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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time's up
Eleventh and last release in the 'Destiny of the Doctor' series of Doctor Who talking books. These are a range that feature a different Doctor in each release, with stories that stand largely alone but have a linking theme running through them. All of which has been designed to pay off in this story.

How did I get a copy of this?!? Although Audiogo, who...
Published 11 months ago by Paul Tapner

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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm sure it's great, I'll tell you if I ever hear it
I've been looking forward to this all year, and even more so since hearing who was to read/perform the story. I've been loving this series, and, brilliantly, Amazon have been getting my monthly CDs to me very cheaply and a few days before released. However, almost a month after the release, there seems to be no sign of the CD even existing as a solo release, and the...
Published 11 months ago by Simon B


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time's up, 16 Dec 2013
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Time Machine (Destiny of the Doctor) (Audio CD)
Eleventh and last release in the 'Destiny of the Doctor' series of Doctor Who talking books. These are a range that feature a different Doctor in each release, with stories that stand largely alone but have a linking theme running through them. All of which has been designed to pay off in this story.

How did I get a copy of this?!? Although Audiogo, who released the other ten stories for the bbc, have gone into administration, the whole series was produced under licence for them by Big Finish Productions. And you can obtain a copy via their website.

It features the Eleventh Doctor as portrayed by Matt Smith on TV [Don't start! This was written before Destiny of the Doctor was shown]. It's read by Jenna Coleman, who plays Clara on TV. She also does all the voices, save for a couple of them, which are done by guest actors.

The story runs for just under seventy minutes, and is basically one long episode. The only breaks on the disc are the usual cd chapter ones.

Minimal sleeve notes give information about the era of the show that the story comes from, and other Big Finish products.

It is to be noted that although this story is designed to stand alone, and wrap up the linking theme as well, it would probably be possible to get into it if you haven't heard the other eleven. But if that's the case, one big plot development won't have the impact on you that it would otherwise. So hear the other ten first.

The story is set in Oxford, in the present day. The main character is Alice Watkins, a young graduate and physicist. She is assisting a professor who has built a time machine.

But when a strange man in a bow tie arrives, trouble and a lot of new experiences await for Alice. Because the Creevix are coming. And the whole universe faces danger as a result...

Jenna Coleman has a very nice reading voice and this makes for good listening. Alice is a superb character, wholly three dimensional. She's reserved and not outgoing and solely into sciences not fiction, but her backstory is well detailed and she's never a stereotype. Also, since nearly the entire story is seen through her eyes, it makes the Doctor very convincingly alien.

The first half of the story zips along at a very nice pace, with some nice continuity references for those who will recall a certain other Doctor Who story from tv. The Creevix have an excellent voice thanks to some good vocal treatment, and are strong villains.

But then you do have to work on the second half of the story because it does involve a lot of time travels and very clever paradoxes and twists. So it does demand a lot of concentration. The way it ties everything together is nicely done but could overwhelm you on first listen. But then it does allow you the chance to listen to the earlier stories and reappraise them, so there is a fair amount of value in that.

The aforementioned plot development is a nice surprise and something else that ties it all together in a good way. And manages to do the same as the tv special. Celebrate the whole run of the show and look back as well as forwards.

It's just not quite five star material, but it's a decent listen, and a great way to bring this all to a close.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tribute for Matt Smith - Celebrating 50 Years of Doctor Who, 27 Nov 2013
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Time Machine (Destiny of the Doctor) (Audio CD)
It's November 2013, and it's come and gone - the 50th anniversary of `Doctor Who'. And what a month it's been. We've had `The Day of the Doctor' with Matt Smith and David Tennant; the Doctor Who Live After Party on BBC Three with past and current Doctors and companions; and we had that brilliantly funny special by Peter Davison called `The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot'. It's been a truly enjoyable celebration of 50 years of `Doctor Who'.

