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< 42. The Dark Flame
44. Creatures of Beauty >

43. Doctor Who and The Pirates

Rating Votes
10
43%
68
9
19%
30
8
23%
36
7
11%
17
6
1%
2
5
1%
2
4
3%
4
3
1%
1
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
8.7
Votes
160
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Director:
Sound Design:

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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 7/2/17 8:05 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This one's a little bit weird. In my opinion, it doesn't really work, but most people seem to think it works great, or else they just don't mind. That's fair enough. I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from listening to this story, and I'm not trying to talk anyone out of liking it. But I don't really like it.

First things first, we really have to separate the story into two distinct parts: the framing device and the pirate story. The framing device involves the Doctor and Evelyn visiting one of Evelyn's students and telling her a story. The pirate story is both the story they're telling her, and an adventure that they've just had in the TARDIS. I really like the pirate story, but I really don't like the framing device.

If we're just talking about the pirate story, I like this one a lot. It's a rousing adventure tale with an old-fashioned sensibility, and it's charming. It's little more than a retread of familiar pirate-fiction tropes, but it's got heart and warmth and verve. It's delightful!
But the framing device is another story, in more ways than one. It's ponderous, self-important and contrived. It's also a complete tonal mismatch with the pirate adventure part of the story. The script addresses this by gradually making the pirate story as grim and tragic as Sally's sad tale, but that's actually not an improvement.

Throughout most of the story, these two layers of narrative are pulling against each other, each one undermining the other. And yet, they come together remarkably in Part 3. You need the framing device to justify the use of songs, but the whole point of having songs is to wring more fun out of the pirates. But then Sally suddenly decides to interrupt a song about pirates with a maudlin song about death and guilt. This completely destroys any pretense the story had at maintaining a coherent structure. I mean, how are we supposed to understand what's actually happening here? Are the Doctor and Sally really singing to each other right there in the living room? I don't think so. In the end, the hopeless, desperate tone of Sally's story infects the pirate narrative as well, injecting an unwelcome dose of grim realism into what had been a jolly, swashbuckling adventure.

Basically, I like the story that this story was pretending to be a lot more than the story it actually is.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 11/14/16 3:19 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A historical that finds the Doctor and Evelyn telling a story of adventure and piracy on the high seas. The basic plot of the pirate story is fairly standard. The Doctor and Evelyn arrive on a ship just as its raided and most of its crew is impressed into the service of the mad pirate Red Jasper, who is seeking a treasure on the ruby Island.

However, it's the telling of the story that makes it so good. Throughout Evelyn and the Doctor telling the story, it's clear that something is troubling her. In the third part, the Doctor tries to alleviate the tension with song and comedy, turning the whole affair into a Gilbert and Sullivan musical, one of Big Finish's earliest and most ambitious musical pieces. In addition, the biggest mystery is why Evelyn is telling the story to a former student.

The result is a tale that manages to mix hilairty with poignancy while portraying the sweet friendship between the Doctor and Evelyn and Evelyn's heart. Another strong outing for Baker and Stables.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 8/8/16 11:59 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Doctor Who and the Pirates or The Lass That Lost a Sailor is an excellent production from Big Finish and scribe Jacqueline Rayner writes what at first seems to be a rather light hearted fluff, but reveals a dramatic undertones concerning the nature of the story as told from the view of lecturer, Evelyn Smythe and buccaneer the Doctor of the events leading up to the death of cabin boy, Jem. It is a story being told to student Sally who hides a secret about the death of her boyfriend in an automobile accident.


The production is full of laughs as theatre veteran Colin Baker leads as the Doctor and is at his most theatrical. His mannerisms will entertain anyone young or old as there is a meat to the performance unlike any other. The same can be said for relative newcomer to the Big Finish Players Maggie Stables playing the lecturer Evelyn Smythe as she subtly shows the emotions of the last few productions have had on the character which really comes across in the acting.


The music of this performance is all good as Timothy Sutton takes inspiration from two of the greats and all the actors have training for the song. The lyrics are all humorous and have quite a few portions of puns. It is Colin Baker, Maggie Stables and Helen Goldwyn who get the best songs as they range from comedic to extremely emotional. The director allowed for some great set pieces which I love and Rayner writes an excellent script that I can recommend to everyone.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: doctorwhomoffReview Date: 12/17/15 3:08 pm
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

My favourite audio of all time, heartwarming and breaking all at the same time.