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< 43. Doctor Who and The Pirates
45. Project Lazarus >

44. Creatures of Beauty

Rating Votes
10
28%
39
9
15%
21
8
24%
33
7
15%
21
6
12%
16
5
2%
3
4
4%
5
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
8.1
Votes
138
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User Rating:
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Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 7/3/17 8:53 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

One of the all-time greats. I don't really understand how this story works as well as it does. When you go back and think through events in chronological order, there's really not much to this story at all. The Doctor and Nyssa stumble upon a secret medical project, and Nyssa gets detained by the local security forces. The Doctor aligns himself with the people conducting the project who help him to rescue Nyssa. Then the Doctor goes to talk to some other people, who explain what's going, and he leaves. This is one of those stories where the Doctor's presence really doesn't make much difference (with the added irony that he's unknowingly responsible for everything). It's a pretty grim story, but it's outstanding.

The non-chronological approach doesn't merely obscure the fact that the story is practically all exposition and the Doctor doesn't do much. It prevents the audience from identifying too much with any one perspective or point-of-view. This is central to what the story is about.

The script is also incredibly talky, but that can work very well if you a good enough cast, and this story does. Most of the story is revealed through conversations between people who don't entirely understand one another. That could be very boring or frustrating if the performances aren't compelling enough to carry the scenes. That's no problem. David Daker's performance is a particular highlight, and he's got a particularly tough job. Gilbrook is the closest thing to a villain in a story without villains. So he has to be nasty enough to function as a villain, while still having a sympathetic point-of-view.

I never get tired of listening to this story. I just love it.
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User Rating:
9
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Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 11/20/16 6:17 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Creatures of Beauty is an experimental story told out of chronological order skipping forward and backwards time at will. On its own, this would be little more than a story telling gimmick. However, what makes Creatures of Beauty work is that it's a character-driven story and while we hear the plot out of order, the details we hear add more and more details to our understanding of the characters, and in fact demand that we focus on understanding the characters even more than the details of the plot which are still intriguing. The non-linear nature of the plot creates mysteries of what has happened before which leads to a startling reveal in part four. Overall, a compelling a story that demands (and gets) a listener's full attention.
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Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 8/9/16 12:00 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Beauty. What constitutes the concept of beauty? Is it the quality of the looks that defines beauty or the character of the person in question? This story would purport that it is almost both as an audio story you make up the looks as this is a story told about two warring races over how one race polluted a planet into becoming an ugly place to live and now many years on from the disaster experiments are going on to try and place everything back to normal. Nicholas Briggs here has placed his heart and soul into this story as he comments on issues present still today in society. This story has environmental themes about just how great the world was and while we can never get it to the way it was. It’s essentially a story advising against the idea that we have to live in a perfect world. By the end of the story the Doctor and Nyssa really haven’t been able to do anything to change the situation on the planet in question. Their actions are futile as those in power are too stubborn to change their ways. The commentary hits close to home as in today’s society with the internet the idea is that I’m always right and anything that doesn’t fit in with my view of the world is wrong and offensive. I don’t know how intentional this was on the part of Briggs who has control of the entire production here which makes it shine like a beautiful diamond. He tells the story by having four episodes without cliffhangers that don’t reveal the story in linear order as to fit in with the idea of aversion to change. You see the thought process as the narrative has to be pieced together from threads which illustrate this type of mindset brilliantly.





A story like this hinges on the performances presented and the atmosphere they generate and I have many props to give to people. First Sarah Sutton has to play Nyssa who is put through the wringer in this story as she is arrested and tortured for being beautiful. Her performance comes off very hypnotic as does every other performance in this story as Sutton gives this sort of air around her delivery that just makes you feel like the energy from your body is sucked out which is good as that’s the atmosphere this story needed. The same can be said for Peter Davison as the Doctor as he is forced into scientific experiments and almost commits a murder. The villains of this story are also very emotionally draining in just how good they are as everything starts to fall apart with Jemma Churchill’s Florian just sticking in my mind at the end of the story as she looks like she is listening to the Doctor, but she isn’t and stays static.

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Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 9/7/15 5:04 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Written and directed by Nick Briggs, 'Creatures of Beauty' was recorded on 22 and 24 March 2003 at The Moat Studios. Dialogue heavy with a chilling and unnerving atmosphere the narrative is fractured with the end of the story being the end of episode 3 and the beginning being episode 4. The story employs the framing device of Broderick the Senior Psychiatric Evaluator making a report that turns into an enquiry.

A tale of a broken society on the planet Veln. There was an accident above Veln. A Kroteem ship on an unauthorised flight course carrying poisonous waste broke up and terminally polluted the planet, causing sever genetic scarring to the inhabitants. The ship was destroyed and in four generations the Kroteem will be guilty of Genocide. Lady Forlean has been trying to find a way to save her scarred and dying race.

The Nick Briggs' music is soft, subtle and chilling, it creates and eerie atmosphere laden with suspense. The Koteem has a very heavily modulated voice like a Cyberman with a heavy cold.

David Daker as the sadistic Gillbrook is a consummate veteran and has a wonderful cadence to his speech. All the cast put in fine performances but Daker's is the one that will stay with you, but Sarah Sutton as Nyssa and David Mallinson as Broderick puts in an equally fine performances.

It's a cold, corrupt and misogynistic world that Briggs has created. Early on Nyssa retells her ordeal of getting brutally beaten by the police and later on watches Veline viciously stab herself to death after being experimented on. During interrogation Broderick threatens to have thrown in a penitionary and strong implies that she will be...Well, you know... Briggs really throws Nyssa under the bus to elicit emotion from the listener and it works, Sarah Sutton brings fear into her portrayal of her character very well.

One of those stories you will probably have to listen to twice, a bit like Flip-Flop. At the end of the third episode you think the Doctor hasn't made any impact but the last few seconds of the Fourth may make you re-listen.

Ok, the fractured story telling can be confusing, the lack of a happy ending my not satisfy everyone but it's undeniably different and well written