Profile for R. Le Quin > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by R. Le Quin
Top Reviewer Ranking: 8,738
Helpful Votes: 477

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
R. Le Quin "Harlequin" (Hampshire, England)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-18
pixel
Doctor Who: The Nest Cottage Chronicles: Fifteen 4th Doctor audio dramas (Dr Who)
Doctor Who: The Nest Cottage Chronicles: Fifteen 4th Doctor audio dramas (Dr Who)
by Paul Magrs
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £26.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compact, 13 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought the single releases, then the 3 box sets and now this.

I am not commenting on the audio itself. Merely that this is now priced a little more than a box set of one series. Plus you get a bonus interview disc not previously available.

I spent £55 on each individual release of each series, then £25-£30 on each box set.So £165 on individual releases, then about a £100 on the box sets of each of the three box sets just for a bit of nice cardboard.

So getting all 3 series plus a bonus, in a compact 16 CD stack case smaller than a 5 CD box set of any of the previous series is an absolute steal if you are a newcomer.

I might actually open this version and listen to it (which so much other DW audio it has been difficult to get around to this)

Conclusion. Impressively value for money with bonus disc not available to us muppets who supported individual releases and/or box sets. Space saving opportunity for any newcomer. Die hard Whovians might want the gorgeous box sets as well just for posterity. But as a "release" newcomers are well rewarded for their patience if all they want is "audio" and minimal invasion of space.


Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World
Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World
by Paul D. Stewart
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless book, 19 April 2015
I recently saw the Galapagos documentary, one of the few bits of television I catch each year and was so taken with it. I was the fortunate enough to buy this book second hand in great condition.

The book is full of glorious photos that make this part the world just as alien as the fictional Mordor (Lord of the Rings) in terms of contrast from our normal habitat.

The one clincher for me is that it took me a while to find the publication date. I was wondering how old my prisine book actualy was, thinking 2012 or 2013, but no, it was first published in 2006.

Perhaps full price for a 9 year old book (at time of writing) is a little steep, but it is testimony to the fact that it looks like it was created yesterday.


2.5 Devil's Advocate (Blake's 7: The Classic Audio Adventures)
2.5 Devil's Advocate (Blake's 7: The Classic Audio Adventures)
by Steve Lyons
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £10.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Blake's 7 captured beautifull, 18 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What is great about this story is that it could have so easily been a series C/D (3rd/4th) plot. The "additional cast member" Del Grant fits in beautifully in these stories and this one in particular where he is more pivotal to the development of the story.

Bear in mind that this is the 5th in a 6 part story/series and some interesting aspects develop with respect to the key purpose of this sextet-the search for Dayna. More of Avon's motives are revealed, and whilst a surprise, are totally logical with the Avon character.

This Avon-led series/mini-series that Big Finish have produced, has so far been one of the most consistently enjoyable sequence of audios I have ever listened to. It has a framework to work within, and does it beautifully. All due credit to the writers and producers for being era sympathetic, but an honourably mention to the tight-nit cast who, 35 years on, are creating fabulous Blake's 7 exactly as it should be.


Ghost Ship (Blake's 7: Classic Audio Adventures)
Ghost Ship (Blake's 7: Classic Audio Adventures)
by Iain McLaughlin
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £10.68

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Homage and beyond..., 11 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Does it get 4 stars or 5, I am very torn. It is nearly perfect, but let's go with Amazon's criteria, I more than like it; I do love it; it is so true to the original series, yet gives us a fresh story that dovetails both into the series C(3) of the TV series and into this sextet of series 2 Big Finish stories.

With all my reviews I skirt around the plots, because in turn I don't want spoilers when I read reviews. Suffice to say a new alien threat is introduced and Avon deals with them in the usual admiral fashion which will draw me back to Blake's 7 frequently for the rest of my life. Ghost Ship gives Vila quite an extended role which he too deals with very well. There is one section which might just go on that bit too long, which is this story's only real imperfection, but at that moment the events were truly trying to live up to the story title. The Avon-Vila dynamic is pivotal to great Blake's 7 and here we are rewarded with even more. I look at the cover as I write this and that is well reflected.

