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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...recommended without hesitation...", 6 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Doctor Who: Vengeance of the Stones (Destiny of the Doctor 3) (Audio CD)
If he was alive, series producer, Barry Letts would love Andrew (writer of 1980's DOCTOR WHO - FULL CIRCLE DOCTOR WHO - THE E-SPACE TRILOGY (FULL CIRCLE / STATE OF DECAY / WARRIORS' GATE) [DVD]) Smith's AUDIOGO's exclusive story to celebrate the series' 50th anniversary, VENGEANCE OF THE STONES; it has the Third Doctor's DNA coded throughout it.

Like the Brigadier's iconic moustache, this release is stylishly quipped, technically accurate and as perfectly clipped in a fashion that would make Poirot jealous, moreover, it's as thrilling as a high-octane rollercoaster ride.

An achievement, and, yes, recommended without hesitation.

Set somewhere between 1970's INFERNO and 1971's TERROR OF THE AUTONS, this AUDIOGO exclusive audiobook takes the brave approach in focuses on the pre-UNIT life of Lt. Mike Yates, and so much so that it could have easily been released under the title THE GENESIS OF MIKE YATES. Here, for two years, Yates has been stationed at a British Army base (Port George) in Aberdeenshire's Inverurie only to be temporarily seconded to Para-military organisation known as UNIT to investigate a seemingly inexplicable disappearance of a Military aircraft and its pilot, Frank Parry. The events that unfold around him over the following days would change his life for ever, and, perhaps, as we all know with the benefit of hindsight (see PLANET OF THE SPIDERS) may have scarred him deeper than he originally had imagined (though, at the time, the Doctor may have delved beneath his calm militaristic veneer). Such is the attentive scripting and plotting by the writer; VENGEANCE OF THE STONES would have made an outstanding novel detailing Yates' life prior to `joining' the Brigadier's team.

(Mike Yates on meeting the Doctor) "...he liked him immediately..."

Read by the original actor to play the role, Richard Franklin delivers a consummately professional performance as not only `his' character (Mike Yates) but as the Third Doctor and the stoical Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. For the Time Lord, he personifies him as a reassuringly calm, open & honest yet knowingly implacable, whilst the UNIT leader is replete with bluster and verve ensuring that both characters are rounded and comparable to their TV realisation.

(The Brigadier on his current right-hand man) "...That's Sgt Benton. Very reliable..."

Additionally, Simon Hunt's post-treatment audio track is exemplary, setting every scene with such diligence that it would not be out of aural place in either a television series or cinema release. From relentless galling wind rolling across Base Port George's landing strip, to droning Fighter Jets slicing through the Scottish sea-salt laden clouds, to one of our heroes attempting to tread water, to the Doctor's garishly painted roadster's rubber-bulb horn.

Spoilers ahead.

Smith's basic plotting premise is highly successful; it draws on the scenarios established by the `dream production team' of the 1970s, Barry Letts and, script editor, Terrance Dicks. Whilst definitely not a Yeti on a toilet in Tooting Bec, VENGEANCE OF THE STONES is set in a real place, the Easter Aquhorties, a set of Scottish standing stones including an intriguing `recumbent' (i.e. horizontal) stone, and it is this singular item that is at the heart of the story.

But is this `recumbent' stone of mythical or of scientific or of alien providence?

(Lt. Yates to the Doctor) "...Do you come across this sort of thing often working for UNIT?" The Doctor replied, "More often than you think."

Falling foul of the `recumbent' stone, like Ft. Lt. Frank Parry before him, Yates is effectively abducted by a group of stranded alien scientists, Amillians (from Tharos, a planet in need of minerals, and hence their visit to our own planet as a part of a `scoping exercise'). Interrogating him, the Amillian leader, Garlin - a chilling performance by Trevor Littledale - attempts to elicit the current status of Earth's defences ahead of a `retrieval' and return to their home-world.

(Garlin) "...Your people will be judged when we return to Tharos..."

