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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quality start to another Tom Baker return
In an age where Russell T Davies, David Tennant, Steve Moffat and Matt Smith have radically reinvented Doctor Who and taken the world by storm, it's most pleasing indeed that the BBC hasn't forgotten the show's original roots. To the point where they keep its legacy alive in the form of brand new audiobooks featuring none other than the Fourth Doctor himself, Tom...
Published on 29 May 2011 by R. Wood

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An improvement on Hornet's Nest, but still a bit too much of a tease for the followups
"I am an almost perpetual traveller. I wander through the vast starfields of the universe. I cross the bridges between dimensions. I traipse the towpaths of time. The galaxies are mine to range across for ever and a day..."

With these atmospheric opening lines, Tom Baker kicks off his second series of five linked audio adventures reprising his most famous role,...
Published on 22 Sept. 2010 by Trevor Willsmer


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quality start to another Tom Baker return, 29 May 2011
By 
R. Wood "ryecroftwood2" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who Demon Quest 1: The Relics Of Time (Audio CD)
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In an age where Russell T Davies, David Tennant, Steve Moffat and Matt Smith have radically reinvented Doctor Who and taken the world by storm, it's most pleasing indeed that the BBC hasn't forgotten the show's original roots. To the point where they keep its legacy alive in the form of brand new audiobooks featuring none other than the Fourth Doctor himself, Tom Baker.

Fresh off the success of the Hornets' Nest audio series, Tom reprises the role (along with his hat and scarf) once again for another five-part audio series called Demon Quest. In tow is Susan Jameson reprising her role as Mrs Wibbsey (the Doctor's Housekeeper!) as the Time Lord's companion from Hornets' Nest, and the whole arc is written by the same man, Paul Magrs.

Set one year after the conclusion of Hornets' Nest, the Doctor returns to Nest Cottage to see how Mrs Wibbsey is adapting to her new life. Unfortunately, whilst the Fourth Doctor is rebuilding the TARDIS, Mrs Wibbsey accidentally sells a key component at the jumble sale! But upon investigation, its revealed that the purchaser traded the TARDIS part for a bag containing four mysterious items, which leads the Doctor and his companion on a travel to Ancient Britain, shortly before Emperor Claudius' invasion, and find themselves caught in-between a war of opposing tribes.

The Relics of Time is an enjoyable audio play. Tom Baker, a natural voiceover, settles in comfortably to the role once again. He narrates the events with great charm and sophistication, bringing life to the character of HIS Doctor, which remains the stuff of legend. You can visualise this chapter of Demon Quest as though you were watching an original episode of the old series. It certainly captures the style and heart of old Who, thanks to Tom, Ron Grainer's vintage theme tune, the great sound-effects and background music, and Paul Magrs' script.

Magrs has been loyal to everything that made the original series so special, writing a tale that faithfully captures the essence of Doctor Who's early days. Story-wise, it has the typical silliness, drama, shocks and intrigue that any fan can expect. The Relics of Time, though, isn't all that special, and the events don't really leave you hungering for more. Rather, merely curious to discover how the loose-ends and unresolved sub-plots will be continued across the whole arc.

But The Relics of Time is certainly worth checking out, down to Tom Baker's terrific narrative, and Mrs Wibbsey, who proves to be an inspiring companion for the Fourth Doctor. Susan Jameson definitely relishes in performing such a strong character, and with Nigel Anthony providing merriment as the mysterious `Wizard' and Richard Franklin making a welcome cameo return as Captain Mike Yates, there's a lot of charm to be found here.

Kudos must also go to the BBC's graphics department for producing a delightful cover for the CD. Aside from having a great mosaic portrait of the Fourth Doctor, the inside sleeve is laid out with `cut-outs' of information, done in the style of the Radio Times from long ago, which is a nice touch, as is the excerpt from the history book that plays relevance in the story.

