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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable and sometimes creepy adventure...
I've just finished listening to The Stuff of Nightmares and was surprised to find myself having enjoyed it! I say I was surprised because of the amount of negativity this story has been receiving both here and elsewhere on the internet. I'd actually like to address this first.

There seems to be a huge backlash against this at the moment. Firstly, the BBC seem...
Published on 5 Sep 2009 by Simon McMahon

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointing
As someone in their mid/late 30s Tom Baker is my Doctor Who, so given an opportunity to get hold of his return was something that I couldn't turn down. An advert is placed in the local rag that Mike Yates, a retired UNIT Captian, gets which seems to be either a joke or aimed directly at him. He follows the advert and discovers The Doctor living in a country house...
Published on 2 Dec 2009 by Richard Kelly


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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable and sometimes creepy adventure..., 5 Sep 2009
By 
Simon McMahon "Film Buff" (Chelmsford, Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: "Doctor Who": Hornets' Nest: Stuff of Nightmares v. 1 (BBC Audio) (Audio CD)
I've just finished listening to The Stuff of Nightmares and was surprised to find myself having enjoyed it! I say I was surprised because of the amount of negativity this story has been receiving both here and elsewhere on the internet. I'd actually like to address this first.

There seems to be a huge backlash against this at the moment. Firstly, the BBC seem to have made a bit of a mistake in the publicity by indicating that this was going to be a full cast audio drama which people assumed would be in the same vein as Big Finish (who produce licensed Doctor Who audioplays with Doctors 5 through 8). It's not. It's closer to an Audiobook with several actors and some dramatised sections. Judging from other reviews you might think this format doesn't work. The thing is, it does. In fact I think it works very well, particularly for this story. Looking at the other reviews I believe a lot of the negative feeling is coming from people who wanted a full cast audio play and are lashing out because the BBC publicity machine made a mistake.

Secondly, this is a release that has had a ridiculous level of anticipation. Tom Baker is usually cited as the most popular Doctor. Big Finish were never able to persuade him to do something with them and most people assumed that Tom Baker would never reassume the role on audio. When news of this project came along people were understandably excited. And high expectations often lead to disappointment. Yes, he doesn't sound the same as he did in the 70's and 80's, and yes some of his dialogue is a little on the stiff side (particularly during his scenes with Mike), but not enough to ruin my enjoyment of the story and surely he can be forgiven for taking a little while to warm up to a character he hasn't played in such a long time?

The basic framework of the story is that the Doctor has invited Mike Yates to his cottage. Here he tells Mike of his most recent adventure. As mentioned above, Baker does sometimes seem a little stiff, but when he really gets his teeth into the part he shines. Richard Franklin and the other cast members also do excellent jobs.

The story itself is intriguing. Some fantastic ideas are included and some very visual elements are handled extremely well in the audio medium (the Doctors description of a "paper brain" for example). There were some genuinely creepy moments in this too and I recommend listening to it with the lights out. The sound effects when used are also very good (the hornets in particular). However, I felt the sound design occasionally could have been better. A discussion between the Doctor and Mr Noggins in a natural history museum cafeteria didn't work for me as there was a distinct lack of background effects, a murmur of voices and the chinking of crockery would have been very effective.

I can't say I was one of the people desperate to see Tom Baker return to the role. He was my favourite Doctor for a very long time when I was younger and I still love him in the role today. But I was happy with Doctors 5 to 8 via Big Finish. Now he has returned to Doctor Who I'm relieved to find that the negative comments about this play are, in my opinion, largely unfounded. I had cancelled my pre-orders of the rest of the series due to comments being made, but today I'm going to pre-order them again.

As long as you're aware of the format of this adventure and realise that Tom Baker is older and is just getting back into his stride I suggest you give this a whirl. At this price how can you not?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant stuff, 29 Mar 2011
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: "Doctor Who": Hornets' Nest: Stuff of Nightmares v. 1 (BBC Audio) (Audio CD)
I absolutely loved this - to be fair, I'm completely biased in favour of Tom Baker - to me, he is The Doctor; but trying to be impartial, I still think this has an awful lot going for it.

The story is complex and interesting - and entertaining as well, which is one of the most important factors in any audio story. I carefully saved up this audio cd until I had all five in the series, and am listening to each one straight after the other - now on the second one, so thought I would review the first.

And it is what it purports to be - an audio story - not a full blown audio drama complete with special effects. It is a story, read as such, some as action between characters, and some as a story being told after the fact. I think the mix is good of 'live' action and recapping the story. And it is of a nature that it doesn't need too many characters involved to be effective.

