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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who Vs Auntie Florence, 21 Dec 2013
By 
Timelord007 (The Tardis) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Auntie Matter (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
Doctor Who : The Auntie Matter.
Doctor: Fourth Doctor.
Companion : Romana.
Main enemy: Template:Cls.
Main setting: London and Bassett-on-Hamble, Hampshire, 1929.
Writer: Jonathan Morris.
Director: Ken Bentley.
Release number: 2.1.
Format: 1 CD, 2 Parts.
Running time 60 minutes.

Extras.
Trailer.
Behind the scenes interviews including a tribute to Mary Tamm.

Cast.
The Doctor - Tom Baker
Romana - Mary Tamm
Florence Wickham/Lady Florence Bassett - Julia McKenzie
Reginald "Reggie" Bassett - Robert Portal
Mabel Dobbs - Lucy Griffiths
Grenville/Diggery - Alan Cox
Lady Ligeia Bassett - Jane Slavin.

Positive.
1)Tom Baker & the late Mary Tamm deliver such rich performances in this season 2 opener of Fourth Doctor Audio Adventures as there chemistry is a joy to listen too.
2)Great story that has echoes of P.G Woodhouse by writer Jonathan Morris.
3)Julia McKenzie delivers a creepy performance as Aunty Florence (Remind me never to visit her for afternoon tea).

Negative.
None, A joyful 60 minutes of audio entertainment.

Trivia.
1)Julia McKenzie starred in classic 80's comedy Fresh & French Fields with Anton Rodgers but is better known recently for her role as Miss Marple.
2)Lucy Griffiths played Maid Marion in the first two seasons of BBC hit Robin Hood alongside Jonas Armstrong & more recently starred in season five- present in US hit Tru Blood as Nora Gainesborough.

Plot Synopsis.
The Fourth Doctor & Romana on hiding from the Black Guardian having set up in a Townhouse in London in the 1920's the Timelords have given themselves the titles of Lord & Lady of the manor while K9 & the Tardis go on multiple random journeys in time & space to divert the Black Guardian.

The Doctor builds a warning device to detect any unusual energy signals or alien interference seemingly picks up a strange energy reading from a location in Hampshire & decides to investigate.

Romana enters a book shop & is charmed by a young aristocrat named Reginald who takes Romana to see the creature that has recently killed & then possessed his Aunty Florence she was the unusual alien energy the Doctor picked upon on his warning device.

The two Timelords with maid Mabel in tow have to contend with murderous killer servant robots & there insane mistress Aunty Florence who feeds off human energy & has lined Romana up as her next victim.

Timelord Thoughts.
Cracking story this, Jolly good fun as one might say in the 1920's from Jonathan Morris who has delivered a witty humourous & at times macabre script that is a superb tale for Tom Baker & Mary Tamm as the Doctor & Romana to sink there teeth into.

Tom Baker & Mary Tamm really shine in this tale & the chemistry of season 16 comes flooding back like it's never been away a give such excellent performances.

Julia McKenzie is not the kind Miss Marple in this story, Here she is quite a disturbing character as Aunty Florence who preys then murders before finally possessing the human host gives a real chilling performance here & delivers a very scary character.

This story is in vein of the Jeeves & Wooster era of P.G Woodhouse but is rich in it's writing structure by Jonathan Morris whom has delivered a excellent creepy tale that has great production values from Big Finish & wonderful characters played superbly by all involved.

Timelord Rating.
9/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Auntie Matter, 13 Oct 2013
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Auntie Matter (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
This has got to be one of the funniest Doctor Who stories ever. The story features Tom Baker as the fourth Doctor and Mary Tamm as Romana I. The Doctor, in an effort to shake off the Black Guardian has set up the Randomiser on the Tardis and sent it and K-9 off on some random stops before eventually returning to Earth to get the Doctor and Romana. In the meantime, the Doctor and Romana are living in 1920's London as titled nobility in a rented townhouse. But tea and crumpets are not the only thing waiting for them, as the Doctor picks up alien energy waves in the area.

