The Pyralis Effect neatly bridges the gap between seasons 17 and 18 of Doctor Who. The story has a real 'hard' science fiction' feel to it, in line with many of the televised stories from this era such as Nightmare of Eden and The Leisure Hive, and I could easily imagine this story being transmitted. It's a very atmospheric and tense adventure, with some wonderful sound effects and music that really suck the listener into the story. Lalla Ward reads brilliantly, I think she's one of the best narrators in the companion chronicles range. In execution the story feels more at home in the serious and thought-provoking season 18, than the rather silly and lightweight season 17, although the Doctor is presented more like the jokey Doctor of season 17, so the story bridges the transition well. The 60-ish minute run time feels just right, it doesn't outstay it's welcome but tells a good strong tale, with plenty of incident and never feels rushed or padded. A very strong entry in the Companion Chronicles series.
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This is number 4.04 in the Doctor Who Companion Chronicles series. The series features tales told by a companion of one of the Doctors, largely narrated and performed by the companion, with one guest star taking another speaking role. In this story, a tale of the Fourth Doctor is told by Lalla Ward as Romana II. The story takes place between The Horns of Nimon and The Leisure Hive. This story was written by George Mann, who has recently written the great War Doctor story, Engines of War.
The Tardis has landed, and Romana and the Doctor find that they are on a ship in space. There doesn’t seem to be anybody else about, but when the two get separated, Romana finds herself opening a previously locked door to find an unexpected entity inside. When she is taken to the Bridge of the ship, the Captain tells her of the ship’s journey. These survivors and their race are looking for somebody – someone called The Doctor. But in their efforts to find The Doctor, they may have just opened the door to something very bad indeed.
This is a great story. It has a real genuine feel of the Season 17 and Season 18 stories; the Doctor, exuberant and accompanied by an ever-present bag of jellybabies; the Timelady Romana, rather exasperated at the Doctor’s inability to take things seriously. Together they make an unstoppable pair, but they do seem to enjoy getting on each other’s nerves along the way. The other speaking part in this story is played by Jess Robinson, who very admirably plays three roles – Captain Suri, the A.I. Cain, and the Pyralis. She does these three very different roles so admirably that I thought, until I checked the cd details, that there was more than one guest star in this story.Read more ›
A reasonably solid story with many decent concepts. Romana has more action and the Doctor character is based on the daft Graham Williams era impersona where he a little too jovial, but well observed by the writer.
Sound-wise this story is a treat with some great sound effects and music. Romana's character too is very well transcribed to a narrative form by the writer, and naturally Lalla Ward is an interesting and convincing listen.
I can really believe this story is from the Romana II era, and it is a welcome release. The story pace is not quite right and so this story narrowly misses 5 stars. However, the story is rounded of beautifully. The final scene is so simple, but has not been done before and made me smile as did Lalla Ward being interviewed afterwards. Suitable for casual listeners and fans alike.
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Paul TapnerTOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Nov. 2009
Latest release in the doctor who companion chronicles series. These are talking books which feature an actor who played a companion to the doctor on tv reprising the role for an all new story. They do all the voices except for one other character who is voiced by a guest actor. They are complete on one disc and contain two episodes both of which run for a little over thirty minutes. A trailer for the next story in the range is at the beginning of the disc and a brief chat with cast and crew at tne end.
This one features Lalla ward returning to role of romana, which she played opposite tom baker's doctor in the late 70's and early 80's. The first of her two season was light in tone and the second was more serious science fiction. Fittingly for a story set in between the two this adopts the tone of the latter.
The TARDIS lands on a big spaceship. A brief exploration leads to them getting separated and Romana accidentally unleashing danger. Added to which, the crew are on a mission to find the Doctor. He saved their race once long ago and they want his help once again. Trouble is, when the person you're looking for travels around in a blue obelisk, you should be careful as to which one you find and open....
The first part of this contains some delightful little details that really enhance the listening experience. Superb sound design really makes you feel as if you're on a cavernous spaceship. Subtle incidental music enhances the mood also, especially when Romana has a moment of self realisation. And guest actress jess robinson is pretty good as ship captain suri, really convincing in her reaction when things go pear shaped.Read more ›
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Borrrring26 Nov. 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
I have about 150 of the 170 or so Big Finish Doctor Who audios and I've never had a reaction to one as I did this one. I listened to it twice and had the same reaction both times. My God that was a waste of an hour.
It wasn't that Lalla Ward was bad, she wasn't, and there were a few moments that brought a grin. "You're not the doctor he is an old man who travels with 3 companions." but the whole plot and story was as forgettable as anything I've ever heard. Even bad episodes generally are memorable, this one isn't. It reminds one of the biblical verse about the Chruch of Laodicea neither hot nor cold.
I'm not familiar with George Mann, I understand he wrote some of the Telos novels including The Human Abstract and The Severed Man (Time Hunter) but this is my first direct experience with his work.
Everyone has a bad day so let's hope this was his.just a bad day. If not then I sure hope he isn't retained by Big Finish to do any more.