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< 208. The Waters of Amsterdam
210. The Peterloo Massacre >

209. Aquitaine

Rating Votes
10
33%
14
9
26%
11
8
21%
9
7
12%
5
6
5%
2
5
2%
1
4
0%
0
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
8.4
Votes
44
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User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
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Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 4/2/18 12:14 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Doctor, Nyssa, and Tegan land on a spaceship run by the butler Hargreaves, who is busy taking care of the crew, including preparing their meals---even though the entire crew has gone missing.

This has a great mystery plot as clues are scattered about including Hargreaves' dodgy memory, weird inconsistencies in the ship, and maintenance tasks that have fallen far behind despite Hargreaves' fastidiousness.

At the same time, the story has a delightful lightness to it. With Hargreaves providing plenty of humor and heart. The regulars are all given plenty to do, and their own journeys through the story. The guest cast performs well, even though they have far less to do than in the typical main range release. Overall, a real delight and pleasure to listen to.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: kfb2014Review Date: 2/28/16 8:21 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

What we have, which seems like an age is a very good,high quality, well written, expertly acted and lovingly crafted by Big Finish audio drama, in the style very much of the era of Peters’s incarnation of the Doctor. This drama is very much in the classic mode. We have the Doctor and Nyssa and Tegan landing aboard a space ship the Aquitaine. Hargreaves is a robot in charge of pretty much all the daily errands required to run the Aquitaine, whether that be watering the plants or dusting the tables and chairs. The problem is that this cruise ship should be full of crew, but is oddly empty of both. The Doctor and his companions need to find out what has happened to everyone. Nyssa gets attacked by a plant, and soon she too as disappeared, then, whilst trying to find out where she has gone, Tegan, befalls the same fate. Meanwhile back in what we know to be the present. The Doctor and Hargreaves, work out that a space storm is causing a shift in time, and, Nyssa, Tegan and the crew are living in adjacent planes of reality. Will the Doctor and the ever helpful Hargreaves be able to put back in place all the lines of time so that everyone is where they should be.

This is just what we needed, at last Main Release continuity what with this and the previous release, Aquitaine delivers a rock solid drama, show casing the skills of the writers, production and the actors. I like the Main Range it makes me smile and warm inside. It is for me the backbone of Big Finish range. It also gives you that warm glow of security that gives you the feeling of always having a choice of so many good stories. Aquitaine is tantamount to this it delivers in huge dollops and swathes all the things that you want from both a Who drama, and from audio drama.When done well audio easily surpasses the visual, the pictures the are painted in your mind outstrips what ever a big budget could buy or produce, that is why this is so fantastic. This is why Big Finish are past masters, they handle the content and respectfully re-invent the classic Who era. It is some ways Big Finish have moved the classic forward.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
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Reviewed By: JavierSeventhFanReview Date: 2/22/16 8:17 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Let me fill you in with a little confession: i was never high on The Fifth Doctor. I dare say that once he was on my bottom three of incarnations. Not that i disliked his character nor his era. He had some amazing serials on TV such as Kinda or (of course) The Caves of Androzani; but the attitude of his Doctor never clicked in for me and out of the 12, id never say -this is my guy- (if you know that McCoy is my favourite you might understand why). If someone had told me that a couple of years later that audio-play after audio-play, not only he would be the Doctor in my favourite Big Finish story of all time (and possibly of any medium) -Psychodrome- (which i bought because of reccomendations), but my impression of him would turn 180 degrees on his head, i would label them as asylum nominees. It goes so far to the point to where now i rewatch his serials, i realise that like Troughton but unlike the others, he literally NEVER had a bad perfomance, no matter how good or bad the script was. Plus, at the end of the day, Peter Davison will always be not only the first Doctor i ever met, plus i had the chance to see him act in the West Ends Savoy Theatre.

Why did my initital train of through about the Fifth Doctor changed so much, would you say? Well, it´s because of stories like AQUITAINE.

Imagine if a space version of The Seeds of Doom (dont wanna mention Terror of the Vervoids in order not to scare some people off) had a baby child with the Series 9 double episode story Under The Lake/Before the Flood, adding 30 minutes for extra ambition and complexity, a couple of elements from The Black Hole; plus the atmosphere and music style of The Chimes of Midnight; and you got Aquitaine. Much like The End of the Line from The Last Adventure, Barnard and Morris show why they are the master of terror. The reverse storytelling factor that the element of the black hole allows is incredibles and the writers use 100% of it´s potential; which wouldn´t probably feel as big if it wasn´t for Andy Hardwick´s superb sound design.

This is a story about people coping in different manners with being lost and alone which enhaces each character separatelly. Peter its at his best when the Doctor has to act and think rushed, and when he is talking like that, you´re buying into his performances so much that you cannot tell the ageing in his voice. And much like the 5th, i don´t know how but after recent stories (Psychodrome; Iterations of I, Waters of Amsterdam), this one included, i love Tegan more everyday. Big Finish, somehow managed to removed the annoying factor from the mouth of legs character and Janet Fielding is a joy backstage. And Aquitaine has been probably the best highlight of the character of Young Nyssa; and Sarah Sutton´s best and loveliest performance ive heard to this day on a Big Finish audio-drama.

However, when you wanna talk about the true star of this story you´ll have to look into the supporting cast, with none other than Matthew Cottle (Paine in The Satanic Mill) as ship butler-conciousness Jeeves type robot Hargreaves. Before this, i never though that the same robotic voice can sound sympathetic, sad, alone, puzzled and dissapointed during different stages on the same audio. It´s Handles from The Time of the Doctor, with much more time, dialogue and script depth to care about him. If there´s oil and water on one side on the scale, his chemistry with Peter Davison its in the complete opposite end of it.

I seriously think that the only bad thing about this story is that it ends eventually. Much like Hargreaves keeping offering the same types of tea (chai, camomille, Earl Grey or English Breakfast), i would never get tired of listening to this time after time.

Final score: Aquitaine is a perfect 10/10 for me. Its not in a box-set (despite a quality worthy of it), its not gonna get a gigantic publicity campaign behind its release nor the hype of a War or Tenth Doctor. But its one worth going broke for. If you havent bought it after reading this; i really dont know what you are waiting for...