Stories:
2827
Members:
711
Submitted Reviews:
7681
Reviewers:
328
< 4.11 - Night's Black Agents
*The Three Companions >

4.12 - Solitaire

Rating Votes
10
56%
91
9
23%
37
8
10%
17
7
7%
11
6
2%
3
5
0%
0
4
2%
4
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
9.1
Votes
163
Director:
Writer:

Purchase From:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: SpaceFritter Review Date: 5/19/17 11:38 pm
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

An amazingly creepy horror story. Full of twists and nightmarish plot devices. A fantastic production and better still it's only part 1 of a Sarah Kingdom and 1st Doctor Companion Chronicles story arc or trilogy. I'm really looking forward to buying the next two stories (4.1 & 5.1 in the series) & listening to them as well. Brilliant.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 9/5/15 5:17 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

I'm just going to say it flat out, Solitaire is The Celestial Toymaker done right. Solitaire sees Charley Pollard be trapped with the Celestial Toymaker in his new toyshop while the Doctor is a ventriloquist's dummy. Charley can't remember who she is and is forced to play a game where the rules are not even stated so she has no idea how she is doing. Unlike The Celestial Toymaker she isn't playing against a doll, but the Toymaker himself who is just there to confuse Charley through amnesia and wordplay. This is all fine but what keeps Solitaire from being just a well done rip off is how David Baile plays the Toymaker.

Baile, unlike Michael Gough, makes the Toymaker undeniably English and obsessed with winning. While Gough always sounded bored in his story, Baile sounds extremely amused with what he's watching. Also the danger is real as the room continues to shrink as the game progresses. Also the ending reveal of who is actually playing the game is great and should be so obvious a solution. This isn't the case as you never would think of what they did with it.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 9/1/15 7:32 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

'Solitaire' was recorded on 15 January 2010 and written by John Dorney, featuring India Fisher as 'Charley Pollard' and David Bailie as 'The Celestial Toymaker'. Along with 'The Time Museum' and 'The Jigsaw War', this is one of only three Companion Chronicles not to feature any narration. All three are full cast audio dramas with only two speaking parts. I didn't realise that this series was narrated when I listened to 'Fear of the Daleks' and to be honest I wasn't expecting to listen to any of these once I realised that they were exclusively or near exclusively narrated. Based on the strength of the reviews here I thought I would give it another attempt.

Charlie finds herself in the 'Toymaker's' toyshop unable to remember why she is there or who the Doctor is, with just the Toymaker for company and unable to leave forced to be an unwilling participant in a game she is unfamiliar with. No Doctor, no TARDIS and no way out. Although at the beginning of the second episode it soon becomes aware that even the Toymaker has to follow the rules of the game.

Not having heard 'The Nightmare Fair' and only having the one episode of 'The Celestial Toymaker' to go on David Bailie is a wonderful substitute for Michael Gough and give a very nuanced yet creepy performance and his chiding of Charley for not getting his near impossible and unpredictable demands. The shrinking shop that adds to the claustrophobic atmosphere is a great time constraint device adding menace and urgency. I think India gives a very competent performance but not much more because the centre of attention is the Toymaker himself. It's all about what he is going to do next. The sounds are functional and the music subtle yet aiding the atmosphere.

Oddly the exposition comes in the beginning of the second episode, and when it does it soon becomes clear even the Toymaker doesn't have all the answers. This keeps you on your feet. The roles of the characters kind of play musical chairs at the end - I know it's billed as a two hander but to me the shop is like a third character. Everything is impermanent in this universe and it feels like the writer is very adeptly using sleight of hand to distract your attention. The one disappointment with 'Scherzo' was the lack of finality to its ending; 'Solitaire' has no such problem. Although it still leaves you with a question mark.

As far as character driven dramas go they don't get better than this. There is weirdness and game play to keep you guessing, it's about as far from conventional as you can get and has made me look upon these in a new light. Well, sort of, I don't expect many to be as good as this.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 4/15/15 9:46 am
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Charlotte Pollard arrives in a toy shop with amnesia, not even remembering who she is at first. She quickly finds that the shopkeeper of this Toy Store is the Celestial toymaker who gives her no choice but to play a mysterious game: a game that the player doesn't realize they're playing and a game where the rules are unknown.

At its core,this Companion Chronicle reminds me of the feel of an old Twilight Zone story as the tension builds throughout towards the twist ending. The two voice radio drama works brilliantly here as the series grows increasingly claustrophobic, and we get great interactions between these two actors and a wonderful payoff.