Stories:
2702
Members:
672
Submitted Reviews:
6938
Reviewers:
301
< 36. The Rapture
38. The Church and the Crown >

37. The Sandman

Rating Votes
10
3%
3
9
6%
7
8
21%
25
7
19%
23
6
29%
35
5
15%
18
4
7%
8
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
6.6
Votes
119
Cover Art:
Director:
Music:
Sound Design:

Purchase From:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 6/26/17 7:51 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This story has an interesting structure. The first two episodes are, for the most part, dedicated to introducing various background elements in great detail. The story itself, mostly relegated to the final two episodes, is pretty thin and proceeds to a fairly standard conclusion. For me, most of what I like about this story is in those first two episodes.

For example, the Galyari. Writer Simon A. Forward gives us a fully-developed and believable new alien civilization, complete with its own history, culture, and even its own mythology. Most interestingly, that mythology involves the Doctor, also known as the Sandman, as a terrible monster who kills innocent Galyari in terrible and vicious monster. This premise picks up on the idea that the Doctor is what the monsters have nightmares about, and builds a story around that idea, but then immediately subverts is by showing that the Galyari aren't really monsters after all.

After spending two episodes establishing the Galyari and the Clutch (a loosely aligned fleet of spaceships traveling together) and the Doctor's role in Galyari history, it's only during Part Two that the Doctor discovers that something else is victimizing the Galyari, while he is getting the blame. This sets up the final two episodes, in which the Doctor has to win the trust of the Galyari he has been terrorizing for thousands of years, while identifying and defeating the real villain.

The final two episodes are the least memorable of the story, but they don't let the down the first two, which are very strong. Of course, if you're not as charmed as I am by the Galyari or by the story's premise, you probably won't like this as much as I do. But I think it's a very strong story. It's not one of my favorites, but it's quite good.

And it's always nice having Anneke Wills back again.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 9/13/16 1:57 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A good concept where the Doctor is viewed as a monster by a race he stopped long ago and is playing up to the reputation for his own reasons, but he finds the aliens have strange goings on for which the Sandman is being blamed.

Overall, this is a very fun story. Evelyn is the perfect companion for the Sixth Doctor in this story where he’s trying to be an over the top menace. There are some clever ideas here. I particularly like the idea of the Doctor’s multi-colored coat actually being a weapon.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
5
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
5
Replay Rating:
5
Effects Rating:
5
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 7/6/16 12:55 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

January 2001 really began a high streak for Big Finish with nearly two years of releases containing the first two seasons of Paul McGann audios, the introduction of a new companion for the Fifth Doctor, the return of Melanie Bush, some of the more emotional stories in their catalogue, set up a cliffhanger that would take a total of eighteen months to actually pay off, and only suffer two bad releases in that period of time, but all good things have to come to an end eventually. This is where Big Finish took a breath with the powerhouse releases that they had been churning out and while it was definitely unintentional as the premise wouldn’t be traditional, the story they released was a very traditional piece in the format of arrive on the planet and save the oppressed. It isn’t like Simon A Forward is trying to make his piece traditional, that’s how it comes across with many of the characters being pretty much the same character.




The premise of the story is that the Doctor takes Evelyn to the Clutch a giant planet/spaceship that is controlled by the Galyari, who are giant lizards that fear the Doctor as the Sandman, a creature that will eat their hides. Of course the Doctor cannot be the Sandman, which is the attitude of Evelyn who knows the Doctor is pompous, but isn’t a murderer and wouldn’t even kill the most evil of creature. This is the main aspect of the story that slightly tips it above the average 50/100 mark as this is something Big Finish almost had to do as it shows us that the Sixth Doctor isn’t that bad of a guy. This allows the highlight of the story to be Maggie Stables as Evelyn which is great because Evelyn is such a great character and even if the story she is in isn’t as good she is the one giving it her all which she did until she died. The same can be said for Colin Baker as the Doctor as he is allowed to slip into a darker persona and actually have a dramatic flair for it. He is clearly giving this story his all and as the evil Sandman he is great especially when he has to get himself out of situations caused by the impersonator.





The supporting cast is mainly a flaw with the story as there are four actors playing the Galyari and the only one who sounds slightly different is Anneke Wills as Director Nrosha who is actually a really good character. The Galyari as a species work, but not as individual characters because they act like a species. I could easily see them return, but not in the purpose they served in this story as it is very boring with them in it. Mordecan and Mintaru serve as our almost comedic double act with Mintaru being a rodent and Mordecan being a space gypsy. Their double act is in a very Robert Holmes like style not unlike Garron and Unstoffe from The Ribos Operation or Glitz and Dibber from The Mysterious Planet. It feels like they are real people and they are the ones more than anyone else in this story that I would like to see return.





This story has one glaring problem in that after you peel away the somewhat interesting character stuff with the Doctor in the middle of Part Three you realize just how traditional the story is. I mean the villain finally shows up after no real buildup and is defeated much like in Timelash with it just being dragged out. I don’t even remember why the villain did what he did as it is all explained in an exposition dump that is extremely boring. You can also tell that it is Gary Russell directing as the story feels more dull compared to the last few stories directed by other people with different styles.

Other Recommendations

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 11/27/15 1:06 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The Sandman: This audio story was recorded on 4 and 5 March 2002 at The Moat Studios, with some parts narrated by the Doctor, and was directed by Gary Russell. The space convoy known as the Clutch is home to the Galyari: a race of reptilian aliens that live in fear of an ancient, brutal monster they called the Sandman who haunts their dreams every night. Other people know him as the Doctor.

The Galyari are known for manufacturing weapons. The Doctor has tried to dissuade them of this practice despite the fact it would leave them in poverty. Eventually, he helps the inhabitants of a world they were trying to invade and sets himself up as some kind of bogeyman and employs scare tactics to try and prevent the Galyari from their warlike ways - till one day a real Sandman comes!

Is about different perspectives of the same event; Evelyn hasn't long been with the Doctor long so doesn't have the same unshakeable belief in the Doctor that the audience has, and the Galyari are genuinely terrified of him. Yet, Evelyn is mainly reduced to issuing sarcastic remarks and asking questions. Once the real killer is dealt with the Galyari don't ask for repatriations from the Doctor despite their strong beliefs on civil justice, whereas the Doctor is rather nonchalant about the whole thing and the explanation is rather drawn out which is a little tedious.

Gary Russell's direction is as sharp as ever, and every episode does something different: setup, shows the Doctor as a villain, the Doctor goes on the run and the finale pulls everything together. The music is haunting, nebulous and ethereal, whilst also being subtle and dynamic. The modulation of the Galyari voices is heavy handed and at times recondite, so why they would want to mask the voice of Anneke wills is mystifying.

Despite some of the Doctor's dubious motivations, this is an enthralling tale. I am happy to suspend my disbelief for something that has a new perspective on things. Although, truth be told it wasn’t much effort. I think some will have a problem with the Doctor be shown to be anything less than whiter than white, but that's a shame because despite its faults this trying to do something different and although it will never match the status of 'Spare Parts' or 'Chimes of Midnight' this is still well worth a listen.