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< 57. Arrangements for War
59. The Roof of the World >

58. The Harvest

Rating Votes
10
19%
31
9
30%
50
8
34%
57
7
12%
20
6
3%
5
5
2%
3
4
1%
1
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
8.4
Votes
167
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 3/6/18 6:31 pm
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

'Harvest' is a chilling introduction story that brings the Seventh Doctor companion Thomas Hector Schofield into canon. Thomas or 'Hex' as he's known quickly becomes important to the Seventh Doctor as companion and friend to both him and Ace and he'll go onto huge adventures with connections past and future to the Doctor that start to be explored here. For now though, Hex is just a nurse unknowingly sucked into something bigger than himself with the Seventh Doctor and Ace in a battle with a classic foe. With the pretty subtle cover to this one, you wouldn't really know this was a story for this specific monster unless you were thinking about it and paying close attention and (while I won't spoil it here), it's one of their best. 'Harvest' is a creepily dramatic story that succeeds in making the enemy of the story interesting in a way that modern day New Who would go on to emulate to great success in later stories particularly with the Twelfth Doctor. There are quite a few surprises here as well especially in what it delves into with some of its concepts and narrative twists starting out as an everyday espionage story but quickly turning into a tense technological thriller for the latter half that's exciting and a lot of fun. The soundscape and script is extremely strong and particularly ominous right from the start with technological sounds, a nasty sounding doctor in a hospital talking to a mysterious patient, and deep bells ringing all through the streets of London. 'Harvest' honestly feels like a brand new start for this series of audios like an opener akin to "The Pilot" from Series 10 of New Who and I like how the focus is on Hex and Ace for the first chunk of the tale without a trace of the Doctor for a while. It adds a lot more mystique to him when he does appear and it ends up being a fantastically written first encounter in the TARDIS with great dialogue that seems timeless and made me smile and laugh. Speaking of which, McCoy as Seven is brilliant with some great touches here and there that amp his incarnation significantly. He's barely in the first part of the story but his presence is genuinely felt and seen especially as the drama gets amped up. There's a playful glee to his shenanigans at times especially against a foe that he actively despises in words and actions and his decision in bringing Hex onboard knowing that future drama is inevitably going to come as a result is an intriguing one. It reminds me of how Eleven let Amy onboard as a companion at the end of "The Eleventh Hour" from New Who and you can visibly detect Seven's dynamics start to change and adapt considerably from here on. Sophie Aldred's Ace is also great as well and her companionship with the new companion is strongly established which I honestly think is great for her. It's nice for her to have a close friend and companion outside of the Doctor that she gets on a level a bit more akin to her and I have a feeling that that connection is going to go a long way with her and her character. However, the standout is Philip Olivier's debut as Hex which is an impressive one right from the start. There's definitely something deeper going on beneath his voice and mannerisms that's truly compelling as a character and his grounded and realistic attitude towards everything extraordinary around him does wonders in making him interesting. He brings a surprisingly much needed moderate glue to the group that I've got a feeling is going to go a long way in defining this TARDIS team in future stories. There are some minor problems here and there such as some forgettable side characters and some plot points that are a little confusing at first listen that don't really add up in the climax of the story but considering all that this story does right, they are extremely easy to forgive. While it's not going to win any awards necessarily, 'Harvest' is a damn fine story for Seven and Ace, a great introductory story for Hex, and what seems like a great start to a new era of the Seventh Doctor and his adventures. 
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 7/23/17 2:29 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

As is often the case with companion introduction stories, it's convenient to evaluate this story separately as to each of its major goals. First, to introduce Hes, a new companion for the seventh Doctor and Ace (and don't you get the impression that he really is their companion rather than just his companion?). Second, to tell a standalone "Doctor Who" story.

The first goal is arguably more important, and that's where "The Harvest" excels. For the first episode, Hex is the main character of the story. Ace and the Doctor make appearances, but we only see them when they're in Hex's company, and we see them from Hex's point-of-view. That's a very effective way of introducing a new regular character. He's not just a supporting character that just happens to join the TARDIS at the end. "The Harvest" is, first and foremost, Hex's story.

"The Harvest" is much less successful when considered as a standalone "Doctor Who" story, mostly because the script spends so much time introducing Hex. By the time Part Four rolls around, the story has barely started, so just about all of the action gets crammed into that final episode. There's also a tragically disappoint twist that totally undermines the premise of the story.

For three-and-a-half episode, it seems that we've got a story about Cybermen who wish to be de-converted back to human. This is by far the most compelling idea of the story. Sadly, it turns out to be just a ruse, and the Cybermen are just trying to trick the humans long enough to get a foothold on Earth. It's tremendously disappointing. Imagine "The Curse of Peladon", but if the Ice Warriors turned out to be the villains after all.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 8/23/16 12:17 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Harvest is a rich story that manages to introduce a new companion in Hex, show Ace growing fully into being "McShane." In addition to this, the Cyberman plot in this episode is intriguing as big Finish puts the sort of thought into the Cybermen and their motivation that New Who would do well to emulate.

Hex makes an immediate impact, showing curiosity but also a sense of caution and wonder, which is a nice change with the Doctor and Ace both being such veteran adventurers at this point. The story also throws in some solid plot twists in the final two parts that keep the story moving at a good pace.

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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 3/31/15 3:55 pm
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

The Harvest introduces a new companion for the Seventh Doctor and begins a trilogy of Cybermen stories that wouldn't be complete until 2006. The plot involves Cybermen harvesting organs from humans with the hopes to become human beings while giving Cyber technology to the European Union for research and development. Of course the Doctor gets involved to try and stop the Cybermen from converting the human race as they would. Unlike other stories this story doesn't start by focusing on the Doctor, who really isn't in the story until Part Two, while his presence is felt in the events playing out. The focus is instead placed on the new companion, Hex played by Philip Oliver. Hex is a nurse from North England and is an interesting character to be set up but he gets kind of annoying whenever he goes into one of his Oh my God rants when faced with the impossible. That is the downfall of the story, slight acting problems from Oliver and some of the supporting cast coming across as wooden at points. The story is still pretty good none the less so definitely check it out.