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Wayne Burchell "Wayne Burchell" (Ireland)

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Blood Rage: 5th Player Expansion - Erweiterung - Board Game - English
Blood Rage: 5th Player Expansion - Erweiterung - Board Game - English

4.0 out of 5 stars Uninspiring, 4 Jun. 2016
Blood Rage is one of the best board games around - combining strategy and war in a way where it is beneficial for your figures to die. Highly original... which is not really an description that could be applied to this expansion.

If you want to play the game with 5 players, then this is for you, but it adds nothing else of significance to the game. With 1 exception the cards are identical to the core set and the figures are great, but since the Ram clan are no different from the other clans apart from the figures, there is not much of significance to see.

This should have included at least 1 new monster just to make the whole experience worthwhile.


Whispers of Terror (Dr Who Big Finish)
Whispers of Terror (Dr Who Big Finish)
by Justin Richards
Edition: Audio CD

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Trying to visualise the audible, 17 Sept. 2014
It must have seen like a great idea at the time: Doctor Who on audio, so let's do a story where the enemy is only audible... but it doesn't work. The beauty of audio is that you are free to imagine scenes and villains and monsters. But none of that is necessary here and as such it seems a little bit uninspiring.

Plot: While recording some of his speeches at the Museum of Aural Antiquities, Visteen Krane commits suicide just before announcing his candidacy for president. His running mate makes use of the material recorded to fashion an endorsement of her own candidacy; but it seems that Krane has other plans, despite his death. It does seem strange that Krane is recording his voice for *antiquity* and it might have made more sense if this were some kind of ancient voice that is rising from the grave, rather than a voice only a few days old (I have a feeling one of the later stories does this). A clever plot, with sufficient mystery in early episodes about what is really going on, but overall it fails to grab the listener. Surprisingly this might have made a very good story on television - cheap to make, but interesting anyway.

Script: Very good, full of interesting characters and the Doctor/Peri relationship reduced to fun banter rather than outright warfare that plagued the actual series. This does feel like the two have a relationship that would last (and did).

Other: Solid performances from all in only the third of the Big Finish output. Peter Miles as the Curator does a brilliant job and while one can't help remember Nyder, the character is sufficiently different that it is not difficult to get over it. Lisa Bowerman puts in a great performance as Beth Parnell, but it is difficult not to think of Bernice Summerfield though when listening (if you are not familiar with those stories, shame on you!).

It was exciting to have new Who being broadcast to our ears back in 1999, but Whispers of Terror is one of the poorer of the earlier output and hasn't stood the test of time, comparing unfavourably with much later Big Finish audios.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 17, 2014 2:54 PM BST


The Song of Megaptera (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories 1.07) [Audiobook] (Audio CD)
The Song of Megaptera (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories 1.07) [Audiobook] (Audio CD)
by Pat Mills
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original Beast Below, 9 Sept. 2014
Of all of the Lost Stories for Colin Baker this one has the longest history, having been proposed as far back as Douglas Adam's script editorship. For some reason, Adams didn't like it but both Bidmead and Saward did and it kept being updated for each era. To be honest I don't know why this was never made: Not only is it an excellent script but with it dark, dank corridors it seems it would have been a reasonably cheap production.

Plot: A little heavy-handed anti-whaling message perhaps more appropriate for its time than now, it nevertheless still has an interesting plot that keeps changing the nature of the story as it goes along. There is a definite under-current of anti-whaling sentiment, but it does not come out in favour of primitive whaling either. On top of that there is a Jonah and the Whale style extra story which takes the second part in a different direction. While there is no failing here, some of the other versions were for a larger TARDIS crew (including an introduction for Turlough) and I don't think that would have worked quite as well.

Script: Pat Mills has already shown his script-writing ability on a couple of Eighth Doctor stories and here he goes back to an old script that shows the same level of insight into the characters. At least one role has been recast from the intended male to a female character, but not to the detriment of the script (and this sort of thing did occasionally happen on TV)

Other: The only scene that might have been difficult to show on television would have been when the Doctor, Peri and the Travellers are shot at while standing on top of a giant Space Whale. But in fact I think CSO was sufficiently far forward at that point that it could have been done by using an establishing shot and then close-ups for the detail, along with echoing voices.

A brilliant piece of Who that might could easily have been the Kinda of its day (i.e. brilliant story with dodgy effects).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 17, 2014 2:52 PM BST


The Hollows of Time (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories)
The Hollows of Time (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories)
by Christopher H. Bidmead
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £14.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Confusing storyline that might get better on repeated listening, 18 July 2014
Christopher H. Bidmead has written some of the most complex and thought provoking scripts for Doctor Who. While you don't need a degree to understand them, his stories get better on repeated viewing as some of the nuances become clearer. The Hollows of Time is no different. I am coming at this for the first time and its complexities are evident on first listening. I suspect when I come back to this next time, perhaps in a few years the things I missed the first time will help make more sense of it.

