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3.6 out of 5 stars
Doctor Who: The Hounds Of Artemis (BBC Audio)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I quite like audio books, so was quite looking forward to this Doctor Who one as I also like the TV series. The story kicks off quite well, and takes the format of two views - one from the Doctor & Amy, the other from Helen Stapleton (who is the main "guest" in the story). I was expecting
the two voice artists to take the male and female roles, so was a bit surprised at Matt Smith reading Amy Pond's lines but it didn't detract from the story and it actually worked quite well. Both the narrators capture the Scottish lilt of Amy's accent which adds to the tale.

Without giving any spoilers, the story is well written and the atmosphere is helped by good sound effect and descriptions. In many ways it reminded me of the classic Doctor Who tale - The Pyramids Of Mars. The Hounds of Artemis is quite short at just over an hour long (24 chapters) which was a small disappointment after listening to the Harry Potter audio books, but in fairness this CD is more of an episode than an epic.

Overall it was a good listen and I'll be looking at more of these in the future as it was a well produced and entertaining story that helped the car journey whizz by
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
"Artemis will enjoy watching your companions tear you apart!"

Since the popularity of the Doctor's latest three incarnations moved the emphasis on Whovian audio adventures from the Big Finish stories to ones generated in-house, there's been a noticeable drop in quality that's taken a long time to address. Too many of the recent David Tennant and Matt Smith Doctor audio adventures seemed like substandard stories designed solely to part hungry fans from their money between DVD sets secure in the knowledge that anything who had a guaranteed market. Even Tom Baker's return to the fold teased more than it delivered. So it's a genuine surprise to come across a NuWho audio adventure that's not only good but very good - and good enough to make a two-parter on TV for once at that.

It's a classic gothic period piece, with the Doctor and Amy being discovered inside a newly opened tomb in Smyrna in the 1920s. Naturally there's a curse that's seeing firs the local labourers being picked off and later members of the expedition, and of course the ancient evil - in this case the parasitic `goddess' Artemis - is of alien origin. While Artemis herself isn't a million miles removed from the Weeping Angels or the Silver Nemesis the story has been well thought through, offering thrills, chills, a few laughs and some wry observations on human nature - and a name check for Fish Custard - along the way. And that thought has extended to the presentation, with the narration shifting from Matt Smith in Doctor mode to Clare Corbett as a descendant of one of the ill-fated archaeologists reading Amy Pond's diary (it helps that Corbett can do a fair impersonation of Karen Gillan, something no previous narrator has managed). It's an old literary device that works particularly well in widening the scope and keeping things fresh here, making the telling as appealing as the story. It may be too early to tell if this is a sign of better things to come, but even if it's just a one-off burst of quality it's a very welcome and enjoyable one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a good Doctor Who story that could quite easily be dramatised for use in the TV series. It has a good plot, cleverly set between the year 1929 and, via Amy's diary, in the present day. It doesn't really explain why Amy happened to write a diary at that particular time but it is a good plot device all the same.

The story revolves around the uncovering of the Tomb of the Goddess Artemis. At first, it sounded like they were ripping off the Tutankhamun story, with the archaeologist Stapleton and the benefactor Lord Woolcroft mirroring the real life Howard Carter and Lord Canarvon. However, the Tutenkhamun project was mentioned in the narrative and this was obviously a dig similar to many that were happening around that time.

Now to the narration. We have Matt Smith, hooray! Also featured is Clare Corbett as Stapleton's granddaughter Helen in the presernt day, who does not meet The Doctor or Amy. There is no Karen Gillan however and this a big loss. When he started narrating, I was impressed that Matt Smith underplayed Amy's voice and this worked well and my first thought was "Thank Goodness they didn't get Clare Corbett to do it". However, Oh dear, Clare's part as Helen also involved reading Amy's diary. This fails on two points. Firstly, as she never met Amy, how does Helen Stapleton know she's Scottish. Secondly, a generic Scottish accent does not an Amy make.

This is a little unfair on the actress who is only working with the material she is given and her natural voice is completely different. She does a good job as Helen Stapleton and, if I had never heard Amy speak, would say that she read the part of her diary very well.

Matt Smith is brilliant as always.

All in all a good story well read but it really misses Karen Gillan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Personally speaking, I much prefer to see Doctor Who stories rather than listen to them. This was a good enough story but was lacking a certain magic. I reckon that these Doctor Who audiobooks would be better as dramatised stories with a cast to create the drama and excitement that befits any story where our good Doctor appears.
That being said, Matt Smith was his usual excellent self - especially when reading the Doctor's lines and it was then that I could actually picture him in the story, hand movements et al. Even when reading the other parts he managed well enough and was for the most part successful in giving them their own individual characters. For me, the real let down for this audiobook was the co-reader, Claire Corbett. Her Amy Pond was, I felt, the worst part of the whole audiobook, closely followed by her voicing of the Doctor - imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery here, believe me. Matt Smith was able to affect a better Amy voice than Ms Corbett! This is where I believe that proper dramatised versions of these stories featuring the real actors in their leading roles would be the best option.
Overall this wasn't a bad book but there were some major negatives - the main being the lack of Karen Gillan. My experience with this CD was not bad but I think I'll probably stick to encounters with the Doctor where I can both see and hear him!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 25 May 2011
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a cracker of a well told story featuring the 11th Doctor and Amy. I always feel that this formula works best with Doctor Who where the Doctor is travelling with a single female companion. Think about the 3rd Doctor and Jo Grant, the 4th and Sarah Jane Smith and later Leela. These occasions always seemed to produced the best, most memorable stories and I am happy to say that this formula works just as well in narative form.

