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234. Kingdom of Lies

Rating Votes
10
9%
3
9
6%
2
8
44%
14
7
19%
6
6
13%
4
5
0%
0
4
9%
3
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
7.4
Votes
32
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
4
Plot Rating:
3
Acting Rating:
6
Replay Rating:
3
Effects Rating:
5
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: DisusedYetiReview Date: 3/15/19 3:38 pm
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

For a tale that is touted as “10/10 […] a superb character-driven drama..” I felt zero attachment to any of the characters, even the familiar recurring TARDIS crew. Adric, Nyssa, and Tegan all seemingly suffered from one-line-itis and cliché-uenza because their lines delivered nothing to the plot and only served to establish spacial awareness and actions that were happening “on screen” . For nearly the whole story, I couldn’t exactly place what distracted and removed me from the plot, but as it always seems to be, the Kingdom of Lies is yet another example in a long string of tales that forces the importance of tell don’t show - something I find immediately kills an audio adventure. Lines describe actions and scenes rather than painting a picture with inflections and tonal shifts in dialog. Big Finish has an added bonus when it comes to portraying a scene - the use of appropriate sound effects - something that is dangerously lack-luster from this 4 episode adventure.

Likewise, our characters of the week bring absolutely nothing to the table. They themselves are all horrible clichés of how we view inherited power; a materialistic Duchess coupled with an incompetent Duke. But even though their characters seem cherry-picked from a monarchal comedy of the 70’s, the writing does nothing to add a modern sense of flair or spice to how these characters are portrayed. In fact, the only modernization this story embraces is the incessant need to drop as many M. Night Shyamalan twists as it can muster. Granted, there’s a whole body of work about over-used plot twists (many with a much better analysis than mine), but the crux of it is how detrimental plot twists are to the creation of true tension and strife in a story. Tension leads to conflict, conflict leads to character development, and ultimately character development shapes the story. And that’s where we’re left with this tale; a banal, highly inoffensive exercise in the mediation of childish royalty and a third party’s lust for power with a few familiar faces thrown in to give it a pass. I have to give this 4/10 merely because it’s so horrendously average.
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: 2/12/19 6:20 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan, and Adric land on a planet after a TARDIS malfunction lands them on a planet where after a year of marriage, the local Duke and Dutchess are so out of sorts that they've literally split everything including the palace in half. The Doctor is mistaken for the assassin hired by the Duke with Nyssa identifying as his assistant, while Tegan and Adric pretend to be sent to stop the assassin.

The social satire and royal court intrigue call to mind releases from the 2000s such as Church and the Crown and the Kingmaker. The story has some hilarious moments such as when the Doctor tries to act as a marriage counselor, and Nyssa's attempt to play herself as a heartless hired killer.

The story's biggest fault is that it legitimately has enough material for a three-parter, but has to be four, so we get far less interesting and enjoyable final episode, which isn't horrible, but is a let-down from three very funny and enjoyable episodes.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: MegaplumfinityReview Date: 3/4/18 3:09 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

This has a wonderful farce premise of the Doctor and Nyssa pretending to be famous assassins for a medieval-style Duke while Tegan and Adric pretend to be the same assassins for the Duchess. It's great fun for the first half but eventually gets a little tiresome and runs out of steam by the time you get to the final episode. What's missing is any depth or real engagement between the regulars and the guest cast. It's entertaining and fun, but probably should have been half the length.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
4
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: komodoReview Date: 2/22/18 10:52 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This is the first Robert khan story I have listened to, and sadly I was underwhelmed.

The Doctor and companions arrive in a kingdom on the brink of war. There is nothing too special about the kingdom, other than a silly idea to separate it into two sides.

The main characters are very quick to pretend to be people they are not and while Nyssa's role is amazing fun, it is so far out of character as to not be believable.
In short, the Doctor and Nyssa, on an impromptu ruse, pose as assassins. Separated from them, Adric and Teegan decide to pose as assassins too. I doubt that any of them would do this normally, so for both pairs to come up with the same plan just feels wrong. On top of that, they don't seem to worry about the real assassin turning up or even notice when they do.

I struggle to recommend this one, although it does show the writer's potential and I will look for some more of his work.