Customer Reviews


11 Reviews
5 star:
 (8)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'The Myth Makers' makes its way Back into Forgotten 'Doctor Who' Lore, 22 Mar 2013
By 
Mr. Nicholas Pearson "Cert HE (Open)" (Herne Bay, Kent. England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
'The Myth Makers' happens to be amongst the many Doctor Who serials that have become lost following the BBC's purging of what they deemed 'irrelevant' material, and the biggest shame is that not a lot of the programme remains other than the television soundtrack (due to a very loyal fan-base pointing their portable recorders up to the television screen at time of broadcast). Broadcast Between October and November 1965, this entry is among the show' s historical genre of serials, in contrast to the more science-fiction oriented, and the setting this time is in (Mythical) Ancient Greece, in the midst of the Trojan War. It seems something of a teaser/ filler episode, set in between the single episode serial 'Mission to the Unknown' (famous for including none of the main cast, but focusing on the menacing daleks) and the twelve part epic 'The Daleks' Master Plan'.
The story leads straight on from the previous serial 'Galaxy 4', and involves the First Doctor, Vicki and Steven becoming embroiled in the war between the Greeks and the Trojans, during the infamous Battle of Troy. Donald Cotton's script utilises a lot of the Homeric characters of Achilles, King Priam, Helen of Troy (never actually seen, but mentioned), Troilus, Odysseus and so on. The historical factor is slightly marred by the fact that the events of the Trojan War have never been revealed as factual, but more of a mythical story told by bards and poets of ancient times. However, the educational factor is still there, and Cotton uses his various sources of Homer, Virgil and Shakespeare well to create a well-paced four-part drama that also delivers a high level of entertainment.
It is at the end of 'The Myth Makers' that Vicki decides to stay behind after the battle in order to make a life for herself with her newfound love Troilus, and goes on with Troilus' cousin Aeneas to 'start again'. This move on the writer's part was due to Maureen O'Brien, who played Vicki, wanting to leave the series at an agreed time. Therefore, at the end of the serial, amidst the bloody battle still going on and alongside a badly injured Steven, a new companion is brought into the fold in the form of Katarina, the handmaiden to Cassandra (the Seer who is cursed to receive prophecies that no-one believes).
It really is a shame that 'The Myth Makers' has no surviving visual material, save from a few 8mm off-air clips recorded by fans, and included in the DVD 'Lost in Time: Collection of Rare Episodes - The William Hartnell Years 1963-1966'. According to the surviving crew and actors, the set designs and costumes were particularly lavish, and happens to be Maureen O'Brien's favourite story purely down to that reason. It certainly is much help having the surviving original television soundtrack, otherwise there would be no way whatsoever to enjoy this well-crafted piece, sewn into Doctor Who lore (apart from the Target novel, which is available in hard/paperback and audio form). Additionally, it aids in bridging the gaps between the missing serials in the programme's third season, and explains why Vicki decided to leave the company of the Doctor and Steven.
The linking narration provided by Peter Purves, who played Steven Taylor in this story, manages to give a sense of what is occurring during the scenes that rely less on dialogue and more on visual cue. However, I would have liked to hear a bit more of this descriptive linking narration, as it is sometimes quite difficult to grasp what is happening simply by the clashing of swords, or by a desperate bass tone. This is only minor though, and 'The Myth Makers' on Audio CD is a media item that every devoted Whovian should have on their shelves, as a testimony to what made Doctor Who so great during this innocent phase in the show' s run.
N.B. Please note also, that this release was later included in the 2010 release of 'Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection One: 1964-1965', which has its sound quality digitally remastered since the initial release. This set includes other lost stories that have not been recovered yet and also some interviews with the original cast.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Side to the Trojan Horse, 27 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Pretend you're at the Siege of Troy right now. You have just seen Achilles slay Hector. You know that the subterfuge with the Trojan Horse is soon to follow. But there is a change. You suddenly hear a loud groaning hum. A small light appears. With it, a wooden blue police telephone box. You stare in amazement as it all appears before your eyes. The TARDIS has arrived.