I particularly loved this story because it combined the Doctor with another of my favourite literary genres, that of P G Wodehouse. The author of this story, Jonathan Morris is clearly a long-term fan of PGW, the evidence of which are the many references, both direct and indirect to the world invented by PGW. The characters of feckless Reggie, long-suffering Mabel, and Reggie's malovelent Aunt are mixed with the ongoing motifs of many of PGW's works - interfering aunts, marriage of the idle rich, the hardworking lower class and mix-ups of people and places in merry farce. Reggie is even a member of the Drones Club!

This story made me laugh out loud with the PGW references and madcap world that has been created around the Doctor Who story; and made me eagerly listen to see what happened next in the great Doctor Who story itself. A great mix of sci-fi and hilariy; totally definitely recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I say! - Doctor Who meets P.G. Wodehouse, 30 April 2013
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This review is from: The Auntie Matter (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
For Mary Tamm, the noblest Romana of them all!

This I really liked. 'The Auntie Matter' is definite homage to the 1920s and the world of P.G. Wodehouse. It's become one of my favourite `Doctor Who's with the Doctor and Romana and it was lovely to be listening to Tom Baker and Mary Tamm reprising their roles and working together as I enjoyed them in 'The Key to Time' series.

I couldn't help but enjoy the world of the 1920s which must be one of my favourite periods of history. The style and wit of Jonathan Morris' script harkens back to the stories of 'Jeeves and Wooster' which was as he intended when writing this. I'm pretty sure Douglas Adams would have gladly commissioned this story as script editor if Jonny were to submit it to him. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Morris at a convention in Tunbridge Wells back in March, 2013 and had the CD cover for this story signed by him.

I make it a Christmas tradition to watch one of my favourite TV shows - 'Jeeves and Wooster' staring Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. Even Tom Baker makes mention of enjoying this series with Fry and Laurie on the CD extras, which is something me and Tom have in common. After hearing this, it put me in mind of the various stories and plots of the calibre from P.G. Wodehouse, such as Reggie finding a suitable match/lady for marriage to please his aunt; for him to be 'molded' and to have someone 'strong, self-reliant and sensible'. And phrases like 'Whatho', 'I say' and 'By George' really did it for me. I didn't think I would take it seriously at first, but then when the alien menace crept in it was well worth a listen.

The story has the Doctor and Romana arriving on Earth in the 1920s where they're escaping the wrath of the Black Guardian and are hoping to enjoy themselves and take a holiday. The Doctor builds a device to scan energy disturbances whilst Romana goes to a bookshop to find recent developments in scientific theory. Romana soon comes across an aristocratic gentleman called Reggie who seems to take an interest in her. The two soon have a spot of lunch and Reggie invites Romana to visit her aunt at her house in the Hampshire country. But the Doctor is also on his way to the countryside when his machine detects an alien presence and he enlists the help of a maid named Mabel to accompany her. Can Romana and the Doctor sort out the alien menace posing as Reggie's aunt even though they don't know each other's presence?

I love how this story has the Doctor and Romana separated for most of the story. Neither of them know each other's at the same place at the same time, and it's rather funny when the Doctor instructs Mabel not to mention anything to her ladyship for being with him since she can `so easily be jealous'. I like how this story has Romana with Reggie and he sets firm on his mind to marry Romana and I found that scene where she has to turn him down very well-written and Mary says those lines very beautifully and the way Romana would politely say them. I liked it when Mabel bumps into Romana and she can't reveal the Doctor to her, but Romana seemingly already knows which I found amusing. I also like it that the Doctor needs someone to ask him questions and he picks Mabel as the next best thing. `Mary, isn't it?', `Mabel, sir.', `I thought so!'. I found that bit of dialogue really funny.

I really liked the cast in this story who all evoked Woodhouse-type characters very well. Robert Portal's Reggie was definitely convincing in the style of Bertie Wooster. Reggie is a feckless and somewhat inept young man who seems spoilt in his life with wealth and car. He comes from the Drones just like Bertie does, which I enjoyed when hearing that reference. He has a funny laugh snorting like a pig. Reggie also has a keen eye for the ladies, albeit under her aunt's instructions. I really like that scene where he's with his fiancée Florence at the beginning of the story and the two of them chat away when driving in the car in a whimsy Woodhouse style., which is one of my favourite scenes. I enjoyed how he talks about his long line of aunts when one crops up from out of the blue.

