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Doctor Who: War Against the Laan (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) Audio CD – Audiobook, Mar 2013

3.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Big Finish Productions Ltd (Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781780560
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781780565
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 1 x 14.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 491,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Audio CD
The previous story, "The sands of Life" set up the events that are continued in this story so basically this is part 2 of a two-part story. Be aware of that as otherwise you will be clueless!

In "the sands of life" (basic outline no spoilers)a race of aliens have come to a future earth with a mysterious plan and the military and a mysterious corporation attempt to stop them. The 4th Doctor, Romana 1 and K9 are caught up in these events. That story set things up nicely and at 3 episodes gave enough time for the story and characters to develop. The story ended on a cliff-hanger which I felt was a bit of a cheat-fans will buy this series anyway so it seems a bit mean to try to force them to.

Now events in the story have reached a head and this story deals with that in 2 episodes. There is a definite feeling of anti-climax at the resolution to the story, as expectations were high from the previous story. I therefore think it would have been much more wise to have made the previous story a 2-disc set and told the story in full. This would have avoided fans having to pay twice for what is basically one story! Yes, from a business perspective I suppose it makes sense, but it does tend to smack of greed a bit as the buyer is not getting a brand new story in this set.

I would like to make it clear that I am not disappointed with the actors who are all excellent, but with the producers of the 4th Doctor series. They knew interest would be extremely high for Tom Baker reprising his role, especially as he is now joined by previous TV companions, but I feel that the stories have not been of high quality. For a start they have been far too short (you're just getting into it and it's over!
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By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 1 Dec. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This story follows directly on from the Sands of Life, where the Doctor and Romana come across the Laan species, set on completing their birthing cycle in the Sahara desert on Earth. But the Doctor knows that if they do so, it will mean destruction of all life on Earth. And to stop the Laan, he must also stop the all-powerful Conglomerate under the nasty Cuthbert and his minions, while allaying the military and political concerns of the rulers of Earth.

I enjoyed this story, and it certainly follows well from the Sands of Life. But I did find it lagged a bit and became a bit like a Greenpeace/Doctor Who crossover at times. The Sands of Life introduced people and species that had loads of potential, but I'm not sure they were fully utilised in this continuance story.

Tom Baker and Mary Tamm were on top form as always, and David Warner as the nasty and amoral Cuthbert was brilliant. Definitely good, but just not great.
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Format: Audio CD
War Against the Laan’ suffers in a similar way to its predecessor in that it is only one half of a larger story. As such the listener is thrown into the outbreak of war between humans and the Laan at the very outset. All the background, build up and establishment of characters is done in the previous release in the series. Despite some fine moments and good performances there is little reason to listen to this as a standalone play. It needs to be enjoyed alongside ‘The Sands of Life’ to do it justice.

The war is portrayed throughout as a pointless war caused by a lack of willingness to understand on both sides. The Laan instinctively react in self-defence. The human reaction is generally one against aliens, assuming an invasion. Close minded military minds resort to violence and the Conglomerate reacts with dissection of a Laan. It is, therefore, the fate of the Doctor and Romana to spend most of the story trying to make people see reason and negotiate a peace. Throughout both plays Romana exhibits a certain level of unexpected shock at the mindless violence from humans. She experiences similar surprise when trying to convince the Laan not to react in retaliation. The Doctor, who was more subdued perhaps in the first half, continually shows his contempt for Cuthbert’s actions and policies. He has a particularly poignant rant against the Conglomerate scientist, Tallister, for ‘just obeying orders’, echoing issues involved in the experiments of psychologist Milgram.

The President has bigger role than in ‘The Sands of Life’. She comes into her own, as actress and character, in eventually standing up to Cuthbert. In doing so she becomes the Conglomerate’s main opposition rather than the Doctor or Romana who support her endeavours.
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Format: Audio CD
I liked this release but not as much as the other three that have been realeased so far. It is good to get if you already know what happens in the Sands of Life but not good if you are a casual listener.
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