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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gateway, 12 Aug. 2013
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Final Phase (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
Seventh and final release in the second season of Doctor Who audio stories from Big Finish which feature Tom Baker as the Doctor. In this run, joined by Mary Tamm as Romana and John Leeson as K9.

This is the second half of a two part story that began with The Dalek Contract (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures), and it continues right on from where that one left off. Since this story also picks up on plot threads from earlier in this run it isn't something that casual listeners will be able to get into without having heard what comes before.

This release has two episodes on a single cd. Both episodes run just over thirty minutes each [approx].

Part one sees the Doctor and those who oppose the Daleks taking the fight to them, whilst Romana and K9 are with Cuthbert. And the latter's plans slowly become apparent.

It does take a slight while to get going, as after some initial action things then have to steadily develop, but as ever with these the spot on re-creation of the style of the era is a nostalgic delight, and the lead performers really are splendid to listen to.

Come part two things do finally kick off big time, with battles against hordes of Daleks, explosions, epic Dalek schemes, aand everything you would expect from a season finale. Such as characters having epiphanies and a superb verbal confrontation between the Doctor and his arch enemies.

Cutherbert doesn't get to do quite as much as you might expect, and his final fate in the story is a bit surprising. Whether or not it leaves the door open for him to return, since there are loose ends, remains to be seen.

The final scene promises more adventures for this particular TARDIS crew. So it's a shame that they can't ever happen.

However the Fourth Doctor will return for another season of adventures with Leela, which will be out next year. A trailer for the first of them can be heard on the track after the end of part two.

Just under eleven minutes of interviews with cast and crew follow on the final track of the disc.

Not quite a five star release, but a good one that does manage to justify it's length, and is a decent listen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dalek Adventure with the Doctor, Romana and K-9 - Part 2, 22 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Final Phase (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
This is the second disc of the four-part Dalek season finale with the Doctor, Romana and K-9. It contains Parts 3 and 4 of this story and it's a great way to round off the previous CD release 'The Dalek Contract'.

`The Final Phase' resolves the cliff-hanger from the previous episode. The Doctor offers to give himself up to the Daleks by meeting them at a rendezvous point. Eventually he manages to trick them and both he and Chidak are off on an adventure to a Dalek dimension ship whilst Halka and her Hurtz warriors go the other way round. I like that moment when the Doctor gets to talk to the Daleks on a communications channel by using a Dalek voice to bluff his way into the Dalek base and on Cuthbert's space platform.

The Doctor and Chidak (played by Dominic Mafham) share an interesting comradeship with each other as they journey in collision with Dalek dimension ship. The Doctor's often berating Chidak for his grudge with Halka (played by Jane Slavin) and is telling more about the Daleks and what they represent. I really like Tom's enthusiasm as the Doctor in this audio adventure and is always continually scoffing the Daleks and Cuthbert's morals, especially when dealing with these deadly time experiments that's causing havoc in the universe. The Doctor is cheery in the face of danger, especially when he and Chidak are about to be blown up.

Romana and K-9 get to have an adventure of their own when with Cuthbert and Mr Dorrick (David Warner and Toby Hadoke). I really like Mary's Romana gets to do more Doctorish things since that was the intention when her character was created by producer Graham Williams. Romana tells Cuthbert off in a Doctor-like manner, and even sees the good side in Mr Dorrick when persuading him to tell what he knows about these certain particles whereas Cuthbert won't. Romana confides in K-9 a lot in the story, and I like how the Time Lady shares scenes with the metal dog since Mary and John bounce off each other in the audio and it's great to hear them interact with each other.

In these last two episodes of the story, we get to see more of what Cuthbert's being doing with his experiments and what he's been up to during this season of stories. We get to discover the Quantum Gateway as Cuthbert introduces it to Romana and K-9. Cuthbert has been conducting these experiments with the Quantum Gateway by accessing the past and enter parallel universes in order to achieve the business success he wants. Using the Quantum Gateway has caused damage in the fabric of the universe and connects with what happened to the Laan in 'The Sands of Life'/'War Against the Laan'.