Alan Cox's Grenvile in the style of an evil Jeeves was superb. Alan puts across the formal polite manner of being Reggie's man servant/valet and sounds exactly how Stephen Fry would play the part of Jeeves. Grenville like Jeeves is very knowledgeable in subjects of quantum theory which he puts into Reggie's head when talking to Romana. I like how he advises Reggie to postpone proposing marriage to Romana in much the same way Jeeves would advise Bertie Wooster to postpose something or advise caution. I love the twist where it's revealed Grenvile is actually an android. Alan Cox plays two characters in this where they're both lookalikes since they're both androids which was clever on Jonny Morris' part. I couldn't help but laugh when Grenville or his android double Digory got a funny turn from the Doctor's sonic screwdriver and they're mal-mal-mal-mal-malfunction-malfunction...malfunctioning. Clever twist on a well-known character from the world of Wodehouse.

I enjoyed listening to Lucy Griffiths playing Mabel the maid in this story. She's a sweet, timid young girl who works at the house where the Doctor and Romana are lodging as lord and lady. She can't cook kippers for breakfast very well since she manages to burn them much to the butler's annoyance. I loved it when the Doctor invites Mabel to join her on an adventure whilst Romana's not there and she has to ask questions. Mabel would make a really good companion for the Doctor, as she's astounded and bewildered by the strange things that happen when they come to Bassett Hall (Bassett, that name familiar to Wodehouse fans? Ha, ha). I also found the simple love story between Reggie and Mabel very sweet, as I enjoyed it when they bump into each other or rather Mabel bumps into a bush planted there by Reggie. The two of them share in each other's company when they look up at the stars and I love it when Reggie tells Mabel how much he loves her towards the end and she's joyfully happy. Lovely stuff.

Of course the main guest star in this wonderful story is Julia MacKenzie who plays the Aunt and Florence, Reggie's former fiancée. I've recently seen Julia MacKenzie as Miss Marple for ITV when she took over from Geraldine McEwan. Julia plays the Aunt with such menace and formidable presence just like how Aunt Agatha would sound in `Jeeves and Wooster'. I love the twist of the Aunt being an alien who steals people's bodies which have to be girls that Reggie goes to collect for her. It's a lovely performance from Julia who's so into the role of the Aunt and is pretty scary even when her power supply's being shut down or when she becomes menacing and threatening to the Doctor, Reggie or Romana in giving them such pain through their heads. A clever idea in turning the traditional story from the Woodehouse world blending into the `Doctor Who' world.

Tom Baker who plays the Doctor in this certainly relishes the story, and who can blame him. This suits his Doctor beautifully with Wodehouse humour and storytelling and Tom likes how the writer Jonny Morris has transcribed it. Some of the Doctor's lines in this story are very funny and I love how the Doctor drives in his 20s car and how he confronts Grenville, Digory or the Aunt. I enjoyed the Doctor's scenes with Reggie when he works out the mystery of his aunt, and when he's deactivating the androids with his sonic screwdriver saying they've got `several screws loose'. My favourite moment is the Doctor having his breakfast of burnt kippers brought in by Mabel and he then goes `No. On seconds thoughts, I'm not hungry anymore. Would you mind taking it away again?' That's properly one of Tom Baker's Doctor's best lines and I'm not sure if that's one of Tom's adlibs or not.

Also this story is a touching tribute to the beautiful and lovely Mary Tamm playing Romana in this story. Romana's on top form here and definitely suits the period of 1920s England. Being a Time Lady, she's cool and resourceful and I'd liked it when she and the Doctor separated for most of the story with Romana handling things better and solving situations without the Doctor knowing. Mary sounds exactly as she did back in the lates 70s when she plays Romana for that one season did. Her voice is beautiful as ever and relished the scenes she had when she was either with Reggie, Mabel or the Doctor. I enjoyed that last scene Romana and the Doctor have together and they're arguing over where they've been and its played well between these two actors who do it with such believability in a comedy style. I really enjoyed listening to Mary Tamm in this Big Finish `Doctor Who' story and loved every minute of her voice on audio. Since it was last summer that Mary passed away, it's right that this 'season' from Big Finish should be dedicated to her.

The special features on this CD include the following.

There's some behind-the-scenes interviews on the making of `The Auntie Matter' with Tom Baker, Julia MacKenzie, Robert Portal, Alan Cox, Jonathan Morris, etc. There's also a lovely tribute to Mary Tamm with contributions from Tom and David Richardson (producer of the Fourth Doctor Adventures) as well as a recent interview with Mary before she passed away. Listening to that was heart-breaking and touching at the same time.