Based on the television serial of the same name, Doctor Who: The Myth Makers sets the Doctor and his companions Steven and Vicki to one of the most infamous wars of ancient history. Unfortunately, none of this serial exists anymore, save for a few seconds of footage. The only way you're going to know the events at this point of time is to read this book. Anyway, the Doctor is the first to exit the TARDIS and is believed by the Greeks (most of them) to be Zeus, because of the way the TARDIS appeared. Steven goes out after him while Vicki remains behind. The TARDIS however is found by Paris and he orders his men to carry it into Troy. Vicki comes out and is assumed to be a priestess of power, much to the displeasure of the city's high priestess Cassandra.

At the Greek camp, the Doctor's disguise is soon foiled and he is forced by King Agammemnon and hero Odysseus to construct a means of ensuring their victory over the Trojans. King Priam expects a similar thing of Vicki by predicting what the Greeks are going to do, and renames her Cressida. Steven aims to rescue them both, with the the willing help of one Greek poet named Homer, the legendary author of epics The Illiad aoctornd The Odyssey. The heroes must now work on separate sides to rejoin one another and return to the TARDIS. It will not be easy, as one of them faces an agonising choice. And when that choice is made, it is the Doctor who pays the price.

Doctor Who: The Myth Makers. The television episodes that make up the story are a myth within themselves as with also being lost celluloid they are as per usual told from the points of view from the TARDIS crew members. With the book however it is told completely from the viewpoint of Homer as he is relaying it to an audience much later in his life. So are you willing to see the story of the fall of Troy in a new light, told by the man who wrote two great epics about it, with the characters we all know and love from a science fiction television program? Or are you afraid to have an adventure with a history you believe you already know? Well, this is my opinion. Always ready for a new adventure with... DOCTOR WHO!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horse Doctor, 29 July 2009
This review is from: "Doctor Who" - The Myth Makers (Classic Novels) (Audio CD)
This is another enjoyable release in the range of audiobook versions of the Target range of DOCTOR WHO novelisations first released in the 1970s and 1980s. THE MYTH MAKERS was one of the later entries in the range and is a rather loose adaptation, by the original author, of his own television episodes, but they are adapted in such a way that I think he in many ways manages to improve upon them. Whilst it is undoubtedly the early Target novelisations that were amongst the strongest in the entire range, this release certainly gives them a run for their money.

Basically, the story is told from the point of view of the aged and blind poet Homer, reworking parts of his works late in his life. In earlier versions of his tales, he realises that he completely failed to mention the part the occupants of a certain Blue Police Box played in the fall of Troy, and now he wants to set the record straight. Or maybe he's just decided to "reimagine" his early works to maximise his profits...? Whatever the reason, when The Doctor (in white-haired old man mode), Steven and Vicki emerge from one of Zeus's portable temples at a crucial moment in the battle between Hector and Achilles, events start to unfold at a rapid pace and (after the dismissal of other notable plans) a certain legendary horse tends to reluctantly become a racing certainty of playing a pivotal role in history.

You might have been led to believe that the early years of DOCTOR WHO are a little slow and humourless, but this version is far from either, as it positively rattles along over its 4 CD running time and Donald Cotton has fashioned an amusing and witty take on his original that in many ways surpasses it. At times this is just very, very funny, and any student of the classics would find a lot to enjoy in this jolly spin on the usual myths and legends with its knowing nods and winks towards other literary works and some of the most excruciating puns you're ever likely to come across.

Stephen Thorne narrates in a jaunty and avuncular manner and his various characterisations - with the occasional Somerset (?) burr - employed throughout are great fun. Actually it is his performance that really makes this release. His Doctor Who performances (Azal in "The Daemons; Omega in "The Three Doctors") tended towards the "booming evil villain" end of his range, so his approach here is a rather pleasing revelation.