Naturally, things don't go as planned and in finding, courtesy of the all-knowing Time Lord, that their planet had been obliterated in the distant past, the Amillian survivors' plan changes to one of human genocide to secure their own bloodline.

Inexplicably, the Doctor is aided in his resolution to this new scenario by a telephone call from himself in a future incarnation (seemingly, the Eleventh). It's a fun inclusion but, regrettably, seemingly undermines the intelligence of the protagonist in a way that television series avoided.

(Eleventh Doctor on his Third incarnation) "...dressed like Oscar Wilde on a bad day..."

But can the Doctor retrieve Mike Yates from Garlin, and save the planet from being decimated by homeless aliens, and, more importantly, can he retain his legendary bouffant hairstyle whilst being buffeted by the salty-air of the Scottish coast?

With clever historically accurate nuances (mentioning a once common sight of a Police `Panda Car' [probably a Ford Anglia], and the UNIT deployed Hercules Transporter aircraft seen in DOCTOR WHO - INVASION), VENGEANCE OF THE STONES is thoroughly enjoyable, intelligent, relentless in action (similar to its predecessor, DOCTOR WHO - SHADOW OF DEATH (DESTINY OF THE DOCTOR - installment 2)), and confidently performed with relish by Franklin and Littledale.

Following a shaky start of the series, DOCTOR WHO - DESTINY OF THE DOCTOR - HUNTERS OF EARTH, this third instalment is just the fillip that's required to carry fans forward until April's release (DOCTOR WHO - BABBLESPHERE (DESTINY OF THE DOCTOR - installment 4)).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tribute for Jon Pertwee - Celebrating 50 Years of Doctor Who, 21 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Doctor Who: Vengeance of the Stones (Destiny of the Doctor 3) (Audio CD)
Celebrating in March 2013 is the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee).

Jon Pertwee's era of Doctor Who is action packed, thrilling and full of high drama. The first time I saw Jon Pertwee's Doctor was in `The Five Doctors'. But it wasn't long before I got into watching his episodes including 'The Three Doctors'; 'Carnival of Monsters'; 'Inferno'; 'Day of the Daleks', etc.

The first 'Doctor Who' to be in colour, audiences would see Jon Pertwee exiled to Earth and battling Daleks; Drashigs; Axons; Sea Devils; Autons and the Master. With U.N.I.T.; the Brigadier; Sergeant Benton; Mike Yates and Jo Grant (Katy Manning), this is what makes the Jon Pertwee era so special.

I've personally done my own Third Doctor story. This leads me onto talking about the third of the `Destiny of the Doctor' series produced by Big Finish and AudioGo - `Vengeance of the Stones'.

As with 'Hunters of Earth' and 'Shadow of Death', this story is narrated and performed by one actor from the TV series and a guest star. 'Vengeance of the Stones is performed by Richard Franklin (who played Mike Yates) and guest stars Trevor Littledale as the villainous Garlin.

`Vengeance of the Stones' is by Andrew Smith, who I met first time at in Tunbridge Wells. Andrew wrote 'Full Circle' for Tom Baker's Doctor in 'The E-Space Trilogy'. Since then he was written stories for Big Finish including `The Invasion of E-Space' and `The First Sontarans'.

At the same convention, I also met Richard Franklin who played Mike Yates. Richard Franklin is a gentleman and is very pleasant to talk to. It was nice to chat to him about his time on 'Doctor Who' and working with Jon Pertwee; Katy Manning and Nicholas Courtney.

With Richard Franklin and Andrew Smith at the same convention, it was an opportune moment for to ask them to sign the CD cover of 'Vengeance of the Stones' for me.

This story is special not just because it's got U.N.I.T.; the Brigadier and Bessie (the Doctor's yellow little roadster); but it is also significant in being the debut story for young lieutenant Mike Yates who would eventually become `captain' in 'Terror of the Autons'.

