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Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
6
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 10/17/17 9:31 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

I suppose you could listen to this before you listen to The Reaping, but you should listen to them both together.

A lot of what I said about "The Reaping" applies to "The Gathering". It's bad. The drama is overwrought and unconvincing, and the story is underdeveloped and not very interesting.

The one exception is Tegan. The character is wonderfully well-written, and Janet Fielding gives an outstanding performance. At the time, this was understood to be a one-time-only opportunity. Of course, Fielding would eventually (and thankfully!) decide to return on a more permanent basis. But until "Cobwebs" was released four years later, this was it for Tegan.

And yes, on the one hand, it was a real shame that Tegan's only story was terrible. But Tegan is actually very well handled here. She's very believable. I like that she returned to an "ordinary" life, and that she's more-or-less happy with it. I like that this story avoids the cliche that ex-companions all lead heroic lives after leaving the TARDIS. I don't think Tegan was ever more believable or more relatable than she is here.

It's too bad that it all had to be shoe-horned into this continuity-driven nightmare.

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From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 10/17/17 9:00 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

I had serious doubts about this series before listening to it. I mean, if there's one character who absolutely doesn't need a backstory, it's Davros. One of the remarkable things about "Genesis of the Daleks" is how little it tells us about Davros. Like the Daleks themselves, Davros is tremendously compelling even when we don't know anything about him. Trying to give him a backstory is risky. Look at that how the new series screwed it up, for example.

There were a million ways to get this wrong, but this story manages to get it very right indeed. My only complaint (and it's a small one, so best to get it out of the way) is the totally unnecessary framing device. It's totally dispensable. The story doesn't need it, and its only function seems to be to justify (just barely) the fact that "Starring Terry Molloy" is emblazoned on the cover. Oh, it also cements the comparison to "I, Claudius", which had a similar (but much more interesting) framing device.

What I love about the story is that it takes the time to establish a world around Davros, who doesn't take much of an active role in events until the very end. Calcula is the most dynamic character. She's a sort of mix between Livilla from "I, Claudius" and Lady MacBeth, and she's definitely the driving force of this episode, even when she doesn't always appear to be. Davros is largely disinterested in everything happening around him, but obsessively focused on his own desire to learn. (Rory Jennings gives a creepy yet understated performance in the role.)

"Innocence" is a wonderful start to a wonderful mini-series.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 10/17/17 6:29 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

At first, this seemed like a refreshing change of pace. It felt like a more or less self-contained story, albeit one with substantial ties to previous continuity. I prefer that to the more serialized approach. This seemed like a nice, self-contained story about dealing with a lingering threat leftover from previous events. When Romana discovers that the original Dogma virus is still spreading through the population of Gallifrey, she begins a clandestine investigation with the help of her remaining friends. Meanwhile, President Matthias is negotiating with Mephistopheles Arkadian to sell a weapons cache leftover from the civil war. Eventually, these two stories link up, and Arkadian offers a cure for the virus in exchange for the weapons.

That's when it all starts to go wrong. After all, this isn't just another episode of "Gallifrey". This feels like it's trying to be a final episode (and it would be the final episode until the release of "Gallifrey IV" more than four years later). The final act of the story features a clumsy attempt to retcon the whole of the series into a kind of prelude to the Time War (which was the hot new thing in "Doctor Who" continuity when these stories were written). I suppose something like this was inevitable. I mean, with the revelation in the new series that Gallifrey was destroyed in the Time War, the "Gallifrey" audio series was bound to address this in some way. I don't particularly like how they did it.

For one thing, ending the story on a cliffhanger seems like an odd choice. Even worse, it's not even a terribly effective cliffhanger. The one thing that works is how everyone almost instinctively looks to Romana to come up with an answer. That's actually quite lovely. And, despite the fact that she is no longer President and has no formal authority of any kind, Romana steps back into a leadership role without a moment of hesitation. That's a nice send-off for the character, even if it isn't an ending.

Basically, I feel about "Panacea" the way I feel about the whole "Gallifrey" series. The cast alone justifies the purchase price. It's a wonderful ensemble, and they all play off of one another extremely well. But the story is overly complicated, it doesn't hold up well to scrutiny, and it really isn't about anything. It's sufficiently entertaining, but ultimately rather shallow and unsatisfying.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
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Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 10/17/17 3:07 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The third episode continues the theme of the Doctor not enjoying being President. This time he's trying to actively escape the job by going for a one-off battle against evil, only he he finds that his reputation is proceeding him and villains are choosing surrender rather than fighting until finally the Doctor finds one planet he can find an invasion but he may already be too late.

This script had a very strong absurdist Douglas Adams feel to it and is filled with all lots of hilarious and witty moments, although it mainly serves to re-enforce the points of the previous episodes and set up the final story.

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