This single CD tells the story of 11th Doctor encountering a group of archeologists investigating the just unearthed Temple of Artemis in the 1920s. The scenario was quite well researched and features a believable scenario with good characters and situations. There is plenty of mystery and plot twists and some very well written narrative.

This is a read story, not an audio play partially read by Matt Smith (who of course plays the Doctor in the television series) and Clare Corbett (who does not play Amy, but nevertheless has a clear and elegant voice)

This is a great product, perfect for helping a long car journey passby.

High recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I tested out this CD with the children in the flat downstairs on a wet holiday afternoon. The sound track is great, really exciting, and with a thunderstorm all around and plenty of chocolate biscuits we were well set up. Particularly popular with the children's mum is the fact that this CD is a true 'audio book', ie the narrator (and yes, it is actually Matt Smith) reads a story, which helps her in her plan to encourage the kids to like reading and books. The little one is used to being read to by her dad so this CD followed on from that.

I'm not going to spoil the story by revealing the plot, but think along the lines of archaelogists, fabled tombs, terrifying howling in the night and ancient evil. As there was no settee to get behind the whole family had to have a cushion each to hide their faces in; however, no lasting damage even to the seven and five year-olds.

This CD is read and presented in an 'adult' kind of way which makes it suitable listening for 'children' of all age groups. Ideal family listening in car, caravan or holiday lodgings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is my second Dr Who audio-book, both of them with Matt Smith as the Doctor. I was not sure about Smith taking over as the Doctor but after hearing the first book I was much happier. He reads with such enthusiasm and gives the stories pace when they need them as he becomes more "manic". He is also surprisingly good at doing multiple parts and accents, making each character individual. I might go as far as to compare him to the iconic Kenneth Williams as a story-teller.

The stories are short - they are just over the hour but this fits with the way the episodes are written. There are pluses and minuses to this. Having a longer story you can split it over one session but having a short story you can finish in one go is sometimes useful. Now with mp3 car journeys are one of the times when we still listen to CDs and this is ideal for those "are we nearly there yet" moments.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Doctor Who audio cd's have all been quality in my experience, they are well done and this one is no exception.

There are 2 readers to this and the first half is a bit confusing to listen to, probably better a second listen.
The sound effects are good for atmosphere and the second half of the story is much better than the first, it is good over all though and some told by way of letter.

Matt Smith is very good at the voices and it is always nice to have the doctor reading! he is joined by Clare Corbett. Matt Smith can do Amy pond's voice pretty well so well done to him.

The cd is a little over an hour long so pretty short for a book but if you think will get replay use then good value. The cd's nicely presented with a picture disc and the tale is exciting.
Also recommend 'The runaway train'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 26 May 2011
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A relatively short (at just over an hour) but exciting story, The Hounds of Artemis provides a great listen which would most certainly live up any boring car journey.

The Doctor and Amy are at the site of an archaeological dig in which the Tomb of Artemis is opened. As expected with a Dr Who adventure, the contents are the tomb aren't quite what was expected.

The audio book is duel narrated by both Clare Corbett and Matt Smith (the Eleventh Doctor). Personally I enjoyed listening to Matt's parts a little more as he brought a touch of the Doctor's franticness to the story but that's not to say the other bits weren't good as well.
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Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is the one you have been waiting for, The Doctor himself Matt Smith narrates this new story from James Goss. This enjoyable adventure pits the Doctor against a canine horror that would have K-9 for breakfast. This story reads like a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Indiana Jones, a story of mystery and archaeology. Unlike other Doctor who stories this one is shared between two actors, Matt Smith and Claire Corbett. Matt Smith does a majority of the story mostly as the Doctor and Claire Corbett as a documentarian named Helen Stapleton as well as Amy. Most of the time they both rift by taken off the same characters as they tell the story to the listener, sometimes Matt will perform and read the story as the Doctor and other characters and then Claire Corbett would take over and perform the Doctor and Amy. The inclusion of the concept of Amy writing her diary as the story unfolds is a refreshing addition to her own adventure with the Doctor. I must admit that when I got this I expected matt Smith to tell the story and portray the Doctor with the inclusion of Claire Corbett who I thought was taking the part of Amy in this story, so you can imagine my surprise to find this story told in two parts with both actors/ narrators playing both parts. It does feel overwhelming at times and feels like this would have been better as a radio play with all actors involved with the series. That flaw aside, this is a great exciting thrilling story just like the other in the series of BBC audio tales.
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