Although we know Mike Yates was assigned to U.N.I.T. as the Brigadier's second-in-command, we never saw how he got involved with U.N.I.T. in the first place. Here is the story, as Mike meets the Brigadier and the Doctor in the highlands of Scotland.

Having been to Scotland on holidays and visiting a stone circle on the Isle of Lewis, I was able to visualise this story pretty well. I wasn't familiar with the term `recumbent' stone circles, but Andrew (being a Scot himself) certainly knew about them when he wrote this story on holiday.

There's been a bit of stick about the little boy `Davey Ross', who people seem to assume he's either a young version of `Dave Ross' or maybe perhaps `Davros'. I didn't realise this at first until somebody mentioned it, and if it's meant to be funny it's certainly amusing to me.

Richard narrates this story well and manages to pitch the Doctor and the Brigadier on the right level. I enjoyed listening to the `prologue' with the RAF fighter plane. Richard also does well in progressing the Doctor's journey and it feels more multi-character rather than just focusing on Mike's character.

It was lovely to hear the Doctor trying to be reasonable and negotiate with the Tharos aliens whilst Garlin and the others intend to kill all humans. It put me very much in mind of 'Doctor Who and the Silurians' in terms of the conflict between humans and the Tharos aliens.

I enjoyed listening to the Brigadier's military manner, clipped moustache and all. It made me feel as if Nick Courtney was in the story. Just when you think the Brigadier's sceptical and unconvinced by the Doctor's theories, he's soon into rescuing the Doctor from the sea in a helicopter.

Trevor Littledale plays Garlin, the leader of the Tharos aliens. He brings a tortured and vengeful quality, that's sinister and frightening. These aliens have been subjected to the violence of humankind and now they want vengeance for the crimes being made against them.

The link of these `DOTD' stories is still unclear, although we do get to have a scene where the Third Doctor receives a phone call from his `future self'. It was very exciting to listen to and Richard Franklin does a good impersonation of the Matt Smith Doctor.

There aren't any CD extras, apart from info on the Doctor and Mike Yates in the CD sleeve notes. If you subscribe the complete DOTD series from Big Finish, there's a documentary called 'Meeting with Destiny' that includes behind-the-scenes interviews on the making of 'Vengeance of the Stones'.

'Vengeance of the Stones' has all the elements of the Jon Pertwee era. From Bessie to U.N.I.T.; from thriller to action packed drama, I found this story very enjoyable. Having the opportunity to meet Richard Franklin and Andrew Smith, allowed me to gain more insight to the characters and the story.

The next 'DOTD' story is with the Fourth Doctor called 'Babblesphere'.

The next story with the Third Doctor is 'Doctor Who and the Silurians'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars U.N.I.T. in the highlands, 16 Mar. 2013
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Vengeance of the Stones (Destiny of the Doctor 3) (Audio CD)
Third in the 'Destiny of the Doctor' series of Doctor Who talking books. These are a series of eleven audios which tell a different and all new Doctor Who story, and are being released at the rate of one a month. Featuring a different one of the Doctors each month.

They are narrated by an actor from the particular era of the TV show that the relase covers. Who also does all the voices -referring to the character they played on tv in the third person - save for one voice which is performed by a guest.

This runs for just over sixty five minutes, and is basically one long episode. The only breaks on it are the usual cd chapter ones.

Minimal sleeve notes give copyright details, advertise other BBC Doctor Who audios, and give brief information about the era of the show that the release covers.

Although these stories are stand alone, there is a linking theme to them, that will doubtless pay off come the final one. However you can listen to this one completely on it's own without having heard the first two. The linking theme comes in in just one scene, and has no bearing on his this story proceeds.

This is a third Doctor story. Richard Franklin, who played U.N.I.T. Captain Mike Yates back in that era narrates. Telling the tale of how Mike first met the Brigadier and the Doctor. When a plane on a training flight in North East Scotland mysteriously vanishes, U.N.I.T. investigate, and Mike ends up working with them. The investigation leads to some ancient standing stones. And unearths a deadly threat to the human race...