Plot: Incredibly convoluted as one would expect from Bidmead, The Doctor and Peri visit Revd 'Foxy' Foxwell, an old friend of the Doctor's who is working with Professor 'Stream' on some time experiments. Needless to say Stream turns out to be the villain, using Tractators to fuel his time experiments and luring the Doctor in to fetch the Gravis from his resting place. In this story we never do find out who 'Stream' is, but it is clear that the great reveal has been prevented by the current BBC who at the time were featuring the return of another villain whose name is an anagram of 'Stream' and didn't want Big Finish to use the same character... which would have been difficult as the original actor has long since died. In the end this doesn't cause any problems with the plotting, except that there feels as though there is a gaping hole where the sudden reveal should be. The Tractators are also present, but unlike the last time their presence is important but does little to progress them and they are not the villains in this story. Over all I lost the purpose of the story part way through and stuggled to pick it up from that point onwards.

Script: Very good. Some wonderful lines, some very well realised characters and some great moments (the Doctor stuck in space in a Citroen for example). Possibly let down by an inability to convey everything to understand what was going on.

Other: This would have made a better television story with the chance to repeat view via video making up for the convoluted storyline. The music here is the best so far of the Lost stories, invoking the era it came from without sounding like it was just added on by the Radiophonics Workshop. Susan Sheridan as Simon was fantastic.

If Mark of the Rani loses out by having the Master in it, I think this probably loses out by not having the Master in it. The worst of the Lost Stories so far.

5/10 (+1 if the Master had been in it and another +1 had it been made and readily available for multiple watches)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 17, 2014 2:51 PM BST


Leviathan (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories)
Leviathan (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories)
by Brian Finch
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £14.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing is Forgotten. Nothing is Ever Forgotten, 11 July 2014
This wasn't ever going to be part of season 23, but the script appears to have been fully developed for season 22 and then abandoned, perhaps in favour of the historical settings of Mark of the Rani. It is a shame as this could have been a cracking piece of Doctor Who. JNT seemed to have an aversion to older writers (see the making of Varos on the Special Edition DVD), but it is also possible that the presence of Herne the Hunter would have put it at odds with Robin of Sherwood appearing on the other side at the same time, while the fate of the chosen is too close to some of Revelation's darker moments.

Plot: An intriguing plot with the `Leviathan' of the title not turning up until the very end of part one and providing a suitable cliff-hanger. In the meantime we are treated to medieval villagers, rebels and a Baron who is not quite what he seems. The presence of Herne at the beginning, signals that this isn't going to be a plain historical and the revelations come thick and fast in the first half of the story and each time you think you may have gotten to the bottom of the mystery, something else comes up to keep you guessing. It is an incredible shame that Brian Finch never wrote for the series as this story shows that he has an understanding of what makes a story interesting. The Sentinels of the New Dawn make an appearance... sort of. In fact their presence seems superfluous to the plot, and they are given a bigger role in a Pertwee Companion Chronicle. If I were to guess, this feels more of a set-up for the Sentinels, with a pay-off to come in a later story.

Script: This has been rewritten (in a hurry by all accounts) by Brian's son Paul, mainly to convert the visual moments into something that can be heard instead. The whole thing comes across really well, but has possibly been informed by modern audio Colin, rather than the original season 22 version, unless of course that was the intention. Either way a good script.

Other: Once again kudos to the supporting cast. I didn't realise until after the event that all of the actors doubled up in some way, such is their talent at providing different voices.

One of those near perfect audios that keeps you guessing and is highly enjoyable
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 11, 2014 4:07 PM BST


Mission to Magnus (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories)
Mission to Magnus (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories)
by Philip Martin
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bring on the Marsh Minnows!, 11 July 2014
The return of Sil would have been much anticipated. Nabil Shaban's performance in Vengeance on Varos was so much fun and deserved a second outing. This would have been it, possibly third in the season after The Ultimate Evil. In addition the Ice Warriors would have returned in this story.

Plot: As with Varos, Philip Martin is using this story to make a point. This time it is primarily about feminism. There are moments when this gets heavy handed, but overall the point is made. The use of Sil is good and the Ice Warriors are an important part of the overall plot, even if they only appear at the end of the first episode. Only Anzor the `school bully' seems out of place as though it was an idea that had a larger role in the plot but which got sidelined by other things. The Ice Warriors seem a little underused, being the token alien invaders rather than having a specific role to play, much like the Sontarans in The Two Doctors.

