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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 7 December 2011
This is a Lost Story featuring the Fifth Doctor with Tegan and Nyssa. It takes place just after the Doctor and Nyssa have picked up Tegan from Amsterdam at the end of the 1983 story Arc of Infinity. So this is a sassy and bad-tempered Tegan, with whom the Doctor has a rather prickly relationship, and a young Nyssa before she leaves later in the Fifth Doctor era (and returns later in the Big Finish Audio stories). Confused?

This is a great story - the sound of a rather familiar voice at the end of Episode one made the hair on the back of my neck stand up straight! That's when the listener knows for sure that a story which has seemed rather straightforward so far is going to turn into anything but.

Nyssa and Tegan have their own storylines within the greater story; and the Fifth Doctor has some great lines - he becomes very acerbic at everyone apparently trying to capture him and take him backwards and forwards all over the city - all he ever really wanted was a map!

There's rebels, there's military, there's religion and there's megalomania - and in amongst it all, the Doctor retains his sanity and generally retains his calm; and by the end it's all sorted out; or is it?

Totally recommended - great stuff all round - great storyline, great characters, and really well played by all the cast.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 June 2015
"The Elite must rule, for the good of all." Almost sounds plausible, doesn't it? Just like it did in Germany... But what happens to the rest of us? Would they really rule "for the good of all" or only "for the glory of the Elite"? 5* (4 episodes, 2 hours)

John Dorney has written an exciting and clever script from Barbara Clegg's original storyline that perfectly captures the spirit of early 1980s `Doctor Who'. It picks up the timeline from the return of Tegan after `Arc of Infinity' (in a temper at finding all her stuff is lost somewhere in the vastness of the TARDIS!) and with chocolate from Amsterdam later proving surprisingly important as a tool of rebellion. The sound design, music and general atmosphere are all used extremely well to recreate the correct era and the three regulars blend smoothly back into that atmosphere.

This is quite a tough story that goes to some dark places, so it's worth saying that it also has many nicely humorous touches, especially in the first episode. Some are self-contained but there are also some sly in-jokes about other (televised) stories and even one gentle dig at the practical limits of `Doctor Who' production back then. But there's less chance for humour once the Doctor starts to discover the secrets of a nightmare society.

Florana is a beautiful, peaceful world carpeted with flowers; just right for a holiday. Unfortunately the TARDIS instead lands in an advanced domed city where the young, ultra-intelligent, ultra-organised population are dedicated to a war of world domination "for the glory of the Elite." Individual ability in military leadership, science and religion is selected, honed and trained to the highest levels of `perfection' - but what about those who don't make the grade...?

I must admit that as episode 1 progressed I was thinking `not *another* `Doctor Who' about a fascist society, they've done that before'. Well, yes, it is and they have done it before - but then came the episode 1 cliff-hanger; there are two spine-tingling `reveals' in this story that lift it to `Elite' level and from then on it gets better and better, mingling time-honoured `Doctor Who' adventure with some very good writing on the nature of power.

Peter Davison has the absolutely central role as the Doctor always should and I thought he was especially good in this story. In a society that values `elitism' to appalling extremes, the Doctor is SO elite that he's beyond the ability of that society to cope. He has the usual run-ins with guards and the like, but he's practically untouchable because of his obvious value in the power struggle between the military, lead by General Aubron, and the priesthood, lead by Thane. For me, Joe Coen as Aubron and Ryan Sampson as Thane stood out in the guest cast, making the most of excellent roles.

In that society, Tegan is (in General Aubron's words) `a reject' and she's treated as such. Big mistake! Janet Fielding has a great story as Tegan is soon deep in the resistance movement, fighting for power to the people ... Unfortunately Sarah Sutton is again rather sidelined as Nyssa, but her role makes perfect sense in plot terms and has one chilling moment when she speaks what for Nyssa is a most unusual word ...

I had only two small criticisms of this story; first, the timescale seemed too compressed. We are told that the city has gone from a relatively undeveloped and peaceful state to a technological fascist super-power in just ten years. For the development of the ideology, that was all too believable (pre-war Germany) but I could not believe such a level of technology could be developed in that time even if the knowledge did suddenly `fall from `heaven''. The second point is about the religion at the centre of their worldview; the status of the High Priest is blurred - is he considered a priest, a prophet or a god? Perhaps that uncertainty is deliberate and it depends on what the individual people want to believe; anyway, the Doctor knows otherwise...

In the `Cathedral of Power', the High Priest ("praise be") urges on his people to fight their unholy war and wants to meet the Doctor, for he needs a service that only the Doctor can provide. But can the Doctor aid him, and free the world and save his friends as the city begins to descend into chaos, torn by infighting between the military, the priesthood, the mob and the resistance? In this one clever story, we see fascist rule, military dictatorship, religious autocracy and anarchy all contending for power. And at the end comes a new world order, power to the people! The Doctor has helped yet another society to freedom... or has he...? 5*

There's a short documentary track at the end of each disk and the CD booklet has interesting writer's notes, cast photos and also CGIed pictures of the cast in character.

(Thanks to Timelord-007 for recommending this story.)

The ending has two brilliant twists that draw clear parallels with Earth history. This planet was Florana after all; the famous flowers of Florana will grow from the ashes of war, like the Flanders poppy. From the ashes of the elitist fascist state will grow a new society where absolute elitism will be replaced with absolute equality and direct rule by `the people'. Almost sounds plausible, doesn't it - Citizen? Just like it did in revolutionary France and Soviet Russia...
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on 30 December 2011
I like this production very much for two main reasons. A) it feels like it is straight from the Arc of Infinty era of the Davison years in a real television sense complete with early 1980s music and B) it makes me favour Tegan again after watching too many stories where she mostly moans. The Doctor's lack of keenness to have her back is realistic as is having a go at her in episode four; a joy listening to both Davison and Jovanka. Added to which Tegan's character, whilst perhaps not totally true to some of her 1980s scripting, is far better because of it for she has some proper things to do. One of my favourite Big Finish companions is Nyssa, as Sutton has over the last ten years given us many enjoyable performances. The Fifth Doctor-Nyssa duo is one of the best Big Finish teams and in this instance adding Tegan does not detract even if Nyssa has a smaller share of lines.

