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Lurkers at Sunlight's Edge (Doctor Who)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2015
Wrap yourself wrap! It's going to get cold from now on.

'Lurkers at Sunlight's Edge' is another adventure starring Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor; Sophie Aldred as Ace and Phillip Oliver as Hex. It's an eerie and disturbing four-part story by Marty Ross, based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft and is set within the citadel of an Alaskan island in 1934.

The story has the Doctor, Ace and Hex arriving off the coast of Alaska to discover this long-forgotten island with a citadel. They venture forth to find an expedition led by a ruthless man and a horror writer with a secret that he doesn't know about. Can they discover what's going on and survive?

I can't help but admit I'm rather disappointed with this audio drama. It's not because the story's bad. The story is quite interesting. But I feel 'Lurkers at Sunlight's Edge' doesn't match up to the brilliance of the two latest stories with the Doctor, Ace and Hex that I enjoyed compared to this one.

Also I felt that I lost my way when listening to this story. It's starts pretty well at the beginning with 'Part One' and ends well with 'Part Four'. But with 'Parts Two and Three', I couldn't help with feeling muddled about some characters; what was going on and where everything is in the story.

I've never heard of Lovecraft and the sci-fi/horror works he did before listening to this play. I found some of the literary references interesting, but I still couldn't help but feel slightly detached as to what was going on. I'll have to listen to the story again to get a firm grasp of what happened.

I did like some of the character performances by the actors featured in this play, especially with the regulars who connected to some of the supporting cast. Homing in on the eerie and surreal aspects of the characters got me intrigued and got me disturbed as I expect the writer meant to here.

I was surprised yet pleased that Hex was still travelling with the Doctor and Ace, despite what happened in 'Project: Destiny' and 'A Death in the Family'. Here we see what the TARDIS team are usually best at in having adventures in time and space and seemed to be well-settled by this point.

Hex gets separated from the Doctor and Ace in this one. I wondered how this TARDIS trio would be reunited again and whether they would survive all the dangers. The Doctor and Ace get to meet the Lovecraftian horror-comics author, whilst Hex is on his own in mortal danger with other characters.

Sylvester McCoy delivers as ever a great performance as the Doctor. I do feel that the Doctor isn't so manipulative as he tends to be and gets into trouble easily with being locked up. I like the behind-the-scenes story that Sylvester has been to Alaska already before recording to this play.

Sophie Aldred is delightful as Ace. I like it that Ace gets to have her own adventure in this one. Here we see a side of Ace rarely seen, as she gets to display a gentler and caring side when connecting to D.C. Doveday. I really like this side to Ace compared to her usual, gun-ho manner in other stories.

Phillip Olivier is equally good as Hex here. He also has his own adventure and gets to display his nurse caring skills again. Hex is upset when Whytecrag seemingly kills the Doctor and Ace when separated from them. I like the bond he forms with Professor Corbin and gets to defy Whytecrag.

The guest cast includes Michael Brandon as C.P. Doveday. Michael has been in the TV series of `Doctor Who' in the episode `The Stolen Earth'.* Doveday writes the 'Shuddersome' Tales' stories. I like Michael's performance from slightly innocent to increasingly disturbed, when aroused.

Stuart Milligan appears as Emerson Whytecrag. Stuart has appeared in the TV series as Richard Nixon in the two-part story 'The Impossible Astronaut'/'Day of the Moon'. Whytecrag is a pretty menacing character, leading an expedition and attempts to kill the Doctor and Ace with a grenade.

The cast also includes Kate Terence as Dr Freya Gabriel, who has hypnotised C.P. Doveday and Alex Lowe as Professor August Corbin, who is part of Whytecrag's expedition. There's also Sam Clemens as Slade, working for Whytecrag and Duncan Wisbey as Captain Akins, working for Dr Gabriel.

The lurkers are the alien Karnas'koi, described as vast and wing-like. They sound scary on audio and certainly from the images of clawing hands on the CD sleeve notes. It turns out that Doveday is one of these Karnas'koi, but he doesn't know it as he's been hypnotised by Gabriel to avoid knowing.

The story ends with the Doctor, Ace and Hex escaping the citadel on the Alaskan island. But Doveday has been left behind. They return to the TARDIS, as Hex cleans himself up whilst Ace is sad and solemn. The Doctor reassures Ace about Doveday and it's a sweet and gentle way to end the story.

'Lurkers at Sunlight's Edge' hasn't been an overly satisfying audio to listen to. It's not the best story I've heard, but it's far from worse. I've enjoyed listening to the Doctor, Ace and Hex as the TARDIS trio they've become. I'm wondering what will happen to them and where they will go next.

Just to mention, the TARDIS' exterior has been white since 'The Angel of Scutari'. I'm still wondering why it's white and why it hasn't reverted back to being a blue police box yet. I'll have to find out more when I listen to the next set of stories featuring the Seventh Doctor. I can't wait.

The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Disc 1, there's a suite of incidental music to enjoy. At the end of Disc 2, there's a trailer for 'The Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories' with Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton. There are also behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew.

The next story for the Doctor is 'Robophobia'.

*Thanks to Timelord007 for mentioning Michael Brandon's appearance in `The Stolen Earth'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Latest Doctor Who audio story. Featuring Sylvester Mccoy as the seventh doctor, with his companions Ace and Hex.