There is a nice interview section afterwards, reflecting on this story and crossing over onto The Liberator Chronicles 9. Release wise the timing is out, but it is irrelevant. The interview section is welcome and just a great reminder on reflection that here we are, mostly die hard Blake's 7 fans getting new stories 30 years on. How lucky are we. The fact that this second series of full cast Blake's 7 stories is actually very good is just, ..., awesome.


The Dying Light (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles)
The Dying Light (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles)
by Nick Wallace
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £8.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Under lit, 15 Mar. 2015
This story sits somewhere between 3 and 4 stars which on the Amazon scale is (between "it's okay" and "I like it"). I got 75% through it and felt I had not retained enough about it and started again only to find I still don't adequately remember it. There lies the problem. I listened to Ghost in the Machine yesterday (the story prior to this Stoyn trilogy) and still remember it now.

Starting from the unfortunate premise that this story is mostly unmemorable, it is still a very pleasant way to spend 60 minutes or so, because you do have a reasonably entertaining and interesting tale told by three former Doctor Who cast members (albeit one playing an entirely unrelated role). Terry Malloy was Davros for a number of years. Here you would not know he is/was also Davros, and at times has a voice very similar to the excellent David Warner.

The Dying Light is a nice title but it very much the background scene which is quickly forgotten and resurrected at the end. This story had some good ideas, which fade too quickly from the memory because they were both under-developed and under-utilised. This is a real shame because The Dying Light has the foundations for a great piece of science fiction. It also is the middle story of a trilogy with so much potential which thus far for me has not taken off either. On the plus side, Hines is as good "emulating" Troughton as anyone, and the story feels like a late Troughton affair. Hines and Padbury are both in good form, and one does feel that this is a "Hines-audio" as Padbury is noticeably underused. Malloy is very good as Stoyn.

Probably should have been longer to explore the ideas.


Ghost in the Machine (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles)
Ghost in the Machine (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles)
by Jonathan Morris
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Audio squared, 14 Mar. 2015
Great Companion Chronicle that typifies why these can be both a story about a "companion" and a "companion" product to television Doctor Who.

It is the nearest you can get to believing you have a full cast drama with only two people because the claustrophobic feel of the story and Manning's vocal versatility do not leave a gap in the dramatic construct.

I am impressed here and other products that Manning does at how well she can capture Pertwee's Doctor - an older person of the opposite gender.

I never want to give spoilers about the plot but this is a story about a media/medium (sufficiently ambiguous). There are some nice concepts about the medium that bizarrely only gets done on audio occasionally when it could probably be done more.

There is little to this story but all of it is resourcefully used which makes great writing. Some of the narrative is Jo Grant talking to herself, and of all the companions, Grant is the most likely to do this.

If there was one slight weakness, in an otherwise perfect product, it will be in the latter part where some listeners might lose track of where the characters have been displaced to, but that is a minor quibble - here I was fully engaged with the narrator, and other narrators have me lose interest in the story and then I cannot track it which is far worse.

Ghost in the Machine really ticks all the boxes for my interpretation of the Companion Chronicles. I would recommend this to anyone wishing to explore what Doctor Who can be like on audio. It represents the range very well, captures the essence of the 70's third Doctor era and explores the audio medium to great advantage.


The Alchemists (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles)
The Alchemists (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles)
by Ian Potter
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars An Earth-bound child., 8 Mar. 2015
This is one of those stories that remedies casual scenes throughout Doctor Who that could be anachronistic, because here it is as habitually casual as it later becomes, and it causes significant trouble for the innocent protagonist.

It is worth noting that this story is set before An Unearthly Child, which is beginning to happen more frequently these days with story-telling. In some respects this is a good thing and there are some clever "acknowledgements" to scene-setting. It is quite ironic really, because one strong thread here is about changing history,but it works at several levels in terms of the human race, and indeed the starting point of the Doctor's adventures.

