Reviewed By: traves8853
Review 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.