Although this is billed as the third part of a trilogy, following on from Dr Who: A Death in the Family this is pretty much stand alone, with only one throwaway line referencing the previous story. And it shouldn't confuse casual listeners so anyone should be able to get into this quite easily.

There are four episodes, running each for roughly twenty five minutes, spread over two discs.

The story sees the TARDIS visit a remote island off Alaska, in 1934. An island that wasn't there a few years before.

On this island is an expedition exploring a vast, twisted citadel. Stories have it that monsters live inside, sleeping. And that the world will end should they wake...

Hidden agendas and treachery await the expedition as they get closer to their objective.

And there's also an asylum to be found nearby. Where one of the patients is a pulp fiction writer who appears to have a slender grip on reality.

The secrets of the island are about to be unearthed.

This story makes no secret of being an HP Lovecraft homage. Ancient monsters and texts. remote locations. People driven to the edge of sanity. But it ticks all the right boxes and does it very well, leading to some very creepy moments. Michael Brandon turns in a strong performance as CP Doveday, a man on the edge of sanity.

A few interesting twists and turns await, as do some creepy moments.

The incidental music can be a bit intrusive at points and a slight suspension of disbelief is required to make the outdoor scenes come to life, but those are minor complaints.

And after recent story arcs for the companions were resolved in previous releases, both are strong and determined individuals here, which gives them good moments.

Not the most original or classic bit of Doctor Who ever, but a very professional production and a very good listen.

There's a trailer for the next release The Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories (Doctor Who) at the end of part four, and after that are fifteen minutes worth of very good interviews with the writer and the cast.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 November 2010
The third of three 2010 Big Finish dramas to feature The Seventh Doctor, Ace and Hex, is a fast-paced and hugely enjoyable offering from Big Finish. The story is actually quite a straightforward one, with the TARDIS crew arriving on a snowy island off the coast of Alaska - one that wasn't there four years, three months and six days ago, according to the Doctor - where a forbidding citadel dominates the landscape and the feared Lurkers lie dreaming in the shadows.

The Seventh Doctor is quickly separated from his companions, and whilst Hex almost becomes the unwitting victim of human sacrifice, Ace meets enigmatic horror writer C.P Doveday and discovers his terrible secret. The Doctor meanwhile is lured into a psychiatric hospital by the mysterious Dr Freya Gabriel; nearly becoming a permanent inmate and it is while he is sidelined that Ace and Hex really come to the fore.

On the audio commentary Scottish writer Marty Ross explains how he gained inspiration from horror writer H.P Lovecraft, while Sophie Aldred, Philip Olivier and guest star Michael Brandon (of Dempsey & Makepeace fame) also provide insight into the making of the story. Disc One also includes a specially written musical score after the first two episodes, and overall this is another first-rate production from Big Finish. A tantalising taste of the next monthly release - a compendium of tales featuring Peter Davison's Fifth Doctor - rounds off Disc Two nicely, and I for one cannot wait for its release.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
In 1934, the Tardis lands on an island off the coast of Alaska, that wasn't there until four years ago. Obviously, this is of interest to the Doctor, so the Tardis crew bundle up in their woollies and trundle off over the snow and ice to find out what's so odd about this island. They come across a man who seems rather crazed by whatever has happened to him, and when the Doctor, Hex and Ace try to help him they find themselves in the middle of an expedition led by the ruthless Emerson Whytecrag III. When the Doctor and his companions become separated, they find themselves on different parts of the island and in very different circumstances.

I really enjoyed this story; the character of C P Doveday is tremendous, and wonderfully realised by the talented Michael Brandon. The nod to H P Lovecraft is evident from the beginning, totally in keeping with the whole story, and very sympathetically done. The twists and turns in this story are really superb, and the characters are very well drawn. Whytecrag, Corbin and Doveday in particular are very well characterised and played, and the Tardis crew play their own parts very well.

Overall, I think this is a real keeper of a seventh Doctor story and one that you would listen to often. There are nuances and depths in the story and in the characters that make it a modern classic; totally recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is the hundred and forty first release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Sylvester McCoy as Seven, Sophie Aldred as Ace and Philip Olivier as Hex. There are four episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with cliffhangers and original theme music between each. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes. There are some interviews with cast and crew at the end of the second disc and a few minutes of the soundtrack at the end of disc 1.

Following the big, complex and angsty adventures of `Project: Destiny' and `Death in the Family', this is a return to the traditional Who story, and none the worse for it. The Doctor, Ace and Hex land the TARDIS somewhere close to Alaska, and are soon running around on the ice dealing with some very strange puzzles, the inmates of a local lunatic asylum, lots of men with guns, and CP Doveday, pulp horror writer and possibly the most dangerous man on the planet. Oh, and strange mists, networks of caves and the most unusual of sacred texts.

It's inventive, it's fun, it hits all the right notes for a story about as traditionally Who as you can get. It's a pleasure to listen to. Especially for the homage to Lovecraft (though at times it seems to be taking elements from L Ron Hubbard and the founding principles of the cult of scientology). McCoy, Aldred and Olivier clearly enjoy this after all the hard work and deep and meaningful stuff of the previous releases. It's a good, solid, old fashioned story and a great listen. A great way to round off this excellent trilogy, 5 stars.
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on 25 April 2013
Bought as a Christmas present no complaints so guess it was in good order as recipotant is a Dr Who buff
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