The Robots box set 3 re-listen, ahead of my box set 4 first listen.
Set 3 stands up very well indeed to a second listen. The building tension across the stories is really very well done. Plus, some of the concepts they’re using just leave you thinking “But why did the box set have to end? I need to know what happens next now!”
You get a strong cast and very engaging stories with the Robots. Plus some excellent Chenka sarcasm and banter going on. Very nicely written and often raises a chuckle from your dear listener.
I do wonder what it is about Vortis that makes it so ripe for revisitation. Perhaps it’s because it’s the first completely alien world the TARDIS crew found themselves on in the classic series?
Definitely, and not in any superficial way either. Vortis feels like one of the first planets to take what could have otherwise been quite a two-dimensional B-movie premise ("giant ants vs. butterflies") and give it substance.
Watching The Web Planet, you wouldn't expect Vrestin's story to Ian of the Dark Power subsuming and corrupting the very strata, the geological heart, of their world. Things of quite genuine personal value are lost and gained. Her quiet trilling at her companions' passing and determination to see the Optera live in light. Hrostar, likewise, finds solace from his (quite genuinely disturbing when you think about it) mutilation by the Zarbi in reclaiming a part of his people's history thought lost. A Temple of Light. Vortis is all about the otherworldly and the alien. To us, but also to the Menoptera. They remember their world before it became Airless Plains and the Carcinome grew like a cyst in the planet's skin.
Those are some unusually human or, at least, empathetic moments from a world so far from our own. The Animus is also the first genuine cosmic horror we stumble across in Doctor Who. Something that the Doctor and company can delay, outwit, but not actually overcome. Not by conventional means. They have to rely on the alienness of the Menoptera and their world, bring it into their realm of understanding. The otherworldly has to be invited in, not rejected, for them to succeed. There's something very, very alluring in that.
"Courage isn't a matter of not being frightened you know; It's being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway."
Have to work today but when I get home, looking forward to re-listening to one of the German "epic" anniversary releases of the most popular audio series. 4 hours. Covert investigations at a university involving drug dealers and a lair of crazy evil scientists. It starts off kind of boring, but then ends up with genetically enhanced weaponized Komodo Dragons being released on university campus (author must have played too much Far Cry). Back in the day, the release got a lot of negative backlash from the fandom who did not appreciate the sci-fi elements (Germans....). It was basically a Marmite release, either people like it of hate it. It should have been completely up my alley and absolutely my thing. But for some reason I cannot remember, I did not like it. Have not listened to it in years. Decided to give it another go.
Fractures, the first of the regular full-cast series of Blake's 7 stories.
The idea of getting the majority of the original cast together continues to impress as a logistical tour-de-force, and Alistair Lock is great as Zen and Orac. Really good story from Justin Richards, lots of things for everyone to do, and a nice cameo from the series villain. ("He said -" "No, no - you said -" "I didn't say anything - he did!") Really good story, expertly played - this might be the start of a mass Blake listen-a-thon.
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