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"Doctor Who" - Black Orchid (Classic Novels) Audio CD – Audiobook, 12 Jun 2008

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 4 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Audiobooks Ltd; Unabridged edition (12 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405687649
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405687645
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 14.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,033,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Don Kepunja on 27 Oct. 2008
Format: Audio CD
Really loved this. The whole series (a simple but inspired idea keeping so many thirtysomethings almost-happy on the daily commute) has been excellent, but a couple of titles really shine, and this is one - rather amazing, giving the low regard `enjoyed' by the TV serial it's based on.

Not that it's radically different in structure or plot, but that's the thing about the audiobooks: with a good reader at your elbow and the imagination in fifth, half-ideas that don't engage on the screen suddenly absorb. Black Orchid is 50 minutes or so on screen, five-or-so hours here, and yet it's the latter that flies by, instantly demanding another long, lazy soak in its warm tone, and texture, and the simple pleasure of the human voice. Michael Cochrane - Charles Cranleigh in the telly versh - does the honours here, and is a good fit for Terence Dudley almost overripe prose, adding fruitiness rasp, flint, clip and whatnot wherever needed, while well-judged effects provide the tock of willow on leather and the swish of the Rolls along the gravel drive.

And if some parts do take their time, well, then let them; every minute of the Doctor's stint at the wicket in the opening sequence is a pleasure, and where else in the Whoniverse would this stuff unfold like this, at this pace? The underrated fifth Doctor might not do that much in this adventure, but we get inside his young/old head, and it's good stuff, too, revealing him as a whimsical, childlike intelligence burdened with a sense of responsibility to the universe and an inescapable sense of duty.

Recommended, then in a word - so much so that, if it's a toss-up between this and the DVD edition (they're both around the £8.50 mark), invest here. Hours of leisurely pleasure lie ahead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Number13 TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 July 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"On a lazy June afternoon in 1925", the Doctor finds himself in a gentlemanly world of cricket, crime and family crises. The inhabitants of Cranleigh Hall don't always play life with a straight bat, but this one-day match between the English aristocracy and a visiting side from the TARDIS is a jolly good game all round. 5* (4 CDs, 5 hours 10 minutes)

Terence Dudley's original `Black Orchid' for television was a quick '20 overs' adventure for the Fifth Doctor and his friends, all out in two episodes and seen by some fans as a story that played a bit erratically, though others (including me) admired the style of the game. His novelisation expands the action to bring the new contest up to the one-day format. It follows much the same course, but adds many deft flourishes and subtly effective changes and is bowled at a slower pace to allow us fully to appreciate the players' technique.

There's a lot of humour and polite comedy, fine descriptions of the grand rooms and hidden spaces of Cranleigh Hall and much enjoyable detail about the intricacies of cricket, cocktails and Prohibition, dancing, fancy dress and food. There is also more tension and real pathos surrounding `The Unknown', who has a more significant presence throughout the story. The overall result is very satisfying and an enthralling listen even when you already know the solution of the mystery.

It all seems very well researched as well as brilliantly written, though I did spot one mistake when Tegan tells Adric that if convicted of murder as a minor, he would still be executed when he turned 21. Even in the Britain of 1925 that wasn't true, so Tegan was mistaken - or perhaps (she was talking to Adric after all) she was guilty of wishful thinking... (!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tim Bradley as Billy on 29 May 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This review is on the novelization and the audiobook of 'Black Orchid' and is for lovely Sarah Sutton.

As I mentioned in the DVD review, I love 'Black Orchid' so much. It's my favourite 'Doctor Who' story. I found this audiobook in the shops on holiday in Scotland 2008. I eventually had the book for my birthday in 2010. It has been enjoyable experience reading/listening to this novelization/audiobook.

This is part of a series of Target novelizations on 'Doctor Who' stories published in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Recently the BBC audio company have taken the Target novelizations and turned into audiobooks that is now read by an actor/actress who appeared in the original TV story.

'Doctor Who - Black Orchid' by Terrance Dudley was published in 1986. It's a detailed book that's divided into 9 chapters with a prologue and epilogue and the audiobook covers 4 audio CDs.

The book flourishes full of detail and information that I had not realised that there was more to this story than meets the eye in the book compared to the TV story.

It was nice to listen to the characters from 'Black Orchid' and see from their perspective how they witness events in the story. Characters like the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan, Adric and Ann Talbot were far more interesting compared to how they were depicted and what was shown in the TV story.

The audiobook is read by Michael Cochrane, who played Lord Cranleigh. I've had the pleasure of meeting Michael at a convention in Chiswick, 2013. It was a delight meeting him and chatting to him about 'Black Orchid' and his appearances in 'Keeping Up Appearances' and 'Monarch of the Glen'.
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