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The Next Life (Doctor Who) Audio CD – Audiobook, 1 Dec 2004

3.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Big Finish Productions Ltd (1 Dec. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184435105X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844351053
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 1.3 x 13.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 463,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After an up and down season where the Doctor, Charley and K'Riss find themselves in a universe without time, I was really looking forward to this story. I hoped that it would tie up all of the loose ends and finally return the Tardis back to our regular time and space.
I can't fully review this story without giving away spoilers but it is sadly a pedestrian affair spread over 3 discs. A superb cast brings out the best of the story and listening to Paul Darrow is always a treat. Although an anti climax to the season, the end of this story certainly isn't. It is a great surprise and a final reminder that after all of the unpredictability of the timeless universe, things are going to be a lot more familiar from here on in, for better or worse.

Sadly I can only give this story 3 stars but of course it is a must listen if you need to know how the season ends.
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By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 12 July 2015
Format: Audio CD
This is the 64th release in the Main Range issued by Big Finish. The story features the Eighth Doctor with his companions Charley (Charlotte Pollard) and C’rizz. Since the 52nd story (Scherzo), the Doctor and Charley have been trapped in the Divergent Universe, where they met C’rizz, a Eutermesan from the planet Bortresoye, who is now travelling with them.

The story wraps up the arc which began in the story previous to Scherzo, Zagreus. That story was a bit of an epic tale, which ran to nearly 4 hours, and which featured the Doctor struggling to resolve an issue with anti-time. Now, in The Next Life, that longer story arc, as well as the Divergent Universe story arc stands to be resolved in another epic tale, which runs to just over 3 hours.

The Tardis, seemingly out of control lands on an unknown planet. Charley meets up with her mother; but how can that be, as her mother is in the other Universe, and surely long-since dead? C’rizz awakens on the morning of his marriage to L’da; but how can that be, when he knows that L’da is dead, because he killed her? And the Doctor washes up on the beach, where he meets a woman named Perfection, whose husband Daqar Keep is bringing a mission to the local people. But here too danger threatens, as a young girl is missing, and who better to blame for her fate than the stranger who has just appeared?

This story is ultimately rather disappointing. Some of the fault of the experience lies in the characterisations. Charley is written here as a spoiled brat, who spends her time squabbling with the other spoiled brat, C’rizz. They fight, they sulk, they leave each other behind. The rest of the time, each of them is reminiscing, or reliving past experiences, catching up with people from their pasts.
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Format: Audio CD
Zagreus was quite confusing and hard to understand as the opening of the Paul Mcgann Divergence set of stories, and the only one i gave a lower mark. But that is not so with the end.

The Next Life is brilliant and entertaining right from the word go. Don Warrington especially gives a menacing performance as Rassilon, and Anneke Wills is great as Lady Louisa Pollard. Paul Mcgann and Daphne Ashbrook make such a good team. They were great together on the movie and they are even better here.

The plot is more easy to go along with and all the characters are believable this time round. Zagreus was a lumpy and wierd production, but im glad to say the end to the divergence series isnt at all as bland as the first outing. A great epis end to a great series. Now its back to our universe at last....
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Format: Audio CD
To be honest i was looking forwards to this not because of the plot or the cover or the appearance of Rassilon, or for Daphne Ashbrook, or even for Paul Darrow (though that was a minor selling point) but because it was to finally tie up all the loose ends of the overall disapointing Divergent Universe saga. As much as i enjoyed one or two of the audios, i thought as a whole it was inferior to the rest of McGann's dramas.
The actors are all great - McGann, Ashbrook, and Darrow especially - and the sound effects, including giant killer crabs (!) and tsunamis (!) are all very well done, but overall, well the plot just seems overdrawn. There is a massive information dump near the end just to tie up plot threads in one fell swoop, and the character of Daqar Keep (great name) is so clouded by plot twists that come the end of the drama you're not really sure whats going on. Only the final moments when everything crashes to a climax made me satisfied...and unfortunately for the wrong reasons...because its all finished and we can get back to the stand alone episodes which are much better. The cliffhanger is somewhat cliche and probably only thrown in because Zagreus ended the season with a spectacular cliffhanger all those audios before. However, it was not without some enjoyment that i listened - at not one point did i think of giving up, the plot still pulled me along at an acceptable pace - and so it sits at an average score. I must say, however, this is a necessary listen if you've been following the arc.
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Format: Audio CD
Doctor Who has often shirked one rather obvious consequence of travel in the Tardis: the sheer amount of death that is encountered. Even in the revived TV version, death is as often unremarked as it is unremarkable. Departing companions tend to dwell on how much fun they had, cheerfully ignoring how many people they had witnessed exterminated first hand.

With a few strokes of the pen, Alan Barnes and Gary Russell manage to redress the balance in this regard in what is one of the finest soliloquys the franchise has ever produced: Charley's "life and death on such a scale" speech on disc one of 'The Next Life'. Beautifully delivered and backed by Russell Stone's exceptional music from 'Faith Stealer', it is one of the most moving few minutes of Doctor Who I know of.

There is much else to admire: Paul McGann is (again) brilliant (and his banter with TV movie sparring partner Daphne Ashbrook is rather special), Stephane Cornicard makes for a marvellous villain and ERS do a wonderful job with the sound design, as well as mixing and matching music from previous stories to great effect. Charley revisiting the events prior to 'Storm Warning' is a lovely touch too, as is The Doctor's brinkmanship at the very end. So why not the full five stars?

'The Next Life' is let down by its tedious tying up of C'rizz's non-story. Conrad Westmaas does his best to fight through his miscasting, without ever succeeding, while Paul Darrow (as his dad) aims for 'sinister' but merely ends up with 'dreary'. One is constantly reminded that C'rizz's being there at all was a huge miscalculation and that time spent on fleshing out his back story was a narrative dead end.

Don't get me wrong: 'The Next Life' is really worth the money. Another epic, yes, and by no means a bad one, as long as one is prepared to put up with periodic lapses into the ordinary; its great moments, of which there are many, are enough to make it worth your while.
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