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< 9.2 - The Astrea Conspiracy
9.4 - Year of the Drex Olympics >

9.3 - Doctors and Dragons

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7
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Average Rating
6.3
Votes
3
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User Rating:
7
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Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 4/1/19 5:41 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

As an avid gamer, "Doctors and Dragons" is a Short Trip that I really had high hopes for. It combines a standard Dungeons and Dragons campaign with a Doctor Who story with the Seventh Doctor protecting a dragon from an adventurer with a purpose. It's a fun little fantasy with a fairly basic plot underneath some of the more outlandish details of its world. But there are a couple of twists here and there that do change the framing of the situation significantly once or twice and the way it integrates the D&D mechanics are interesting and frankly brilliant. This is one that fans of fantasy and table-top RPGs are really going to get a lot out of especially given Seven's more intricate persona though knowing how these games work isn't entirely necessary to follow it or understand what's going on.

Unfortunately, this audio does falter in several key places that keep it from being great. Sophie Aldred's narration is fairly lackluster except when she's playing herself and it never sounds like she's as invested with things as the narrator to keep listeners interested. Moreover, the story feels like a chunk of a bigger epic that we never really get to see especially once you realize what the dragon actually is and why the Doctor is protecting it. We do get a little bit of background in some throwaway dialogue here and there and it all coalesces together fine once the climax occurs. But Alfie Shaw's script never feels quite strong enough to strike you as anything more than a unique throwaway adventure especially if you aren't familiar with some of the more intricate parts of the Seventh Doctor's era. It's a story that I think would've been much better as a full cast 4-part adventure as it would've gone a long way to fleshing things out and giving us more than what we have here.

In that sense, "Doctors and Dragons" is a good niche piece with a lot of potential that's going to appeal to gamers and Seventh Doctor fans. But it doesn't have the ability with its narrative background, shorter runtime, and dry vocal performance to go beyond that which disheartened me as I finished it. It's not a bad story and I still really like it as a huge fan of the Seventh Doctor but I do find it a bit disappointing given what it could've been with more time and energy. 
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
5
Plot Rating:
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Reviewed By: KamelionReview Date: 4/1/19 3:14 am
1 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Doctors and Dragons
Location : Unknown
Date / Time : Unknown
Released : Today, March 27th, 2019

Alfie Shaw seems to have forgotten the simple and most basic facts about Doctor Who in that it is a drama based on time and space travel. There are no indications or references made to where or when this takes place.

Reader Sophie Aldred did in fact perform on film with Sylvester McCoy as recently as 30 years ago and three decades plus later she clearly shows boredom when reading this episode. Beyond the grand scheme of Big Finish where the odd fact that female voice readers often attempt to read and emulate a male Doctor (when males never read the parts of females) it was difficult for me to overlook the fact that she makes Doctor 7 sound like an elf. As we all know Sylvester McCoy is indeed elf like in ways yet this story does not have any indication that it is intended to be a comedy or comic - in fact the comics with Tom Baker were already released a few weeks ago with Iron Legion and the Star Beast. Perhaps Sophie was at the studio for those and confused Doctors and Dragons as being a comedy. Either way it didn't work for me.

Alfie Shaw played the Laser Disk video game called Dragon's Lair published by Cinematronics in 1983 at some point. I promise you that. He has. Dirk the Daring IS Reya. I will bet a bag full of British pounds that he has also played Dungeons and Dragons. Probably a lot.

While the Doctor has encountered dragons in the past it is surprisingly rare. Since the Doctor doesn't have a companion and the author wasn't even responsible enough to mention when and where this is I will just call out the obvious right from the get go. March tends to be a weak month for Short Trips and this is no different. This is a feeble attempt to associate Doctor Who with this story. There is no TARDIS, the Doctor is already there waiting to protect the dragon and then that tiny little thing about time meddling? The Doctor seems to be attempting to change fate which he is not supposed to do. But hey, he can play music with cutlery.

I've made a firm promise to never, EVER use the word "brilliant" when reviewing a Doctor Who story but I have never made the promise to never state when one sucks. I hope not to have to say it often but when finishing this story the feeling I was left with was a slight laugh and the conclusion of "Wow, that sucked!"

At least it was only 3£.

Runs 38 Min