Part 3 ends on a gripping cliff-hanger in which the Doctor is seemingly destroyed. There's a gradual explosion when the Doctor and Chidak collide with the Dalek dimension ship and it's pure sound design with no dialogue before we get to Romana's shock horror at the end of the episode. I like that heartfelt moment in the following episode from Romana as she reflects on the time she's been with him and how they didn't' get on at first but over time they grew to like each other and get on. Romana admits how she will miss the Doctor. But of course the TARDIS then shows up and the Doctor is still alive to which Romana is delighted about.

Cuthbert's alliance with Daleks is explored and resolved in this story. Cuthbert is under the delusion he controls the Daleks (where have I heard that one before?). Cuthbert soon realises that the Daleks have known about his Quantum Gateway for some time and they want to use it for their own ends to conquer the universe. Cuthbert becomes bitter and angry once he realises the Daleks turn against him, and he gets even more bitter when the Doctor and Romana try to stop them. Cuthbert is still unwilling to tell Romana and the Doctor what his plans are - `None of your business' - until the very last minute.

K-9 gets to join in a battle against the Daleks with Mr Dorrick; Cuthbert's security forces and the Hurtz warriors. I'm really impressed with how K-9 comes up with a stratagem to beat the Daleks and Mr Dorrick going along with the plan. K-9 even manages to shoot one of the Daleks down with his nose laser at some point.

Chidak gets killed during the battle with the Daleks and shares an emotional farewell scene with Halka. The two have been grudging each other for some time now, but it turns out Chidak really likes Halka and he admits this to her before he dies. This is a moment I really like as Chidak and Halka resolve their differences and Halka continues the fight in honour of Chidak's memory against the Daleks.

The final confrontation scene between the Doctor and the Supreme Dalek was truly inspirational. I like how the Doctor tires to make the Daleks see beyond their hatred and see reason in order to avoid them using the Quantum Gateway for their uses. But the Daleks as usual refuse to see reason and keep on refusing to rid their hatred and intend to exterminate everyone. This gives the Doctor the chance to bring the Daleks their downfall and Romana gets to use the TARDIS against them which I like in order to defeat them.

Cuthbert's destiny seemingly comes full circle in this adventure. Earlier he believes he was meant to go back to the past to make his business happen creating a paradox. By the story's climax, he enters the Quantum Gateway once the Daleks are defeated in order to achieve that before the Doctor and Romana can stop him. The Doctor and Romana wonder what's become of Cuthbert and where he's going to end up. I really like the character of Cuthbert, as David Warner really puts chilling menace into his tremendous performance. Cuthbert is character I'm sure we'll hear again with the Doctor and Romana (possibly Lalla Ward) encountering him again.

The final scene in the TARDIS with the Doctor, Romana and K-9 is a memorable scene from this story. I really enjoyed listening to it as it sums up the Tom Baker and Mary Tamm `Doctor Who' adventures in total. The Doctor offers to take Romana back to Gallifrey when having shut off the randomiser. But Romaan doesn't seem to want to go. The moments when Romana was grieving for the Doctor's `death' in Part 3 is addressed again, and I like how Romana is slightly denying being concerned for the Doctor before K-9 repeats her exact words during the moment. It was really funny when Romana tells K-9 to shut up. In the end, it seems like Romana's staying on with the Doctor and it's a lovely moment between Tom and Mary. I wish Mary was still alive today as we could have more adventures with the Doctor and the first Romana with K-9 together.

The CD extras at the end of this disc include a trailer for 'The King of Sontar', the first Fourth Doctor adventure from season 3 with the Doctor and Leela. There's also interviews with the cast and crew on the making of `The Final Phase' including Tom Baker, Mary Tamm, John Leeson, Nick Briggs (Dalek voices; writer and director of `The Dalek Contact'/'The Final Phase'), David Warner, Toby Hadoke, etc.

