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< 1.3 - Death and the Queen
2.2 - The Sword of the Chevalier >

2.1 - Infamy of the Zaross

Rating Votes
10
5%
1
9
18%
4
8
64%
14
7
0%
0
6
9%
2
5
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0
4
5%
1
3
0%
0
2
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Average Rating
7.9
Votes
22
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User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 11/29/17 4:48 pm
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

When an alien invasion interrupts Jackie Tyler's vacation to visit an old friend, she summons her daughter and her friend the Doctor out of time and space to try and resolve the situation. But this is no ordinary invasion and interestingly enough not even the TARDIS has heard of this particular menace. There are darker plans and motivations at work here than what's apparent on the surface and many innocent people are going to die if the Doctor and Rose can't stop the somewhat unconventional Zaross and their plans. It's an interesting start to the set with a surprisingly meta before titles introduction that sets the tone for the whole story in a way I really wasn't expecting. That's more or less this story in a nutshell actually: not what I anticipated in the best possible way. It starts off as a very standard invasion setup but the longer it goes the more peculiar things get and it all leads to a brilliant twist with the foe that I honestly didn't see coming. To talk more about it would constitute major spoilers (though I swear 'South Park' has done a similar premise like this in the past) but needless to say it's unusual, comedic and harsh all at the same time, and perfectly in keeping with the light-hearted tone of Series 2 which seems to have been kept for better or for worse. There's even an end reference to a certain organization at the end which puts these stories firmly in that era and it all really works and flows well together. All three of the main cast reprise their roles as if they never left. Tennant remains as great as ever as the Tenth Doctor with a surprising amount of frustration and anger behind this performance that really surprised me considering his character at this point in his life. It's really fantastic (no pun intended) and he continues to be on top form. Camille Corduri also returns from previous Big Finish audios as Jackie and she gives us some major moments of heart especially when she gets her first real excursion in space a la Wilfred Mott in "End of Time". The big cast member I was nervous about was Billie Piper returning for the first time as Rose but thankfully I need not have worried. Billie Piper gels back in to her role beautifully and thankfully she tones down the annoyance of her character from Series 2 a lot. It's no secret that I love her with the Ninth Doctor but despise her with the Tenth Doctor as a companion but I actually found myself enjoying her performance and interactions with Ten a lot more than normal as opposed to simply tolerating her like usual minus one or two moments. It simply could be that I have had enough time and distance away from her and her character by now as well as Piper's character and performance but either way she's a success here and I hope that continues in the other two stories. The audio landscape is great for an Earth story, the rest of the side voices and cast work fine especially the Zaross themselves when their true personalities are revealed, and while it does end somewhat fast squandering a little bit of what was built up I did find myself interested and enjoying it all the way through. All in all as a starting point for new Big Finish stories set in Series 2, 'Zaross' works exceedingly well if not perfectly and with not too much real peril behind it. The tone, plot, character, and humor however all feel authentic and true to form with a great cast behind it and it's another feather in Big Finish's cap for the Tenth Doctor. 
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: TheBigChurroReview Date: 11/29/17 12:52 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Absolutely enjoyed, but more so taken off guard by this first story. I was expecting a typical alien invasion, the series regular back in the Davies era, a la, "The Sontaran Stratagem" "School Reunion" or "Aliens of London." But this is defianteley not that, it plays with the audience's expectations and stills gives them the familiarity of the era that Big Finish can capitalize on to draw in new listeners.
Tennant is on fine form and I eagerly await the announcement of Volume 3, Camille Coduri is great as Jackie, slipping back into the role excellently and as said before, although Billie Piper puts in a great performance as Rose, her voice has changed in the decade it's been since the TV episodes (although I find that it improves in the second story of the set).
Overall, a brilliant story (or episode), my favourite of Big Finish's 10th Doctor stories and one of my fav Big Finish audios in general.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: BrainofMorbius23Review Date: 11/28/17 4:23 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

I admire this story for being the one I went in with lowest expectations to be the best of its set.
It basically recaptured the best of Tens adventures and by god I adore Camille Coduri ! It’s a joy to hear her voice , my only hope is we get Micky back some time so we have the full regulars !

Trust me if you are nostalgic about the ten/rose duo this is the story that encapsulated it most pristine.

It’s also a good laugh as I hoped !
Bloody heck Marge reminds me of my Auntie!

Light spoiler below

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...

The invaders are great and well ... very Davies as they are basically pigs masquerading as warthogs...
I thought they were well voiced and entertaining!
But was greatful they were only the frontal threat.

A good 8/10 and my second favourite of this range. Death and the queen still holds its ground though !


I put in recommendation for smith and jones because pig actors - rhino cops !
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 11/27/17 12:16 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Imagine if Russell T. Davies had travelled back in time to kidnap Douglas Adams and made him write a story about the Tenth Doctor and Rose, and reality TV, and you've got the Infamy of the Zaross. This story finds Jackie visiting a friend in Norwich, only to have to call the Doctor and Rose in when aliens invade. To the Doctor's surprise, he discovers the aliens are invading Norwich and only Norwich.

This is a hilarious release. It manages more humor than any story the Tenth Doctor did on television, particularly in the first two series. Yet, it manages to include the biting social satire. Listening to Tennant's Doctor react to the Villains in this called to mind, the Pirate Planet.

Camille Coduri once again, plays Jackie Tyler like she never left. Billy Piper's performance is generally solid, but she does struggle a bit to recapture the voice of Rose. The story's commentary on Reality Television is fair, as well as its exploration of the idea of being so hungry for approval and recognition that you would die to get it. The message is carried a bit too far in the final scene. Overall, this is a wonderful return for a beloved TARDIS team.