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< The Well-Mannered War
7. Theater of War >

Damaged Goods

Rating Votes
10
50%
31
9
26%
16
8
13%
8
7
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4
6
2%
1
5
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4
3%
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Average Rating
9.0
Votes
63
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: GuiannosReview Date: 11/17/18 1:22 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A very interesting and dark story that highlights the 7th Doctor at his most sinister and conniving. The plot is dense with lots of important details packed into every line of dialogue making it crucial to pay full attention or risk finding yourself out of the loop 30 seconds later. However, this doesn't result in a rushed pace for the story itself.

As my personal introduction to the wilderness era novels in any form it's brilliant and has definitely made me interested in hearing more.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 11/5/18 10:56 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

"Damaged Goods" is a story with one hell of a reputation. Behind "A Death in the Family" from the Hex storyline, it's widely considered to be the best Seventh Doctor Big Finish audio ever released with reviews far and wide acclaiming its quality. Written by Russell T. Davies of New Who fame and adapted by Jonathan Morris, this audio sees the Doctor, Chris Cwej, and Roz Forrester land on Earth 1987 in the middle of London during a difficult time. New drugs are on the rise in London, people are coming back from the dead, and mysterious monsters are attacking from the depths of the ground. The TARDIS team decides to investigate using the nearby housing complex of the Quadrant as a base. But it seems they're being expected and something malevolent is on the rise in the city tied to a devastating deal made one Christmas Eve night.....'Real' is the keyword for "Damaged Goods" in a nutshell. Even with some rather alien ideas and a tie back to ancient Gallifrey at play, this story is more grounded and more authentic than any I've heard in a long while. It immediately envelops you in darkness with its plot and premise and you can see where a lot of Russell's writing with the Ninth and Tenth Doctors came from. Many of the same tropes are present here including the auspicious name of Tyler and his writing continues to bring a sense of homespun devastation to the proceedings once things are revealed. Make no bones about it; you can see where this story was adapted and edited from the much darker novel it's based on and it still ends up being one of the darkest audios Big Finish has ever done. Like "Night Thoughts" before it, its horror is not in the sense of being outwardly gruesome or sexualized but rather of built-up atmosphere and horrible choices that have lasting consequences on the people around them. The soundscape and score are admirably created and very appropriate and it has a decent length that keeps your interest but doesn't overstay its welcome. In terms of the cast, this story also exemplifies the Machiavellian Seventh Doctor that we know and love. He alternates between masks of positivity and brooding and even outright states that he doesn't have time for human tragedy when a bigger mystery is happening. This is the perfect incarnation for this story and Sylvester McCoy is brilliant the whole way through. Roz and Chris are a bit more interesting now that we know where they came from and how they play off the Doctor. I love how intelligent Roz is in knowing the deal behind Seven's scheming and always assuming he's up to something even when he's not aware of it himself. Chris has a bit more of a sarcastic edge to his loyal lapdog persona and he gets some great moments in interacting with one of the residents that made me chuckle. The real performance highlights though are the side cast as most of the emotional weight of the tale hangs with them. Michelle Collins as Winnie Tyler plays an interesting surrogate of her future inspiration Jackie Tyler, Denise Black plays a mother whose devastating choices to help her child are repulsive but still understandable, and George Fuller plays Winnie's daughter Bev who serves as the emotion of the story and a humanizing force when the Doctor goes cold and cosmic. Everyone works exceptionally well together and it makes this story very engaging as you genuinely want to see everyone come out all right. I wouldn't say it's quite as perfect as some people say it is as it does feel overstuffed to the brim with plot threads which makes the ending climax feel a little bit all over the place. But considering how well this story works and keeps your attention, this doesn't end up being a big problem and it does feel very earned in the end especially in that it's not an easy conclusion. There are even some little treats that tie into future events and organizations that not only surprise you but feel appropriate given the person who wrote this story. Without giving things away directly, the titular device of the story was originally tied solely to the wars and events of Gallifrey in the past. But with Morris' adaptation working to tie more directly into current Who canon, that connection has been changed into something more....present and relevant. Needless to say, it's a moment I didn't see coming and was very well done in its execution. While it's not quite the perfect story a lot of people make it out to be, "Damaged Goods" is damn near a masterpiece that deserves all of the hype it gets. You owe it to yourself to check this one out if you want a dark precursor to what the show would eventually become.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
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Reviewed By: TheBigChurroReview Date: 9/11/17 2:01 am
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Having not read the novel prior to the audio, I was a little weary and not wanting to have an inferior experience, thinking Big Finish would water down the more adult parts of the novel, and although the did (I know from reading the differences on TardisWiki) it was still as phenomenal story. Those in 2003 who were worried about Russell T. Davies taking over and bringing Doctor Who back need not have worried when he wrote this; and you can see elements of this in his era of the show, the Tylers, the council estate, the relationships with others on the estate and the companions significantly driving the plot as both the Doctor and companion have their own mini-adventure or task to do.
This adaption has made me want to read the New Adventures and experience the development of 7 because from the two Big Finish adaptions I have heard (this and Cold Fusion) he has intrigued me so very much I need to know more.
An excellent story that is highly and whole-heartily recommended.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: BrainofMorbius23Review Date: 7/8/17 3:44 am
1 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Damaged goods has drawn me to start collecting virgin novels. I'm always a fan of the darker areas of the whoniverse and here you will certainly find that.

This is a tragic tale.
With a wicked and ancient enemy.
The music is solid.

Give it a buy !