You could be forgiven that you have vague memories of having seen this story on TV back in the 70's. Because it fits the era in which it is set so utterly perfectly. Everything common element of the Third Doctor and U.N.I.T. stories are here. And that is all part of the charm. The plot does develop at a decent pace, with set pieces that you can easily visualise with your imagination in the style of 70's Who, and although it does look for a moment as if it might go the same way as certain things in Destiny of the Doctor Two, it does have more twists and turns and does end up being very different.

The scene that ties in with the linking theme doesn't really tell us much more about that than before, but is different enough to make it very memorable.

Particular mention must go to the sound design. Never intrusive, but perfect throughout. From jet engines to alien noises to windswept heathlands, it really makes the listener feel as if they're there.

The best of this series so far. And well worth a listen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vengeance of the Stones, 21 Oct. 2014
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Vengeance of the Stones (Destiny of the Doctor 3) (Audio CD)
This is the third episode in the eleven-story arc of the Destiny of the Doctor series, which features eleven stories on individual cd releases, with each story telling of an adventure of one of the Doctor’s incarnations.

This episode features a story told of the time of the Third Doctor, with Mike Yates featuring as the main character in the narration. The story is set fairly early on in the Third Doctor’s time on Earth, when he is working for UNIT. When an RAF fighter jet disappears from a training run over North East Scotland, UNIT are called in to investigate, and the young Lieutenant Mike Yates joins them to assist. This is the first adventure that Mike has with UNIT and the first time he meets the Doctor. The Doctor, with Mike and the Brigadier’s help, finds a potential common link, and UNIT head out to solve the mystery.

This is a really evocative ‘classic’ Third Doctor story. Richard Franklin performs the story well, and handles the characters of Mike Yates, the Doctor and Brigadier wonderfully well. The other main character in the story is performed by Trevor Littledale (no spoilers). The story is really well written, and is really well grounded in the wonderful era of the 1970s with gadgets and the flamboyant Doctor as played by Jon Pertwee all those years ago.

There is a distinct but as yet unexplained link to the story arc with the Doctor receiving a mysterious phone call. This adds to the story arc links we have come across so far in the first and second stories of this series, and adds to the mystery which we will continue following in the next episodes. Thoroughly enjoying this series, and look forward to the Fourth Doctor adventure next, Babblesphere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full Stone Circle, 18 Jan. 2015
By 
Number13 (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Vengeance of the Stones (Destiny of the Doctor 3) (Audio CD)
It's a routine day for the RAF with two jets on a training flight out of Lossiemouth sweeping along the coast of the North-East Highlands of Scotland - when suddenly, the unthinkable happens. A crash? No, that would be tragic but believable, unlike having one of the RAF's newest jets simply vanish in mid-air. When "the unexplained" happens, they know what to do - send for UNIT and their mysterious scientific advisor known as the Doctor!

Andrew Smith's new adventure for the Third Doctor is excellent and perfectly captures the spirit of a moment in the Doctor's life sometime between the crisis at the `Inferno' drilling site and before the second Nestene invasion, or in television terms, between classic series 7 and 8. He has no assistant at this time, but when he and the Brigadier fly in to Lossiemouth with all the kit any UNIT operation needs, they meet the helpful local liaison officer, a young, eager lieutenant named Mike Yates ...

This is a story in the classic UNIT style, filled with all the hardware, action and battles with hostile aliens that any Third Doctor fan could possibly want. In 65 minutes we are taken on an exciting journey that blends alien science and military action with the landscape of the North-East Highlands with its ancient circles of standing stones. It would have made a great televised story in the manner of `The Ambassadors of Death' with lots of location work and high-speed stunts and it's safe to say Jon Pertwee would have loved it! The trademark `James Bond' style he brought to the role is perfectly reflected here, both in the big set-piece scenes and many little details that delighted this Third Doctor fan. The soundtrack creates a convincing picture of landscape, military hardware and alien technology as the drama unfolds.

