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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...Maureen O'Brien's reading is astute and conscientious...", 23 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Rescue (Audio CD)
Like having your favourite Auntie perching on the edge of your bed regaling you with a bedtime story when you were four years old, Maureen O'Brien's presentation of DOCTOR WHO - THE RESCUE is equally as heart-warming, gratifying and delicious, and with Ian Marter's pre-eminent writing then this new audiobook from AUDIOGO justifies an unqualified recommendation.

Published in 1987, this TARGET novelisation represents the very best from (former DOCTOR WHO Fourth Doctor companion, Harry Sullivan) Ian Marter, and, ironically, his final novel (he died in 1986) for the publisher. Fleshing out David Whitaker's original 1965 televised two-parter to a full-length novelisation, Marter demonstrates a tactile and creative approach drawing the reader/listener into scenarios that they had not previously seen during the broadcast. It's a skill that, perhaps, under a different clattering of a manual typewriter would have failed to manifest but, characteristically, Marter delivers what could be considered to be a new, refreshing and ultimately an enthralling story. And, with a spin-off effect, it might inspire to visit the original printed novel.

(Description of the First Doctor) "...pale hawkish face. The imperious effect of his nose..."

In emulating the NEW SERIES' "pre-title sequence set-up", Marter strategically opens THE RESCUE within the confines of an aging space vessel, complete with an in-fighting disparate crew, on course to the planet Dido and an uncertain destiny. Deftly handling the introduction of orphan Vicki, Marter ensures that the reader/listener is capitulated into her current predicament (life within a disembodied crashed spacecraft, ASTRA 9) and is immediately sympathetic (will the rescue spacecraft, SEEKER, arrive before the scheming Koquillion - a native of planet Dido - murder her and expedition leader, Bennett).

A fairly simple, doppelganger plotline, but Marter retains an expedient pace and an underlining commination that is engrossing and, by its conclusion, rewarding. And along the way he even discusses the depletion of carbon dioxide and the probably melting of Earth's Polar Ice Caps (the `Greenhouse Effect') resulting in raising ocean levels.

Throughout Maureen O'Brien's reading is astute and conscientious, gambolling from character to character with mild yet appropriate accent variation that guarantees a clear, precise and listenable.

" the door, Susan. How very stupid of me. Of course, Susan is no longer with us..."

With the aid of sound post-production, O'Brien's realisation of Koquillion is chillingly threatening, with a hypnotically challenging voice that could have been designed for a David Lynch film; disturbing and life absorbing.

Once again, the special sound treatment courtesy of Sorcerer-like MEON SOUNDS has delivered a suite of preciously observed, believable - even within this primarily science fiction setting - and effective that supplement O'Brien's performance; supportive but never overwhelming. Whether it's the sound effect of Ian Chesterton swinging back toward the Doctor and unsteadily landing on a cave's gravel ledge, or the operation of electronic computerised equipment aboard the orbiting vessel, or a belligerent Time Lord slamming the wooden portal door to his Time ship, MEON SOUNDS contribution to this unabridged novelisation is as assiduous and inspired. Is there end no end to its talent?

"...I don't care for Wagner very much..."

Overall, DOCTOR WHO - THE RESCUE is as polished as you would expect from AUDIOGO as it combines the forte of a talented triptych: Maureen O'Brien's appurtenant reading, MEON SOUNDS aural creativity and Ian Marter's auspicious meritorious final work.

With eight more TARGET novelisation penned by Marter available for `audio conversion' AUDIOGO have an opportunity to indulge DOCTOR WHO fans for years to come.

Perhaps, as a tribute to his co-star Tom Baker could read Ian Marter's novel, Harry Sullivan's War (The Companions of Doctor Who)? Now there's a thought.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rescue, 19 Aug. 2013
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Rescue (Audio CD)
This is an audio reading of the novelisation of the classic First Doctor story the Rescue. In this story, it's shortly after the departure of Susan, the Doctor's granddaughter, and he is feeling a little lost without her. When the Tardis lands on the planet Dido, the travellers find the wreck of a ship with only two crew members - Bennet and a young woman, Vicki. But all is not as it seems, and the Doctor, Ian and Barbara go through some adventures of their own before they can leave the planet once again, this time with Vicki as a member of the Tardis crew.