All in all, a very lovely audio drama of 1920s humour. It's become my favourite Fourth Doctor audio adventure and it's a lovely tribute to Mary Tamm. I looked forward to hearing more stories from this season later in the year with the Doctor and Romana as well with K-9 and cherish them.

There's a `coming soon' trailer for the next Doctor and Romana story with K-9 called 'The Sands of Life'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spot on, 29 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Auntie Matter (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
The Auntie Matter is an easy to follow, light-hearted and entertaining mid-era Tom Baker story with Romana II. It launches a new (second) season of fourth Doctor Big Finish audio adventures which in many ways will be as unique as season 16 as both will have only featured Mary Tamm for just one season.

I usually do not have time to listen to all the extra features, but in this case, it was very prudent, in light of Mary Tamm's death.

The overall product is a very good one. Tom Baker is pretty well back to being the character he should be (previous season was not convincing at all times and not given the right dialogue either). Mary Tamm beautifully delivers her character. The rest of the cast do wonders with a fun-loving set of clichéd and over-the-top P.G.Wodehouse characters.

Importantly, this story feels like a season 16 story and sits nicely along-side the humour and character levels of The Stones of Blood and The Androids of Tara. Obviously this story is not chasing another segment of The Key to Time.

It does everything that it should do to reflect the era it is from, which is clever writing and realisation. In fact, at times it is rather better. Given the constraints therefore that the production team have, it would be difficult to produce something that is better.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What Ho, Doctor, 31 Jan 2013
By 
T. P. Cross "Lokster71" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Auntie Matter (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
(Taken from my Patient Centurion blog)

This is the first of the second series of Tom Baker Big Finish productions. It pairs up Tom with Mary Tamm. It is thus one of the last things that Mary Tamm did before her sadly early death. Unlike Caroline John's appearance in 'The Last Post' this feels less valedictory and more a traditional Doctor Who tale. Part of a series.

It's Doctor Who meets P.G. Wodehouse: a bit of Jeeves, a bit of Blandings and a bit of the Drones club. It takes P.G. Wodehouse's obsession with fearsome Aunts to an extreme degree. It's rather delightful to hear the magnificent Julia Mackenzie get her teeth into an Wodehousian Aunt with a twist.

Jonathan Morris, the writer also weaves a rather clever plot, which keeps both Romana and the Doctor occupied and plays with the idea of the necessity of separating Doctor & companion in a (slightly) unusual way, which adds to the fun.

This is the first Tom Baker Big Finish I've heard and it feels a little different to the others. Perhaps it is Tom, whose delivery is so Tom that it sounds a little less natural than the other Doctors, even if it feels quite spot on Tomish. I do adore Tom Baker. The Fourth Doctor is my Doctor and to hear him in full Doctor-ish flow again is a real pleasure.

Mary Tamm is magnificent too. Her Romana keeps that slightly superior tone of the television version, whose clearly unimpressed with being stuck on a primitive planet like Earth. Again. Her desire to go and explore, nudged along by the Doctor is what leads to....well a meeting with a perfectly written and perfectly cast pseudo-Wooster in Reggie (Robert Portal).

I can't praise Robert Portal enough for his joyful performance. It's perfectly homage to that upper class fool who manages to scrap through. Normally aided by a valet.

There's also Lucy Griffith's as Mabel, who is the Doctor and Romana's maid. Yes, maid. They begin this story as Lord and Lady Something in a London house. With Butler and Maid. The Doctor's done something to the TARDIS to distract the Black Guardian - thus explaining the additional Romana I adventure - and left them stranded in 1920s London. No one really explains the house and servants but lets go for it. Mabel finds herself dragged into the adventure, much to her bemusement.

If you want an hour of highly amusing Wodehouse Doctor Who then this will hit the spot.

There's also a rather nice tribute to Mary Tamm as part of the extras.

She'll be missed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love it, 25 April 2014
By 
Mr. T. D. J. Dommett (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Auntie Matter (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
This is the sort of story that can't be bettered. Excellent script, great performances, excellent production bears repeated listening.
What more can you ask for ?
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aunts and aliens, 4 Feb 2013
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Auntie Matter (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
First in the latest series of Doctor Who audio stories to feature Tom Baker as the Doctor. Also featuring Mary Tamm as his companion, the first Romana.

