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The Masters of Luxor (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories) Audio CD – Audiobook, 31 Aug 2012


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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Big Finish Productions Ltd (31 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844355896
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844355891
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.4 x 12.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 582,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Down the years, many stories have been written for Doctor Who which, for one reason or another, never got to the tv screen. Now, thanks to Big Finish adapting them for audio, we can find what might have been.

This story features the First Doctor, plus Susan, Ian and Barbara. It runs for six parts and is spread across three cd's. The episodes vary in length. The longest is just over forty minutes, the shortest just over twenty five. But most are just over thirty minutes long.

This story will be familiar to some because a book of the script for it was released, almost twenty years ago.

The audio version is pretty faithful to that, although it has edited out some religious references that were in the original script. Also, since only two of the four original stars are still with us, this isn't a full cast drama as per usual for these audios. It's a talking book with narration. William Russell [Ian] and Carole Ann Ford [Susan] share the duties for that. And also do the dialogue for their characters. Plus the Doctor and Barbara. William Russell's version of the Doctor is pretty good. Carole Ann Ford's version of Barbara is very good.

The nature of the story means that which of the two is doing the reading can flash back at forth, often at short notice but occasionally a lot longer. This is something you do quickly get used to.

Another thing that has resulted from adapting the original script into this format is that there's a lot of narration and scene setting at times, which is probably why some of the episodes go well over twenty five minutes.

The story sees the TARDIS drawn to a seemingly dead planet by a strange signal. Inside a strange structure the crew find robots. Who are waiting. For the masters of Luxor to return to them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 20 Mar. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Firstly, can I suggest that whoever thought of putting these "lost stories" on as audio cds for us to enjoy now should be given a pat on the back for his or her brilliance. This is an absolutely wonderful idea, and I am thrilled that this looks to be a good series of stories from all Doctor Who eras, with stories that we never got to hear or see previously now being released in an audio format, narrated and performed by wonderful actors.

This story features a First Doctor story, originally put forward in 1963 for a six-part tv story by Anthony Coburn. The Doctor, with Ian, Barbara and Susan find themselves drawn unwillingly down to the surface of a planet. There does not appear to be anybody there, but there are vast buildings, futuristic technology and robots. Are the time travellers expected? And if so, by whom, and for what purpose?

The narration in this story is brilliantly done by William Russell (playing his original character, Ian, and the part of the Doctor) and Carole Ann Ford (playing her original character, Susan, and the part of Barbara). The nuances of the voices as they speak the characters' parts are brilliantly done, and the linking narration which is shared by both narrators is top-notch. Other voices in the story are played by Joe Kloska. I particularly like the absolutely spot-on characterisations of the four main time travellers - the Doctor's tone is captured perfectly, Ian's joking and teasing attitude is played perfectly, and Barbara and Susan are also captured absolutely perfectly.

This is a real `classic' Doctor Who story - even though we never got to see it on the small screen, there is no doubt that this story was well suited to the Hartnell era, with his companions Ian, Barbara and Susan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Timelord-007 TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 July 2014
Format: Audio CD
Doctor Who:The Masters Of Luxor.
Doctor: First Doctor.
Companion(s): Susan, Barbara, Ian.
Writer: Anthony Coburn, adapted by Nigel Robinson.
Director: Ken Bentley.
Release number: 3.07.
Format: 6 Episodes on 3 CDs.
Running time 180 minutes approx.

Cast.
Ian Chesterton - William Russell.
Susan Foreman - Carole Ann Ford.
The Perfect One - Joseph Kloska.

Trivia.
1)Anthony Coburn was one of the writers of the very first Doctor Who story, An Unearthly Child, in 1963.
2)At one point, this story went by the title, The Robots.
3)Luxor was intended to be the second Doctor Who television story, after An Unearthly Child. It was replacedd by The Daleks.

Plot Synopsis.
The Tardis is drawn to a mysterious signal emanating from a seemingly dead world, Trapped within a crystalline structure, the First Doctor, Susan, Ian & Barbara inadvertently wake a vast army of robots that have lain dormant for many, many years. Waiting... for the Masters of Luxor.

Timelord Thoughts.
Originally scheduled to be the second story on television The Masters Of Luxor can at last be heard as part of the Lost Stories range having adapted Anthony Coburns original script into a audiobook narrative by writer Nigel Robinson who has done a excellent reworking of the script yet it remains pretty faithful to Coburns initial story outline & the final result is a excellent First Doctor adventure.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
Some Profound Thoughts, Clumsily Edited 30 Jun. 2014
By Adam Graham, Superhero and Detective Fiction Author - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Masters of Luxor is an oddity. It has interesting concepts but suffers from some of the problems that many Hartnell stories did. (i.e. padding and pacing). The first episode in which the Tardis Crew are wandering around a building (which we later learn is a prison). This episodes ends with Susan about to eat some food and we come back and find out the food was harmless in Episode 2.

It's in Episodes 2 and 3 that the story starts to get interesting as we meet the Perfect One, an Android with emotions who was made by the machines to rule over them after the head "master of Luxor" abandoned who has been vaporizing all comers in a quest to achieve actual life and he plans to do it using Barbara and Susan as first subjects since all other subjects have been male.