Richard Franklin is great as Captain Yates - both his and Tom Baker's voices are instantly recognisable as their well-remembered selves. While Captain Yates left the original series under a bit of a professional cloud from UNIT, it is good to see that the character seems to have redeemed himself.

And it is fantastic to hear Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor - still, in this series, the Doctor from the 1970s with the floppy hat, toothy grin and long scarf. And you can hear the toothy grin in his reading of this part. It's just wonderful to be able to 'hear' his facial expressions in his great voice with the gruff growls as he gets bad-tempered, the laughing tones of his witty remarks and the lecturing tones as he tells Mike the story so far.

Totally loving it! Wouldn't it be great to have Tom Baker do more Fourth Doctor stories? Well, yes, it would.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You just cant beat a good Dr Who, 20 Feb 2010
By 
Hawk (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: "Doctor Who": Hornets' Nest: Stuff of Nightmares v. 1 (BBC Audio) (Audio CD)
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Dr who's are like Bond actors. Everyone has their Dr Who and their Bond. And Tom Baker was mine. I grew up with him on a Saturday night. Wishing it was a Daleks episode every week and then glad it wasn't as was a touch scary.

You get right into the story for the first words. Tom Bakers voice is rich and comforting from start to finish. So if you are of that age and want to feel like a child again this is the CD for you. Stick it on the in the car and enjoy the drive home from work and get lost in the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointing, 2 Dec 2009
By 
Richard Kelly (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: "Doctor Who": Hornets' Nest: Stuff of Nightmares v. 1 (BBC Audio) (Audio CD)
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As someone in their mid/late 30s Tom Baker is my Doctor Who, so given an opportunity to get hold of his return was something that I couldn't turn down. An advert is placed in the local rag that Mike Yates, a retired UNIT Captian, gets which seems to be either a joke or aimed directly at him. He follows the advert and discovers The Doctor living in a country house surrounded by stuffed animals. From here on we get a story about mind controlling hornets and stuffed animals coming back to life and causing chaos.

The cast is minimal to say the least Tom Baker is the Doctor and he is in fine form, it's a very easy listening piece of radio drama Richard Franklin is Mike Yates, an old aquaintance of the Doctor's and Daniel Hill is the nefarious Percy Noggins who has something to do with why the stuffed animals are being reanimated.

Whilst the story is okay, it's biggest problem is that it isn't really classic Doctor Who. We get a mention of the Sonic Screwdriver, but it fails to open a rusty padlock (what happened to the recent "it can open anything apart from a deadlocked seal?"), we hear a brief mention of the scarf that Tom Baker so famouly wore as the Doctor and there is no mention of the TARDIS at all. My kids listened to it and quiet enjoyed it, but it didn't ring of their modern Doctor Who bells (David Tennent is certainly their Doctor) and they didn't really see why it was called a Doctor Who story at all...my daughter suggested that it didn't really have anything to do with the Doctor, other than the main characters name!

It was a diverting 70 minutes of drama, but unfortunately it didn't draw me in enough to make me want to buy the second in the series. 5/10 rounded up to 3 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Baker is Back!, 19 Nov 2009
By 
Paul B "-pb-" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: "Doctor Who": Hornets' Nest: Stuff of Nightmares v. 1 (BBC Audio) (Audio CD)
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This new BBC Audio release has a lot to live up to, thanks mainly to Big Finish and their often excellent Doctor Who audio adventures.

But then the BBC have brought in Tom Baker, which will at least ensure sales are high no matter what the quality of the story. Thankfully, Stuff of Nightmares turns out to be a good story anyway and well worth listening to.

Stuff Of Nightmares is the first in a series of inter-linked adventures called 'Hornet's Nest'. Though each adventure can be easily listened to separately without hearing the last it will make more sense to listen to them all in order. In this respect it's a bit like the 8th Doctor stories which have been broadcast on BBC7 and released by BBC on CD.

Tom does a good job of bringing the 4th Doctor back but does seem to take time to get back into the role with a little awkward acting at the start and it's good to see Mike Yates as another returning character, voiced by Richard Franklin and certainly a better rounded character than he ever was in the 80's. Daniel Hill is also very good and really brings out the best of his shady character.