Richard Franklin narrates the story excellently and plays all the characters except for the main guest character, well played by Trevor Littledale. He brings over the mannerisms and speech patterns of the Doctor, the Brigadier and Sgt. Benton effectively, without doing actual impersonations, and the decades slip away as he recaptures the young, enthusiastic officer's voice of Mike Yates. I'd have preferred the story to have been written from Yates' viewpoint because it sounds odd to hear the unmistakable voice of `Mike Yates' speaking of himself in the third person.

Among all the hostile acts and military responses, the Doctor is as usual working for understanding and peace - but not peace at any price. Always peace-loving but never a pacifist, he will give humans and aliens every possible chance to behave well, but when the chips are down we know the Doctor will use every means necessary to defend the Earth again.

This is the only entry in the `Destiny of the Doctor' series I've heard so far, and while there is a link to the overall story arc thanks to a mysterious timey-wimey phone call from the Eleventh Doctor, this is a standalone story that any Third Doctor fan will enjoy and a fine re-creation of the early style of the Pertwee era. 5*

Thanks to Timelord-007 for the review that recommended this story, it's excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captures The Era Of The Third Doctor Magnificently, 20 Dec. 2014
By 
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Vengeance of the Stones (Destiny of the Doctor 3) (Audio CD)
Doctor Who: Vengeance of the Stones (Destiny of The Doctor 3).

Product Info.
1xCD
Running Time 65 Minutes
Writer Andrew Smith

Cast.
Mike Yates - Richard Franklin
Garlin - Trevor Littledale

Trivia.
1)A future incarnation of the Doctor sends a message to the Third Doctor via a recording on a telephone.
2)This is Andrew Smith first story to feature the Third Doctor.

What's Up Doc?
Two RAF fighter jets are on a training flight over North East Scotland when one of them is plucked from the air & promptly disappears.

UNIT are called in & the Doctor along with Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart are soon on the scene as they enlist the help of a local military officer a young lieutenant by the name of Mike Yates.

The Doctor discovers a link to the recumbent stone circles that are plentiful in this part of Scotland, The stones are thousands of years old & are soon revealed to hold a terrible secret.

Then Mike Yates disappears, abducted by an alien race that has a grievance with humanity, Their intention is to harness the power of the stones in order to take their revenge, the Doctor & the Brigadier must race against time to save their new friend Mike & the entire planet population of planet Earth.

Timelord Thoughts.
'Vengeance of the Stones' is a cracking return to form to this 'Destiny Of The Doctor' range as writer Andrew Smith who wrote the excellent Tv story Full Circle & The First Sontarans, a Lost Story for Big Finish & has now written a brilliant Third Doctor adventure which delivers a tension fuelled action packed romp thats exciting, engaging, gadget laden & captures the flamboyant atmosphere of the Jon Pertwee era.

Actor Richard Franklin is a solid enough narrator who doesn't really try & emulate the late Jon Pertwee or Nicholas Courtneys performances as the Third Doctor & Brigader but does capture there characters mannerisms very well indeed while guest actor Trevor Littledale who stands out playing the alien Garlin who is a tragic being who at one time was a peaceful creature who sadly endured the brutality & hatred from primitive humans which turns his character into a Greek tragedy figure.

This story is a superb entry in this latest series of Doctor Who adventures that are co-produced by AudioGo & Big Finish which delivers a suspenseful & atmospheric adventure thats definitely worth adding to your Doctor Who audiobook collection.

Timelord Rating.
9/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Virtually, perfect Destiny outing from the Third Doctor!, 3 Mar. 2014
By 
R. Wood "ryecroftwood2" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Doctor Who: Vengeance of the Stones (Destiny of the Doctor 3) (Audio CD)
The Third Doctor (portrayed by the late, great Jon Pertwee) is one incarnation I look upon with great fondness. At this point in his life, the Time Lord had been forced to regenerate and sentenced to exile on his beloved Earth. Now without a home and the power of his TARDIS (initially), the Doctor found himself working for UNIT as its scientific-advisor, as they fought together to keep the Earth safe from enemy invaders.

