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161. The Butcher of Brisbane

Rating Votes
10
14%
11
9
32%
25
8
22%
17
7
13%
10
6
14%
11
5
4%
3
4
3%
2
3
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Average Rating
8.0
Votes
79

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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 1/15/17 11:25 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Big Finish stories that are prequels or sequels to televised stories have a bit of a mixed record. This one is a prequel to one of the best-known series of the classic era, "The Talons of Weng-Chiang," and this prequel does work in expounding on the story of Magnus Creel. The story works because the characters, both the regular cast and the guest cast are very well-written. There's also an interesting debate that's at the heart of the story about the morality and wisdom of changing the past with Tegan making the best argument for doing so when she tells the Doctor to "stop holding time's hand." It's a meaty and thought-provoking question that really make to great story when added with the solid characters and intriguing twists.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: kfb2014Review Date: 4/1/15 12:32 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Weng-Chiang so where can it go wrong, utilising one of the most if the not most popular, enemy character from the T.V. years. This is quite pleasant as we see the birth of the whole Weng-Chiang enigma. It is also nice to see it being cast against the 5th Doctor, not the 4th, as that would have made me compare more to what I remember seeing as child, scared of the mysterious walking Chinese styled evil dwarf puppet, to the images that Big Finish have done by scripting this incarnation of the nasty little creature, and more over the evil that is Magnus Greel. The writing has been handed to Marc Platt, so there are no short cuts on this, and you sort of get the feeling that Big Finish were using a safe pair of hands in getting him in on this. The story as lot of going backwards and forwards and the separation element of this take two of the companions 3 years into the future, therefore creating a sub story all of there own, and the Doctor and Tegan going the other way, so listen careful as you will have to pickup on the fact that at some point the four all meet up together again to put to rest the evil that Greel has orchestrated with Findecker. There is a wonderful relationship that the Doctor enjoys with a creation of Findecker (this is the evil scientist part that you always get in early sci-fi's) called Chops a organically messed up Dingo. I rather liked the interaction between Chops and the Doctor. The story itself is powerful and stands up to being the prequel, telling the tale of Greel and Mr Sin. It is also worth pointing out that Peter and the crew have hit their purple patch with this release. Well worth the listen.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
5
Plot Rating:
NR
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: sarozReview Date: 5/7/13 4:17 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

This is another one - and Marc Platt keeps being asked to write them! - which pivots so completely around being a prequel or sequel to an existing classic TV story, I just stop caring by halfway through. It doesn't help that of all the elements in "Talons," Magnus Greel himself always struck me as the LEAST interesting. Marc Platt's world-building is interesting, but the story is a convoluted mess, including one of those ridiculous "We've been away from the TARDIS for three years!" jumps the Virgin novels made popular. Mr Sin is shoe-horned in for no readily apparent reason, and by the end, I was thinking, "What happened to the old Marc Platt who wrote strange, exciting, peculiar stories full of NEW ideas?"
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
NR
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: komodoReview Date: 7/2/12 12:06 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

My initial thought on this one was that Marc Platt had a story idea and was then asked to do a Magnus Greel story, so he bundled the two concepts into one. Then I started to feel that the plot was so intricate that it needed two stories to start out with the aim of joining them into one. This worked well, yet seemed forced at the beginning.

In judging it though, the real question is how does it stack up to expectation. The return of Magnus Greel and Mr Sin is something with huge expectations. A Marc Platt / Ken Bentley tale carries expectations as well, so we begin expecting a very high standard and I must say it was almost delivered. If I went in with lower expectations, I would have been blown away because this really was good. It is simply the high expectations that have me seeing the flaws in the masterpiece.

The story is really good despite my reservations at the start. The large tardis crew works well, although (as an Australian) I do find Janet's accent to be over the top. I have just been watching some of her original episodes and I do find the accent has changed. I did find a few key voices in the cast sounded too similar which led to some confusing moments and perhaps the direction could have been tighter.

Plus the music holds this together well. It has an odd sound, but feels like an 80's vision of the far future. This helps to keep you focused on the rather confusion idea of the 51st century.

In the end I call this a flawed masterpiece. Extra kudos to Marc Platt for my favorite moment in the story when Chops listed the names of his mates with a perfect list of ocker Aussie names. It was not unlike listening to Bucko and Champs' recording of Six White Boomers. I am glad none of them were called Bruce.
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