So with all the good voice acting and a great script by Paul Magrs it should get 5 stars, right? Well, it almost does but I think because this is a first effort everyone's still testing the water and it never seems to go all out in entertaining the listener. Perhaps the second story will hit the mark, but even so Stuff of Nightmares is still well worth a listen for any old (or new) Doctor Who fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tom Baker is bang on form as he returns in this new chilling tale, 15 Nov 2009
By 
L. Green "Feltano" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: "Doctor Who": Hornets' Nest: Stuff of Nightmares v. 1 (BBC Audio) (Audio CD)
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Before saying anything else, it just needs to be said - Tom Baker. Back playing The Doctor, how amazing is that! And i'm pleased to say, he's just at home with the role as ever. In a story told largely between him and Mike Yates, it has an intimate feel to it. The descriptions and production quality adds a wonderful ambience to it, in many ways recreating the feel of 70s Doctor Who to a T.

Listening to this story a wonderful sense of nostalgia will sweep over you. The story itself concerns itself with stuffed animals bizarrely becoming re-animated, coming back to life and attacking. As the Doctor investigates further the plot thickens and the reason behind this is revealed. It's a hauntingly morbid subject matter, again harking back in a way to the gothicness of 70s Doctor Who.

Sometimes the pacing can slack at times and the storyline is not the strongest, perhaps partly due to the format of the story being told largely as an extended flashback narrated by The Doctor to Mike. As the action builds up however, Tom is in his element and the finale leaves the listener on edge, eager for the next instalment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite "viewing from behind the sofa...", 13 Nov 2009
By 
Sandford "Sandy" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: "Doctor Who": Hornets' Nest: Stuff of Nightmares v. 1 (BBC Audio) (Audio CD)
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Not highest-rated Doctor, but I enjoyed this adventure, and Tom Baker's very dry, acerbic wit. I do have a short attention span, so being 70 minutes long, I was able to listen to this rather engagingly creepy narrative. Richard Franklin's voice also helped keep me hooked in this respect. I rather enjoyed the audio-book style, rather than a full cast audio presentation with all the accompanying background detailing. This certainly had enough presence and atmosphere to keep me listening in one sitting. I will certainly re-visit it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gives you a real buzz!!, 2 Nov 2009
By 
Mr. D. J. Carr "David Carr" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: "Doctor Who": Hornets' Nest: Stuff of Nightmares v. 1 (BBC Audio) (Audio CD)
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This is one of the most original Dr Who stories I've seen / heard - and there are another four in the series. While not my favourite Doctor, I have to admit that Tom Baker's enthusiastic and intelligent acting makes the whole story quite absorbing, and at 70 minutes you're not short-changed on length (unlike some Torchwood audio CD's). They're also sensibly-priced so the whole collection will set you back under 30. However, if your partner goes for stuffed toys in the bedroom, you may never look at them the same again!! Definitely worth a flutter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Stuff of Dreams..., 16 Oct 2009
This review is from: "Doctor Who": Hornets' Nest: Stuff of Nightmares v. 1 (BBC Audio) (Audio CD)
It's a marriage made in heaven - Tom Baker as Doctor Who in a five part story written by Paul Magrs. The most wildly inventive and genuinely eccentric Doctor in collaboration with the most wildly inventive and eccentric Doctor Who writer.

And it works beautifully on every level. Like a creepy Victorian children's story or a macabre Goprey cartoon, "The Stuff of Nightmares" builds layer on layer of meaning and menace, with Baker slipping gently back into a role he hadn't revisited in over twenty years and Richard Franklin as Mike Yates proving surprisingly good. Throw in the always wonderful Susan Jameson as Mrs Wibbesy, a collection of other excellent actors as the sundry other characters and Magrs constantly witty, clever and often touching writing, and you have a multi-voice audio to treasure, with the full cast putting their all into this rather wonderful chronicle of the Doctor and his ertswhile companion in their battle against the inhabitants of the Hornet's Nest!

Really can't be recommended enough!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Opener, 3 Oct 2009
By 
J. Skade "joeskade" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: "Doctor Who": Hornets' Nest: Stuff of Nightmares v. 1 (BBC Audio) (Audio CD)
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I suppose one of the skills in writing an episode of an interlinked cycle is to provide enough resolution for the episode to stand alone whilst leaving the listener in a state of eager anticipation of the next episode. The weakness of this story is shown by the fact that that I was left unsatisfied by the tale's conclusion and at the same time in two minds about listening to part two.
The story opens promisingly with Mike Yates being lured to Nest cottage by a strange advertisement, but Mike's role in the story thereafter is disappointingly minimal. The tale of stuffed animals coming to life is narrated by Tom Baker in grand style with occasional dramatised moments, but even Baker can't evoke the sort of atmosphere needed to carry this stuff off.
The writer seems occasionally to forget that the Doctor is talking to Mike Yates, rather than narrating a novelisation. Also both characters appear at moments considerably slower than I remember.
Having said that the cd frittered away an hour or so in a mildly pleasurable fashion.
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