By the way, if you do want to experience the original version of this story, the television version is probably lost forever, but the audio soundtrack CDs of the original episodes have been released by BBC Audio. However, that release also is rather unfortunately titled "Doctor Who - The Myth Makers", so you'd better be sure which version you're after when you order.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Myth or Legend, 7 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Noy quite legend but enjoyable and a good listen. Shame the BBC lost it. Sound creates great images of Troy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars dr who novel, 1 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
this book is quite a good story made more important by not being on film no more well worth a read
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horses for courses, 24 Jan 2010
This review is from: "Doctor Who" - The Myth Makers (Classic Novels) (Audio CD)
Another great example of how the Target novelisations often transcended the TV stories they adapted, Donald Cotton's novel is a historical tour de force; the epic scale of the story is beautifully brought across with lashings of detail that the small screen could never accomodate, whilst Stephen Thorne's reading is superb. Narrated by the long-suffering poet Homer, shortly after having his eye gouged out by the barbarous Odysseus, the story is actually an early 'Doctor-lite' adventure, with the Time Lord and his companions bit-part players on a stage that pits Greek against Trojans, and gives a light-hearted yet compelling accurate portrayal of classical mythology. Stirring stuff indeed, and a fine addition to the Target audio range.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is there a Doctor in the Horse, 27 Jan 2001
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The prospect of spending an hour and a half with Doctor Who, especially the Hartnell black and white vintage, and not even on television, but some off-air recording of a 'junked' story, tarted up by a bit of narration, can't fill many people's hearts with excitement. So, I assume, this release is meant for the die-hard fans. The same people who dismiss this, and the writer's other contribution to the programme, The Gunfighters, as among the worst stories ever in the series, and you can imagine the stiff competition. So, who is this meant to appeal to? Anyone with a sense of fun and an appreciation of clever dialogue. Set during the Trojan War, the story rattles along with a casual disregard for historical, or literary, accuracy and is all the better for it. The events are restructured to fit the Doctor Who world in the same way that Shakespeare was more interested in telling a good story, than give a history lesson. Featuring a line up of stage and screen stars, notably Max Adrian as King Priam and Francis de Wolff as Agamemnon, this is still Hartnell's show. Seeming to delight in the freedom from technobabble and the historical stories usual forced gravitas, he puts in a comedy performance the right side of tongue-in-cheek and send-up, something that future Doctors could have done well to echo. The story is by no means light, especially the more down-beat final episode, and it contains a fair amount of Doctor Who 'business', namely the departure of a long-standing companion. Not being made for an audio-medium, however wordy the script, can make listening to an adaptation of this sort hard work. Although cleaned up magnificently, these amateur mono recordings are of poorer quality than would normally be expected of a professional product. Still, due praise should be given to the fan who had the foresight to record it way back in 1965. And boos and hisses to the BBC for not recognising the programmes significance. This is never going to appeal to anyone but a Who-fan or TV nostagist but it does deserve a better reputation even amongst that scene. And a wider appreciation too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I Suppose I'll Have to Drive You Like a Grecian Cur Into the City... Come, Dog!", 31 Jan 2008
The Myth Makers is one of those stories which, despite knowing what it's about, I've never really heard much about... So it was a bit of a delight to find it's a total gem.

I'm an enormous fan of Hartnell's years, but I find that I can still be swayed by the general view that the stories were `a bit shoddy,' `too slow,' etc (despite the fact that I think, at its best, this period's production values were at an all-time high compared to the majority of the later years, relatively speaking) - so it almost came as a (pleasant) surprise just how snappy this story is! Oh ye (me) of little faith.

It was wonderful to hear a `comedy' Doctor Who story that is genuinely funny - I love The Romans, but I wouldn't describe it as pant-wettingly funny, as it is often portrayed. I don't want to just list quotes, but, er, I think I'm going to. Paris is particularly good value for money - I love the re-imagining of a Trojan warrior as an inept Carry On imbecile; he reminded me of Hugo in The Vicar of Dibley, actually, crossed with David Hemmings' Dildano in Barbarella ("I'll put it round your secret neck"). I particularly like Paris' "Now I suppose I'll have to drive you like a Grecian cur into the city, won't I... Come, dog!"

All the derogatory stuff about Cassandra was entertaining too ("Oh, go and feed the sacred snakes or something"). Her, "You're not putting THAT in my temple!" of the TARDIS tickled me too.
Also: the comment about "galloping religious mania";
"It seems there's a man lurking behind that flaccid exterior after all!";
"Catapults? Sounds like a vulgar oath to me."

Not being particularly action-packed (although, thanks to the wordplay, it never drags either - if anything, four episodes felt too short), the story transfers wonderfully to audio, which is particularly nice as it emphasised the links between this and Marc Platt's grown-up-Vicki Frostfire audio. I'm not particularly sold on the idea of the audio adventures, so I've never become very involved with Big Finish - well, I say `very'; Frostfire is the only one I've actually listened to. (Audio just seems like a slightly clumsy medium to me - compared to novels and televised stories, it has the worst of both worlds... But I digress.) I could really feel the links between young Vicki leaving the TARDIS here, and the older Vicki/Lady Cressida in the catacombs in the Companions Chronicle story. Maureen O'Brien even sounded exactly the same. Having listened to the audio first, there was a nice sense of continuity (not in the fan sense) between the two stories.