The original tv story, first aired in 1965 was only a two parter, and the late great Ian Marter did a wonderful job in taking a fairly sparse story and populating it - backstories on the characters, wonderful descriptive passages of the planet Dido and of the rescue craft coming for the Astra 9 wreck survivors. Maureen O'Brien, who played Vicki in the tv series has also done a great job here reading the novelisation. Her voices and the inflections of the characters are spot on; she has even done a good job with the very recognisable vocal habits of the Doctor, and Barbara and Ian as well. This is an example of a fairly run of the mill story which has been really lifted through great novelisation and lifted further by great reading. The story is memorable really for being the introduction to the Tardis crew of Vicki, and it is, as always in the First Doctor era, the characters themselves who really drive the story and its success. Great stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Expanded reading from a good orator, 3 Jun. 2013
M. Hevingham "Mark Hevingham" (BIRMINGHAM, WEST MIDLANDS United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Rescue (Audio CD)
The Rescue is never going to be held up as one of the greatest classics of Doctor Who nor indeed teen fiction, but its a jolly romp read well by Maureen O'Brien who starred in the original episodes five decades ago.

The story is simple, the TARDIS arrives on a planet that holds a secret; who is the mysterious Koquillion? The crew meet Vicki destined to join the crew, as a young survivor of a crashed space craft.

The novel was written by the late Ian Marter whose novels had a reputation for being more adult in tone than others in the Target range. This tale, is, sadly, a little overwritten in places and whilst I appreciate the need to flesh out the story (done so well by Marter in another two parter's novelisation, The Sontaran Experiment) some of it just drags. A longer read than say Planet of the Daleks, which featured 4 more episodes on TV, this tale is good, but does tend to outstay its welcome.

Luckily the reader is on fine form, and for once the sound FX and music are kept in their rightful place.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waiting for the rescue, 27 April 2013
Mr. D. K. Smith (South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Rescue (Audio CD)
Originally published by Target Books in 1987, The Rescue was the late Ian Marter's final contribution to the Target range.

He first came into the Doctor Who orbit as an actor, initially as Andrews in the 1973 story "Carnival of Monsters" and then as Harry Sullivan, companion to Tom Baker's Doctor in 1975. Several years after leaving the series he was invited to pen a Doctor Who novelisation, and for the next decade or so he produced some of the best books in the range.

He once, half seriously joked that he was given the books that "Terrance (Dicks) didn't want to do". And there's probably some truth in that. The Rescue was only a two part story, so in order to fill out the book to hit the required page count, Marter needed to invent and elaborate considerably on the original, somewhat basic script.

On the screen, The Rescue is designed to introduce the new companion, Vicki, played by Maureen O'Brien. There's also the mild mystery of the mysterious Koqullion, but it's pretty thin stuff.

On the page, Marter expands and enriches the original script with aplomb. Amongst the new material added, there are sections detailing the crew of the rescue ship which is on its way to the planet Dido. Also, we have some very atmospheric descriptions of the planet and its ruined civilisation, which would have been outside the limited TV budget of the time.

By the time of his sadly premature death, Ian Marter had completed the first draft. The final manuscript was edited and finalised by the Doctor Who books editor, Nigel Robinson, and stands as a fine tribute to Marter's work on the Target range.

The Rescue is read by Maureen O'Brien, who as mentioned, played Vicki in the TV serial. She has a lovely reading voice and manages to effortlessly draw the listener into the tale.

One of the best releases in the Classic Audiobooks series for some time, hopefully it won't be long before more of Ian Marter's Target work is available in audio form.
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Doctor Who: The Rescue
Doctor Who: The Rescue by Ian Marter (Audio CD - 4 April 2013)
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