a new audio adventure for colin baker as the sixth doctor who, on this occasion accompanied by india fisher as his companion charlotte 'charley' pollard. who used to travel with the eighth doctor, and is thus feigning amnesia about her past so she won't give too much of the doctor's future away. you can get into this story if you haven't heard the previous ones featuring her, though.
as usual with these it runs for four episodes of twenty five minutes in duration, spread over two discs. disc one has a trailer at the start for the next story in the range, and both discs end with interviews with the cast and the crew and a look at the production of the story.
this one involves the doctor and charley trying to return an overdue book to a library, only to encounter strange aliens there. what happens next results in them having to go to eighteenth century england, in the time of notorious highwayman dick turpin. the truth of the man and the legend have become very confused, so can the time travellers find out the reality? and they also have to deal with something deadly that has gotten to earth along with them, and could doom the entire planet earth...
not a story I can say too much about without spoilers thanks to some clever twists and turns [these spoilers are not as big as in earlier release the boy that time forgot, but you will thank me for this] so let's comment on the nature of the production rather than the plot. It's a clever story which just about succeeds, despite some areas and ideas that are a little bit cliched. the third episode is a bit drawn out, and there are parts of the story that you will really have to work on in order to get the most out of it, so it's not the lightest of listens.
but there are memorable moments at the end that deal with real history, and these are also very informative. and the last part develops the relationship between the doctor and charley nicely. it's a bit of a shame, since they have an excellent dynamic, that the story keeps them apart for a great deal of it. hopefully that won't be the case in future ones.
not quite as good as it could be, but not bad, and a quite enjoyable release all in all
on 12 December 2008
The recent audio pairing of Colin Baker's bumptious Sixth Doctor with India Fisher's assertive young Edwardian, Charley Pollard, was an inspired decision by Big Finish, and one that continues to reap dividends as the two time-travellers come face-to-face with one of history's most nebulous figures - highwayman Dick Turpin. The story itself is a roistering adventure which sees the travellers attempting to return an overdue library book to a planetary bibliotheque, and subsequently becoming embroiled in the machinations of the fact-obsessed Grell. Echoing classic Sixties Doctor Who television story `The Mind Robber', The Doctor, Charley and the Rookwood family are gradually drawn into a fictional world; with potentially devastating consequences...
Whilst The Doctor remains unaware of his companion's history with his Eighth incarnation, Charley herself seems to have discovered a new lease of life and is consequently a more rounded character than of old. Baker continues to prove his (sadly undeveloped) worth as The Timelord and the supporting cast all excel.
The extras are fairly brief and consist of the now obligatory informal chats with cast and crew. Overall this is a very satisfying addition to the audio range.
This is the hundred and eleventh release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Colin Baker as Six, India Fisher as Charlie and Nicky Henson as Dick Turpin. There are 4 episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes.
The story starts with a slightly comic scene in which the Doctor and Charlie need to return an overdue library book, encountering some aliens on a fact finding mission in the process. However, following the destruction of the book they are plunged into an adventure to try and get a copy, however the TARDIS takes them somewhere that bears an uncanny resemblance to the contents of the book, and where fiction seems to be becoming fact.
This is another great story from Big Finish, one that is perfectly suited to the characters of Six and Charlie. The underlying tension surrounding Charlie's arrival in the TARDIS and the secrets that she is keeping from Six provide an interesting dynamic to their relationship. The tale however gives free reign to Colin Baker to be imperious, suspicious, heroic, compassionate and funny. Dovetailed into this is India Fisher's Charlotte Pollard, who is brave, loyal and resourceful, but has her own agenda. Fisher is called upon to play several different takes on her character n this production, and does so with aplomb.
The production goes from the fun to the serious - the character of Dick Turpin veers from the romanticised hero through to the brutal thug that history suggests was closer to the truth. Nicky Henson plays all sides to his character with ease, in turns frightening and brutish through to charming and roguish. As historical go it is ne of the more imaginative ways of going about things.
Yet again another great release from Big Finish, and one that shows just what an inspired decision it was to pair Six and Charlie. 5 stars.
on 23 December 2008
Yeah, it's alright if you like that sort of thing, but somehow i doubt the things that this audio drama is talking about, are actually ever that likely to occur anywhere other than in the mind of the writer ie, Jacqueline Rayner.
The concept of the story, an adventure featuring the sixth doctor and Charley set in the mid 1800's featuring legendary highwayman Dick Turpin, is actually a very enticing and interesting proposal, so it's a shame the story turns out to be so contrived, as the reading by the actors in it is excellent.
Frankly, I had listened to 'The Settling' earlier (a 7th doctor drama) and this was a big let down compared to that. I don't want to ruin it for you, so I wont talk about what happens, but if you're like me and thought 'Doomwood' might have links to 'Torchwood' then you will be Severely Disappointed.