Doctor Who: Demon Quest looks set to being a worthwhile audio saga. While The Relics of Time is hardly a promising start (and is left far behind by the likes of The Forever Trap and Prisoner of the Daleks), it's nevertheless a fine audio book, and for Tom Baker fans - and fans of the old days of Doctor Who - it's a worthy addition to your collection, and you feel safe with the knowledge that this is early days, and the best is surely yet to follow.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The character's the thing, 13 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Doctor Who Demon Quest 1: The Relics Of Time (Audio CD)
To be honest I'm not that bothered about any weaknesses in Paul Magrs' story here; Tom Baker is back and as boomingly barmy and brilliant as ever. With a little more character interaction than the previous series, Doctor Who: Hornets' Nest: The Complete Series this is a superb double-act from the irrepressible Baker and his cantankerous housekeeper out-of-time the fantastically named Mrs Wibbsey, played by Susan Jameson. Just listening to the Fourth Doctor curling his tongue around the name 'Wibbsey' is enough for me, and my only grumble is that these audio books are so few and far-between.
With The Doctor and Wibbsey on the case of an Emperor Claudius impersonator, and about to arrive at the famed Moulin Rouge theatre, things are poised perfectly and I can't wait for part 2 to arrive..!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Come along, Mrs Wibbsey!, 22 July 2011
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who Demon Quest 1: The Relics Of Time (Audio CD)
Following the wonderful Hornet's Nest series of audio adventures read by Tom Baker, reprising his role as the Fourth Doctor, this is the first of a new series, Demon Quest. This single cd story, The Relics of Time, begins the story as the Doctor returns to Nest Cottage, with his cantankerous housekeeper Mrs Wibbsey in residence. It's nearly Christmas time again, and the Doctor is keen for a bit of time to work on aspects of the Tardis console over the holiday period. However, his maintenance, and Mrs Wibbsey's Church sale collecting causes a bit of strife when a vital piece of the Tardis appears to go missing. But is it? Who is the mysterious stranger who traded several odd objects in a bag for the console part? And why does it seem to lead the Doctor and Mrs Wibbsey on a trail hunt back to Roman Britain?

Captured by a British tribe, and forced into the role of slayer of the mysterious wizard in the next village, the Doctor and Mrs Wibbsey meet up with a lot more than than they bargained for. And are left with more questions than answers as they continue to follow the mysterious object trail.

Tom Baker is, as always, brilliant in his role as the Fourth Doctor. Funny, absent-minded, sometimes a bit grumpy, he is on top form again. As is Susan Jameson as Mrs Wibbsey - and it appears that Captain Mike Yates may be joining them for Christmas again as well - ah, but we need to wait for the next episode to find out what happens next.

Totally brilliant stuff! Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mosaic of mystery, 25 Sept. 2010
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who Demon Quest 1: The Relics Of Time (Audio CD)
Following on from last years series of audios Doctor Who: Hornets' Nest: The Complete Series which saw Tom Baker return to the role of Doctor Who, here's the first of five more audio adventures for the Fourth Doctor.

Whilst these return to the setting of Hornet's nest - a little cottage that the Doctor stays at from time to time, tended by housekeeper Mrs. Wibbsey who used to live in an earlier time - you don't need to have heard Hornet's nest to get into this as it does pretty much stand on it's own.

This opening story sees the Doctor having problems with the TARDIS, thanks to Mrs. Wibbsey, which leaves it only able to travel in time rather than space. Someone is in possession of the components the Doctor needs to fix things, but this mystery person has left behind some strange artefacts that lead the Doctor and Mrs. Wibbsey back to ancient britain.

In the face of warring tribes, an elephant, and a certain person who shouldn't actually be there, there's a mystery for the Doctor to solve.

This runs for fifty seven minutes and is one long episode, the only break on the cd being cd chapters. It's narrated by Tom Baker in character and he seems to be enjoying himself very much. There were times in hornet's nest when it felt more like it was him reading narration rather than playing the doctor, but that's never a problem here. And by having the bulk of it done as dialogue it also avoids the problem of earlier parts of hornets nest which had too much narration. The fourth doctor and slightly dotty old ladies have always been a good combination and the character and Mrs Wibbsey spark off each other quite nicely. In not a great manner. But a very good one.

Although this release doesn't entirely stand on it's own. There's a minimal historical adventure which is easily resolved but the central villainy and mystery remain to be looked into in greater detail in subsequent parts. Things do end on an intriguing note though that will make you want to know what will happen next.

And the final scene is quite fun with it. The story continues in Doctor Who: Demon Quest: Demon of Paris v. 2: The Demon of Paris. And I'm rather looking forward to it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An improvement on Hornet's Nest, but still a bit too much of a tease for the followups, 22 Sept. 2010
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who Demon Quest 1: The Relics Of Time (Audio CD)
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"I am an almost perpetual traveller. I wander through the vast starfields of the universe. I cross the bridges between dimensions. I traipse the towpaths of time. The galaxies are mine to range across for ever and a day..."