The story is complete and self contained in two episodes that run for thirty minutes each [approx] and is presented on one cd.

It requires no knowledge of any previous audios in order to listen to it. There are continuity references which establish where it is set in relation to this TARDIS crew's tv stories. And where K9 is. But anyone listening to this will doubtless understand those anyway, so casual listeners can get into it with absolutely no problems.

The story is set in 1920's Britain. It sees the Doctor and Romana staying in London as the Lord and Lady of a townhouse.

Meanwhile, upper class twit Reggie is taking his latest girlfriend to meet his aunt at their country estate.

When Romana attempting to sample the human lifestyle, the Doctor detecting alien technology, and Reggie's desire to find a soulmate all collide, lives will never be the same again...

This is unashamedly a Doctor Who story that is also a pastiche of the works of PG Wodehouse. And it's quite delightfully done. The opening does recapture the Wodehouse style perfectly. Which makes the switch over to science fiction elements all the more surprising.

Tom Baker responds to the demands of the script brilliantly and clearly has a lot of fun with it. Mary Tamm recreates her Romana - smart and alien with little life experience outside of her homeworld - impeccably also. Plus the supporting cast are also quite brilliant. With aunts and twits and servants and young ladies that could have come straight out of Jeeves and Wooster.

With a few slight science fictional twists.

The plot does contain familiar elements and isn't desperately original when you get down to it, but the style that surrounds it and the wonderful characterisation and interplay means that doesn't really matter. Each episode passes very pleasantly as you listen.

A pefect way to open a season of these, and a wonderful and highly recommended listen.

There's a trailer for the next in this season on the track after the end of episode two.

Plus just under fourteen minutes of interviews with cast and crew on the two tracks after that. These deal with the fact that Mary Tamm passed away a few months after recording in an understated and very touching manner, and simply have to be listened to as a result.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romana rocks, 14 April 2013
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This review is from: The Auntie Matter (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
Mary Tamm is superb and will be sorely missed she is brilliant in this story! A witty and well-acted tale!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tom Baker & Mary Tamm On Top Form, 18 May 2013
This review is from: The Auntie Matter (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
The first season of The Fourth Doctor Adventures, in which Tom Baker returned to his most famous role for the first time with Big Finish Productions, was one of the 'Doctor Who' highlights of 2012, and with the bar set suitably high, I expected a great deal from the second season. Fortunately, 'The Auntie Matter' kicks off the second run in great style, with Baker's Doctor now accompanied by Romana Mk 1 (played by Mary Tamm, who sadly passed away between the recording and release of these new audios), gallivanting around the kind of 1920s England beloved of PG Wodehouse - all dopey aristocrats, super-efficient butlers and formidable Aunts. Writer Jonathan Morris has gone out of his way to blend the worlds of 'Doctor Who' and Wodehouse (in particular the Jeeves books), and as someone who loves both of these and was a little apprehensive about the play beforehand, I was pleased to discover that it works so much better than I could have imagined. This is helped by a terrific cast - not just Baker and Tamm, who are on excellent form here, but Robert Portal as the Wooster-esque Reggie, and the wonderful Julia McKenzie as the Auntie of the title, who must be one of the most entertaining villains that Big Finish have produced in their hundreds of audio productions.

Whilst the story fits the format of the Fourth Doctor Adventures (single disc stories, comprising two episodes, with a running time of about an hour plus extras) well, and doesn't outstay its welcome, it's a pity in some ways that there wasn't the opportunity to expand upon certain elements of the story, as it's such fun spending time in the company of its characters. Despite that, it's tremendous fun, and a good standalone adventure that showcases the leads at their very best. There's also a nice little tribute to Mary Tamm as part of the bonus material on this release.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No poppycock!, 11 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Auntie Matter (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
Tom Baker is my favourite of all the incarnation's of the Doctor, this story was a very pleasant listening and looking forward to the rest of the series. Well done to Big Finish and all involved once again.
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The Auntie Matter (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures)
The Auntie Matter (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) by Jonathan Morris (Audio CD - 1 Jan 2013)
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