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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dan Starky's Superb Strax Steals The Show.
Following the teams appearance on Doctor Who I was really looking forward to hearing this book and had high expectations.

I was expecting that the story would feature Madame Vastra and have a Sherlock Holmes approach rather like the excellent Movies of Holmes by Guy Richie, or either of the two excellent TV Holmes, Elementary on Sky or Sherlock on the BBC...
Published 16 months ago by Glenn Cook

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No sign of the Doctor, but an enjoyable Victorian sci-fi detective pastiche
First things first: despite the prominent use of the Doctor Who logo, the good Doctor is nowhere to be found in this 2-CD audio adventure, which is another excursion into the extended NuWhoniverse. Instead, we're treated to an adventure with the Paternoster Gang, the Silurian Great Detective Madame Vastra, her human maid and girlfriend Jenny and the Sontaran nurse Strax...
Published 15 months ago by Trevor Willsmer


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No sign of the Doctor, but an enjoyable Victorian sci-fi detective pastiche, 14 May 2013
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Doctor Who: Devil in the Smoke (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
First things first: despite the prominent use of the Doctor Who logo, the good Doctor is nowhere to be found in this 2-CD audio adventure, which is another excursion into the extended NuWhoniverse. Instead, we're treated to an adventure with the Paternoster Gang, the Silurian Great Detective Madame Vastra, her human maid and girlfriend Jenny and the Sontaran nurse Strax (who first appeared in the series six episode a Good Man Goes to War) involving a corpse found in a snowman by two workhouse children, a sinister industrialist and a deadly smoke. It's a rather enjoyable diversion with some nice touches, much comic mileage from the warlike Strax's desire for bloodshed and a pointless but glorious death and even a cliffhanger at the end of disc one, but it never quite makes the leap from rather good to really good. Justin Richards does a nice job of pastiching Victorian detective literature without getting too lost in past literary styles for a modern audience, though he's clearly having more fun writing for Strax than he is for his nominal heroine. Dan Starkey played Strax in the series and his reprised performance here is a joy to listen to, but his reading is particularly good all round, handling the other characters with considerable skill, even managing to convincingly voice the female characters without slipping into caricature. All in all it's an enjoyable case, but one that doesn't manage to leave you champing at the bit to hear of more of the characters' adventures.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strax is the star, 16 May 2013
By 
Dragon0303 (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Doctor Who: Devil in the Smoke (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Not being much of a fan of the new Doctor Who series, I actually found the absence of the Doctor & companion(s) quite refreshing and for me made this the best of the new audiobooks I've listened to. I also have a soft spot for the Sontarans and seeing as Dan Starkey plays Strax in the series, he naturally does a good impression of a Sontaran, although the payoff are his godawful street urchin impressions, but you can't have everything.

Other than a few of the characters I have no idea if this is in anyway linked to the TV series but I'm assuming not as it really just boils down to being a little whodunit, and not a terribly complex one at that, in fact I must admit I was a little disappointed by the reveal; which I won't be giving away here. In all this story isn't groundbreaking or special at all, but for me Strax lifts it above, I may be biased but he's easily the best character on show, so four stars for him!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dan Starky's Superb Strax Steals The Show., 17 April 2013
By 
Glenn Cook (South Cave, near Hull UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Devil in the Smoke (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Following the teams appearance on Doctor Who I was really looking forward to hearing this book and had high expectations.

I was expecting that the story would feature Madame Vastra and have a Sherlock Holmes approach rather like the excellent Movies of Holmes by Guy Richie, or either of the two excellent TV Holmes, Elementary on Sky or Sherlock on the BBC.
Indeed reading the blurb on Amazon this would really suggest this.

BUT and I am absolutely delighted to report this I was disappointed.

Yes disappointed.
Rather than it featuring Madame Vastra or her `wife' Jenny it really has the star of the book Strax as its centre.

And this dear reader was a really wonderful discovery because this has taken this prodduction to a whole new height of excellence.

I was totally knocked out about just how good a character Strax is. The story is not strong but Dan Starkey who played Strax in the TV show, is just so good he carries this story to a much higher level.
David Starky reads the story well he creates authentic voices for all the characters.
Strax is a natural fit in. He is Strax but his vocal talents really carry the story along.

Strax is a hero but a one dimensional one. The humour of Strax really brings a smile to the listener's face. It is Dan Starky/Strax' story and my goodness it is brilliant.

