Stories:
2949
Members:
741
Submitted Reviews:
8571
Reviewers:
349
< DWM419 - Freakshow

DWM448 - The Revenants

Rating Votes
10
3%
2
9
14%
10
8
38%
27
7
28%
20
6
6%
4
5
8%
6
4
3%
2
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
7.4
Votes
71
Director:
Writer:

Purchase From:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 10/4/15 5:17 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Written by Ian Potter and directed by Lisa Bowerman 'The Revenants' was a free Companion Chronicle audio story released with a code in DWM 448. It is also available with the limited edition of Big Finish's 50th anniversary release: The Light at the End. Set directly after Susan's departure the Tardis crew arrive a few hundred miles and a few hundred years away in the Orkney Islands in 1956. Ian and Barbara leave the Tardis to see it disappearing as soon as they set outside. Believing themselves to have been abandoned by the Doctor they set out to explore their surroundings.

Sublime scintillating sounds and vivid rich imagery. The Companion Chronicles always cast captivating atmosphere that draws you in so utterly and that would be possible without the best musical arrangements that BF can offer. Ian Russell narrates a first Doctor adventure injecting all the warmth and charm of his character. Sharon Small who plays Jeanie/Janet McKay gives an equally powerful performance though doesn't feature as heavily.

The tale is packed full of suspense and mystery much like its sixties TV cousin. Despite a diminutive cast the narrative deals with companionship and loyalty. This is by far the best of the former DWM freebies made to the usual high quality of The Companion Chronicles and offering the same emotive maturity. Oh, and it has mud monsters!
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 7/20/15 10:23 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

After dropping off Susan, the First Doctor attempts to take Ian and Barbara home, but they end up a few years and a few hundred miles away on the Orkney Islands. There they encounter a world of magic and mystery, and a strange woman who comes to their aide and they flee from a mysterious force.

This is a superb story. William Russell is an enchanting storyteller and the scenes on the Ferry that serve as a framing device are superb. At the same time, the story has some genuinely scary moments in dealing with these creatures. I also think that the reveal of the cliffhanger was very clever and managed to be quite surprising. It also deals with magic and scientific interpretation in an interesting way.

Overall, this is a very good representative of the Companion Chronicles range and one of the better Doctor Who Magazine freebies.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 10/1/14 6:20 pm
0 out of 2 found this review helpful.

This story is a story that works very well as an introduction to the Companion Chronicles Range of Big Finish, which as of writing I haven't listened to anything else. It is really intriguing as a storytelling device and I can't wait to dip in.

The only problem with the story is that the plot can be a little bit slow
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
NR
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: EiphelReview Date: 11/24/12 6:56 am
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Finally got around to giving this a spin; a nice slice of the Hartnell era for this 49th anniversary week. It's a lovely little tale and it's also got an undertone which is very much /about/ that very first TARDIS crew. Whilst Susan is no longer present, the interesting choice to set the story immediately following The Dalek Invasion of Earth allows The Revenants to serve almost as a coda to those events. A subplot that runs throughout the tale concerns how Ian and Barbara are affected by the way the Doctor parts with Susan, raising questions about how their own departure might come about, and how Susan's has - and will continue to - impact the Doctor. Honestly I thought this was such rich ground, and there was such a delicate range of emotions and uncertainties displayed by Ian and Barbara, that it could have supported an even larger part of the play.

William Russell continues to be a joy to hear, one of the most consistently wonderful audio performers in the Big Finish team. Not only does he bring the warmth and strength of Ian roaring straight out of the sixties, he also evokes the Doctor and Barbara with equal aptitude, so that we can really feel the influence on all three of Susan's departure.

Sharon Small is a characterful find too, matching her bold Janet against Russell's portrayals of the TARDIS crew and giving as good as she gets. She chides and gently mocks Ian, whilst she addresses the Doctor with more respect and some confusion, but in either case her 'spae wife' is a colourful character that gives as good as she gets.

Janet and her witchcraft are only one flavour in a rich brew of the Orkney Island folklore which the Revenants is steeped in. It's an unusual refreshingly original choice, and a combination of its fantastical qualities along with a degree of unfamiliarity with the source lore makes it highly reminiscent of a time when the Doctor Who universe was a lot less well known, a little bit more magical, and a lot less certain. A very appropriate atmosphere that reflects Ian and Barbara's own moods.

Atmosphere being something the Revenants has in spades, particularly in episode one. The majority of that first part is comprised of a twilight trek through a desolate bog, and it's an absolute triumph of production. In my minds eye, eery black and white visions of steaming, oozing mud, thick undergrowth and deep shadows filled the screen. Ian and Barbara's long and desolate march through the marshes was fantastically evocative. Whilst the later material is never quite at the same poetic pitch as this wonderful sequence, it continues to be strong. The glopular approach of the titular revenants is suitably skin crawling, and the sanctuary of Janet's hearth warm and comforting.

A fantastic end to the first episode feels tightly plotted and also very appropriate to its era, though it leads into a much heightened presence from the Doctor in the second episode which is, just slightly, weaker. Episode two focusses just a shade too much on lengthy expository dialogues, and whilst it's very true to the show the way in which the TARDIS crew reason out the nature of the revenants, I felt this triumph of empiricism was slightly at odds with the sense of uncertainty which otherwise underpinned the tale.

The ending is cute and well conceived - and renews a little sense of that earlier magic - but the Marsh family, who appear only fleetingly in the framing device, seem like they could well have been interesting characters if explored as major players in a story themselves. They certainly prompt a lot of thoughts to keep you going after the story ends.

The Revenants is a lovely little story in its own right, and it's also compelling as an exploration of Susan's departure in the previous story. If it could go further in its explorations, still you can't penalise a tale too hard for its greatest weakness being a desire to have more of it! A fantastic story, even if it weren't free. 7/10.