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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inferno Entertains, 11 April 2011
By 
Mark J. Heckford (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Inferno (Classic Novels) (Audio CD)
Inferno is usually seen as one of the best stories from the original Doctor Who TV series, directed by Douglas Camfield and, owing to Camfield's ill health, Barry Letts. The novel, by Terrance Dicks, is not remembered as being as good, with the 7 TV episodes re-told in just 126 pages. The book certainly is not one of the strongest of the Target range, some of the characters lack a little detail, but Dicks still manages to deliver a text that is exciting and entertaining. Caroline John's super narration, combined with some very good music and sound effects, brings Inferno to life. She finds a voice for each character without trying to re-create the original performances or voices, the result being an audio that creates its own version of Inferno with far greater success than might be expected. Well worth a listen.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning music and special effects supplement an excelling reading from Caroline Johns, 25 Nov 2011
This review is from: Doctor Who: Inferno (Classic Novels) (Audio CD)
Following the disappointing audio novelisation of DOCTOR WHO - THE RIBOS OPERATION, AUDIOGO latest (April 2011) CLASSIC SERIES unabridged release firmly places the product range back on track.

DOCTOR WHO - INFERNO delivers an evocation of Don Houghton's 1970 television gritty and acerbic journey to a parallel universe, and, at times, it exceeds that original broadcast production due in part to the combination of a dramatically skilful performance (Caroline John) and a technical deftness of music & sound effects (Meon Sound's Simon Power).

Terrance Dicks' 1984 novel (published by TARGET BOOKS) expertly condenses this seven-parter into a succinct 128 pages, over-brimming with threat, guile, violence and a message that even today (a drilling project based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK, is attempting to drill deep into the planet's crust to tap it's latent energy - read the BBC News report. The deepest ever drilled is 12,262 meters (40,230 ft) at the Kola Peninsula in Russia. However, this was a scientific project, not oil exploration) would be clearly understood; compromising our planet could lead to irreversible consequences (unless there's an exiled Time Lord available to literally mop-up the resulting and inevitable mess). Such is his skill of knowing the target (sic) audience's quest for knowledge, Dicks the audacity to contribute supplementary back-story to Houghton's script, establishing more substantial character relationships and expanding on the historical differential between the two universes.

Like the AUDIOGO unabridged novelisation, DOCTOR WHO AND THE WAR GAMES, this release delivers faultless entertainment as if it could have been written for audio as the story grows organically across the four discs with "game-changing" end-of-disc "cliff-hangers" that will have you scrabbling for the next disc (or to tap & twirl wildly across your iPod's ephemeral control panel).

Caroline John's reading is, like that of David Troughton's for DOCTOR WHO AND THE WAR GAMES, exceptional. I could stop there as it says exactly what it is. Reverential to the story within which, obviously, she appeared in her reading is a subtle character study yet it is electrically charged with an energy that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand upright and your palms sweat as the tension mounts.

In delineating each character with consideration not only to Houghton's script but to the specific actor, Caroline John has created a depth to her reading that is remarkable and this is doubly so as she has created two sets of similar characters (one "real world" and "parallel universe world"). Her audio performance of the "real world" Brigadier is given gravitas and an air of authentic authority, and whilst Sir Keith Gold is suitably pompous with a hint of kindness Professor Eric Stahlman echoes (Terrance) Dicks' description of "a gorilla in a lab coat". Wonderful.

Admittedly, the first two discs contain "the story set-up" and, at times, can be less than inspiring, however the final two discs are a relentless roller coaster of action that sees our hero dodging paramilitary bullets, the infected talons of a Primord mutation and a research centre on the brink of total annihilation. As we know from watching DOCTOR WHO - INFERNO (either on its original broadcast forty years ago or on the 2009 DVD) is a challenging story to "visualise" but the professionalism of MEON SOUND (Simon Power) exceeds all expectations, especially across disc three and four that ensures that you are drawn inexorably into the careering maelstrom of planetary Armageddon. Multi-layering specially composed music, atmospheric & "technical" sound effects (everything from the Doctor's "roadster", Bessie, to carbon dioxide gas canisters, to a research centre in chaos) is mixed perfectly with Caroline John's voice-track to create an aural tapestry of creativity & beauty that will withstand repeat listening in years to come.

DOCTOR WHO - INFERNO is distinguished, created with a level of artistry that will reassure fans that not only they will thoroughly relish listening to it but guarantees that the commitment of AUDIOGO (under the stewardship of its Commissioning Editor, Michael Stevens) to CLASSIC SERIES novelisations will continue unabated.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inferno, 11 July 2011
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Inferno (Classic Novels) (Audio CD)
This is another brilliant narration of a novelisation of a `classic' Doctor Who story from the early Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) era.

In this story, Caroline John (who played Liz Shaw in this time) narrates the story of an ambitious drilling project to harness the energy from the Earth's core. The Doctor, meanwhile, is trying a few experiments of his own, still in no way reconciled to his exile to Earth imposed on him by his fellow Time Lords. When the Doctor and the Director of the drilling project don't get on, the consequences are far more widespread than anyone could possibly imagine.