It's also amazing how far Vicki has come since The Rescue. It's often said that there's little character development in the companions, so it's wonderful that Vicki really has matured by now - and she's completely charming. Even her romance with Troilus is sweet and well played, and doesn't become trite. Also a nice ending for her - I wasn't convinced at first (it just seems as if she's been forgotten), but her telling the Doctor that she has decided to leave off-screen is really effective; it fits with the frantic events of the Greek attack, and is slightly less 'literal' than the thinking that these scenes always need to be shown.

Whilst on the topic of companions: Katarina - what the hell?! I've previously listened to The Daleks' Master Plan (ooh, I love a Doctor Who with honest-to-god grammar in the title...); I wasn't expecting miracles from her debut (in fact, I'd forgotten about her until she randomly showed up), but I thought she might at least have some part to play here. Ah, well... she'll soon be a space popsicle.

The other main thing that strikes me: Hartnell, wonderful as ever - but why has no-one ever really picked up more on the whole `the Doctor is responsible for the fall of Troy' element?! I know he regrets giving the Greeks the idea for the horse once he's actually in it, but it sounds like it's motivated more by self-preservation than guilt at instigating a massacre! Very strange how sometimes the Doctor'll emote for ages about one little character (or whatever... can't think of an example off the top of my head. Erm, Lytton), and then doesn't trouble himself about causing the fall of an entire city! Not to mention The Aztecs' patented `messing around with history' thing.

All in all, The Myth Makers is deeply underrated; it feels very effortless, loads of fun, but with a pleasingly dramatic ending, which stops it feeling too inconsequential.
(I've got The Massacre primed to go next - ooh, expectations are sky-high!)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A super reading of a top Target novelisation..., 16 Aug 2008
By 
D. Mason "David" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: "Doctor Who" - The Myth Makers (Classic Novels) (Audio CD)
Stephen Thorne gives a fantastic reading of one of the finest ever Doctor Who novelisations from Target books. Since reading it on first publication I have studied literature (including Homer) at university, and I have to say that whilst a knew Donald Cotton's book to be good as a teenager revisiting it as an adult was again a fantastic experience. Mr Thorne - now a less prolific audio book reader than was once the case - gives a spirited rendition of each character, including a suspiciously West Country-sounding Odysseus! It is such a shame that BBC Audiobooks chose to follow this gem with a feeble offering like Black Orchid. But as the Trojans in this book would doubtless tell you (were they not the stuff of myth), you can't win 'em all...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking the Myth ..., 20 Feb 2002
Well, what would you do, if someone asked you to write a science fiction serial set in the dim past? And also told you that you can't include any science fiction elements in the story!
Following the precedent laid down in the early days of Dr Who, by the historical serial 'The Romans', the writer has opted to do Dr Who as comedy. And what could be funnier than a complete reversal of the classical myths, by portraying the heroes of antiquity as a bunch of cowards.
The script sparkles with wit, much of it of a Bob Hope style: insult gags. And to the adults watching (or, in our case, listening!), it's a nice comic treatment of the story of the Wooden Horse of Troy. Heaven knows what the kids made of it at the time; but at least their parents could enjoy it.
A lot of Frankie Howerd style running around in togas, after the manner of 'Up Pompeii', and even the occasional actor from that particular comedy series popping up - in the person of a lovely old thesp, Max Adrian, as King Priam!
William Hartnell always wanted to play comedy, and he never had better scope with a script than here. He emerges from the newly arrived Tardis, onto the plain of Troy, and is promptly mistaken for both the god Zeus and for an old beggar.
The Greeks are fed up. They've been sitting on this wretched plain for 10 years, and they don't think Helen was worth it, or is even all that beautiful. So unless he can get them inside the besieged city within two days, using his godlike powers as Zeus, the Doctor's going to be executed!
How the old boy gets out of it (go on with you - you didn't really think he'd be executed, did you?) and along the way ALSO rescues his companions from the doomed city, takes four episodes to tell. And it's very well executed. No, no - not the Doc, the plot!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

"Doctor Who" - The Myth Makers (Classic Novels)
"Doctor Who" - The Myth Makers (Classic Novels) by Donald Cotton (Audio CD - 7 April 2008)
12.52
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews