The plot is good, but the central conceit of romana having regenerated to become the sixth segment totally flies in the face of the explanation we were given a few years ago in Gallifrey.
Amy is again a fun (If simple) companion, but Zara is the one that really shines. She’s completing the final stages of her growth and she’s learning how to care for others.
The Guardians return and are better served in this story than they were in Destroyer of Delights. Watkins comes in a much colder White Guardian. He’s more focused than he was in Destroyer and it really shows. I don’t know bridge very well, but I do like the idea of the card game as a microcosm for their battle.
Lalla ward returns in her (final?) main range appearance and pulls double duty while she’s at it. Astra has grown cold, while Romana has grown resolute in accepting her perceived fate.
The ending doesn’t really change much in the long run. Yes the key is destroyed, but realistically it wouldn’t take much for another writer to decide to reforge it.
Overall, for a first official trilogy, this has been a good run. I’m looking forward to the Graceless boxsets.
It’s in the category of another amnesia story for me.
In essence, the doctors forgotten about Lucie and replaced her with a jelly fish.
There are things that work, the setting, the aliens and the head hunter. What doesn’t work is really the amnesia. It slows down the amatory and it sets the doctor and Lucie against each other. That’s something we had plenty of in blood of the Daleks but doesn’t work as well anymore.
Selta is plenty of fun, she hams it up as a jellyfish, but she goes a little to far in the end. I do rather like the image of her mugging Lucie for her tights though.
It’s the weakest of the season openers, and aside from the opportunity to do it weekly, I’m not sure what the two 30 minute episodes brings that a full hour doesn’t.
Post by Star Platinum on Dec 10, 2019 18:34:55 GMT
Polly is Back!
I’ve always been quite fond of Polly, truth be told. There’s a wonderful innocence to the character, and she’s so sweet and kind. You can’t help but be fond of her.
Once again (or for the first time?) the season four team is taken to the Second World War, and this time we have a small band of resistance fighters working to smuggle trapped soldiers out of the country.
The pilot works as a character. We have just enough to get a feel for him, and enough for Polly to truly believe that he’s her uncle. When he reveals himself, you can hear her heart breaking.
I have to credit Anneke, her Ben is absolutely fantastic. She’s captured the essence of Michael Craze, and her delivery of each of Bens lines are filled with such affection that you can’t help but feel the warmth in her voice
Post by Star Platinum on Dec 10, 2019 19:19:42 GMT
This one failed to grab me in any significant way.
We have Lucie infiltrating a evil organization, but she’s basically captured right away. The doctor teamed up with a partner, who surprise, surprise is in league with the baddie. A baddie who is completing their rocker and a monster with a deeply buried human side.
All of this has been done before in other stories and done much better.
I’m not sure where the issue is in the story though. It’s got an excellent pedigree but really fails to take flight. I spent most of the drive listening to this story thinking that with everything going on right now with climate change (Greta Thunberg, the us pulling out of the Paris accords) were in the perfect time for a Krynoid story.
One thing I can definitely identify as a problem is the Doctor and Lucie’s relationship. Effectively they’ve had their hands tied behind their backs and neutered the relationship between the two of them. I really hope that gets resolved soon.
It feels strange marking a Jonathan Morris story this low, I don’t like this feeling.
For Scott Handcock to take a single throwaway line from the Claws of Axos, and spin it into this is simply genius.
I like where Mike Yates starts in this, gone is the man working for UNIT in Worlds of Doctor who and the vault stories, here we have a man down on his luck, alone unmarried. We see the impact that the Green Death, Invasion of the Dinosaurs and Planet of the Spiders had on him.
Diamond Jack is really the star of the show, his emotional arc takes him through several stops along the length of the story and each ones adds to the character and makes him very real and sympathetic. Jack almost exists in three forms, the first one we get, the original body and his final form once he's remembered who he is.
This isn't a story I've gone back to very often, perhaps I should change that?
Matthew Sweet is one of those writers where you can tell it's him right away. For this story, that style works extremely well.
