I've never been crazy about this two parter, but I think that's solely because the Brains of Morbius sets an extremely high bar.
The first Doctor Lite for McGann, but fortunately for us, Sheridan Smith is more than capable of handling any giant centipedes that come her way.
Alexander Siddig is a nice treat, given that I've been watching a fair bit of DS9 lately. IIRC the only regular from any series to join BF (I believe that Chase Masterson was just an occasional guest star)
Stripping Lucie of the Doctor is a smart call, it gives her the chance to see just how far she's come from the scared young lady in Blood of the Daleks. She's smart enough to get away from Haspira and she acknowledges that she was fairly discourteous to Rosto. Fortunately he seems to be a fairly understanding centipede.
Mostly setup for the next story, but man, what an excellent cliffhanger.
It's simple in it's plot and conceit, it's simple in it's story but very effective.
The bench marking is a rather elegant solution, it's a shame that it doesn't work. Credit to Andy Lane, he sets up the potential for several cthulu-esque monsters and leaving them to the readers imagination.
In the end, I felt bad for Rostrum. he meant well, but was unable to go beyond what he was created for.
Good, but lacks that certain something to keep it from being truly great
The best part is that it's the start of the monthly companion chronicles!
This one is clever, I really have to give it to Rayner she's done a fantastic job.
The land of fiction misdirection is clever, but I'm much happier with the path that this story took.
On the surface, it's a fairly average story. But once the layers start revealing themselves Rayner gets to play with the narrative and use storytelling techniques to enhance the the story. The Doctor surrendering to the fiction itself is particularly inspired.
It's clever of Colin to pitch his voice up when he's possessed, a nice auditory clue.
It doesn't do too much to advance the arc, but it's clever enough to get the characters to act unusually, giving them a reason both to really have fun with playing out of character and not force them to advance the charley arc too much.
After an good start in Sisters of the Flame, this release sort of just fizzles out.
The performances are certainly good, though I don't quite feel Morbius was quite threatening enough (That and I feel Alexander Siddig was wasted this time around after a good turn in the previous release)
This stories issue is it's pacing, the first half of the story is simply getting out of the previous cliffhanger and bringing back Morbius, then we do a ten year time jump, have Straxus tell us that Morbius has been a giant twat, then the doctor flings him off a cliff.
The problem is that we're told that he's terrible, but we never see it, at least not directly.
I think that the seeds of a great story are here, but limiting it to two single releases definitely hurt it. Had this been a proper boxset I think it would have been a much stronger tale. Let Sisters of the Flame play out mostly the same, give Paul a bigger part in it, expand the first half of Vengeance to a full release for the second episode. Make the 3rd episode a Doctor/lucie light tale with Morbius terrorizing the universe and establishing him as a real tyrant, and then have the Doctor and Lucie arrive for part 4.
Alas, what could have been.
Flawed, but with so much potential, and given it's esteemed pedigree, it only hurts even more.
6/10 Now, having thought about it, wouldn't Morbius be absolutely fantastic in a Gallifrey time war box set? Either have him set a coup against Rassilon or have him be something the the timelords still have to fight against, even in the insanity of the time war, they wouldn't sink to his levels of depravity. Scott Handcock, you can have this one for free
Technically this should have come before Morbius, but given I got half way through this on my drive home from work, and switching stories while driving is something our laws from upon (How unfair of them IMO)
It's not the strongest story for the second doctor, but it's certainly got some nods to the stories of that era (How many times must the 2nd Doctor be doused in foam?!)
I know that for a lot of fans, there was disappointment with Deborah Watling not sounding as she did nearly 55 years ago, but frankly I don't think that's the issue people made it out to be, several of the classic actors have aged and their voices of changed, there's only a few in my humble opinion that can really capture their sound from that long ago.
Couple that with the fact that most of her time with the Doctor having been lost at the time this was written (I think we only had Tomb at the Cybermen at that point) not to mention the unwritten mission statement of making companions more than just screamers makes her a more difficult to write for.
All that aside, I find this story a little on the boring side, noting much happens in the first half while they're in the elevator and after arriving at the base everything is a fairly dry affair. The story just lacks that hook to really pull me in as a listener.
Good, serviceable, but lacks that something to make it really great.
Full disclaimer, I've never been a fan of Dr. Fraiser. Nothing against the actress, she does a fine job with her. What happened to her in Heros didn't bother me at all.
That being said, I enjoyed this story. The story works with it's limited cast, and Teryl shines with the material. A good plot, a hostage situation with just a sprinkle of stockholm syndrome and we have the recipe for a good, if not overly groundbreaking story.
Well worth a listen if you're a fan of the character, and even if you aren't, It's an hour well spent.
