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< 4.11 - Night's Black Agents
*The Three Companions >

4.12 - Solitaire

Rating Votes
10
56%
94
9
23%
39
8
11%
18
7
7%
11
6
2%
3
5
0%
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4
2%
4
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Average Rating
9.1
Votes
169
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
10
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Reviewed By: KamelionReview Date: 4/23/19 11:25 pm
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Released 2010
Location : The Celestial Toyroom, The Void and The TARDIS
Date/Time : Author fails to mention

Solitaire has some unique things going on with it and I will go from the less than perfect to the totally most excellent. Less than perfect for me was having the only main actress as India Fisher because she simply sounds like Ace (Sophie Aldred) to me. Since India Fisher's character (Charley Pollard) was the first Big Finish created companion in a Companion Chronicle I sort of felt that they did this intentionally because she sounds so much like Sophie Aldred. Aside from that this is not a complete story and it does not conform to the typical standards as expected by Doctor Who. The glaring error is that aside from not even mentioning where they are in time and space there is also no explanation as to how The Doctor ended up being turned into a ventriloquists dummy. And finally while this is set in the Paul McGann era mainly according to cover art, Paul McGann is not only not in it but the only suggestion of his voice is a terrible child like croaking by India Fisher which really distracts from the overall great quality of the story.

This is also one of only two Companion Chronicles (other being Elixer of Doom) which is seemingly set in the Eighth Doctors era with the only real evidence of that being the cover art and of course the intro and end musical scores which are from the 1998 US TV movie.

The Celestial Toymaker set of four TV episodes on which this character was based, was not really that great of a story. While the BBC does currently list it as lost or deleted I actually had the opportunity of watching all four episodes in 1985. It was an off air recording that a volunteer staff member showed during a Doctor Who fund raiser at a PBS channel in San Jose California. He had it on a Beta video tape and I still wonder when that copy or a copy or it or wherever it came from will surface again. Regardless of that the point is from someone whom has seen the original TV episodes and now heard the 2010 Big Finish take on the character of The Celestial Toymaker, the David Ballie version is a million times better.

The real main drop the mic conclusion to me is that David Ballie combined with what might actually be the most evil and dark music Big Finish has ever produced in a Doctor Who inspired audio drama makes this a stand out winner. The British are so good at creating awards and awarding themselves I am surprised that some type of award has not been created for Solitaire and then another award to award whom created that award.

This is also the only Companion Chronicle that I am aware of which does not have a narrator. Instead it is a full cast audio drama with a cast of two.

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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: The31stWAHReview Date: 4/21/19 10:48 pm
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Deserves all the praise it's recieved. The original Celestial Toymaker story is flawed and plagued by unfortunate racism, but this story, even moreso than "The Nightmare Fair" gives us an idea of how this character could work if brpught back. He's kind of like Doctor Who's answer to the Riddler, or Two Face, or even Thanos: an omnipotent maniac obsessed with order as the antitdote to chaos. David Bailie is perfeftly cast and delivers a bravura monologue about games that very nearly steals the show.

The real star, though, is India Fisher. Making this a two-person play instead of a usual Companion Chronicle gives her a chance to demonstrate how Charley handles herself in what is essentially an Escape Room and she's fiercely capable. You will probably see the ending coming but it still works, and you almost feel bad for the Toymaker as a result. The way the Eighth Doctor is represented is also very clever. I may be a sucker for chamber pieces like this but Solitaire is definitely still a winner.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: LorcanReview Date: 4/15/19 10:42 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Charley arrives in a toyshop with no memory of who she is and must play a game with the toymaker where she doesn't even know the rules. Solitaire is one of the best companion chronicles i've listned to and is a really good two hander between the toymaker and charley. The toyamker is characterised really well and david baille really makes him seem like a dangerous but childish villain. India fisher also gives a great performance as charley and its fun listening to her trying to figure things out. The plot has some excellent twists and the sound design is brilliant which really made me feel absorbed in the story.

This is an excellent companion chronicle and one of john dorneys earliest and best big finish stories.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
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NR
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Reviewed By: XxDachshundxX Review Date: 3/16/19 6:44 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

I can't really say anything that is new, this is a fantastic creepy claustrophobic audio. Incredibly written, a character piece for the Toymaker and Charley. Fantastic sound design and music, wonderfully creepy scenes, great twists.
I implore every BF fan to listen! You will not regret it!
10/10