We start in a totally nuts asylum where things are just absolutely insane. Cue The Doctor's arrival. THe wonderful twist, is that once he's done pulling the strings apart, he winds up messing with his own plan!
The nice thing about this story is, when compared to Year of the Pig, It streamlines itself and becomes a little more normal as the story progresses, but it still retains its Sweet flavor.
This is definitely one of the best Toymaker stories.
Gone are all of the trappings of his first story, here we see his influence on the asylum and It's a fantastic spin on the character.
A great story that starts the second trilogy of the main range.
This was a good story, but I think Teal'c as a character lets it down.
I'd like to go on record saying I really do like Teal'c, The issue is the character itself and the format of the story. Stoic Teal'c and his character arc on the TV show works well, but when the reader of this story can't emote to the degree the story requires the entire story comes off feeling a little flat.
The story itself is great, The comrade in arms, now on the side of the enemy is a classic trope, but it's always an effective one. Noel Clarke does a great job as Sebe't and he can emote, but unfortunately Teal'c comes off a bit hollow. Sure he can express himself extremely well (I'd completely forgotten how verboise Teal'c was!) but 90% of the message is the tone you use, not the words.
It's a good story, but I think that being the main character in this format hurts Teal'c more than it should. Had you swapped Teal'c for Ronon, but kept the rest of the story the same, I think it would score higher as he's allowed to emote.
I'd like to go on record that Chris Judge is great, and does an absolutely fantastic job in God of War. He's an under utilized actor.
I’m quite fond of this story, IIRC, it’s one of my earliest stories that I purchased.
There’s a whole lot to like about this story. While I love a traditional over the top Dalek Plan, this is the Daleks at their best. These are Daleks at their best. Out for blood, and anyone or anything that gets in their way is something to be exterminated.
Hex absolutely shines in this story. This story takes a complaint I had with Rory (The lack of use of his nurse back story) and makes it into a vital part of his character for this story. He was quickly notices that the “contagion” isn’t what it seems, and his heart pushes him to protect those who can’t protect themselves.
As for ace, while I haven’t finished the VNAs, this feels like a stream lined version of their Ace. She’s a warrior, through and through, without her I doubt anyone would have survived if it wasn’t for her.
As for McCoy, for his doctor this feels very much like a reaction to Genesis is the Daleks. Gone is “have I the right?”, McCoy is resolute in stopping the Kiseybia. This almost feels like a redemption for his inaction in Genesis.
The pacing in this story is breakneck, and it really helps set the mood. Things move fast and there is absolutely no room for error. Using a metal soundtrack is inspired as it adds a real weight to the scenes.
Post by Star Platinum on Dec 15, 2019 23:05:55 GMT
The Beast of Orlock
This story, it's an odd one. It doesn't stand out but, it does it's job well.
The Cast do a good job, I hadn't realized that Samuel Barnett's career with Big Finish came this far back. I thought he'd first started with them doing Torchwood. Barnett does a good job andyou can hear that he's destined for greater things. I've yet to watch Dirk Gently, but I hear he was quite good in it.
IIRC this is the first story that hasn't had the arc of the Doctor and Lucie getting used to each other, They're finally allowed to gel together and the story benefits from it greatly.
It's a average story, it's never stuck in my memory, but it's always nice coming back to a new (ish) Eighth Doctor and Lucie adventure.
Post by Star Platinum on Dec 15, 2019 23:40:29 GMT
The Mahogany Murderers
I've really been looking forward to this one.
As a pilot, it's interesting to see what's been changed between this and the Jago and Litefoot series. Ellie for instance; she is far less educated and comes off as a bit of a crone in this story a far cry from the plucky ellie we've come to know and love.
Jago and Litefoot are fairly consistent between this and their series, but I can see where there were departures. Litefoots role as a professor for instance, he mentions that he teaches students but we never hear them in their series. Jago is really consistent between the two.
It's amazing just how easily Trevor baxter and Christopher Benjamin slip back into their roles, it's like they've never left.
The plot works, though this time is favours the Professor in that most of it revolves around him this time, instead of Greel's focus on the theater, we have finding the Mannequin in the mortuary. I'm glad the narration is dropped in their own series. as it doesn't quite work well here. But I know this is the bias of hindsight in action.
