the small matter of the complete psychopathic Xais, a person who has the ability to squash people flat. That has managed to leave her spirit in a death mask, fashioned from a material that attenuates the psychic bond to whomever wears it. The death mask takes possession of the neurotic and anxiety ridden Margo Pyerpoint’s director of security. But the living embodiment of Xais is not on her own enter stage left the Ogrons. We have monsters left right and centre here. Whilst we have the Xais and the Ogrons to deal with, we also have the intergalactic equivalent of the Kray twins in the shape of previously convicted criminal gang of the Nisbetts. The Nisbetts seem to be the contract managers for the Nisbetts. The Ogrons run amok on the asteroid planet killing all the “normals” whilst the Doctor has to work out how to sort out the sorry mess.

This is a big bundle of fun, and a superb adaptation of the Novel. I loved the varying levels on which this whole drama plays out. It was a real treat to listen to, and, belies the any comparative to the T.V. Doctors incarnation as number 3. It is just too dam big an adventure. There is no way that the BBC would have been even able to touch this, and, also we have the double whammy that they would have probably buggered it up and re-wrote the whole thing and made a right mess of this. Tom is on fine form, he delivers some of the classiest one line sarcastic responses of any of his previous Big Finish work, listen out, you will chuckle. My favourite line is the one where the Doctor is examining Stokes’s art shop and studio after Margo under the influence of Xias kills and smashes up the said studio – The Doctor as quick as a flash fires out the one line when inspecting the vandalism with the line “there are several hundreds of pennies worth of damage” there are other one liners. The other superb comical element is the cyber policeman who has been sent originally to investigate odd goings on at the prison asteroid planet Frank Spigot played by Marcus Garvey, he is like every other gumshoe detective, except he has an unhealthy dose of self deprecating dysthymic despair, that is so self obsessed it again lightens what could well be a much unexplored role within the release.

Superb Marcus Garvey is wonderful, Leeson as K9 Mark 2 is superb as ever, couple this with an extraordinary cast in this first of the novel adaptions is brilliantly played, put the icing on the cake with Baker and Ward as Romana and Doctor number 3 then you have a cracking 2hour plus adventure.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
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7
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Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 3/19/15 10:27 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

The Doctor and Romana arrive on the Rock of Judgment where dangerous criminals are executed and others held. There are strange goings on that has a police investigator on board and the Doctor and Romana end up taken into his confidence.

The story works on several levels. There's a nice mystery plot for more than two episodes, and some great concept ideas thrown in. A lot of the comedy of the story works, though some of it falls flat. Gareth Roberts novel dialogue sounds weird actually spoken by actors. The story seemed to be influenced a little bit by City of Death with the character of Frank Spiggot calling to mind the hapless Private Eye who met with the Doctor and Romana in that story.

While there are some off moments and the villain doesn't quite rise to the level of the very best Doctor Who baddies, the story was still very enjoyable as Roberts captures the spirit of the best of Season 17 quite nicely. The acting is top notch and overall, this story makes for a very charming two hours.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
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Reviewed By: kenrwillReview Date: 2/27/15 5:31 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

I have been constantly disappointed with the fourth doctor adventures, it could be because they are very short, just just not as interesting. Perhaps its just a simple matter of high expectations. Tom was considered the best of all doctors, still is for some, sadly the lack luster fourth doctor adventures have at best been only mildly interesting.

This story however is a great relief and finally does the Fourth Doctor right. the soundtrack, romana & k9, tom's witty remarks. the atmosphere, everything you could possibly want. this is probably as close we are to getting a true fourth doctor episode. and lets give a round of applause to the orgons!!! Long since forgotten doctor who henchmen. The play upon their stupidity is actually amusing. most cases these gags could have been unbearable, but in this case it works well.

My one hope is that they can dig up Roberts to write more 4th doctor adventures, because it's so refreshing to have someone get it right for a change!! Thank you big finish! you earned your money on this one!