Add to this the UNIT team tryiing to solve strange disappearances and mutations, and you have a cracking Jon Pertwee story filled with action and adventure, a great range of characters and plenty of great storyline to keep you hooked.

Caroline John does a great job narrating so many characters; they are all unique without being in any way parodies of the original tv story; and her reading is very clear and well structured. Sound effects are subtle and apt.

Totally highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another cracking good Tale!, 25 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Inferno (Classic Novels) (Audio CD)
Having enjoyed the DVD, I have certainly not been disappointed with the Classic Novel. Caroline John does a great job with the voices. The pace keeps up well. Whoever's idea it was to produce these audio CDs - well done!
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5.0 out of 5 stars In-tense!, 4 Dec 2012
This review is from: Doctor Who: Inferno (Classic Novels) (Audio CD)
One of the very best tales from the original era of "Doctor Who", 1970's "Inferno" still grabs you by the throat even now, and does not let you go. Doom-laden, thrilling, even quite frightening in parts, Inferno is a wonderful story about the dangers man faces when he interferes with the very laws of nature, in this case by drilling into the bowels of the Earth and releasing a primordial horror.
Beautifully read by the much-missed Caroline John, this audiobook is hugely recommended, and if you have children, this is the perfect way to keep them quiet during a long car journey! Doctor Who at its very, very best!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inferno Review, 13 May 2011
By 
Kris (Glendalough, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Inferno (Classic Novels) (Audio CD)
This classic story marking the end of Jon Pertwee's First season As the pompous and flamboyant Third Doctor has been adapted from the original TV episode by the great wordsmith and former Script editor himself Terrance Dicks.

Mr Dicks has made a lot of changes from the original episodes to trim away the boring bits and expand on the interesting and exciting parts. It almost makes it seem like both a new story and an old one at the same time.

For example at the beginning of the story when the monster runs around The Drilling Yard, attacking people has been shortened, while the relationships between The Doctor and the Liz Shaw from the alternate universe and the relationship between the Australian oil man Greg Sutton and Dr Stahlman's young female assistant Petra Williams in both universes have both been expanded.

The Audiobook also gives a better explanation of how the British Fascist state came into being in the alternate universe. The story gets into personal territory when the Doctor is being interrogated by the alternate versions of his UNIT friends Brigadier/Brigade Leader Lethbridge-Stewart, Dr./Section Leader Elizabeth Shaw and Sergeant/Platoon Under Leader Benton. The Doctor tries to explain about how the combined weight of small decisions made throughout their lives had led them to become very different people to their counterparts.

With the advantage of a seemingly inexhaustible supply of slaves, the alternate universe facility will breach the earth's crust much sooner and will allow the doctor to find out what will happen in his own universe ahead of "Penetration-Zero".

The description of the destruction at the Alternate drilling facility and the battle against the monsters to send the Doctor home to save the Earth of his home universe is very exciting and gives some insight into the thought processes of overcoming obstacles and problem solving using the tools around you.

The pace of escalation back in our own universe is more intense, but the major confrontation between Sir Keith Gold and Professor Stahlman that ends in Sir Keith Gold leaving to report Dr Stahlman to Parliament has been almost completely skipped over, only referring to it in the past tense.

The Doctor's last minute return to our universe should be a watershed moment, but it is crushed when the doctor arrives unconscious and Dr Stahlman can continue his work unimpeded. But Stahlman is hiding a secret, he has been infected by the liquid from the drill pipe, the substance that has already transformed several men into primitive ape-like beasts who want nothing more than to allow the crust to be breached and the world to be destroyed.

I love seeing the slowly fading loyalty in Petra Williams as the man she has idolized for years devolves into a beast. It is a wonderful example of how someone will favor loyalty almost to the point of their own death.

The end of the story with the race to stop the drill is still just as gripping as in the original story and the burgeoning relationship between Greg Sutton and Petra Williams blossoms with the two running away together.

This is a great story that has been carefully honed for ease of listening and to make a much more coherent story. I hope you can all enjoy this story as much as I did.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feeling hot hot hot, 15 May 2011
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Inferno (Classic Novels) (Audio CD)
Another audio adaptation that easily bests the Target novelisation it springs from, Inferno is a cracking story that was thinly spread on TV over seven episodes but which is actually far more suited to the talking book format. Caroline John is an unassuming narrator but her style suits this story perfectly. With a range from emotive (her own character scientist Liz Shaw) to clipped (the eye-patch wearing Brigade Leader), John delivers the goods all the way through, and the result is a pacy yet thoughtful audio adventure that does full justice to the original script and isn't hampered by dodgy archival images of molten lava or slightly stilted direction.
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Doctor Who: Inferno (Classic Novels)
Doctor Who: Inferno (Classic Novels) by Terrance Dicks (Audio CD - 7 April 2011)
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