With these atmospheric opening lines, Tom Baker kicks off his second series of five linked audio adventures reprising his most famous role, and a rather more successful job it is than its predecessor Hornet's Nest. It's still not a fully dramatised story, though there are supporting players when called for, but gone is the awkward narrative device of the Doctor telling Mike Yates the story in favour of simply addressing the listener direct, which is much more effective and allows for some rather more convincing purple prose. The trigger for the series isn't altogether convincing, with the Doctor's housekeeper inadvertently including a vital component of the TARDIS to a church jumble sale, effectively exiling him to Earth but still able to travel in time, which comes in handy when he finds he's the subject of a mysterious and atypical Celtic mural dating back to the second Roman invasion of Britain - a period he'd never actually visited. Well, not with this face and body...

The story may not be as good as Baker's glory days, but it's certainly no worse than a couple of his latter ones and, even if there is an element of a nostalgia trip to it (it's telling the Doctor's companion is middle-aged as per those who were children when they saw the Baker stories), it mostly works rather well. Unlike Hornet's Nest opener Stuff of Nightmares, it doesn't feel quite so obviously like it's simply a setup for the next four stories, but it does have the problem of leaving you not so much with a cliffhanger as a sense of "Is that the best end they could come up with?" with no clear resolution and no real threat to its Meddling Monk-style story. Baker's voice may have aged a little, but he revels in the vocabulary and delivers it with relish as if he'd only popped out for a minute or two rather than left the TARDIS three decades ago, but while the writing's much improved this time round the story itself still isn't quite good enough to stand on its own or live up to its star turn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who Demon Quest Part 1: The Relics of Time - Baker's back for another entertaining tale, 5 Sept. 2010
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who Demon Quest 1: The Relics Of Time (Audio CD)
We waited nearly 30 years for another adventure for the 4th Doctor featuring Tom Baker. Last year our patience was rewarded with the five part adventure `Hornet's Nest'. Even after the waves of nostalgia had subsided this turned out to be an entertaining adventure and worth the wait. I had hoped that it would not be a one off, and my prayers have been answered.

This is the first part of another 5 CD release. The Doctor has returned to Nest Cottage and his redoubtable housekeeper Mrs. Wibbsey for Christmas and a much needed overhaul of the TARDIS. Things soon go wrong, and some of the components of the TARDIS that he has removed for repair get lost and he is sent off on a trail through time as he tries to track them down.

Written again by Paul Magrs, this is an entertaining tale that recalls the 4th Doctor's TV era nicely. Baker's voice is a joy to listen to. He slips straight back into the role with no trouble. His is a voice well suited for audio work, he has an excellent range of expression, and wonderful rolling tones that wrap themselves around each syllable and draw you into the story. Louise Jameson as Mrs. Wibbsey makes a perfect companion for the 4th Doc, prickly, strong and able to stand up to Four's enthusiasms and flights of fancy. I think they make a good double act. Full of the whimsy, humour, sci-fi and horror that made the TV series such a success, this is a cracking story.

This follows a little from `Hornet's Nest', but it is not necessary to have heard that adventure to understand this. This is another excellent audio release, and hopefully the other 4 will be as good.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Whimsical goodness, 15 Aug. 2011
By 
J. A. Eyers "jaeyers" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who Demon Quest 1: The Relics Of Time (Audio CD)
The Doctor gets domestic in the first part of this five-part story, showing up at his country cottage and inflicting all the otherworldly clutter from a Tardis repair job on long-suffering housekeeper Mrs Wibbsey. Domestic bliss (his, not hers) doesn't last long, however, after Mrs W accidentally agrees a part exchange for a Tardis component at the village church's bring'n'buy sale. In return, the mysterious stranger gives her a bag of odd junk, including a photo of a 2,000-year old mosaic of a strange wild-eyed man wearing a long scarf. So begins Demon Quest, as the Doctor and Mrs Wibbsey head back into 1st Century Britain, a country of superstitious warring tribes who mistake the time travellers for druid magicians, and a famous name from history whose very presence there could change its entire course.

