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< 55. The Twilight Kingdom
57. Arrangements for War >

56. The Axis of Insanity

Rating Votes
10
2%
2
9
5%
5
8
11%
10
7
23%
22
6
25%
24
5
18%
17
4
14%
13
3
2%
2
2
0%
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Average Rating
6.2
Votes
95
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
6
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
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Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 7/20/17 6:10 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

I gather this story was going for something offbeat and madcap, in the tradition of "The Mind Robber", and that's something that can be done very effectively in audios. In this case, though, it doesn't quite work. I have nothing against imaginative stories that try to stand out from the ordinary. In fact, some of my favorite stories are examples of that. But it can be hard to make stories like that work. Sometimes a story is just a little too unusual for its own good, and I think "The Axis of Insanity" is an example.

The stakes in this story are a bit abstract. The Axis is a "place", if I can use that word, where defunct or damaged timelines are collected, sort of like a quarantine zone designed to protect ordinary history from these corrupted off-shoots. That's a fascinating idea in the abstract, but it's tricky business making it concrete enough to function as the setting of a story. It doesn't help that there are so few character. We never get any real sense of what the Axis is like on a normal day, so we just have to take the Doctor's word for it that something is wrong.

The main threat of the story is also a bit abstract. The danger is that the villain, Jarra To, will escape the Axis in the Doctor's TARDIS and spread contagion throughout real time. Ok, I gather that's bad, but it's a bit vague. One moment that really works, though, is the Doctor's speech about being willing to die to protect history. I don't know why it's so important, but he does, and he's willing to put everything on the line to stop Jarra To. That's a very powerful moment in an otherwise forgettable play.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 2/13/17 12:42 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Doctor, Peri, and Erimem arrive at the center of the Axis, a dimensional nexus where all the corrupt and abandonned time lines are stored, many as result of mistakes made by the time lord. Something has gone horribly wrong and the axis is spiraling out of control.

This is one of those very high concept Doctor Who stories that are all about execution and the execution is fine but not spectaculalr. There's a good case to be made that with a concept like this, they could have done a lot more than they. What lifts the story to being above average is a fascinating villain and also some great moments for Erimem as we continue to get to know her as a person and she also has some very rich clever moments in this tale.

Overall, this is an enjoyable listen.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 1/21/16 2:19 pm
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

'The Axis of Insanity' written by Simon Furman (a comic strip writer) is a surreal expedition in the realms of fantastical stories such as 'The Mind Robber', but the central idea is more similar to 'Shada'. The Doctor lands the Tardis in the Axis, a place where careless Timelords send their temporal mistakes, broken timelines and their inhabitants. Only to find that The Overseer (who acts as a warden for the facility) has been murdered and a lunatic has taken over the asylum.

The Jester, played by Garrick Hagon, is a Mad Hatter-like character who has the mischievousness of The Meddling Monk and the malevolence and madness of the Master but isn't actually a Timelord. To be honest, this character is another mad clown cliche and is perhaps slightly annoying. The Jester also has the ability to take on the appearance of others and when he poses as the Doctor Davison does a good job of making his voice distinctively, but not too obviously, different. Yet, The Jester is just an avatar for Jarra To, who resents the interference of the Timelords after they put her world on pause and assigned it a condemnation notice. The sound design from the crunching Dragon's footsteps to the whistling wind in the background and the sound of the crowds in the market place all conjure up some detail backdrops to the narrative making it an enjoyably immersive experience. Gary Russell's direction, however, isn't as clear as it could be and could do with injecting a little life and pace in this production. The story is quite plot light and would fair better with a visual representation as Furman has unsurprisingly created quite a comic book type story with lots of great imagery and interesting concepts; although, the Tardises having a symbiotic relationship with their owners and dying when their owner pass away dates back to 'Omega'.

The Jester/Jarra To craves excitement and unpredictability like The Doctor but being trapped doesn't get to relieve the boredom and frustration through travel and instead seeks to alleviate the mundanity of his/her existence through destruction, much like The Toymaker. I like the way the character tries to use Erimem's insecurities to undermine her, it's the kind of manipulation and psychological torture I would expect from the Toymaker. So, there is a great immersive funhouse atmosphere, impressive sound effects and some reasonably interesting characters who perhaps lack a certain complexity. Some average directing, superb imagery and creative ideas. At only an hour and a half long it's a rather effortless and memorable listen. I don't know why it isn't more highly regarded.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
4
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 3/12/15 8:34 pm
2 out of 4 found this review helpful.

The Axis of Insanity is a great story pitting the most logical Doctor against basically the Joker from Batman in a world of madness. The biggest problem with this story is that it uses a lot of the same ideas as Zagreus which only came out a few months before this. Despite similarities the characterization makes the story enjoyable, just not anything very special. Also props to Nicola Bryant and Caroline Morris for a very sisterly dynamic