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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Empire Be Praised!", 7 Mar. 2013
This review is from: The Burning Prince (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
'The Burning Prince' is the first of a trilogy of stories from Big Finish.

It is a multi-Doctor trilogy from 5 to 6 to 7. The first story is with Peter Davison and is set in outer space in the alien Drashani Empire. It is a four-part story and is by John Dorney, who has become one of Big Finish's prolific writers.

John Dorney sets up the trilogy pretty well with an action adventure 'war movie' feel. I had the pleasure of meeting him at a convention before this story out. He certainly brings a 'classic' feel to his stories as well as some new elements.

There are twists and turns in this story that you do not expect. The death of one of the major characters in the first episode was unexpected for me and it was the way John Dorney intended when he wrote this story.

Peter Davison for me is one of my favourite Doctors. Having enjoyed his adventures on TV and especially the adventures he's done for Big Finish (particularly with Sarah Sutton as Nyssa); his Doctor always sparks something really meaning and energetic in his stories.

Of course, his Doctor is on his own here in the story. This story is set after 'Arc of Infinity' and 'Omega' where he goes back to pick up Nyssa and Tegan from their holiday in Amsterdam.

The story itself is about a group of characters on a starship in Drashani space on a mission to rescue a princess named Aliona betrothed to be wed to Prince Kylo.

There's a lot of politics and family feuds going on in this story that gives a lot of back story about a civil war that's taken place between families. There's also a lot of action and suspense going on which took me completely by surprise.

The cast is exceptional and very invigorating to listen to when hearing this story. Peter Davison of course is at the top of his game as the Doctor in this story. Even though he's without a companion in this story, his youthful energy makes up for the story.

The Doctor's involvement with events really makes it pacey and exciting to listen as he tries to help people even when they're dying one by one.

The rest of the cast includes Clive Mantle as Ambassador Tuvold, who was a joy to listen to. I've seen him in 'The Vicar of Dibley' where he tried to seduce Dawn French's Geraldine Granger. Here he plays an ambassador who seems nervous and jumpy at times.

As the Doctor (and we as the audience) gets to know Tuvold, he becomes a really interesting character. Tuvold has been forced in a very difficult situation when on the mission and has to make some hard choices. I found the moments funny when he was annoyed at having to keep running.

George Rainsfod plays Prince Kylo and is really good as the 'burning prince'. I haven't seen 'Call the Midwife' which George appears in, but hearing him as Prince Kylo was very enjoyable. His conflicting good side and bad side when he's on the mission is very thrilling.

Kylo is unable to control his anger and rage when searching for the princess and gets impatient when he bursts into flame. He seems to be the typical adolescent, but he has a history and backstory which comes across very well and you can almost sympathise with him.

Kirsty Besterman plays Princess Aliona who has a very pivotal role in this story as well as for the entire trilogy. She appears in 'Parts Three and Four' and seems quite plain at the start. But there's something more to her later on, which I won't reveal in case of spoilers.

The story ends with a post-credits sequence which becomes very important for the trilogy as it leads into the next story. It leaves you wondering what's going to happen next and making you want to hear more in the trilogy.

'The Burning Prince' is an exciting start to 'The Drashani Empire Trilogy'. Peter's Doctor is a joy to listen to and manages to cope well without his companions. With two more stories in-waiting for the rest of the trilogy, it gets even better and exciting.

The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Disc 1, there is a suite of incidental music. At the end of Disc 2, there are behind-the-scenes interviews with cast and crew including Peter Davison; Clive Mantle; George Rainsford; Kirsty Besterman; director Ken Bentley; etc.

The next story in 'The Drashani Empire Trilogy' is 'The Acheron Pulse' with the Sixth Doctor.

The next story for the Fifth Doctor is 'The Elite'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Burning Prince – There wasn’t a better way…, 23 July 2014
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Burning Prince (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
This is the hundred and sixty fifth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Peter Davison as a companionless Five. There are four episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with cliffhangers and original theme music between each. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes. There are some interviews with cast and crew at the end of the second disc and a few minutes of the soundtrack at the end of disc 1. This is the first part of a trilogy of interlinked adventures, the second part will feature the Sixth Doctor and the third part the Seventh Doctor, giving us a multi Doctor story in which the various incarnations do not meet ‘on screen’, a great concept that Big Finish have toyed with in the past, but never fully committed to like this.

This is an excellent release that kicks off the trilogy with style. Davison is on form as Five, thrust into the middle of a highly charged situation, trying to calm things down and defuse things whilst trying to work out just what is going on. And Just what is going on? There is an excellent plot full of twists and turns that leads to what seems like the most final of conclusions. Some of the twists are visible from a mile off, others jump up and surprise you. It’s an excellent production, full of energy, action, political machinations, scary monsters and a masterful performance from Davison. 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Burning Prince, 25 Aug. 2013
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Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Burning Prince (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
This is another in the brilliant Big Finish audio series, featuring original stories with the Doctor, in this case Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor. This story takes place after the Arc of Infinity, the 1983 story in which Tegan is reunited with the Doctor and Nyssa in Amsterdam. In this story, Tegan and Nyssa are both in Amsterdam and the Doctor has arranged to pick them up. But the Tardis, being a little `wilful' as the Doctor admits, has taken him somewhere else: to a ship heading for the planet Sharnax, where the wedding galley of Princess Aliona has crashed. Board the rescue ship is Prince Kylo, her betrothed, Ambassador Tuvold, and troops and colleagues of the Royal House of Sorsha. Kylo and Tuvold are the only Gadarel representatives of the split Houses of the Drashani Empire.

