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< 60. Medicinal Purposes
62. The Last >

61. Faith Stealer

Rating Votes
10
8%
10
9
10%
12
8
29%
36
7
31%
38
6
12%
15
5
7%
9
4
2%
3
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
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Average Rating
7.4
Votes
123
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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):
Yes
Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 7/27/17 2:31 pm
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

I love this story. It's very good, and it's very funny. While I do enjoy the occasional "Doctor Who" comedy, for the most part, the best way to do comedy in "Doctor Who" is to put really good jokes in an otherwise straight story, and that's what this script does. "Bloody Tourists!" The Serendipitists. "Renaissance is futile." Great stuff.

Thematically, I think this story stands as an excellent illustration that religious pluralism is incompatible with fundamentalism. Pluralism only works if everyone agrees that religion is basically just a lifestyle choice, and that no one religion is The Truth. This is actually a serious problem for pluralism. Fundamentalism fills an important need than many people have by providing simple and all-encompassing answers to the big unanswerable questions of human existence. But it also promotes religious intolerance, which all too often takes the form of violent repression. Pluralism is clearly better than endless religious conflict, but to be compatible with pluralism, religion has to give up its claim to truth.

As Charley points out, the Multihaven makes a mockery of religion. It's convenient that this story falls into the Divergent Universe Arc, because if you tried to populate the Multihaven with real-world religions, it could easily be offensive to religious listeners. The Multihaven only works so long as everyone understands that all of their religions are equally arbitrary, and none has any greater claim on truth than any other. In other words, they're all equally nonsense. That's why Lucidianism is such a threat. It isn't nonsense. The church doctrine may be an elaborate lie to cover up what's really happening, but it's still "real" in a way that none of the other religions is.

Anyway, really good story, lovely script. The only thing that doesn't work for me is Director Garfolt, who seems weirdly sadistic for no discernible reason. I don't know what that's supposed to be about.

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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
6
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 6/24/15 3:13 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The roots of Faith Stealer come from the question "Can't we all just get along?" and decides to answer that at least for the Multihaven, yes we can get along. The idea is that there is a zone where the Doctor, Charley and C'rizz arrive to find is inhabited by fifty or so religions that all live in peace and harmony. Then the Doctor arrives and things go wrong with a rogue religion coming and murdering and converting people to their religion. The biggest fun in the story is how witty the story is. While never being outright funny there is enough snappy dialogue to keep the story going.

The acting is really what makes the story a good one with the cast being handled well, especially C'rizz who is allowed to really develop as we see what the murder of L'da has done to him. Charley is really underused however except in Part Three when she and the Doctor discover an image of the TARDIS projected from their minds. All in all the story is quite an improvement over the Twilight Kingdom but isn't at the level of say Scherzo or The Natural History of Fear.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 3/13/15 11:48 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This story continues the divergent arc in the Multihaven, a city (small town really) that is as a forum for a wide variety of religious beliefs. In essence, imagine someone tried to start a town based on Beliefnet.com.

C'Rizz has been feeling distant and is traumatized over killing his lover after she'd been taken over by Aliens back in Creed of Kromon, so on the basis of advice from a not so friendly intelligence they head to Multihaven where the Doctor invents a religion (the Tourists) and they gain admission to the city to get C'Rizz help only to find a malevolent influence at work trying to bring about the forced conversion of the Multihaven.

The concept is interesting and there are some intriguing ideas in here. Writer Graham Duff shows there's a limit to originality even in the divergent universe with many of these religions calling themselves "churches," the author does a good job imagining some very different Divergent religions and despite the author's background in comedy, few are played for laughs except for the Tourists and one religion that worships accidents.

We're also teased with questions about the nature of this universe as well as the big question of where exactly the TARDIS is.

Paul McGann turns in a good performance and this was the best story in terms of likability for Charlotte Pollard since Neverland in the way she shows her a kind and caring person dealing with C'rizz

C'rizz continues to be the weak link which is problematic given that so much of the story centers around him. In some ways, the story is playing catch up from the botched introduction of the character in the prior season. He's given background and his problems are fleshed out but he still doesn't quite feel like a real character or even like a proper companion as he spends most of the story on his own.

Doctor Who wades into dark waters when it speculates on religion, but this story works much better than most.

At its core is the idea that religion is less about truth and more about personal preference, an idea that can be argued though certainly far less controversial than other Who takes which range from mockery to hostility on the topic. At one point, the Doctor seems to almost answer critics of the story's message and by the idea of this spiritual marketplace where religions rise and fall like cattle future when he apparently reads Charley's thoughts that the whole idea is a mockery of spirituality and the Doctor responds that its' just an experiment.

In the way they're both right. The story is a bit of a riff on religion, though a gentle one and it's also a bit of a thought experiment and a very thoughtful one at that.

Probably the most potentially offensive idea in the story was the de-faithing center where people who get a little too fantatical are "cured," but Faith Stealer acknowledges there are big problems with that idea and the way the de-faithing center is ultimately portrayed as a great touch.

Even the idea of all religions being treated equally is challenged. The Bordinan (leader of the city) is indifferent to cults which abuse people and takes advantage of them because it would interfere with her idea of a city where all religions are treated the same, but the story suggests a fundamental difference between legitimate religions that are good or relatively benign and cults that abuse people and prey on the weak.

However, who decides which is which? You won't find the answers in Faith Stealers, but the story raises some important and fair questions as to how religions relate to each other and society as a whole.

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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: kfb2014Review Date: 9/8/14 9:12 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

See I don't get this, I have looked at the reviews on here about this story, and they are low. Now maybe it is because I come from the school of throughout that Dr Who adventures have certain criteria that they must adhere to in order to really be Dr Who, and I think that in the last couple of 8th Dr adventures in the main range, that Big Finish did a brave thing with the Divergent Universe and placing the Dr into a new style. I applaud that in itself however I do long for the heady days of Pertwee, Baker etc and Troughton who gave it what it was for the later TV Dr's such as Colin, Peter and Sylvester. So I have based this on my personal opinion of the story, and that is this is an adventure with a real villain and the Dr undoing the no good to get to a result.

I admire McGann he is probably one of the best Dr's in the Big Finish line up, and he plays this with ease and direction, India is also now establishing her mark as Charlie very well, and also comes over as a full paid up member of the Dr Who cast, the verdict of the character C'Rizz is still out, although that takes nothing away from Conrad who plays the character with affection and belief. The story is centred around C'Rizz needing som e much needed R&R after all that has happened previously, and this is where the Dr and Charlie accompanied by C'Rizz stumble upon the Multihaven a place where religion is traded like commodities and religions and beliefs are managed by the Bordinan played wonderfully by Tessa Shaw. What ensues is that one religion is trying to be the one religion and it is being guided by it's main arbitrator Laan Carder whom until I read the cast list I thought was John Hurt for some strange reason. That aside the evil is afoot, and it soon as taken a hold of all as well as C'Rizz, The Dr discovers that an entity of energy is at the root of this and is robbing people of their dream power which is resulting in feeding the entity with source of fusion it needs. With this now known to the Dr he enters the Lucidity Accumulator which acts as the portal and confronts the Miraculite which results in it in abiity to carry out the the plan, with this revelation Laan Carder disappears and the entity becomes unstable. The Dr and Co. escape from the Accumulator and the Miraculite disappears

Okay lot going on, but for a McGann story much more straight forward, wonderfully acted, flawlessly written, and magically produced going real feeling and depth to the material. First rate again from Big Finish.