Reviewed By: ANTI-RAD
Review Date: 9/14/18 4:30 pm
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FALSE ADVERTISING AS FAR AS BEING A REAL JO GRANT STORY OR ADVENTURE
AN ATTEMPT TO BANISH THE OLD (VINTAGE FANDOM AND CHARACTERS) AKA FINDING A REPLACEMENT
This is like the nice old guy at work, totally talented and able to do the job, but not serviceable by management's eyes for the future, so we better find and replace, or attempt to instill one asap.
"The agenda here is an attempt to exit stage left and replace both the Doctor and Jo with Iris Wildthyme as feature character"
As a sidenote: watching every episode with Jo Grant, repeatedly on VHS in the early 1980s as a child, I was obviously not happy with this release. Literally the antithesis. Jo's trait was loyalty, something that obviously means little today and it shows here as it is 110% the motive and theme/plot. Also, Katy Manning sounds great as Jo. I understand at this time Pertwee was gone and there was no replacement probably in sight, but couldn't we get ANY straight Jo Companion Chronicles to honor, respect and be loyal to the past. It would have been nice to have a good Jo story voiced by Manning as Jo, as she is certainly capable of doing just fine? No, we can straight attempts to focus and push the WildThyme character instead. Thanks for extinguishing, purposefully the memories.
First 5 minutes I thought this Jo companion chronicle night be a good one but... then I hear that the strange man pesting Jo is the extremely annoying irritant known as the... Noveliser. Huxley the Noveliser. Damn it. I loathe this character, who I believe is the one and same as in the Turlough companion chronicle I also hated.
The stories featuring this framing character is usually the antithesis of a proper Doctor Who adventure or story and cheap excuse to squeeze out weak character back story or weak ideas to fill an hour at the expense of writing an original tale.
But as I would soon find out, this is not exactly the case here. Yet, It's still pretty much an instant "find another and replace" in my audio book.
It's basically a bad new school pseudo- "Jo" story. Enter Iris Wildthyme. Instead of "Find and Replace," perhaps a better title might have been "Bait and Switch." More evidence of the complete absence of Iris on the cover art. Not very ethical for those expecting a true Jo story, when it obviously features Iris Wildthyme (and her magic bus) story front-and-center with Jo relegated to literal and figurative background companion.
For younger listeners who may have grown up first experiencing the Doctor Who 2005 series this might be more acceptable. However, as in my case with those who grew up watching the 3rd Doctor and Jo Grant and really would want a Jo Grant companion chronicle with the sorely missed 3rd Doctor in Big Finish and all these decades later, it a might be a great disappointment, especially due to the cover promise which is no way implies 2 totally new school characters within a new school framing devoid of any classic appeal.
Worse in the final 20 minutes, the plot reveal involves the Doctor and Novelisor, spoiler be damned, which is really in truth an attempt to erase Jo off the canonical books replacing her with Wildthyme --- a shockingly horrible way to test the waters in writing off Jo and a disservice towards the character's foremost trait of loyalty to the Doctor.
Where is the loyalty of the writer and Big Finish here? The agenda here is an attempt to exit stage left and replace both the Doctor and Jo with Iris Wildthyme as feature character really (at least perceivably at the time of this release). Shockingly poor decision and a warning Caveat emptor for those considering releases.
PS. The Novelisor also mentions Google and Google Earth, seriously. Pathetic. Press erase permanently. Sorry, find and replace the Doctor not acceptable, and if you agree then in any case this release has to be a grand failure and waste. Bad plot shadily executed to introduce and force Iris Wildthyme on listeners, resulting in a loss of trust..
The title is fitting in the worst way possible.
This was 1/5. 1/10.
* I typically use a simple 5-star rating scale = 1,2,3,4,5, translated:
1 star = 1,2 ; 2 star = 3,4 ; 3-star = 5,6,7 ; 4-star = 8,9 ; 5-star = 10.