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1.2 - The Good Master >

1.1 - Beneath the Viscoid

Rating Votes
10
13%
6
9
11%
5
8
60%
27
7
13%
6
6
2%
1
5
0%
0
4
0%
0
3
0%
0
2
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Average Rating
8.2
Votes
45
Series 1 - Only the Good
8.6
Boxset Average Rating
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 10/15/18 5:26 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This story very much has a pilot feel to it. The plot is not incredibly complex. The Master crashes on a planet where the local citizens are fighting the Daleks and pretends to be the Doctor. However, he was actually sent to the planet by the Daleks after pledging to help them.

In most ways, the story goes as you would expect but serves to introduce the character of the War Master. Derek Jacobi turns in a fine performance that begins to flesh out the character from his limited television appearance. Overall, decent and it does a good job of helping listeners to determine if the series is for them.

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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 12/19/17 9:35 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Deep under the surface of the ocean planet Gardezza, a violent war is happening between the Daleks and the underwater inhabitants of the planet. The Gardezzian fighters have recovered an unknown capsule from the watery depths that apparently fell directly from the sky which the Daleks apparently are desperate for. These rebels are looking for hope against a merciless foe but what they have found may not be what they are expecting. Inside the capsule is a mysterious occupant who calls himself the Doctor but he certainly doesn't act or behave like what he is named for.....From the minute the set and the story starts, 'Viscoid' grabs your full and undivided attention with a very unique setting for a Time War story and a fabulous opening story for our 'protagonist' of the set. Derek Jacobi as the lead from minute 1 grabs and holds your attention with the silky smooth voice and charm of Delgado but with the scientific charm of Professor Yana that we became accustomed to from 'Utopia'. Jacobi's Master is a sinister combination of the old and the new with a New Who coat of paint but yet elements big and small of Classic Masters intact in particular the use of subversion and hypnosis tactics similar to Beevers and Delgado. Jacobi also gets many monologues in this set particular at the end as things conclude that (with his sophisticated Shakespearean voice) really made me fall in love with this version. In my listening to this story, I came to realize how used to the Doctor talking lovingly to his TARDIS I had become to the point that it was weird and yet oddly satisfying to hear the Master do the exact opposite with his TARDIS (or rather A TARDIS as it turns out). In terms of the actual plot, 'Viscoid' takes many cues from "The Innocent" of the War Doctor series in that how the Master got in the situation is revealed piecemeal as part of the back story. I would almost call this one a spiritual successor / counterpart to that story and that first set itself in that both protagonists are asked to help the inhabitants of a planet under fire by the Daleks. However the motivations are of course entirely different with the Master following his own motives and willing to betray everyone and anyone at a moment's notice to get what we wants. He may have ended up doing the right thing (as turns out to be the case at the end) but it ultimately came from selfish ends and desires, not from wanting to help people and this is made explicit in the story's ending which managed to honestly scare and shock the hell out of me while at the same time remaining perfectly in keeping with the Master's character. There are also many other details that I found myself loving in this story. The side cast and inhabitants of Gardezza are fascinating in a sci-fi sort of way and sort of remind me of a stronger version of the Mon Calamari from "Star Wars". It was also heart-breaking to hear what inevitably happens to them once the ruse falls through even with the ultimate destruction of the Daleks that saved them. Speaking of which, I wasn't sure exactly how much of the Daleks (played again by Nicholas Briggs) we would get in this set but it's good to see them staying strong at least in this initial story especially in the fact that within the opening minutes we get underwater Daleks.....WHY HAS THIS NOT BEEN DONE BEFORE? We also actually get to hear the 4 heartbeats of a Time Lord circulatory system which was frankly quite chilling and many other details like that in the smaller moments really buoy this one up. In all honesty, I really can't think of any real damning issues to this story. 'Beneath the Viscoid' is honestly a perfect story for me and a great introduction and example of how a Master story can and should work. Combine all that with the Time War, great performances, interesting setting and plot, and a great climax / lead in to the next story and you can't simple do much better than this. 

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