It was a refreshing change of scenery for the Doctor, who in this incarnation was remembered for being an authority figure, a dashing-dresser, a man who could physically defend himself (like no other Doctor), and was so kind & understanding to his fellows, strangers and those in need. So many unforgettable companions (i.e. Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Jo Grant and of course, Sarah Jane Smith) followed suit, and the result was another unforgettable chapter in the Time Lord’s illustrious life.

So this setting would naturally prove to be inspiring for Andrew Smith, the writer of this third instalment of Destiny of the Doctor. But for Vengeance of the Stones, Andrew takes the opportunity to actually build-upon this era with his entry in the Destiny audio-series.

An RAF fighter jet mysteriously vanishes during a training exercise over North East Scotland (following a bizarre flash of light). UNIT are called-in to investigate, with the Doctor and the Brigadier soon joined by local military officer, Lieutenant Mike Yates. Upon discovery of recumbent stone circles in Scotland, the Doctor realises there is an alien power present, active…and out for revenge.

The character of Mike Yates (Richard Franklin, who resumes his old role here) was never really given a proper introduction in the original TV series, which allows Smith the opportunity to write the (chronologically-speaking) first adventure of the character, including his first-meeting with the Doctor & the Brigadier, as well as exposing Yates’ initial experiences with aliens, and detailing his eventual promotion to captain. It’s absolutely impeccable, along with the rest of this story.

Of all the episodes from Destiny of the Doctor, Vengeance of the Stones is one of the TOP TWO (if not THE) best tale out of the whole range (along with Death’s Deal). It ticks all the boxes for being a classic tale, to the point where you can actually visualise a TV adaptation. The music & sound-effects are on form, it faithfully captures the essence of the era its based on (as we expect from the Destiny series), but Andrew’s story has the edge over most other volumes in this range for being virtually perfect.

The writing, the pacing, development of the plot/characters, the mystery surrounding the alien menace on Earth, the Doctor’s diplomacy/authority and friendship with the Brigadier; it’s ALL rich, plentiful and produced with expertise. Franklin himself proves ideal in the role of primary narrator. Not only does he comfortably settle back into the role of Mike Yates, but his gentle tone (which comes to life exactly when required) lends itself beautifully to both the Doctor and the Brigadier. It’s worthy of both Jon Pertwee and Nicholas Courtney, with the depth of the characters matching the richness of the story.

But Richard does more than narrate, he PERFORMS. His exchanges with the excellent Trevor Littledale (as Garlin) provide real drama for the listener and the battle for humanity’s survival comes across as all-the-more convincing, epic & terrifying because of it. Like Richard, Trevor is ideal in his role, doing all that’s required to make the situation as hard-hitting, emotional and tragic as possible.

Garlin himself is a tragic character; a creature of peace who was subjected to the worst violence and hatred from primitive humans he had the misfortune to cross. You feel for him (and his comrades) as much as you would the Doctor. Deep down inside Garlin, is a noble, compassionate being who you dearly want to be saved and redeemed, yet can’t help but fear for the worse. There are so many grey areas skilfully woven by Andrew Smith, which only makes this particular experience all the more essential to indulge in.

The usual ‘big surprise’ for the Doctor also shows up, but remains distinctive, fresh & genuine despite the expectancy. It’s another positive boon for this chapter (and the whole series), in that something that could easily have been repetitive & redundant always manages to remain welcome and versatile.

