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< The English Way of Death
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The Well-Mannered War

Rating Votes
10
18%
8
9
14%
6
8
41%
18
7
16%
7
6
9%
4
5
2%
1
4
0%
0
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
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Average Rating
8.1
Votes
44
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: GuiannosReview Date: 3/26/19 12:37 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

This story was trending to be one of my favorites in the novel adaptations range (already against strong competition), a highlight for the Fourth Doctor audios (again, some high marks) and a contender against some of Tom Baker's latter years on television. I love the mix of the absurd and the the disturbing presented here. A war without casualties prolonged for political posturing is an excellent setting for The Doctor and Romana II, fitting perfectly into the Douglas Adams era. Light elements like K-9 running for office add to the silliness and charm while the underlying menace of events becomes more clear. Sadly the story suffers greatly from the ending, an unraveling that isn't hurt by the (easily spoiled) final reveal but by an unresolved cliffhanger. I understand that this is true to the source material (the end of the Missing Adventures range) but there is a lot of momentum built up in the final 15 minutes or so that really bothers me to leave unfinished. It's still a good story and a fun adventure but it falls short of greatness where a tweaked ending could have saved it.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: komodoReview Date: 7/1/15 8:24 pm
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

I have not read the novel this was adapted from, but if treated as a stand alone story, this stacks up quite well. I think this is the first novel adaptation that doesn't feel like one.

The timing of the story is really good as it flows from scene to scene with Gareth Roberts sense of humour shining through. It feels like a very typical 4th Doctor story.

The premise is great and there are great scenes for the Doctor, Romana and K9 as well as a great cast of supporting characters including the return of Stokes. He doesn't add much to the story, but its fun to have him around.

The plot focuses on the Doctor arriving in the middle of a war zone where everyone is friendly and there is very little danger (reverse of the usual situation) until they uncover a darker problem beneath the surface and must work with people on both sides of the conflict to resolve things.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 4/21/15 9:52 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

The Well-Mannered War has the Doctor, Romana, and K-9 traveling further forward in time than the Time Lords would allow and they arrive in the midst of a decades old war and surprisingly the two commanders are best of friends, fraternization with the enemy isn’t illegal, rather it’s encouraged. The war serves political and financial interests and so it’s a win win. However, this happy war is disturbed by evil flies with their own malignant agenda and quickly war becomes a nasty business.

Gareth Roberts’ writing has a bit of a Douglas Adams feel to it, and John Dorney preserves that feel nicely. As has been in the case in all of the Roberts novel adaptations, the Well-mannered War is full of these tongue in cheek and satirical moments.

I didn’t like it as well as the previous Gareth Roberts stories. The novel was originally written as the last of Virgin’s Missing Adventure books, and it feels like Roberts had far more than a novel’s worth of ideas for the Fourth Doctor and Romana and condensed them into one novel which has K-9 running for leader, the fembots have a mysterious agenda that surrounds the fact that every civilization on this planet falls into decline every few thousand years, oh and there’s a Classic Doctor Who villain who’s behind this. The story does feel a bit crowded and the ending is a cliffhanger which was never resolved (being the last of the missing adventures) and for which there’s no planned resolution by Big Finish.

Still, despite being the weakest of the Fourth Doctor Gareth Roberts adaptations, this story is a fun ride that’s definitely worth a listen. The acting is solid and the story is quite enjoyable despite its flaws.