This story has some depth to it and poses some interesting questions such as whether we face a great danger from machines. The story seems to say that the answer is no, we face the greatest danger from ourselves. The Perfect One learned his lessons in cruelty from the people who designed the robots who designed him.

This story has got some great moments. I initially had a much harsher review based on script maker Nigel Robinson who when adapting the Anthony Coburn script tried to tone down "religious elements" because it wasn't appropriate for the twenty-first century. However having reviewed the script, I have to conclude that little was lost. The main thing Coburn cut was the doctor warning, "Religion sneeering at scientific progress or scientific progress sneering at religion either can lull people to sleep." and Tabon, the inventor of the robots confessing that he'd once ridiculed their religion and burned their holy book only to find solace and direction from that book. Tabon leads a prayer. None of this is essential to making the play's main point. So while I don't like how he phrased his comments in the commentary, his book remains substantially faithful to the text.
Of Gods And Robots 17 Dec. 2012
By Matthew Kresal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
It almost seems surprising that has taken this long for Big Finish to get around to doing The Masters Of Luxor as part of their Doctor Who - The Lost Stories range. It is the oldest "lost story" after all, having been originally commissioned to be the second ever story for the series as well as having had its script published in book form in the early 1990s. So, after forty-nine years, we can finally hear the story with two of the original actors, William Russell and Carole Ann Ford, who would have been in it. So has it been worth the wait?

Unlike the usual full-cast audio dramas that Big Finish normally releases for Doctor Who, this production of The Masters of Luxor was done instead as an "enhanced talking book". To explain the format, Robinson took the Coburn script and turned it into what is effectively prose. This prose is read by actors William Russell and Carole Ann Ford (who reprise their respective roles as Ian and Susan from the television series, as well as narrating the story and also taking the parts of the First Doctor and Barbara). Joining them is actor Joseph Kloska who reads in the various robots as well as The Perfect One and Tabon. The result gives this version of the story the most unique feel of its three versions: a cross between a novelization of the scripts and one of Big Finish's Companion Chronicles releases.

The adaptation by writer Nigel Robinson (who adapted the scripts for the First Doctor Box-set) of the original Anthony Coburn scripts is largely faithful. Robinson keeps the six episode structure of the story and also retains the originally written cliffhangers. But instead of keeping the story in its originally intended placement, the story is shifted to after the previous First Doctor stories in the Lost Stories range. It also keeps the originally written cliffhangers despite some of them being rather odd (the first episode cliffhanger is a good example) which nevertheless helps make it faithful to the original scripts in that regard anyways.

Robinson though makes some changes of his own. Due to the lack of descriptions given in the script, Robinson was largely given free rein to create descriptions for the characters and sets. The Mark One robots descriptions seem to come out of 1950s B-movies while the Derivitrons were based, by Robinson's own notes for the CD booklet, on the Miranda robot from the classic silent film Metropolis. For The Perfect One and Tabon, Robinson took note that the name seemed to come from the discovery of the so-called `Tabon Man', a fossilized early humanoid discovered in the Philippines the year before Coburn wrote his scripts. As a result, the characters were given a description somewhat Asian in appearance with skin "the color of pale honey." The devices used for The Perfect One's experiments are also taken from the aforementioned Metropolis as well.

Some of Robinson's characterization, where he was allowed to fill in gaps in the script, can be a bit odd as well. A perfect example being a moment early on where Susan daydreams about being kidnapped "half naked" by one of the robots. While this is perhaps befitting any number of B-movies from the 1950s and 1960s, it feels odd coming from this character even if Carole Ann Ford is reading it.

The production also reduces the religious subtext found in the script significantly. The main result of this is that a pivitol scene in episode six has been cut out completely as well as the hymn sung by Susan and Barbara being changed from Onward, Christian Soldiers to the somewhat less religious hymn Jerusalem. Given that the point of the Lost Stories range is to present stories from the era, this change in emphasis (while having its reasons) seems odd as surely the point is to present the story, even with some possibly anachronistic themes, intact.

As mentioned earlier, this has two of the series original cast members both reprising their roles and narrating the story. William Russell and Carole Ann Ford, having done similar jobs on The First Doctor Box-set as well as their work on the Companion Chronicles, are well versed in this style of production and are the definite highlight of this production. Their performances also bring out the best parts of the original Coburn script such as Ian's "the projectionist has gone home" line in the first episode. Joseph Kloska's performances as the various other characters is the icing on the cake, giving Russell and Ford both a fine actor to bounce off in their scenes together. The sums of their performances give this version an air of authenticity it might otherwise lack.

So has The Masters Of Luxor been worth the wait? For me, the answer is yes and no. "Yes" because of the excellent performances and readings from the actors. I say "No" because of the sometimes excessive changes made by Robinson in his adaptation. Perhaps someone who hasn't read the original scripts might feel differently but, to my mind, this version of The Masters Of Luxor is good but definitely flawed.
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