I feel pretty sad and emotional regarding Mary Tamm as this is the last story with her Romana that she recorded before her tragic death in 2012. I feel sad about Mary because I really wanted to meet her at conventions. But by the time I was going to conventions, she was already ill and little did I know she was would pass away. I'm sure I would have enjoyed meeting and chatting to Mary as she seemed to be a lovely lady. I was delighted when Mary talked about enjoying doing these audio adventures with Tom Baker and felt sad as it seemed that there was the potential to have more adventures with the Doctor and Romana. Sadly it wasn't to be, and it's great this series of audios are a tribute to Mary and evoked happy memories for me from watching her in 'The Key to Time' season, my favourite Tom Baker season in `Doctor Who'.

`The Dalek Contract'/'The Final Phase' has been great adventure with the Daleks, written and directed by Nick Briggs. I'm so glad it became the season finale for the Doctor, Romana and K-9 giving them the confrontation with the Daleks they deserved. It's such a shame it's the end of an era with Tom and Mary, but it's contributes to a fitting series of audio adventures with a wonderful lady who played the noblest Romana of them all! Thanks Mary!

The next story with the Doctor and Romana is 'The Stealers from Saiph'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Final Phase, 11 Nov. 2014
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Final Phase (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
“What’s the matter? Too scared to show your plungers?”

This is the seventh and final release in the second season of the new Fourth Doctor Adventures, and features Tom Baker as the Doctor, with Mary Tamm as Romana I. Sadly, this was the final story that Mary Tamm worked on; she was receiving treatment at the time of the production, and while she must have found it a challenge, she was determined to complete her work, and does so wonderfully and professionally, as always. She is missed by all Doctor Who fans.

In the previous story, The Dalek Contract, Romana and the Doctor, travelling with K9, have found themselves mixed up with Cuthbert and the Conglomerate again. What is Cuthbert up to in the Proxima System, and how have the Daleks become involved? The depths of greed and ambition are plumbed by Cuthbert yet again in these connected stories, as we find just how far he will go to succeed in his ambitions.

The Doctor is separated from Romana and K9 who find themselves with Cuthbert and Mr Dorrick; the Doctor is working with the Proximan rebels Chidak and Halker to try and save their planet, and defeat the Daleks. But can even he defeat a combined force of Daleks with Cuthbert and his evil plans?

This is exciting, edge-of-the-seat stuff; even the music is brilliantly placed in this story so as to heighten tension and bring back fond memories of the wonderful soundscapes of those classic 1970s stories. The Daleks are as amoral as ever, and Cuthbert is not far behind them. Toby Hadoke as the rather insignificant Mr Dorrick is wonderful. Romana, K9 and the Doctor are played on top form, as always, and are just absolutely brilliant. The story itself is complex and yet oh, so wonderfully rewarding – the Doctor pulls his sleight of hand and we just know he’s going to save the Universe – again! Absolutely wonderful, and if the last scene doesn’t bring a smile to your face, and a tear to your eye, then you’re a stronger minded person than me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Epic Conclusion To Series 2 Fourth Doctor Audio Adventures, 13 Jun. 2014
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Final Phase (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
The Final Phase.
Doctor: Fourth Doctor.
Companion(s): Romana, K9.
Main enemy: Daleks, Dalek Supreme, Cuthbert.
Main setting: Fortune II in the Proxima System, Proxima Major.
Writer: Nicholas Briggs.
Episodes 3 & 4 to be heard together with The Dalek Contract.
Running time 60 minutes.

Behind the scenes interviews.