Post by Star Platinum on Nov 10, 2019 22:41:09 GMT
The Ultimate Adventure
Can't say I'm a fan.
The script is fine enough (Though there's a moment or two that I'm sure were definitely for Pertwee instead of Baker), but none of the songs really stand out as excellent (that, and musicals are anathema to me) and I'm seriously wondering if Noel Sullivan has ever even spoken to a french person, his accent is quite infuriating.
I was a little taken back that the doctor was asked to keep an eye on the ambassador, I can just about see the brigadier strong arming the 3rd doctor into it, but Sixie? This is leagues below his pay grade.
All in all, I'm not enjoying this at all. But I'll grant it this, I expect that seeing this live on stage with Jon or Colin would have been quite a lot of fun. But as an audio release, It's got so much other competition it falls flat on it's face.
That being said, I think there are a bunch of Big Finish releases that would make excellent stage plays. Chimes of Midnight screams for a stage adaptation and wouldn't really require too much tweaking to the script. The Davros and Master in particular would also be excellent stage shows, minimal sets and no real need for special effects. They'd be fantastic!
It's funny, I kind of remembered this one, but the moment he mentioned the aliens converging around the sun I remembered all of it.
It does remind me of one of the Graceless stories, where Abby and Zara ran into the same problem, The final story of the 3rd box set I think.
The Military vs scientist isn't exactly an original angle, but it works effectively. David Nykl and Ursula Burton play well off each other.
One of the things I like about spin off ranges like this is that it gives the minor characters their chance to shine. The genius Zelenka, The artist Lorne and the ever dependable Walter Harriman all get their chance to shine. The shows all focus on the main characters, but realistically, These are all highly skilled individuals who, when given the chance will save the day as well. This is the joy of spin offs, everyone can get their chance to shine.
A good story, helping with the good stargate track record.
There’s nothing overly new to this story. The doctors companion forced to participate in some deadly games, a society that’s manifested its darker impulses into another form. Both have been done before.
What really elevates this script is Louise Jameson’s performance. She has long since mastered Leela at this point. She knows the character like the back of her hand and she plays it so well that any issues really aren’t that important.
David’s Warner, is as always a delight.
Some nice continuity with the console room and great performances do raise an average script to a good one.
There are some interesting ideas in this one. a reunification of the Thals and the Daleks has a potential, but the marxism loses me.
It's a confusing ride, but there are great moments sprinkled throughout the story.'
I've heard this one 4-5 times by now, but I'm not really any further ahead in the understanding of what's going on.
The Charley arc is definitely advancing at this point, I think there's only 3 more stories in the arc plus the bonus ones (Krotons, Last Adventure and Avenues of possibility) Now charley coming clean to the doctor replicant was really cheeky. That's a dirty trick.
India does a fantastic job pouring her heart out, and it's a really nice follow up to how her and Mcgann left things at the end of The Girl Who Never Was.
Listening to it as I'm typing, I was NOT expecting a part 5. this feels so weird.
I'm of two minds, I can't make heads or tails of this, but it's very well acted. The cast are on fire, but does that matter if the plot itself doesn't make sense?
I won't rate this one on plot, but on contents and performances it's easily an 8/10.
I went into this expecting the Ultimate Adventure, what I got was something much nicer.
The opening remains very faithful to the original one from the stage show, I do like that "audience participation" aspect. I'm sure that there were kids in the audience wanting to go again, hoping that they'd be the ones to get whisked away in the Tardis.
I'm happy with the Martin Doctor, he's written just different enough that he doesn't feel like an analouge for another doctor in particular, rather he's his own Doctor who is more than capable of standing on his own two feet.
Jenny and Jimmy aren't bad, as far as one and done companions go.They feel like more of a callback to Ian and Barbara though, firends whisked away without a choice and thrown into one deadly situation after another. The butting of heads between Jimmy and the Doctor practically screams Ian. Jenny is particularly clever casting, A lovely nod to her mother, who played the original Jenny. Yet Charlie Hays shows that this was more than stunt casting, she does an admirable job with the role. Though There are moments Where she does sound rather similar to Wendy Padbury.
The plot moves pretty fast in the first episode, and slows down into a traditional Doctor vs Dalek for part 2. The seven crystals evoke the Key to Time (Was this intentional? Who knows.)
Dicks does his usual sterling work, and takes a whole bunch of old toys out of the toybox, but nothing feels overly gratuitous.
I'd have loved to see this one in person.
A fair 8/10.
An unbound or a companion chronicle for this team would have been nice, rather than the one we got in Beyond the Ultimate Adventure.
Now is it me, or do all of the stories with "Ultimate" in the title have some big issues? The Ultimate Foe falls to pieces in the back half, The Ultimate Adventure is an exercise in frustration and The Ultimate Evil fails to live up to it's name.