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< 7.4 - The Last Post
7.6 - The Child >

7.5 - Return of the Rocket Men

Rating Votes
10
18%
12
9
24%
16
8
33%
22
7
12%
8
6
6%
4
5
2%
1
4
5%
3
3
0%
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2
0%
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Average Rating
8.1
Votes
66
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 10/18/15 4:42 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

'Return of the Rocket Men' is a sequel to the original story, but the narrative is completely separate to the events of the first, and is set sometime after 'The Gunfighters'. It was written by Matt Fitton; like the first it features the directing and music of Lisa Bowerman and Howard Carter respectively. Peter Purves takes up narrative duties alongside Tim Treloar who plays Van Cleef.

Howard Carter's music is much more of an active participant in this one. The sounds are more varied. I can hear snare drum rolls, violins and more bass than the original. This score is more dynamic and in my opinion superior to its predecessor, also a Carter composition. This sequel is also not weighed down by the clumsy framing device of the John Dorney's original work, meaning it flows much more easily. The acting is hard to fault, both stars perform admirably.

The narration opens with Steven asking a, "How do you know?", question, linking back to the opening narration of the first story. The action is more pronounced than the original Rocket Men story. In the opening scene 'Van Cleef' shoots Steven in both legs before he tries to kill him. Yet 'Van Cleef' is merely 'Ashmen' in all but name. This story is about revenge, as well as saving Dodo and the other prisoners. These events transpired before Steven joined the Tardis crew but through the wonders of time travel Steven gets to relive them later on.

This doesn't have the emotional impact of 'The Rocket Men', and I can't help feeling it suffers because of it, but it just isn't that kind of story. There are twists but the story isn't so reliant on them to makes this a listen once affair, there is plenty to come back for. The action is also genuinely thrilling. I just wish Steven wasn't constantly saying that he was going to die, or wouldn't make it back. Ok, we get it you're a hero, now give it a rest! He also asks the, "How do you know?", question a lot more than Ian did in the original.

This out performs the original in some areas and the same could be said about the original, but the truth is they different and stand-alone stories. Let's not get too caught up in comparisons though, this is easily as good as the original.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 9/14/15 12:53 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

It isn't easy finding ways to say that Big Finish know how to use Steven's knowledge as a pilot in a story. Really they do know what they can do and Return of the Rocket Men is probably the release that gives Steven the most to do. Probably because we get to see some of his past as a pilot and some of the people he knew before crashing on Mechanus. This story sees the Doctor, Steven and Dodo on a colony terrorized by a different group of the Rocket Men. Matt Fitton expands on what John Dorney established with his original story and gets major praise for focusing more on Steven than Dodo who is mainly in the background. Tim Trelor is excellent with his portrayal of Van Cleef the psychotically evil leader of the Rocket Men. Trelor is able to give Van Cleef the psychotically evil leader of the Rocket Men a unique voice to Ashman from the original Rocket Men.

The biggest problem with the story is that it takes a bit too much time explaining Steven's origin among the same problems I had with The Rocket Men. It's a bit too confusing in places and the music this time is a bit forgettable.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 4/7/15 10:05 pm
2 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Return of the Rocket Men is a sequel both to the original Rocket Men story as well as to Steven Taylor's prior Companion Chronicles. However, neither are required listening to enjoy this.

Return of the Rocket Men is a marvelously narrated action story with Peter Purves providing some superb voice acting and one of the most vivid and rich audio soundscapes that really made the story come alive.

Steven is a wonderful hero and Purves creates one of the best First Doctor voices of all the companions.

Compared to the previous Rocket Men story, this is at the same level. The linear storytelling in this one made for a more interesting ending. I did find Ian's emotional journey in the prior story a tad more compelling and tangible (although Stephen's wasn't bad and may be preferred by those who have followed his prior Companion Chronicles.) I also didn't like that the hero is saved by a slightly modified version of a cliche.

Still, this is a fantastic adventure with time travel, paradoxes, heroes and battles with men with rocket packs. A very fun story.

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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
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Reviewed By: komodoReview Date: 11/23/12 1:43 pm
2 out of 3 found this review helpful.

When do you know?
When do you know you have a great story setting that can be used again?

I loved Rocketmen and rated it a 10 despite its nonlinear story telling sytle. I think this one was better. Its called a sequal, but really its just a story using the same villains. It is set after the events of the last one, but otherwise it stands alone.

In comparing the two, I say Ian was the perfect character to introduce the rocketmen and to share the wonder of them, but Steven is the better man to battle them and what a battle he gets...

Just like the last story, the cliff hanger is amazing and one of the best of the year. Honestly I can't praise this enough. The rocketmen are great villains and their world is a wonder. Steven has an amzing story to tell.

Its a more linear story too which will please most fans.

Above all else, its great space opera. Well written, well driected, well acted.