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< 2. The Window on the Moor
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3. The Other Side

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10
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9
13%
2
8
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4
7
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Average Rating
7.4
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16
The Ninth Doctor Chronicles - Series 1
7.6
Boxset Average Rating
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
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8
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NR
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Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 6/17/17 12:55 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This story happens in between, "Dalek," and "The Long Game." This story finds the Doctor setting out to return Adam Mitchell home but he he ends up in Birmingham with an old threat from the Time War.

On one hand, while the alien threat is a serious threat, it's not all that menacing particularly coming off Dalek and it's barely more scary than the Long Game and it's defeat isn't amazing. What does make the story work is it's character work, which is good but subtle.

You get a bit more of a sense of Adam and Rose's motivations. It doesn't make us like Adam more, but it suggests some interesting motivations for his character as well as showing some of his potential as an assistant.

At the same time, the story real has the feel of the first Series of Revived Who down well. The dialogue between the Doctor and Rose in the 1922 scene feels like stuff they could have said. Plus writer Scott Handcock has thought this story out and makes a compelling argument to my mind. Listening to this, not only do I think that something like this could have happened but probably did happen between episodes. Adam Mitchell didn't really show himself to be Companion material in Dalek, so of course, the Doctor's going to take him home. However, he shows some potential, but doesn't endear himself to the Doctor so much that he can't send him home.

Overall, I found this to be a fun and very plausible story that fits nicely into Series 1.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
5
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
4
Replay Rating:
1
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Reviewed By: thisoldcanReview Date: 5/17/17 5:47 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

In Scott Handcock's The Other Side, the penultimate story of this release, Rose has invited Adam Mitchell (Bruno Langley) onto the TARDIS to go home, something the Doctor isn't too happy about. But when a temporal tsunami strikes, and the TARDIS crew ends up separated through time. The Doctor and Rose must place their faith in a stranger, and Adam will have to be fantastic, if he hopes to see Rose and the Doctor again. I feel that this story was a bit of a lost opportunity. With Adam, a companion who essentially failed the test to become a companion, you could've had an interesting story examining the failure of Adam to act to save the Doctor and Rose. Instead, we have a rather cheery, contradictory story featuring Adam in his first trip in the TARDIS, where he ends up as a companion. Well acted, but disappointingly written in that respect, the story is nonetheless an interesting little horror story, written by one of Big Finish's masters of horror.

In the first returning role of the set, Bruno Langley once again plays Adam, the failed companion of the Ninth Doctor. It's hard to judge someone when it's been nearly 13 years since they first portrayed the role, but Langley sounds a bit more mature here, compared to his last appearance in The Long Game. The age takes away some of the insecurity that Langley had back in 2005, but his performance is nonetheless strong. He doesn't really get to straddle the line between good and bad as much, as that's not the purpose of the story really. Nicholas Briggs once again returns as narrator, bit character actor, and the Ninth Doctor. It's still not a good impression, but I noticed it less here. That may be because it's a smaller role in this story, and so Briggs doesn't get as much of a chance to talk throughout. But I also think that, for better or for worse, I'm used to it now.

Scott Handcock's script was a bit of a dull affair. It certainly had it's moments; leave it to Scott Handcock to come up with a creepy story and villain. But while the story itself was a solid story, it just didn't feel like it lived up to its potential, or even its description. The things that worked were Handcock's excellent script, barring the wasted potential of Adam. Handcock is excellent at crafting funny yet dark scripts, something he does here. The script is filled with little funny moments, like Rose's flustered actions when the Doctor asks her to call Adam, to the quieter moments, such as where the Doctor tells Rose he waited 28 years to see her. Both are equally strong parts of Handcock's script. Another strong part was the villain of the story, the Bygone Hoard. A villain that slowly comes forward through time, that can displace the current timeline is an ingenious creation, and one that Handcock breathes life into. I was disappointed at how little time we got with them, as most of the plot focused on Rose and Adam rescuing the Doctor. But what we got was a creepy villain I'd have loved to see in Big Finish's War Doctor series. The one downside of this script was really Handcock's characterization of Adam. In this story, he's really just like every other companion: a relatively ordinary person, who ends up being fantastic. But Adam isn't a normal companion like that; Adam is a companion who failed to show the Doctor something promising. It was a let down, especially given the description of the story, to see a standard companion introduction story (the second of this set, mind you). I wish Handcock had gone for something a little more ambitious, rather than just writing a very plain story for Adam.

The last thing I'd like to mention is Joe Meiner's work on the sound design, particularly in this episode. It's subtle and slight, but it's on greater display here in this story than the previous two, because there's an almost constant background noise. From the jazzy soundtrack of Rose's 1920s adventures, to the background noise of the cinema in 2012, it all adds up to become a really atmospheric song. More than anything, Meiners did a great job with this story, as the sound of it just feels unsettling at times. It enhances the creepy nature of the story a lot, and makes this a much more enjoyable story.

Overall, The Other Side was a perfectly fine story, but given the guest star of this story was Adam, it feels somewhat like a missed opportunity. Rather than Handcock exploring an interesting angle with Adam, he decided to instead make a rather ordinary companion introduction story. Which is fine, because it was an enjoyable introduction story. But it felt like a let down quite honestly, even given the good performances by the cast, and the great villain and plot that Handcock created.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 5/11/17 7:49 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Following on from the TV story 'Dalek', The Ninth Doctor and Rose have a new travelling companion in the form of the arrogant Adam Mitchell (played once again by Bruno Langley). Nine however is not happy and tries to take Adam home but the TARDIS is thrown off course by a temporal storm, the source of which can be found inside an abandoned cinema. When Nine and Rose get sent back in time, it's up to Adam to save the day but what really is on the other side of the screen and will Adam end up being a help or a hindrance to the Doctor and Rose? Adam's story is a bit of a fluke in the Whoniverse as he is the only companion that was thrown off the TARDIS for bad behavior and trying to use the future for his own gains at the end of "The Long Game". Though the character does eventually receive redemption and recognition as a companion for his actions in the comic book series 'Prisoners of Time', Adam is recognized by the fandom (particularly those who only know him through the show) as a tool and a morality lesson of who can and can't travel with the Doctor. This would've been an interesting angle to tackle as Adam's failure is unique in Who history and it would've made for a strong story adding on to that powerful message. Unfortunately, that's not quite what we get here from 'Other Side' though I did end up liking what we did get in the end. 'Other Side' is like the Ninth Doctor version of 'Hide' from Series 7 with a little bit more malice behind it in a nasty villain from the Time War that shakes Nine to his core. It has its creepy moments, its interesting timey-wimey tricks, and its fascinating concepts behind it and Nicholas Briggs seems a bit more comfortable with Nine and Rose in this one to where I could visualize them both fine in this story compared to the last one. Langley does fine as Adam slipping back in to the role almost flawlessly though he again seems wasted in a normal 'prove your worth' companion story when it could've been so much more interesting. Adam is painted as the standard companion here when we as fans of the show know that's not how he ends up and I still would've liked to see more of that precluded here. Luckily, I really like the villain in this one and there are some great moments scattered throughout that make this one a good listen from the way Rose behaves when the Doctor asks her to call Adam to the moment when the Doctor has to wait 28 years in the past to see Rose again. Basically for a missed opportunity, 'Other Side' works better than it should and I really like what's here but it could've been so much more.