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Doctor Who: The Seeds of War (Dr Who Big Finish)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Latest Doctor Who audio story. Third in a trilogy of releases featuring Colin Baker as the Doctor and Bonnie Langford as his companion Mel. But this story is self contained and you don't need to have heard the previous two releases in order to get into it.

It runs for four episodes, of twenty five to thirty minutes in length [approx] and is spread across two cd's.

The story sees the Doctor and Mel finding themselves in the middle of a very difficult time for the human race. Which has just been fighting a war across star systems against a powerful and implacable alien race called the Eminence. Who seemed to be winning. But then they went away.

Humanity has to reconstruct. There are dangerous buildings to be destroyed. Destitute survivors to be fed. And lots to be rebuilt.

Separated from the TARDIS, the time travellers find themselves caught up with one particular family, who are trying to get by and do what they can. They might be able to help feed the masses.

But have the eminence really gone away?

As with the last two stories, Colin Baker and Bonnie Langford make an excellent pairing. They have some great scenes together. Mel is written as she should be - smart and strong willed rather than a screamer- and there are some good lines which remind you that she's from the 1980's.

The Eminence are an excellent creation, a truly powerful foe for the Doctor. What they are like and what they do is not something I will spoil for you, but they are a very original and very memorable idea.

The story also has the Teveler family, three people who play a major part in it. Their scenes could be soap opera in style but they are actually good strong character drama, thanks to good writing and acting.

There's some excellent music, although this does get a little intrusive at times.

It takes an episode to get used to what the story is trying to do. But then you get into it. It does paint a believable picture of the aftermath of interstellar war.

The main plot doesn't really kick in till the third episode. And it's resolution in part four is more talking than action. But there are some excellent scenes of character drama in this part that you won't forget in a hurry.

Nor will you forget the Eminence, either.

It is hinted at that the Doctor has met them before. And indeed he has. Technically. Because they will appear in a Fourth Doctor story that will be out next year. And which will essentially be a prequel to this. But you can get into this quite easily without knowing that.

A good solid drama with some excellent acting and a great new foe for the Doctor. It's not quite memorable enough to be five star material but there's a lot to like in it and it's well worth a listen.

There's just over seven minutes of music from the story on the last two tracks of disc one.

A trailer for the next release in this range on the track after the end of part four on disc two.

And roughly fourteen or so minutes of interviews with cast and crew on the two tracks after that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is the 171st story in the Big Finish Main Range, and is the third in a series of three stories which re-introduces the character of Melanie Bush, the companion first seen with the Sixth Doctor in the tv series when she appears in a story (Terror of the Vervoids) brought by the Valeyard in evidence against the Doctor at the Doctor’s Trial (Trial of a Time Lord).

In this story, the Doctor is taking Mel to dinner at the Great Tower of Kalsos. Only it seems they’ve arrived too early; or is it too late? The great war between the Earth Alliance forces and the Eminence is finally at an end; or is it? And the Doctor must race against all odds to save the future of humanity itself; but has he already compromised that future?

This is a really good story. It is memorable for introducing, or re-introducing, depending on which way you’ve approached it, the great and rather enigmatic foe The Eminence. For the Doctor has met The Eminence before (in the Fourth Doctor adventure, Destroy the Infinite). But Mel doesn’t know that, and it was a long time ago in the Doctor’s life. (And in terms of release dates, we don’t know that, because Destroy the Infinite was released after The Seeds of War.) But The Eminence haven’t forgotten the Doctor, and now they’re back.

The story is also quite unusual in that, in its four parts, each part is set on a different place and offers a different perspective. The first part is set in and on the Great Tower of Kalsos. The second part is entirely on the Earth Alliance ship travelling back to Ridius. The third part is on the planet Ridius. And the fourth part is on Earth. So we see the big picture, of the aftermath of the war with The Eminence, and the small picture, of people as they try to deal with the privations that the war has brought, and the tragedy on every scale that the war continues to bring.

I think the strength of this story was in the characters of Mel and the Doctor. They are both compassionate and loyal people, who strive beyond all odds to help each other and those who they find in need. In this story, they find out things about each other that serve to strengthen the bond of friendship they already have, and I think it’s in the emotional and character-driven part of the story that the strength of the writing, and the acting of Colin Baker and Bonnie Langford really shows.

The story itself was, I think, a bit light on The Eminence. And the major twist in the story seemed to me that it could have been done without the Doctor needing to have been involved much, if at all. But overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience, and a fine end to this trilogy of stories which reunites the Sixth Doctor and Mel. Long may they continue their adventures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is the hundred and seventy first release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Colin Baker and Bonnie Langford as Six and Mel. There are four episodes, roughly 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 third of a loose trilogy of adventures following the Sixth Doctor and Mel. The previous two were excellent, and the quality is kept up here. I won’t go into the story, as that would involve spoilers. It is, however, the most ambitious of the three, with a dark tone and action that spans galaxies. The Doctor and Mel are pitted against the Eminence, a foe created by Big Finish in this release, and one that I think has great potential and should be used again.

The way in which the story is unfolded and information given to the audience is unusual, but instead of feeling gimmicky it keeps you hooked and desperate to hear the next chapter to find out what is going on. Baker, as usual, is superb. He is called upon to play the Doctor in a way that his Doctor is very rarely portrayed – with genuine fear about something. His performance hits all the right notes.

This is a great, epic, sweeping finale to this trilogy, just the way it should be. The Sixth Doctor has had a few really good trilogies recently that have made excellent use of Baker allied to a range of companions. I have to say that I generally look forward to a Sixth Doctor release a lot more than either a Fifth or Seventh these days. Well done Colin, keep up the good work! 5 stars for this cracking release and I look forward eagerly to the next 6th Doc trilogy.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 June 2013
Yet another good tale from the range.
Colin Baker, Bonnie Langford and the rest of the cast were brilliant and this is a good purchase indeed.
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