Stories:
2763
Members:
693
Submitted Reviews:
7230
Reviewers:
313
< 59. The Roof of the World
61. Faith Stealer >

60. Medicinal Purposes

Rating Votes
10
10%
11
9
6%
7
8
22%
24
7
23%
26
6
25%
28
5
6%
7
4
6%
7
3
0%
0
2
1%
1
1
0%
0
Average Rating
7.0
Votes
111
Cover Art:
Director:
Sound Design:
Writer:

Purchase From:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 7/26/17 12:53 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

I will confess to having some difficulty following this story. I remember being quite baffled by it the first time I listened to it. I remember thinking that I must have gotten two copies of Disc One by mistake, since Parts One and Three open so similarly. Even after the story ended, I wasn't entirely clear on what happened. I've listened to the story many times over the years (I listen and re-listen to my Big Finish collection almost constantly), and I'm still not entirely clear on the details. I understand the big picture well enough, but there are several annoying little plot questions that I've never quite been able to grasp.

At first, this diminished by enjoyment of the overall story, but lately, I find that it simply doesn't matter. It's quite enough for me to simply go along for the ride, and trust that it probably all more or less makes sense. Frankly, I could listen to Colin Baker's sixth Doctor match wits with Leslie Phillips's Doctor Knox all day and all night for a week without getting bored. The characters are so compelling, so well-matched, and so well-written, that I don't even mind so much what they're arguing about. While Dr. Knox doesn't even approach the level of the Doctor's genius, never the less he holds his own in their one-on-one match-up, and even lands some solid blows along the way.

While these two are undoubtedly the strongest characters of the piece, there are plenty of other good characters as well. Hare has a wonderful earthy menace that contrasts well with Knox's more elevated style. Mary Patterson is, in many ways, merely instrumental to the story, but she still feels like a fully-realized, three-dimensional character to me. And then of course, there's poor, sweet Daft Jamie, a delightful character played with great sensitivity by the actor who brought us Feltwebel Kurtz and Col. Brimmicombe-Wood. This David Tennant fellow is really one to watch.

Evelyn seems to drop out of the story in the last two episodes, but Maggie Stables makes the most of the script she's given, as usual. The discussion between the Doctor and Evelyn about the Doctor's attitude toward Burke and Hare is a highlight of the story. But I feel like a lot of people get the Doctor's position quite wrong (including Evelyn). The Doctor isn't saying that what Burke and Hare did was justifiable or even forgivable, let alone that it was right. He's saying that you recognize the immorality of their actions while still appreciating whatever good may have come from them. Granted, the writing lays it on a bit thick with the Doctor wanting to shake their hands, but I like to think that Doctor was exaggerating somewhat to be provocative.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 4/17/17 12:09 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This story is a mix of good and bad. Mos of the first two parts, were tolerable. The Doctor's open admiration for the work of March and Burke is creepy and seems a bit out of character for the Sixth Doctor, given that he's so often enjoyed holding the moral high ground. And truth be told if he landed on a non-Earth planet where he didn't know the history and came across a doctor and two henchmen killing people, he'd put a stop to it. On top of that, if this is set after Doctor Who and the Pirates, Project: Lazarus, and Arrangements for War, his reveling in this era and how the murders of Burke and Hare led to scientific advances seems even more clueless given Evelyn's recent issues. This feels like a plot contrivance to give the Doctor a reason to hang about this time and find out the trouble.

The story's clever plot twists is presenting itself as a historical but turning out to be a psueudo-historical in part two and leaving the Doctor to stop Knox's evil plans. The strength of the story ultimately comes from the second half and the great performances by Leslie Philips and David Tennant who brings a touching humanity to the role of Daft Jamie. The interactions between the Sixth Doctor and Jamie go a long way to redeeming the Doctor for whatever ill-will listeners felt at him for his celebratory attitude at the start of the story.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
6
Replay Rating:
5
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 6/24/15 1:10 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Medicinal Purposes is a story that takes its premise from 1965's The Time Meddler with someone changing history for whatever reason, or at least that's what it seems like it is going to be when you start it, but then it throws you for a loop with the identity of Robert Knox being revealed and his motivations being completely different. When this is revealed the story really starts to fall flat and feels kind of overly long in these places.

But before I get into that the positives of the story. As per usual Colin Baker and Maggie Stables are on top form with their performances and Stables in particular is having a lot of fun with the role in this situation. The portrayal of Daft Jamie, as played by David Tennant, is a good story and his fate is really quite bittersweet. Also Leslie Phillips' Robert Knox is also a joy to listen too as a villain until the second half of the story which falls flat and becomes boring during Part Four in particular.

The idea here is that the Burke and Hare murders are being repeated by Knox for a species that is dying of a flu. The problem with this is that the idea isn't very original for a plot and doesn't do much new with the idea of a time loop. We also don't see the loop, just hear about it happening. Also at two hours in length, the story is far too long for a four part story and has very little action to keep interest.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: kfb2014Review Date: 9/8/14 9:26 am
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

This is a tale built around the exploits of Burke and Hare the body snatchers from England, whom between them took the dead from their graves and sold them on to Dr's of the day to perform investigation and analysis of the human body. Something with retrospect that actually was ground breaking (no pun intended) and we can look back now to these two guys as almost doing a service. Although they did in the end resort to murder so not all good came of them. The story however is not as straight forward as just dealing with historical events and wrapping a Dr Who adventure around them, There is a twist in the tale, we actually have a purveyor of voyeurism who at the same time is trying to create a clinical cure for an illness in the future. This scoundrel is played with expert execution by Leslie Phillips, an actor I have long thought should have more input into Big Finish stuff, and this weighs out that thinking, he plays the time travelling culprit with superb wit and balance, making him believable and engaging beyond the norm. Phillips plays the part of Dr Robert Knox who has purchased a TARDIS and is using the scenario of the grave robbers Burke and Hare to play out is macabre science experiment of finding a cure by infecting those that are going to die anyway with the viral infection. However in addition to this he also relays this experiment and all of whom are in it to future world's bored individuals, a sort of Big Brother with a murderous twist. Only does the Dr unearth this when inadvertently Knox tells Evelyn Smythe about Jeckyll and Hyde, a story and reference which has yet not been created by Stevenson, it is then the Dr knows that Knox is not who he says he is, and that this whole episode plays out.

Enjoyable, wonderful, entertaining and of course it is a Dr Who, I just keep getting the feeling that in the hands of Big Finish the overall quality is actually better than the Moffat offering we are currently getting. Speaks volumes I think. Listen and enjoy.