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< 66. The Game
68. Catch-1782 >

67. Dreamtime

Rating Votes
10
3%
2
9
0%
0
8
11%
9
7
16%
13
6
23%
18
5
25%
20
4
19%
15
3
1%
1
2
0%
0
1
1%
1
Average Rating
5.8
Votes
79
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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
3
Plot Rating:
4
Acting Rating:
2
Replay Rating:
1
Effects Rating:
5
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 3/7/18 9:18 pm
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Hex's first adventure with the Seventh Doctor and Ace is one of the most notoriously bad Seventh Doctor audios ever produced ranked among the absolute worst of the worst. Billed as a sort of spiritual sequel to an supposedly somewhat mediocre Sixth Doctor story "The Sandman" which I haven't had a chance to listen to yet, it sees the return of the aliens from that story in the Galyari and features such odd-sounding things as the surreal Dreamtime upon which the story is named, creatures called 'bunyips', and (I'm really not kidding here) entities called Dream Commandos. It's certainly one of the stranger ones out there and while I don't feel like it's quite 1/10 worthy as other reviewers have given it, it's definitely on the extreme lower end of the scale in terms of audio stories. The word that best describes this story is weird in everything from tone to premise to where even the characters outwardly state it. The starting point starts out slow but at least interesting with the TARDIS team landing in a deserted city in space that just happens to have Ayers Rock in it. However from the second part of the story onward it takes a fast turn into the land of snooker loopy when the Doctor himself is frozen in stone and taken into the Dreamtime. From there it turns into a combination of boring and confusing as Seven is stuck floating around and spewing nonsense for the rest of the story while Hex tries to contact the Doctor and Ace hangs out with a very standard side cast of alien mercenaries and merchants. You can tell writer Simon Forward's script is certainly trying but he's working to portray something's that extremely difficult to convey in audio form and thus it comes across as all over the place with no real tangible idea of what it is actually is. It's supposed to be a separate dimension of sorts with a strong basis in Australian and Aboriginal spirituality of all things (hence where bunyips and the surprising setting of the story comes from) which could've been interesting had it been explained properly but the dialogue and language is really not written very well. The plot treats us as listeners as if we are already familiar with the concepts at play to where it doesn't feel it necessary to describe anything and the language it does decide to use doesn't add anything interesting anyway. This makes 'Dreamtime' a boring slog of a story that after the first part became just a lot of meaningless noise and boring drivel. None of this is helped by the cast who perform very badly in this one especially McCoy who feels like he's in a sleep-filled daze himself with his line delivery. Sophie Aldred as Ace is her normal self but does nothing to distinguish herself and she feels like she's just going through the motions with her character here and the side cast she interacts with are characters that you've seen before in ANY sci-fi story. The only cast member who is at least trying is Philip Olivier as Hex playing the new companion arc in an unfamiliar situation. It's one that you've seen before if you've ever seen a first companion story but Olivier plays it very well even if his dialogue and traits are a little bit all over the place. He moves from confidant to scared to angry at the situation all over the course of a half an hour. I think the problems here all come from bad writing as opposed to intention which is one of the few saving graces here. The soundscape does a decent enough job at what it's working with and what it tries to touch on a philosophical level is interesting but the language does absolutely nothing to draw you into what's going on and the cast, drama, and threads tying everything together simply aren't strong enough to support it and thus it falls flat on its face. Granted "Dreamtime" is not as disgustingly bad as other stories like "Nekromanteia"  and I would even say what it's trying to be is more interesting than any stories that left no impact on me like "Skin of the Sleek" / "The Thief Who Stole Time" . But as a whole, this is a story that was unfortunately severely botched in execution in the worst possible way and a pretentiously poor example of how boringly bad Seventh Doctor stories can be. 
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
5
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 8/6/17 4:56 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

This story really doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I confess that I don't really get it at all. That's not always a fatal flaw for me, but in this case, I also don't find the story to be enjoyable to listen to. It's not as thoroughly unpleasant as something like "Nekromanteia", which is joyless and nasty, but it's very frustrating.

Look at Commander Korshal. He's clearly supposed to be the overly literal, unimaginative character who is simply too closed-minded to appreciate what's going on. And yet, I found myself identifying most strongly with him. Every time he complained about mystical explanations, I found myself nodding along in agreement.

As far as I can tell, and I could have this all wrong, the story has something to do with Uluru launching itself into space as the Earth was being evacuated. The Doctor, Ace, and Hex arrive on the "colony" sometime later, as it apparently floats about in deep space. Then falls into the "dreamtime", which apparently allows him to travel through time and space back to Earth prior to Uluru's departure. I don't understand how that could have happened. But then, I just don't understand any of it.

There seems to be no villain, and the situation the Doctor found upon his arrival was created by him when he traveled back in time. Korshal functions as a villain, because his inability to understand what's hapening leads him to make an error in judgment which will threaten everything, but the danger is averted... and... whatever. I just can't bring myself to invest anything into this story because not one part of it makes any sense to me.

As much as I do like the Galyari, this is the first time we've seen them away from the Clutch. Divorcing them from that context tends to rob them of their distinctiveness. For most of the story, they function largely as general "Doctor Who" aliens. Other than a few references to commerce and the Sandman, they could just as easily be Ice Warriors. Except (and this is a big except) the denouement involves Korshal being deterred by the image of a kookaburra. You could say that this is a bit contrived, but I think it's a nice touch, connecting Galyari mythology to Australian aboriginal mythology to avert disaster.

Still, it's not enough to hang a story on when everything else that happens seems arbitrary and inexplicable.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
NR
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 1/26/17 12:43 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A story of dreamtime and ghosts on a mysterious colony in space. The guest characters are interesting, the concepts are intriguing, and it does a good job hooking listeners in with the first episode with a woman running screaming across the planet surface and the Doctor being turned to stone.

The story is by no means great, and this is a weird story to make for Hex's maiden voyage in the TARDIS. Even after listening, I'm not sure entirely get what's going on. Still, it's not as bad as some people say. There are no characters who are inc annoying and the story doesn't get dense or stupid. It held my attention and it wasn't unpleasant to listen to. In the end it's okay, but nothing more.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
1
Plot Rating:
1
Acting Rating:
1
Replay Rating:
1
Effects Rating:
1
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: YorickReview Date: 11/8/16 9:19 pm
0 out of 7 found this review helpful.

Utter mystical nonsensical cobblers.