This is a fantastic story - in four parts, the action is never-ending, and I listened to the story from beginning to end, and then listened to it all straight away again. The Doctor finds himself having to take an active role in attempting to prevent everyone getting killed, and then attempting to keep the peace in the Drashani Empire, which Aliona and Kylo's wedding is designed to ensure. There are twists and turns aplenty in this story; people, places, motives, ambitions are all hidden and slowly revealed. The Doctor and those he is with are placed in deadly danger from start to finish, and the story races along at a frenetic pace.

The whole cast are great; Peter Davison is fantastic as usual as the Fifth Doctor (without companions) and I thought the real standout in the cast was Clive Mantle as Tuvold. Really great.

This is brilliant stuff and utterly totally recommended. The story, complete in itself, does continue in an over-arcing storyline with The Acheron Pulse (with the Sixth Doctor) and The Shadow Heart (with the Seventh Doctor). Just make sure you keep listening after the ending theme music after the end of Part Four of the story; there is a clue which makes you wonder what might still be possible. Thought-provoking, action-packed, brilliantly written and brilliantly played - if I could give this one 10 stars I would.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Noble matrimony, 29 Oct. 2012
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Burning Prince (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Latest Doctor Who audio story from Big Finish. The start of a new trilogy of them.

For the past few years Big Finish have done trilogies involving three stories in a row for the same Doctor. But this one breaks that format. Because each story features a different Doctor. Travelling on their own. All dealing with events involving an interstellar empire.

This story features Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor. Without any companions. [A brief continuity reference does tell you where this takes place in relation to tv stories from this era, and why he's on his own.] It's a four part story, spread over two cd's. Each episode runs just over twenty five minutes [approx].

It requires no prior knowledge of any other audio, so casual listeners can pick this one up and get into it very easily.

The Drashani Empire has been the scene of a war between two noble houses, both of whom have a claim to the Imperial Throne. A wedding has been arranged between a prince from one house and a princess from another, the aim of it being to unite the two houses and bring a new dawn to the Empire.

But the wedding galley caryring Princess Aliona has crashed onto a very dangerous planet.

Prince Kylo, her husband to be, is on a spaceship that is on it's way to find her. And the TARDIS happens to land on it. But danger lurks onboard, and the Doctor soon finds himself in the middle of a deadly situation...

The first episode does take it's time to establish the supporting characters. As a result the Doctor takes a little while to turn up. All the characters are quite good and do feel fully rounded. It's also a very nice change to hear the Fifth Doctor not have to deal with any of his regular companions as he reacts so differently to characters who are new to him. He's also really rather good at subtle threats, in a way that he never got the chance to be in tv stories.

This does take a little while to get going on. But in the final quarter of part one, it really clicks. That's because the pace of the story suddenly ups a gear and then it doesn't stop for a moment after that. The first third of part two ius a thrilling dramatic action sequence. From then on all the characters are in a tricky situation and the way they react to it allows for them to develop nicely.

Even after that the story doesn't let up and the last two parts feature some excellent and exciting sequences. With some excellent twists, superb villainy, and strong dramatic moments. Particularly the end. Which is very fifth Doctorish.

It does become apparent at this point how the trilogy might link together. Do keep listening at the end of part four, because there's a post credits sequence which promises something for the next two stories. And will leave you desperate to find what happens next.

An excellent and exciting listen and well worth getting.

The next story in this trilogy is The Acheron Pulse (Doctor Who). There's a trailer for it on the cd track after the end of part four.

There's just under nine minutes worth of music from the story on the final track on disc one.

And fifteen minutes [approx] of interviews with cast and crew on the final track of disc two.
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5.0 out of 5 stars First in a space epic, 23 April 2013
By 
Mr. R. W. Graham (Lincoln, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Burning Prince (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
I have gotten hooked on Doctor Who audios and this is an excellent Peter Davison story that sees the 5th Doctor in an alien empire and caught up in a struggle between 2 rival families. The Prince and Princess of the rival families are to be married in a bid to end years of conflict and are on a ship that crashes onto a remote planet and The Doctor has to keep everyone alive. The great thing about these audios is you don't have to worry about poor effects or an ageing Peter Davison looking nothing like how he played The Doctor on tv so you can imagine this as a lost adventure from around 1983. A tense, gripping 4 parter that's the first in a trilogy with Colin Baker's 6th Doctor dealing with the repercussions from this story in part 2 and Sylvester Mccoy's 7th Doctor dealing with repercussions in the 3rd and final story. Aliens The Igris sound good in audio form and supporting cast are good while Davison is excellent.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite possibly the most edge-of-your-seat BF so far., 4 May 2013
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This review is from: The Burning Prince (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
This story is said to take place afew moments after Arc of Infinity, the Doctor having left Tegan and Nyssa in a hotel in Amsterdam.

I believe it takes place shortly after the (poorly made but well-novelised) story Warriors of the Deep. The ever-present dark tone, gritty outlook of the world and the sheer danger the Doctor and the characters face in the story are PURE and UNDENIABLE season 21 material.

Plus, the Doctor's image on the cover looks like he did in Season 21, shorter hair and a slightly different outfit. So when you watch the story, remember when the Doctor mentions Nyssa and Tegan, just pretend he said TURLOUGH and Tegan, the story fits so perfectly after Warriors that you will need not concentrate on that thought again.

Also, the artwork inside the cover is very helpful, showing what the monsters and vehicles look like, something Destination Nerva could have done with. Sometimes I do struggle to decide what the monsters look like, you know ?
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The Burning Prince (Doctor Who)
The Burning Prince (Doctor Who) by John Dorney (Audio CD - 30 Sept. 2012)
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