Script: On the whole, very good as one would expect from Martin. Some of the sexist comments in the second episode seem a little OTT and the Doctor's response to Anzor is played for laughs, whereas it ought to have been dealt with more sensibly (as it was at the end of episode 2). Sil delights again, partly because of the script and partly because of Shaban's performance.

Other: Sil Returns! What more needs to be said : ). Nabil Shaban delights as always. Kudos to the actors who take on multiple roles for making each one sound different. I recognised Nick Briggs different versions mainly because he has appeared in Big Finish so many times, but the others did a superb job.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 11, 2014 4:08 PM BST


The Nightmare Fair (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories)
The Nightmare Fair (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories)
by Graham Williams
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ticket to Ride, 11 July 2014
As a television story, this might have been a lot of fun - lots of running around Blackpool with various rides being given a showing. As an audio, this doesn't quite work. Thankfully John Dorney has ripped out the visual moments to spare us extended descriptions of characters running around Blackpool or enjoying the rides.

Plot: Actually a lot of fun and kudos to Graham Williams for providing not only a return for an unusual old enemy but an explanation of his origins that provides his motivation. In retrospect the Doctor's solution to the Toymaker is rather cruel. This is also a product of its time with video games at their height of popularity this would have had the Doctor playing some unknown video game to the bitter end.

Script: Rather good. It is unknown how much of this is Williams and how much Dorney, but it all comes across very well. Of particular note is a wonderful scene of Peri screaming.... Because she is on one of the rides :).

Other: This would have been a good season opener - the Doctor and Peri get involved in the plot pretty early on and there would have been lots of visual elements to keep us interested.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 11, 2014 4:10 PM BST


Doctor Who: Revelation of the Daleks [DVD]
Doctor Who: Revelation of the Daleks [DVD]
Dvd ~ Colin Baker
Price: £6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Bit of Black Humour, 11 July 2014
Revelation is easily the best that the Colin Baker era has to offer, but unfortunately both the Doctor and the Daleks are sidelined in the story, both seemingly just passers by in a story of other people's greed and complicity. The trouble is more of the Doctor and the Daleks would probably have sidelined the supporting characters and in the process would have lost much of the flavour that makes this one of the great Doctor Who stories.

Plot: Doctor Who does black humour! And very good it is too. It's big failing is that both the Doctor and the Daleks seem incidental to the plot, with Orcini/Bostock taking on the normal Doctor/Companion role and Davros (despite spending most of the story as a moving head) taking on the role of the villain. But even there the roles are slightly blurred. Orcini is no Knight in Shining Armour, while Davros is doing much good in the galaxy (while hiding his bad). Kara and Vogel start out seemingly good, but quickly revealed to be as much evil as Davros, while Takis and Lilt move from torturing Grigory to surviving to bring new life to Necros. The inclusion of a memorial statue to the Doctor is the only sour note. It adds nothing to the plot and seems to exist only to showcase (badly) the memorial.

Script: This is a superb script, taking the plot and breathing life into it by giving each character clear motivation and words that bring out that character. None of the supporting cast is left out of this and even the Doctor and Peri get some good lines that move their relationship forward (particularly after the death of the mutant). Davros, relegated to a talking head for much of the story gets the chance to shine with the Daleks moving into the background for this story. Double-acts abound: Natasha/Grigory; Takis/Lilt; Jobel/Tasembaker; Kara/Vogel and especially Orcini/Bostock. Some great moments here, from Davros' laughter at the plight of the Doctor, to Jobel's "Pretty, pretty" and Vogel's obsequiousness.

Acting: Once again the acting comes up trumps, each character lovingly brought to life by people who know their craft. It is not possible to single out the best performances because they are all the best performances, with actors playing off each other and producing something really special, my personal favourites are William Gaunt and John Ogwen, but to emphasise them is to diminish the others, which does them a disservice. Personally I'm not a fan of Alexei Sayle's DJ, but he still commands your attention.

Design: A superb job, with the functional corridors made to look different merely by having people walking down them in different directions. The addition of random bits of statue seems to hint at something different in the past. Davros' lair looks the part. Costumes are a bit bland on the part of the Necros worker's, but it actually works well in the setting. The new 'Imperial' Dalek design looks really good, especially in comparison with the original Daleks.

Direction: Graeme Harper once again does an outstanding job and it is a shame that he didn't contribute again for 20 years. Harper, either in his choice of actors, or in his ability to encourage them gets a superb cast to play it all so well. The sequences are all well handled and while this is much more subtle than Caves, he still comes up trumps with shots that continually entrance the viewer.

The finest story in the Colin Baker era is let down primarily by having the Doctor as a spectator to much of the story.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 11, 2014 4:12 PM BST


Doctor Who - Year of the Pig (Big Finish Adventures)
Doctor Who - Year of the Pig (Big Finish Adventures)
by Paul Cornell
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pigs might Fly, 11 July 2014
This is something of a curiosity. I doubt very much that 80's who would have done a story like this, not just because of the requirements of having a talking pig without it looking stupid but because of the need to have a vintage car chasing a train.