Most importantly however, this month has been celebrating Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor. His era has contained a vast amount of spacey-timey adventures with the likes of 'The Eleventh Hour'; 'The Pandorica Opens'/'The Big Bang'; 'The Impossible Astronaut'/'Day of the Moon'; 'Asylum of the Daleks'; 'The Bells of Saint John' and 'The Name of the Doctor'. It's an era that's stuck in the minds of today's audience and Matt Smith has enchanted so many with his unique alien characteristics; his manner of dress - tweed jacket and bow tie (`Bow ties are cool!'); and his habit of eating fish fingers and custard. His era is also cemented by his companions including Amy Pond (Karen Gillan); Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill); River Song (Alex Kingston) and most recently Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman).

This month of course concludes the `Destiny of the Doctor' series with its latest release `The Time Machine'. And I must say I've really enjoyed the `Destiny' series so much as a way of celebrating 50 years of an amazing show full of adventure in time space. This series, as well as `The Light at the End'; `The 1963 trilogy'; `The Day of the Doctor' and `The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot' have made the 50th anniversary for me.

Before I go onto talking about the story itself, I would like to talk about the pivotal participants in making this story work so well. As before with previous Destiny releases (the previous one 'Death's Deal'), this is performed/narrated by one actor/actress who appeared in the series as well as one guest star providing the voice for a supporting character. This story is narrated by Jenna Coleman (who played Clara alongside Matt Smith) with Michael Cochrane playing Professor Chivers and Nicholas Briggs as the Creevix.

The story itself is about the Doctor arriving in Oxford on the 23rd November 2013 (`the day of the Doctor' if you get my meaning) after tracking a strange temporal anomaly and traces it to a time machine created by Chivers with help from Alice. Very soon, the Doctor sees the monstrous Creevix arriving appearing out of thin air as they've `jumped' from their universe to appear in ours. The Doctor has to find a way to stop them and with Alice's help go into the TARDIS to get to the source of the mystery and save a certain Time Agent from the 49th century called Captain Guy Taylor who is pivotal to the Creevix's plans.

Jenna Coleman is an absolutely lovely person to listen to on audio. I was so thrilled to hear her narrating this final tale of the `Destiny' series. She's not playing Clara in this story sadly, but she's still lovely to listen to. Here in this she gets to play the Doctor, and the Doctor's one-off companion for this story Alice Watson. I love Jenna's interpretation of Matt Smith's Doctor in this as she gets it so right with the energy and strangely weirdness of the character. It's clear she gets on with Matt so well that she's able to get a clear performance of the Doctor, and her voice when narrating is clear as well.

The companion in this story is Alice Watson, a young physicist working as an assistant to Professor Chivers on his time machine. Alice is what you would call a science nerd working at Oxford University. She's not one for socialising and doesn't read fiction or making jokes. When the Doctor makes references to `Alice In Wonderland'; `Sherlock Holmes' or `Back To The Future'; Alice doesn't bat an eyelid incomprehensible to what he's referencing. But she helps the Doctor in solving the mystery of why the Creevix are invading and to save time itself. I could imagine her being a pretty character wearing her glasses all the time, pushing them onto her nose on occasion.

The story's guest star is Michael Cochrane playing Chivers. Michael for me is known for playing Lord Cranleigh in `Black Orchid' with Peter Davison as well as appearing in `Ghost Light' with Sylvester McCoy. He's also played characters in Big Finish with Tom Baker in `Trail of the White Worm'/'The Oseidian Adventure'; Colin Baker in `Brotherhood of the Daleks' and Sylvester McCoy in `No Man's Land'.

Here Michael plays Chivers, an Oxford university professor who's been working on this time machine of his for the past eleven months with Alice. It turns out that Chivers happens to be Cedric (who the Doctor first met in the first Destiny story 'Hunters of Earth' with Susan). Here Chivers is man torn with his obligations to his family and his determination to use a time machine to discover time itself. It comes with a cost when his time machine has ramificaions for the entire universe as a monstrous force is about to invade.