Vengeance of the Stones has everything you’d expect to find in a classic Doctor Who tale. There’s a mysterious, gripping start, an eventful middle, and a rip-roaring climax, all paced beautifully and full of messages, suspense and hardships. If you’re not going to persevere with the whole Destiny of the Doctor, then you should at least purchase Vengeance of the Stones. You WON’T be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yates meets UNIT for the first time, 4 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Vengeance of the Stones (Destiny of the Doctor 3) (Audio CD)
In many ways this is a good representation of the Third Doctor's era. It is a fully fledged UNIT story which much in common with many televised serials around the time. All of the elements that you might expect are present. Even Bessie gets a reasonable appearance.

It is related from the point of view of Mike Yates. This is a Yates who has yet to join UNIT and hence, at the start of the story, hasn't yet met the Doctor, the Brigadier or Jo Grant (his potential love interest).Having this version of Yates, before he has been seen in the program, serves a dual purpose. It allows the chance to give the character some form of introduction that wasn't really provided for in the program. It also allows for Yates to fulfil, to some degree, the role a companion often has of asking what is happening. This is because that this is a Yates who has yet to know what UNIT actually does and has yet to encounter aliens. Richard Franklin sells this greener, less experienced version very well.

The narration is very clear and precise throughout from Franklin. At times it works well as Franklin's voice adds a certain gravitas and seriousness to events. At other times, though, he is a bit too calm and restrained. Some of the more chaotic or action fuelled scenes require a slightly more emotive narration.

The concentration around the character of Mike Yates does seem to have the adverse effect of pushing the Doctor and Jo into the background a bit. Although it is essentially a Yates story this disc is also supposed to be celebrating the Third Doctor but the Doctor is only really portrayed loosely through the outlook of Yates.

The aliens, although not particularly memorable, are fairly original and developed. They also possess some convincing voices and serve the purposes of the plot perfectly aptly. They don't really have the potential for another appearance though.

The storyline ticks along nicely despite the occasional lack of pace. With the inclusion and use of stone circles and the quasi-science which surrounds them, there is even a slight Gothic feel reminiscent of `The Daemons' which ended the series that this story is clearly set a little while before.

It is a well written UNIT story that could comfortably have taken place during Jon Pertwee's second year as the Doctor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The killing stones, 1 April 2013
By 
R. C. McGinlay (Ilford, Essex) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doctor Who: Vengeance of the Stones (Destiny of the Doctor 3) (Audio CD)
This, the third release in the 50th-anniversary "Destiny of the Doctor" series, is perhaps even more faithful to the television era it depicts than the previous one, "Shadow of Death".

Fans of the early Third Doctor / UNIT period will find themselves on familiar ground. You can almost see the location work as the Doctor and the Brigadier visit real Scottish locations such as Lossiemouth and the Easter Aquhorthies stone circle. There's plenty of action, with the Third Doctor's love of fast-moving vehicles very much in evidence - he drives Bessie at insane speeds and pilots an RAF fighter jet (this and other aircraft are brought to life with exciting sound effects by Simon Hunt). Also present and correct are the trigger-happy UNIT troops, shouting and shooting away. Characteristically taking a more pacifist approach, the Doctor attempts to broker peace with vengeful aliens and uses Venusian aikido for the first time in his third incarnation. UNIT also reuses its Hercules transport plane HQ, from "The Invasion", and the Doctor rubs the back of his neck a couple of times.

What is slightly disconcerting is writer Andrew ("Full Circle") Smith's use of plot elements that seem familiar from other stories, and even other eras of the show, but which are not actually the same thing at all. We have dormant aliens awoken by human industrial activity, but they not Silurians. We have the disappearance of an aircraft, an event that the Doctor attempts to re-stage with himself on board, though there is no exponential time contour. We have some sinister standing stones, but they are not Ogri (nor indeed do they have anything to do with Richard Franklin's unofficial Mike Yates audio book "The Killing Stone"). There is also a powerful blue stone, but it is not a Metebelis crystal - though one does wonder whether Mike's experiences here might have something to do with his susceptibility to blue crystals later in life...