Having said that, it works as a Doctor Who story and this is primarily because it is left to our imaginations as to what it going on.

Plot: While holidaying in Ostend shortly before the outbreak of the First World War, The Doctor rescues Inspector Chardolot from drowning and then gets persuaded by the matronly Miss Bultitude to visit Toby, who turns out to be an intelligent pig with a somewhat suspect past, who is on the run from a 'doctor'. The whole plot is convoluted and interestingly steers away from the need to tie up all loose ends meaning that the whole thing seems somehow more real.

Script: Great script with plenty for the regulars to do and full of interesting characters and events. In particular the sudden appearance of raw cow meat on a beach is discussed almost as a throwaway event, only to be explained later in the story. The constant references to food and hunger by Toby and Chardolot's sneaky eating all add to the fun.

Other: There is great casting here. The four main guest stars all have plenty to say and seem to relish their roles (no pun intended). In particular Paul Brooke's Toby comes across so well.

This is a great piece of Big Finish, a superb little stand-alone story with a stand-alone cast.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 11, 2014 4:19 PM BST


Doctor Who - Timelash [DVD]
Doctor Who - Timelash [DVD]
Dvd ~ Colin Baker
Price: £6.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You don't have to cringe when you watch it, 11 July 2014
This review is from: Doctor Who - Timelash [DVD] (DVD)
Back in the day, I used to go to Doctor Who Appreciation Society local meetings. The one following Timelash sticks in my memory primarily because of the way I was treated. The question was asked of me, "What did you think of Timelash?", to which I replied that I enjoyed it. Much scorn was heaped on me and thus began the start of my disaffection with organised fandom.

In retrospect I think all parties in that exchange were wrong. There are parts of Timelash that are enjoyable... just not many of them. Whereas Twin Dilemma is instantly forgettable, Timelash sticks out in the memory both for its good and bad parts.

Plot: It is an interesting idea: H.G. Wells being inspired by the Doctor into writing his stories and it is a shame that more is not made of this. In particular Wells doesn't really spend a lot of time in the presence of some of the inspirational elements in order to be inspired. Other than Wells, the plot seems somewhat formulaic with a hidden dictator who banishes people on a whim, rebels who want to kill the Doctor/Companion and villains who are hoist by their own petard. The plot failings are a major contributor to the dissatisfaction with the whole story. The insertion of Pertwee and Manning into the story seems forced and might have been better with a generic Doctor (as in Twin Dilemma) or someone more familiar to the original viewers - Peter Davison or Patrick Troughton perhaps.

Script: Absolutely terrible! And that is the nicest thing that can be said about it. Of prime concern is the large amount of arguing going on between the leads that does neither of them any favours. It might have been possible to get away with this early in the season and put it down to a Doctor suffering from a bad regeneration, but here it just seems out of place. What is worse it seems poorly acted as if neither of the leads had their heart in it (not surprisingly). The rest of the script is pretty forgettable.

Design: A mixed bag here. The costume design is very good, in particular the Guardoliers and the Android. The set designs are very functional, but not particularly spectacular, though a lot of care seems to have been lavished on Herbert's living room, making it the best of the sets, despite only a brief appearance. The Timelash itself doesn't work, either with the entrance in the main hall or the interior as seen by the Doctor and Herbert. With the exception of the Borad, the monsters just don't work. The Bandrils appear so small on the screen that one is not sure what one is watching. They are just not menacing. In addition their lips don't move in time with their dialogue. The Morlocks suffer an even worse fate - clearly a badly made puppet on someone's arm. It looks like something off of Blue Peter, not Doctor Who, though kudos to Nicola Bryant for acting as though it were totally real. Unfortunately overall the bad and the mundane overwhelm the good and there must be a general thumbs down to the design.

Acting: There are actually some very good performances on show here. David Chandler is delightful, making one wish that he would become a regular (although his annoying optimism might have to be toned down). Jeananne Crowley is very good and contributes to the lovely moment when she walks serenely across a room to cover while everyone else is rushing. Paul Darrow chews the scenery a bit. When he is not channelling Shakespeare he is rather good as a villain and according to the making of his performance was toned down at the insistence of JNT, so I dread to think how it might have been. Others provide good performances and credit should be given to Robert Ashby for making the Borad completely deranged while remaining intelligent. Dean Hollingsworth's Android is also very well done, with his movements, emotionless face and spoken lines coming across very well.

Direction: Pennant Roberts makes the best of a bad lot. There is not much else to say about this that I haven't already mentioned.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 11, 2014 4:21 PM BST


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