Which brings me onto talking about the Creevix, the story's monsters voiced by Nicholas Briggs. Nick has done so many things for Big Finish in terms of writing, directing and acting. He recently narrated the Ninth Doctor story `Night of the Whisper' for this series in particular. The Creevix here as like giant insect-like creatures who come from another universe. They are here to change the course of history with the use of Chivers' time machine and intend to become the Masters of Time and destroy the Doctor. I found their monstrous voices really creepy and chilling to listen to especially when they keep saying to the Doctor - `You cannot stop us! We are already here!'. But the Doctor manages to stop them in the end.

Now if you're wondering what was the point of the Eleventh Doctor appearing in the previous `Destiny' stories to give messages to his previous selves, here are the answers. But as Amy Pond would say `this is where it gets complicated'.

The Eleventh Doctor finds the Creevix have trapped him and that the Time Agent Guy Taylor has been erased from existence, essential to their plans for invasion. In order to prevent this from happening, the Doctor sends Alice to give Chivers a message in which he remembers his first meeting with the Doctor in `Hunters of Earth' allowing the Doctor a chance to escape and use a Time Lord hypercube that Chivers kept for his experiments. This cube is where the Doctor gets to record his messages to previous selves across time and space to give him a chance to defeat the Creevix.

In `Hunters of Earth' (1), the Doctor sent a message to a DJ to give a message to Susan and Cedric Chivers about buying a Bob Dylan record in which `it's all in the beat' to stop the attacking teenagers in 1963. But it also where Cedric remembers the Doctor in the future when Alice gives him the message to allow him to hesitate and allow the Doctor to escape to stop the Creevix. Are you with me so far?

Now you may wonder what's the significance of Time Agent Guy Taylor. Well, he's the answer. Guy Taylor happens to be the son of Captain OhOne (from `Shockwave' (7)) and Lyric Erskine (from `Death's Deal' (10')). And Doctor 11 sent messages to Doctor 7 and Ace to save OhOne and Doctor 10 and Donna to save Erskine from getting killed so they can get married and have a second honeymoon where Guy Taylor gets born. And a honeymoon wouldn't be great without a hotel, which is why Doctor 11 sends Doctor 9 to keep McNeil alive (from `Night of the Whisper (9)) so that he can be mayor of New Vegas in the 23rd century and set luxury hotels for OhOne and Lyric to have their honeymoon.

In order for Doctor 11 to send messages to the Creevix to seek out Chivers and for him to send messages to earlier selves with the hypercube, the Doctor sends a message to Doctor 4 and Romana in `Babblesphere' (4) to keep the Babblesphere computer and not destroy it in order for to be sent to a special museum where it can send the Doctor's messages through time and space. Sent with the use of sub-pulsar rays which comes from research that Doctor 11 asked Doctor 2 to keep in `Shadow of Death' (2) that was on the Quiet Ones (the shadowy force featured in that same story) to give to Sophie to send that same museum. Of course, the messages were bound to get a lot of interference which is why Doctor 11 asked Doctor 8 and Charley in `Enemy Aliens' (8) to use a certain composition of Ruccini and that William Tell was the `key to it all' to clean up the inference for the messages from the museum to be sent by pulsar across time and space. And if you're getting confused by this point, I don't blame you.

Just give me a moment. I'm getting a headache now trying to put these pieces of the jigsaw together.

Now, in `Smoke and Mirrors' (5) the Doctor 11 asked Doctor 5 to keep an Ovid sphere (the crystal ball) safe and to bring it back to the Ovids. Impressed by the efforts of Tegan, Adric and Nyssa when they fought against the Master using psychokinesis, the Ovids shared their knowledge with humanity in the future. That gave the Doctor 11 the chance to use that knowledge to use a certain piece of stone from the stone circle in Scotland (when Doctor 11 sent a message Doctor 3 to save it in `Vengeance of the Stones' (3)) in order to destroy Chivers' time machine to stop the Creevix.