In hindsight, I don't think it's a perfect opening for the series, Over thirteen boxsets the highs are so much higher, but as a small seed, it's grown into a mighty oak.
So far, this is the strongest story of EDA season 3.
I've been enjoying this particular story. It's got enough of Ark in Space, but the audio medium allows them to go grander in scale. There's one exchange in particular, about Lucie putting the Doctor on a pedestal, which is a wonderful bit of foreshadowing for Death in Blackpool. I do like how Briggs develops the Wirrn in this one, this isn't a case of taking an old toy out of the new toy box for a new adventure, rather Briggs takes the Wirrn and builds on them develops them and gives them a bit more backstory than they had in Ark in Space, hell he goes as far as to make them down right sympathetic in the last fifteen minutes!
Now, on a whim I went to check who wrote this, but what really caught my eye was Colin Salmon's name. Having seen him in Dr. Who and Arrow, this character is so unlike what he played in those two shows I hadn't even realized it was him! Lucie also should be mentioned, I've said it before, but how she's grown over the last three and a half seasons is phenomenal! She stands up for what's right and her compassion has saved a very important life. The doctor should rightfully be proud of her.
I recall that in one podcast or extended extra at some point that this story sold extremely well. While Nick attributes this to it being a fan favourite being brought back (affectionately referred to as the Holmes effect) I don't think he's giving himself quite enough credit for what he's accomplished here. He's brought back a classic monster and mixed in just enough to make it a fresh story with several new and exciting depths to play with.
8/10 and a fantastic addition to the story of Eight and Lucie.
It's nice hearing Nick Briggs as an actor, it's something you take for granted, hearing him as another regular human is a nice change.
I'm fond of this particular Stargate release. Lorne was for the most part a background character on Atlantis. He was brought in when they needed another military body, but he was likable enough. He had the odd bits of development here and there, and a throwaway line in Sunday, I believe, established he's a painter. Scott Andrews seizes this one fact and spins an entire tale centering on that. The Paintings in the story adds an element of surrealism to the story, this helps set this particular story stand out amongst its peers.
I'd forgotten how much Dr.Heightmeyer had featured in this story, it's a shame that the TV show never utilized her that much.
It's nice to get into the head of a supporting character, That's one of the real blessings of the companion chronicles and these stargate releases. Otherwise we'd never have gotten these storys starring Lorne, Dr.Fraiser or Walter Harriman.
Romana's Heaven Sent, I just wish I could enjoy it as such.
As a sleeping aid, this story is absolutely fantastic. As a story, I can't say I'm crazy about this.
I find it's very easy for my attention to wander during this story, my focus lets up and then I'm suddenly in the middle of a new scene. I've tried to listen to this a few times over the years I've had it, and despite all of this I have absolutely no recollection of what happened. It seems like that's gonna be the case this time. I'd be curious to see if this would have been the same case if there was a second reader, like all of the other Companion Chronicles.
I do like the cover, Romana looks lovely with the dress and necklace, and she looks like she fits in that 1920's aesthetic. But not having a featuring at the bottom of the sidebar makes the cover look naked, if that makes any sense.
It's not a bad story by any means, but it completely fails to grab my attention in any way whatsoever.
At least, by listening to this at work, I'm getting paid to listen to this.
It feels like it wants to be a Hex dominant story, but it plays against his strengths as a character. Instead of having him work on a particularly difficult patient with Nightengale, he spends most of his time running away from Bartholomew.
Speaking of him, he’s a frustrating character to listen to. He’s a completely one note character. Yes it’s explained at the end, but that’s after two hours of hearing him shout “Traitor!” I actually enjoyed the story more when he wasn’t present.
I wasn’t overly crazy about the story, with all three characters on the run, it all felt kinda same-y. I wish Sutton had committed to hex being a nurse on the battlefield. You could have easily had him get shot by accident when the Doctor comes to pick him up.
Another anthology release. They’re great, but for the purposes of these reviews they suck big time.