Think of Brian Blessed's scene stealing in the Scarifyer's Curse of the Black Comet or on Have I got News for You and you get an impression of just how good Strax is at taking the story over.

Now a few niggles.

The story is not strong and I had thought it was an imitation of the Christmas Doctor Who episode featuring this Trio but I was wrong certainly Snowmen are made and a body- seeping blood is magically transported within the Snowman.

Jenny as Vastra's wife is still an unexplained puzzle and this book does not expand on this one iota.

We never get to hear the origin of the trio at all.
Where did Vastra come from?
How did she meet Jenny where does Strax come into the equation?
Maybe these will be revealed in a later story- If so I will preorder it like a shot!

The puzzle in the story is solved but not in the `Sherlock Holmes' Way by Madam Vastra that I imagined.
Indeed Vastra is a total waste of space and time in this story with her sword attacks on smoke beings and a very low key detective skills- more Dixon of Dock Green or a slow story on the Bill than a really good CSI or other top notch American Detective story.

She is literally a cold bloodied Killer (As a Silurian Lizard) and as visciousand as dangerous as a hungry alligator with a bad toothache and a mean streak.
But there is simply no evidence of that here.

I would love to hear this story as a dramatized production along the lines of Jago and Lightfoot- the other Doctor Who Spin Off.

Also I would love more but with far stronger stories.
Dan Starky can only carry a mediocre story so far.
He has done wonders with this 'thin' script but if he had a really top rate story this would merit seven stars never mind five.

Now don't get me wrong I really enjoyed this CD immensely and I think you will do so too.
Dan Starky is simply a wonderful narrator Strax is his character , so his voice is authentic and he not only gets the best lines, there are wave after wave of them.

I cannot rate this excellent CD set highly enough.

It really is an excellent piece of work and is worth a buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite, 12 Oct 2013
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Simple but laugh out loud story staying true to the characters from doctor who. Another fine example of literature from Justin richards
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Devilish Fun, 16 April 2013
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Doctor Who: Devil in the Smoke (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A cracking tale but (buyer beware) not a trace of Dr Who or his
redoubtable Tardis in sight. Instead, Justin Richards' highly
entertaining romp featuring "The Great Detective" and "Lizard Woman"
Madam Vastra and a cast of workhouse urchins, a bleeding snowman
(actually woman as it turns out) and (unlikely but true) a nasty troll
take their places in this gripping investigation of a murder most foul.

Dan Starkey does a grand job with the narrative and characterizations.
Fans of Philip Pullman's Sally Lockhart novels would doubtless love it.

Recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Outing for underused extras, 24 May 2014
By 
James Cameron "Artist / Filmmaker / Nerd" (a world of my own) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doctor Who: Devil in the Smoke (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Those of you familiar with the Doctor Who Christmas special "The Snowmen" will know the characters who take the centre stage in this Who expansion which leaves the 11th Doctor out so that these characters who have been wasted in the show, can shine on their own.
Dan Starky (Strax) performs all the characters - including Strax, this on screen counterpart - with such finesse (and by the sounds of things - fun) that you will be totally submerged into this expanded universe story that you'll end up feeling disappointed that this wasn't made into a full TV story of which this Justin Richard penned tale is worthy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, 29 April 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Devil in the Smoke (Audio CD)
Very entertaining, spooky, and a gripping tale for the lizard woman, the troll and the parlour maid. Dan Starkey (who plays Strax in the TV show), was a very good reader, and Strax almost steals the show, very funny!
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5.0 out of 5 stars No Doctor Who but a brilliant little book., 13 April 2014
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I picked up this book to read following a viewing of the doctor who Christmas special a couple of years ago. Whilst the doctor is not feathered in this book, his companions Vastra, Jenny and the amazing Straxx are and they set out on a case of who done it!! It's a simple fun adventure and not to be taken seriously at all! Enjoy it if you can :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Little Book, 13 Feb 2014
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This little book was fantastic, I bought it for a journey to London. I enjoy Richard's books and this was not one to disappoint. I would definitely recommend this to my friends or fellow Doctor Who fans.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice fun read, 19 Nov 2013
By 
Whittso (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Easy going, just a laugh really, but lots of fun.

Worth a look. Particularly for the Strax jokes.

O o o
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Doctor Who: Devil in the Smoke
Doctor Who: Devil in the Smoke by Justin Richards (Audio CD - 7 Mar 2013)
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