The writer also includes some unfamiliar territory: the never-before-seen recruitment of Yates into UNIT. AudioGO has previously presented Mike's most recent exploits, chronologically speaking, in its Fourth Doctor / Nest Cottage range, so it is quite fitting that the company should now turn its attention to his very first adventure.

This does beg the question of where Liz Shaw is while all this is going on. Even discounting previous licensed fiction such as "The Eye of the Giant", I don't think this story can take place after her departure, because the Doctor uses Venusian aikido in "Inferno". Furthermore, Mike must have joined UNIT not long after "Spearhead from Space", because according to "Terror of the Autons" he was responsible for clearing up after the first Auton invasion. I guess Liz must be working on some other assignment during the events of this audio play, which I would place between "The Ambassadors of Death" and "Inferno".

Franklin gives a compelling reading, conveying the vocal mannerisms of Pertwee and Nicholas Courtney (as the Brigadier) in subtle ways. Occasionally his tone of voice is eerily similar to that of Pertwee's Doctor.

In common with Big Finish's "Companion Chronicles", Franklin is supported by a secondary voice artist, in this case Big Finish stalwart Trevor Littledale. He lends the alien Garlin as much emotional range as possible, given the fairly basic characterisation in the script. Garlin starts off seeming like quite a pleasant chap, but he quickly loses patience when Mike fails to co-operate to his liking. Littledale is occasionally hampered by dialogue that sounds rather conversationally British for an alien being, such as: "oh, let me introduce them", "wasn't quite up to it" and "well done, yes".

The overall story arc of the "Destiny of the Doctor" series presents itself in almost exactly the same way as it did in "Shadow of Death". This plot strand does not move forward to any noticeable extent. We shall have to wait and see what develops in the next instalment, "Babblesphere"...

Well, that's my opinion set in stone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I told you to wait!, 23 Mar. 2013
By 
P. Kennard (Worcestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Doctor Who: Vengeance of the Stones (Destiny of the Doctor 3) (Audio CD)
In a remote part of Scotland a military plane vanishes in mid-flight, the nature of its disappearance prompting the arrival of the UNIT. Greeting them is a young Lieutenant, Mike Yates...

And so begins Captain Yates' first adventure with the Doctor and Brigadier. Once again, we are treated to a completely new, yet traditional, story. This time, the Third Doctor's penchant for run-ins with aliens who may not be bad guys, the Brigadier's penchant for going in guns blazing and making things, and the period's penchant for mixing ancient legends/myths/magic with dubious alien science, all get an airing.
Told at a time between female companions (presumably between Liz Shaw and Jo Grant), the Doctor seems quite happy to plow his own furrow, going off and flying jets as happily as he throws Bessie around at ludicrously impossible speeds (I couldn't help thinking the writer didn't do his maths properly, the speed would have been just too fast) and being surprisingly genial in his admonitions of the Brig.
Richard Franklin has steered clear of attempting direct impersonations of his late fellow actors, instead giving us a good impression of their style and manner, while Trevor Littledale gives a powerful performance in a meaty supporting role.
The familiar characters guide through a relatively detailed, but straightforward story, with a few nicely unexpected turns. The story is not going to tax your deductive skills, buy halfway through, you should have a very good idea how this is all going to end, but that's not what we're here for: it is in the telling that, again, manages to pull us up above what could have been a dull retread of old ideas.
The only real weakness to the story is the, frankly intrusive, 'arc' section. Once again, we're presented with an unexpected scene, where a 'mysterious' twist foreshadows what is to come. It requires you to know that this is part of a greater story, and unlike the first two, it simply doesn't work in isolation. given the damage this story has suffered from this hijacking of the plot, the final denouement needs to be pretty darn special.
In summary, a good story that could have been better for NOT being part of the Destiny of the Doctor Series.
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Doctor Who: Vengeance of the Stones (Destiny of the Doctor 3)
Doctor Who: Vengeance of the Stones (Destiny of the Doctor 3) by Andrew Smith (Audio CD - 7 Mar. 2013)
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