Tom Baker gets to take his character to new places in this story, seeming less manic, a bit more of a loner, needing a different kind of company than usual. It's not just Baker's slightly raspier tones that make the Doctor seem older, as if in the ethos of those old multi-Doctor anniversary stories he didn't completely regenerate into Peter Davison, but part of him went off and lived a bit more of a sedate life whilst his latest incarnation does the galaxy-saving. Paul Magrs brings his trademark whimsy to the story, which complements Baker's style entirely (though during some of Baker's first person narration I couldn't help but think of Little Britain). But at no point does the whimsicalness ever get in the way of the strongly plotted story.
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3.0 out of 5 stars MORE JELLY BABIES PLEASE, 22 Oct. 2010
By 
pete "big blue pete" (edinburgh scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who Demon Quest 1: The Relics Of Time (Audio CD)
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The Doctor repairs to his cottage in darkest Sussex for Christmas with his housekeeper, Mrs Wibbsey. But some missing components from the Tardis see him set off on a chase through time...

This BBC Audiobook sees the mighty Tom Baker return to the role of the Doctor following previous CD adventure Hornet's Nest, also written by Paul Magrs. It's unclear where in the Doctor's timeline this is set, although he seems to be between assistants and has had time to forge a close friendship with Mike Yates (which takes some doing, as they never met on television). Rather than taking place in the gaps of the TV show, it might be better to think of this as a dramatisation of the TV Comic strips, where the Doctor did have a cottage in 20th Century England. So it's a more ruminative and playful Doctor than we have seen (or rather heard) before. If you've heard the commentary for The Hand of Fear, much of the performance seems to be played around Tom's wistful/lustful "Oh, Judith! I'm bendy with gratitude..." Mrs Wibbsey seems to be a testy version of the companion Tom Baker always wanted (Miriam Margoyles bossing him about) and the excellent Susan Jameson is a good foil for Tom Baker: "I didn't think you'd miss any of this old rubbish!" Despite bridling at her nagging, the Doctor has a real fondness for Mrs Wibbsey, tinged with admiration: "I have to hand it to the woman - she had stamina!"

In a typical bit of Paul Magrs whimsy, the plot is kicked off by a jumble sale. Mrs Wibbsey is selling off some of the Doctor's possessions in aid of a good cause in the village and inadvertently sells some vital components from the Tardis. A bag of clues set the Doctor and Mrs Wibbsey off on a fairly conventional quest to find the missing components, involving a trip through time in the Tardis and a puzzle which involves the Doctor himself. The Doctor and Mrs Wibbsey visit the past an meet some Generic Tribes Folk who snore, fart and fight their way through the story which is a bit like being in Musselburgh but with RP accents! I couldn't stop thinking it would have been livened up by a leopardskin bikini clad Julie Graham, although it's the kiss of death for anything she's in.

Simon Hunt's sound design is so vivid you can almost smell the stale piss, while the crunch of snowy footsteps and the cries of crows together with Tom's burgundy tones create an adequate soundscape and the spooky music adds atmosphere, especially the driving Omen-style opening track which I'm sure Mark Kermode would approve of! There's lots of educational historic stuff slipped into the dialogue as the Doctor and Mrs Wibbsey get involved in Olden Days local politics and make a surprising encounter - a wizard and his monster, who are not what they seem... The cover of the CD gives an ironic clue here but I'll keep it quiet for the moment! The closing scenes puts the plot up a gear, building on the mystery and sending the Doctor and Wibbsey off to their next destination.