No fault of the actress at the time, but these days the Susan Foreman character can be a bit irritating and dated, here we get to see a tiny amount of what is bad about the scripted character, and of course a much more independent version. It might not entirely fit in, in terms of character development with what happens to Susan once on alien planets post An Unearthly Child, but I think I would rather forego consistency and actually have a better scripted character to begin with. For some this will be seen as a weakness and for others a strength as they'll enjoy the product more.

Whilst mostly engaging and thought provoking, it did not always captivate me and I had to rewind but otherwise one of the more worthwhile black and white era releases.


Mastermind (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles)
Mastermind (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles)
by Jonathan Morris
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Masterful, 8 Mar. 2015
The upside of this story is that we get a brilliant audio-Master who has done a number of stories before and since, for instance the fabulous "The Light at the End".

The concept of "The Vault" is a great way to resurrect an entity or artifact for one story have it tell a story through interaction or escape before entity/artifact is either contained or escapes. The vault artifacts relate back to UNIT days, in particular a nice nod to the Pertwee era, and whilst there are further nods here, this material is a post Eighth Doctor.

We have two Doctor Who companion actors, who are playing different characters because they cannot resurrect their original roles for contractual reasons, so whilst great to have Eighth Doctor companion actors, we are not really getting the characters. All this makes the continuity from Doctor Who The Movie and from the Big Finish Audio Tales from the Vault a bit jagged, which is difficult enough for a Doctor Who fan and any connection must be impossible to realise for a non-Whovian.

The clever story title lives up to its name in two ways. When I first got this release at the time it did not click with me that this would be a Master story, and nearly 2 years on, I have experienced him in various other releases so can appreciate the character more within the confines of this story.

Whilst I did not particularly like how the Master was used/characterised in The Movie, I've had 18.5 years to live with it, and this story assists in my understanding of that version of the Master.

As an audio experience it is very good, particularly if you are a Master fan and you just know that some things mentioned early on are going to spring up later. All three of these characters/incarnations/actors have had minimal on screen time, and so one can only appreciate them more through work like this


Mindset (Blake's 7: The Classic Audio Adventures)
Mindset (Blake's 7: The Classic Audio Adventures)
by Jacqueline Rayner
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £10.68

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First rate episode, 1 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
With over forty Big Finish stories now for Blake's 7 there have been some brilliant stories and this is right up there with them because the dialogue is so good and that is what Blake's 7 is ultimately about - our favourite characters and their interactions. Most stories have some well observed lines but here they are in abundance.

For those that are more story focussed, we do have an excellent concept here, which is developed into a even better concept later.

Rayner's story reminds me of Tanith Lee's contributions to the original series (Sarcophagus and Sand - among the very best episodes and certainly two of my favourites). Interestingly, not only are both writers female, but all three stories involve "possession" at some point. Also all three develop the characters down a route that has you on the edge of your seat/mind as they get that little bit more personal. All three have absolute sharp and B7-poignant dialogue that makes you proud to be a fan and just want more of it.

My only minor quibble and one of opinion is that the story is a little too open ended for a stand-alone story if one were to treat it as such (I know we have the missing Dayna link too), but that aside I cannot wait for Rayner to write again for the post-Blake era of the programme again because she understands it as well as anyone.

Extremely good product that is a credit to all those involved.


Fortuitas (Blake's 7: The Classic Audio Adventures)
Fortuitas (Blake's 7: The Classic Audio Adventures)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well judged story dovetailing into this audio series and the third tv series perfectly, 1 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Difficult to write a review without spoilers. Yes its very good and the pace builds up nicely throughout the story.

The story thread is a carry over from 2.1. Scimitar, but it is a fairly loose arc/thread insofar as Dayna Mellanby is missing and the Avon-led Liberator crew are keen to find her.

Blake's 7 often had harsh themes and this story is no exception; very much in keeping with early Season 3. There is a nice plot twist, and the way Avon rightly deals with it an unexpected situation shows his occasional compassion which is a treat when well handled.

Again the Grant character is present here and a very welcome addition to this crew.

Highly recommended release and series in general. Probably best listened to after 2.1 Scimitar but actually not essential. It is probably more important to listen to the appropriate The Liberator Chronicle releases to be re-introduced to the Grant character.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-18