I’m inclined to enjoy this story simply because of its cast. McGann sand Bowerman on their own is usually the sign of good things to come, but when you put them together, it’s a recipe for success.
The plot is pretty simple, possibly one of the most simplistic of the anthology stories. The Doctor loses his tardis key (throw in a bootstrap paradox for good measure) and PETA (but for Tardis) have hires Benny to find it.
The villains are a joke and rightfully called out on it. The real meat of the story is the interplay between McGann and Bowerman and as expected, they’re tons of fun.
It’s an enjoyable, if disposable story.
I just hope it doesn’t take another 10 years before they put these two back together again.
I’m not overly familiar with the EDAs. I’ve read the eight Doctors, and a bit of Alien Bodies. Aside from owning two or three more I’ve got, I’ve not really experienced this particular interpretation of the eighth Doctor.
There’s some interesting ideas about this. The doctor as a symbol, not of fear for the monsters, but hope for a population. It’s an idea that Moffatt would explore with Matt Smith. Funny enough, Smith was on the casting list for Fitz, so I hear.
The plot is pretty good. A company doing the wrong thing for the right reasons gets infiltrated by the enemy.
The main plot resolves itself very easily, which leaves a lot of room for character work, which is really nice considering the length of the story.
I enjoy this particular companion. He’s a rouge and he’s just that little bit of a playboy, something I don’t think the show is willing to do now.
I do like what they’ve done with Mary Shelley. She’s unique as she’s a historical figure invited along for a ride in the Tardis, and she actually takes the Doctor up on the offer!
It’s unusual to see this much love for the BBC EDAs in a 8th Doctor release. Hearing references to Anji, Sam, Destrii and Compassion stands out. Especially after the lengths Gary Russell went during his reign to establish that the 8th Doctor existed in at least three different continuities.
It’s interesting to see Mary Shelley have to live through a twisted version of Frankenstein, it’s a great idea, one that Marc platt would also do a year or two later in The Silver Turk.
McGann does an excellent job in this story. I’d almost go as far to say that he has excellent chemistry with himself. I’ve always enjoyed when the Doctor meets and interacts with the same version of himself.
Post by Star Platinum on Dec 21, 2019 20:49:52 GMT
The Drowned World
For a second time, Simon Guerrier captures lightning in a bottle.
There’s only a handful of companion chronicles where I can safely say that the framing story is just as good, if not better than the main story, and this is easily one of them.
The framing story is fantastic, house Sarah is manipulative, yet there’s no malice to her. She simply wishes to fulfill her function. Yet she grows over the story. She develops her own wants and needs which, the ultimate end of shall be told in her next story.
As for the main story, I absolutely adore it. This is a story which fits perfectly into season three of the classic series. Sarah, Steven and the Doctor in a near hopeless situation simply trying to service and escape.
Sarah finds her resolve and saves who she can. The character work in this release is simply stunning. Guerrier gets into her head and lays Sarah bare for us to see and examine. Quite the feat for a character from a single story whose only got 2-3 existing episodes.
Thrilling and exciting, this is the companion chronicles at their strongest.
Post by Star Platinum on Dec 21, 2019 21:19:15 GMT
This is one of those stories where it always blurs into the background, thus leaving me with no memory of it.
I will say that it's been an unexpected delight to listen to, and it's scratched an itch for the Eighth Doctor I didn't realize I'd had. It's been a very long time since the stories of the Eighth Doctor focus on saving a single life, yes, Lucie does most of the leg Work for protecting max, but that isn't the point. Ever since Dark Eyes, it's all been the universe ending and the time war consuming everything, It's really nice for the Eighth Doctor to just focus on saving one life for a change.
I like how this audio plays out, The stakes aren't overly high, yet everything works. The Doctor runs circles around some nazis while Lucie gets the meat of the story in the Goathouse. The characters and settings evoke some strong mental visuals, which is always a plus in my book. I expect it's due to Mills' experience with the Comic strips, but I can easily see this one as a strip in a doctor who comic.
There's a whole lot to like in this story, I'll definitely be going for this one the next time I need a Lucie fix.
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