It was great to hear Tom back in the part, and playing the Doctor in this new mellow mode makes me think that this is the character's unscreened retirement (perhaps having ditched Adric during the one-foot-in-the-grave Season 18). He's clearly having a good time, relishing lines like "Poor woozy Wibbsey!" But although I enjoyed it well enough, the story seemed too slight to compel me to come back to it. Although it ends on an intriguing hook, the whimsical tone fights against any sense of real jeopardy which renders the piece less than compelling.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A realistic review, 18 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: Doctor Who Demon Quest 1: The Relics Of Time (Audio CD)
Okay, well I enjoyed the Hornets Nest series probably more than I should because it was just such a momentous and exciting event to have Tom Baker back as Doctor Who after 30 years, and I think this one fact influenced mine (and many peoples) opinions of these audios. In retrospect the series got very repetetive with the Hornet theme getting very predictable, alot of the settings and situations were very silly and twee, Tom Baker was sporadically good but came nowhwere near acurately recreating the fourth Doctor as seen on TV, and overall the series just didn't feel like Doctor Who. The series had one or two good moments, but if I have to be brutally honest I think because I adore Tom Baker so much I probably would have bought an audio of him reading the phone book and enjoyed it.
When I found out that there was going to be abother 5 part series I was pleased as I thought, ah - something new and fresh after the tiresome Hornet saga, Nest cottage, Mike Yates and Mrs Wibbsey (which was enjoyable for an episode or two but you were sick to death of them by the fifth installment.)Maybe we'll get a classic series companion like Sarah or Leela? Some stories set in outer space or on alien planets like the majority of Tom Bakers stories were? So what have we actually got? More earth-bound stories, a return to Nest Cottage, the tiresome Mrs Wibbsey and cameos from boring Mike Yates! This isn't what the Tom Baker era was like (or any other era come to that).
This first part, The Relics of Time, has the advantage of not having the tiresome plot device of the Doctor telling stories to Mike Yates, instead he's narrating directly to the listener, but there's a lot more actual audio drama than narration so you get more into the action. Tom still sounds more like the Tom Baker of today (ie the Little Britain narrator/ eccentric personality)than the way he played the fourth Doctor all those years ago, but you can't help but smile when you hear him exclaim "Hello, old cock!". He comes across as too jolly and avuncular for most of the time, and the serious brooding quality he used to exhibit is all but absent. He certainly sounds lilke he's enjoying himself though. Sadly, the story itself is entirely forgettable, a simple jaunt back in time to ancient Britain, meeting a few druids and ancient celts and a to easily wrapped up resolution, albeit one that clearly sets things up for the next installment. It's a cosy, undemanding listen - make of that what you will.
I'm still delighted that Tom is doing these audios, I just wish they had a bit more substance and got rid of the silly new characters and were able to more acurately recapture the reel feel of the fourth Doctor's televised adventures.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to a series, entertaining standalone adventure..., 12 Oct. 2010
By 
Christopher Meadows (York, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who Demon Quest 1: The Relics Of Time (Audio CD)
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This is a single CD audio adventure, which runs for about an hour. It is part one of a new five part series, centred around the fourth Doctor (played on television by Tom Baker).

The CD is nicely packaged; the cover has a small symbol to mark that it is part of the `Demon Quest' series, as well as a numbered title, presumably so that you can keep the series together and in the right order. The CD insert contains a cast list, a bit of information about the author, and a faux-article about the discovery of a mysterious mosaic. The latter is nicely produced, written by the author of the audio story, and proved an entertaining piece of additional background. Hopefully this quality of additional material will carry throughout the series.

The story contains a varied cast, all of whom perform reasonably well. Tom Baker fills his role wonderfully, as ever, giving the listener a quirky, impetuous Doctor, whose mellifluous tones are a pleasure to listen to. Susan Jameson provides an amusingly acerbic turn as Mrs. Wibbsey, the Doctor's housekeeper, and Nigel Anthony's `Wizard' is suitably murky, with echoes of Oz. Overall, the cast are competent to above-average, if not outstanding.

The plot is a fairly straightforward romp across Roman Britain, as the Doctor struggles to retrieve a piece of the TARDIS and discover the cause of some mysterious historical discrepancies at the same time. The pacing is good, and the plot moves along sharply, but it never really gripped me - the Doctor investigates things, and makes listening easy enough, but there isn't really any sense of peril to keep things exciting. I think that as a standalone, the content is a bit thin on the ground, but it does set up matters for the next `episode' nicely.

On a related note, this series is apparently a follow up to a previous `series' release, The Hornet's Nest. I haven't heard that series, and didn't really suffer for it, but imagine that having done so might have provided a bit of the missing background on how the Doctor came to own a holiday cottage and acquire a housekeeper.

Overall, this is a nicely produced piece, which suffers from being the lead in to a larger series. As a single piece, it is a little mediocre, but as the setup for a longer running series, it works well - approach with that in mind.
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Doctor Who Demon Quest 1: The Relics Of Time
Doctor Who Demon Quest 1: The Relics Of Time by Paul Magrs (Audio CD - 2 Sept. 2010)
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