But the Doctor needs his TARDIS back as it's still trapped and caught by the Creevix. What can the Doctor do to release the TARDIS from the Creevix. Oh...what a minute. The TARDIS has got an omni-paradox - stored by Doctor 6 and Peri in `Trouble in Paradise' (6) which Doctor 11 told him to keep in storage for him to use in future. With the TARDIS turning up, the Doctor's able to send the Creevix back into their universe and foil their plans, using a paradox against them.

I think that pretty much covers it. I enjoyed explaining that, although for some of you I'm sure I've made things complicated explaining. Do let me know if I've confused you and I can try to explain a little better. All praise must go to Matt Fitton (the writer of this story) who's managed to weave the plot threads of the `Destiny' series so well in this story culminating towards its end. It must have been a challenging prospect for him to achieve and do. Matt has written something similar in this vein before when doing `The Wrong Doctors' with Colin Baker where he had to do two Sixth Doctors and Mels and untangle some of the confusing plot threads hanging in the air. This story `The Time Machine' definitely has the feel of a Matt Smith-era type of tale with timey-wimey paradoxes involved (the sort of thing that current show-runner Steven Moffatt would write). I'm hoping to write a Matt Smith era story of my own and hope I can tackle untangling plot threads making it so timey-wimey altogether.

I'm really glad that they decided to use Murray Gold's recent theme music for `Doctor Who' for the beginning and the end, and it closes off the series on a fitting note.

So, that concludes the `Destiny of the Doctor' series. I really have enjoyed all these 11 stories celebrating 50 years of `Doctor Who'. I would have liked this story in particular to have gone into the past Doctor lives and repeated the messages the Doctor sent to remind listeners what's been going on, but that would have made things more complicated and the story longer to tell over 70 minutes. I was very pleased with the references made to Cedric remembering his encounter with the First Doctor and Susan, and playing the Bob Dylan record at the end. This is a fitting tribute to Matt Smith's era, a great way to end the series putting the pieces altogether, and wonderfully narrated by Jenna Coleman herself who I've enjoyed listening to. It may take a number of listens I know, but with listening to all `Destiny' stories before this you can't go wrong without a problem understanding it.

And the story goes on...forever and forever....

N.B. If you want to purchase this CD, go to the Big Finish website. At the moment, AudioGo are undergoing administration and the story unfortunately can't be purchased via that avenue.

The next story with the Eleventh Doctor is 'The Day of the Doctor'
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm sure it's great, I'll tell you if I ever hear it, 2 Dec 2013
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Time Machine (Destiny of the Doctor) (Audio CD)
I've been looking forward to this all year, and even more so since hearing who was to read/perform the story. I've been loving this series, and, brilliantly, Amazon have been getting my monthly CDs to me very cheaply and a few days before released. However, almost a month after the release, there seems to be no sign of the CD even existing as a solo release, and the 'Eleven Doctors, Eleven months', climaxing with the 50th celebrations is somewhat lost, and one wonders what the point of preordering the CD back in June was...
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad Amazon! Bad!, 28 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Time Machine (Destiny of the Doctor) (Audio CD)
I've had this title on pre-order for months.

Obviously it's not Amazon's fault that AudioGo went bust (or so I assume) but for Amazon to continue to offer an item for sale when they can't supply is wrong.

This CD has been available from BigFinish (who co-produced it with AudioGo) for the past month, but Amazon are somehow unable to source it from them now that AudioGo have AudioGone.

I could speculate why that is, but I have no evidence to support my suppositions concerning the muscle of a global company as large as Amazon.

In the meantime, as mentioned above, the CD is available to buy direct from BigFinish.
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Doctor Who: The Time Machine (Destiny of the Doctor)
Doctor Who: The Time Machine (Destiny of the Doctor) by Matt Fitton (Audio CD - 7 Nov 2013)
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