The good story is delivered using well-scripted and well-acted vocal work. A voice in it seems very Davros-ian and whilst it does not turn out to be Davros it is a very clever use of a popular foe again both in reason for voice and more importantly the reason for being there. One of the themes is not particularly pleasant and I can particularly appreciate it as I approach the age of 40.

I was not particularly looking forward to this tale, and have to say I was pleasantly surprised and think this a very worthy addition to the "Lost Stories" range. Had I not known its origins and just thought it another in the monthly range, I would have thought no less of this story. The Elite more than successfully contributes to the ever expanding ethos of Doctor Who; for newcomers to "The Lost Stories" who are familiar with the Davison era, it is not a bad place to start. A thoroughly enjoyable and convincing production.
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A new Doctor Who in the series of them which takes stories that never made it to the tv screen back in the day, and gives listeners the chance to hear what might have been.

This one features Peter Davison as the Doctor. Along with Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding as compansions Nyssa and Tegan.

It runs for four episodes of thirty minutes each [approx] and is spread across two discs.

The story - set right after Tegan rejoined the TARDIS crew - sees them head off to a paradise planet. Only for the ship to be drawn off course and land in strange city. A city of young people. On a world where war rages. And people are fighting for the glory of the elite.

Meantime, as the Doctor investigates, the local high priest is watching. And looking forward to getting re-acquainted....

Regular releases in this range of audios do tell stories that are written specifically for audio. But the lost stories are different because they try to re-create the tv style of the era they come from. As the inlay to this one makes clear.

And there's a fair amount of nostalgic delight to be had from that fact. This story could have been done on tv back in the 1980's quite easily. It only has a few locations [and makes a good joke about that] there's a long TARDIS scene and a reference to an earlier story at the beginning [and an explanation as to why Tegan stuck with that outfit]. Although one major difference is that for once Tegan does exactly what she's told.

The story does offer some interesting moral food for thought, as what is going on the planet is gradually made clear. And it allows for the fifth doctor to have some very strong moments. Bamboozling those who would try to keep him custody. And threatening people not to cross him in a manner more akin to the tenth.

Tegan does get to make a new friend and do a few things other than moan.

The identity of the high priest may seem obvious but it isn't quite what you may think. And the script does do things with the character in part three that are a bit of a surprise.

Whilst the resolution may be a bit predictable the final few scenes are excellent, with another big surprise. And more food for thought, in this case in regards to a moral dilemma caused by the Doctor's involvement.

Each episode does feel slightly overlong at thirty minutes but that's the only flaw with an enjoyable story. For a brief while, it's like it's 1983 all over again.

There's a trailer for the next release in this range after the end of part four.

And roughly fifteen minutes of interviews with cast and crew on the final two tracks of both discs. [You may wish to avoid listening to those on disc one till after you've heard all of the story otherwise you will get at least one spoiler.]
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VINE VOICEon 18 April 2014
This audio play is from a range of stories that never quite made it onto the TV screen. Featuring the fifth Doctor, Tegan and Nyssa this story sees the TARDIS crew land in a society preoccupied with war after a time crash. This story is a personal favourite as its full of good performances, solid plot with a few twists and an original take on an aspect of Who that goes back to the very start. Highly recommended, if you only get one fifth Doctor story from the Lost Story range I would say get this one.
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on 11 October 2015
The Elite: The faux eighties dystopian music really gives this the nostalgia that purchasers of this range crave. Can’t think quite what it reminds me off – the Tripods maybe? That’s not to take away from the writing or directing which are both to a high standard despite a couple of trite elements. Then again when you have a history as illustrious as Doctor Who’s then perhaps a little self-plagiarism can be forgiven. Whatever your thoughts on the eighties I think the actors playing the main characters here have proven their quality again, and again. Also, full marks for fitting the word sesquipedalian into the characters confabulations. The Elite was originally submitted to be in either Season 20 or Season 21 and is surely far superior to Time-Flight. It even pre-empts Shearman’s Dalek.
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on 18 December 2013
Well recommended. Great item and breand new. Great addition to anyones collection. A must for any avid fans. Worth it.
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on 11 March 2016
I brought as it is a lost season of Doctor who with the 5th Doctor/nysa/tegan/turlugh
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on 14 November 2011
As usual, Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding are excellent. Here the basic story idea is fine, the problem is in the detail, as a basic part of the story becomes muddled and undermines the adventure. In this story, someone or something has arrived on a planet and become the 'High Priest' of a religion, and uses this position to manipulate a society. Well, fine, but the problem is the story gets into a hopless tangle over that religion and its 'High Priest'. At first the story is unclear if this religion has one god or gods (which surely its followers would know?), it then suggest the alien visitor is god, or one of a series of gods, then as the story progresses isn't sure if the visitor is a priest, god, one of a series of gods, a prophet, or a messiah. All very different things, and what emerges is so badly thought out, and the religion is so central to the plot, that the end result just doesn't work. And what is so frustrating is that this should surely have been thought out as the original outline by Barbara Clegg was developed, this kind of poor thinking isn't up to standard at all, and turns a potentially good story into an ill-thoughtout one. Most of the Missing Stories have been excellent, so this muddle came as a surprise. But Sarah and Janet are very good.
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