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< 3.1 - The Age of Endurance
3.3 - The Ravelli Conspiracy >

3.2 - The Fifth Traveller

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10
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9
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Average Rating
6.8
Votes
29
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User Rating:
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Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 2/4/17 2:30 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The TARDIS lands in a jungle where the dominant species are a tribe of intelligent apes whose young matriarch is struggling to lead after her mother's untimely death. Of course, the TARDIS crew of the Doctor, Barbara, Ian, Vicky, and of course Josper don't know that.

The first thing that draws your attention is this question of who this mysterious fifth traveler is. Jospa is a great enigma and you're left to guest what his intentions are for the better part of three episodes. While the truth isn't surprising, it also didn't feel like a foregone conclusion. James Joyce is very good as Jospa, managing to play him early on in such a way that it's almost enough to make you wonder if there was a companion you'd forgotten about. Of course, that does change towards the end and he makes the switch smoothly.

The leads are excellent as always with Maureen O'Brien sounding almost the same as she did 50 years ago and everyone else during in performances that manage to recapture that Season 2 chemistry even with two of the original actors gone.

What I was surprised at is how well the Matriarch's plot with the apes was handled. It remained perfectly balanced with the main plot of the Fifth Traveler. The ape society is well thought out and manages to work with the main plot while still reaching a conclusion that just seems right and yet ironic for one of the villains of the story.

Overall, one of the best of the Early Adventures.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
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Plot Rating:
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Replay Rating:
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Reviewed By: kfb2014Review Date: 11/24/16 12:06 pm
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

This is a quite a clever story, We have the wonderful as always William Russell taking on the parts of the Doctor and of Ian, with his rather well define characterisation of Bill's incarnation. The honours of narration which are punctuated within this story, and, actually do assist it general rhythm to be more sustainable is handled by Maureen O'Brien, whom also plays her part as Vicki. I like the way in which Philip Lawrence, as written this, it is a little step away from the normal Who adventure. We are cast into a world where the companions and the Doctor have had to escape to after evading the wroth of Earth in 3034, and the potential misuse of the TARDIS and the Timelords ability to travel through time and space. However, landing on a planet that is covered in Jungle, and is the home to a rather evolved, and telepathic set of ape like inhabitants who themselves are going through there own struggles is probably not the most ideal place for the TARDIS and it's crew to land.

I had to listen to this story around 3 - 4 times for it to weave the Big Finish spell, but, each time I got a little extra from it, the most stand out thing after the story and acting for me, is the way in which the sound scape paints a most engaging and mentally absorbing world, that you are immersed in, all those familiar sounds we associate really make this, switching on the SRS on my Windows Media player really enhanced this to the max, and it adds to the overall feel of that hot, and humid environment where, the action is taking place.

The story as a massive not unforeseen sort of misdirection, in it's telling, which makes the whole plot line more ridiculously listenable, and that is what I think is rather standout about this release. It is also a given I think now that Lisa Bowerman gets more out of the 1st Doctor stories than other directors, and must be the Big Finish go to director for this. William and Maureen push the story, with some excellent assistant from the rest of a rather well casted group, offering yet another gem in the First Doctor releases of 2016. Well worth the listen. One note however, the last part, jumps around so maybe no ideal listening if you are driving as a little concentration drift will set you back in the plot lines.