1)Halka refers to the Doctor as a "simpleton."
2)Cuthbert refers to President Sheridan Moorkurk as a "sanctimonious bitch."
3)K9 is equipped with a stealth mode.
4)Cuthbert describes the Daleks as "squawking, mobile, metal, robotic things good at impressing people."
5)Cuthbert refers to Romana and K9 as "the harpy and the metal mutt."
6)Although the Doctor tells Romana that he can return her to Gallifrey, she elects to continue travelling in the TARDIS.
7)Cuthbert's experiments with the Quantum Gateway caused Proxima Major to be shifted out of its orbit.
8)After the destruction of the Quantum Gateway, Proxima Major begins to slowly shift back into its original orbit.
9)This story contains Mary Tamm's final performance as Romana before her death on 24 July 2012.
10)Cuthbert tells the Dalek Supreme of his previous encounter with the Doctor on Earth. (Audio: The Sands of Life / War Against the Laan).
11)Romana tells Mr Dorrick that she was assigned to the Doctor. (TV: The Ribos Operation).

Plot Synopsis.
Cuthbert's plan for the Proxima System is slowly reaching its final phase.

The Fourth Doctor and Romana have been separated, The Doctor is aiding the Proximan fight-back while Romana and K-9 are prisoners of the Daleks.

With the countdown to the opening of the Quantum Gateway begins, the Daleks reveal their true intentions can the Doctor save the inhabitants of Proxima System in time or will the Daleks succeed in there sinster masterplan & destroy there greatest nemesis once & for all?

Timelord Thoughts.
This is a excellent conclusion to The Dalek Contract that features a superb eccentric performance by Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor who gives this story his all & questions the Daleks of there motives that has a echo of a similar exchange between the Doctor & Davros in the Fourth Doctor tv story Genesis Of The Daleks.

This was sadly Mary Tamms final performance as the actress later succumbed to cancer but in her final portrayal of her most iconic character Mary Tamm delivers a witty charming performance as it's been great to hear Tamm reprise the role of Romana for this second series of Fourth Doctor audio adventures.

Writer Nicholas Briggs who also voices the Daleks in this play & on the tv series has delivered a great conclusion to the The Dalek Contract as the Doctor aids the inhabitants of the Proxima System whom oppose the Daleks to take the fight to them, whilst Romana & K-9 are with Cuthbert who's grand masterplan soon becomes apparent.

The final battle is well written & performed by Tom Baker especially the interplay between between the Doctor & the Daleks while the action switches back & forth between the survivors fighting back against the Daleks in a huge climax of gunfire & explosions.

Cutherbert doesn't have much to do towards the climax of this story, with a question mark hanging over the characters fate as this leaves the door open for Cuthberts return remains to be seen, personally I'd love the character to return as David Warner has delivered such brilliant performances in this story & his previous Foirth Doctor stories, War Against The Laan/The Sands Of Time.

This is a excellent Dalek audio adventure with great performances by the cast, a intriguing tension paced story by writer Nicholas Brigg & high production values from Big Finish who deliver great storys of classic Doctors time & time again.

Timelord Rating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exterminate!!!, 23 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: The Final Phase (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)

It's Back to The 70's again as We travel in The Tardis with The Greatest Doctor of Them All!

Who or whom I hear you cry?

Why Tom Baker of course!

The One and Only!

This time he's aided by his beautiful assistant and fellow Time Lord or Lady if you prefer Romana Played by The Late & Great Mary Tamm.

The Doctor's doing what he does best, Battling the evil Daleks in story which for once doesn't include Davros and even better for his absence!

A Great story with Wit, Peril and Gravity from Nick Briggs.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Daleks will begin the conquest of infinity, 22 Mar. 2015
This review is from: The Final Phase (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
‘The Final Phase’ is not a complete story in its own right. Instead, it consists of the latter two episodes in a four part story that follows on from the previous release in this series, ‘The Dalek Contract’. As such it doesn’t really work independently and needs to be listened to in conjunction with ‘The Dalek Contract’; better yet, the two need to be listened to consecutively to fully appreciate them. However, the split of the story across two discs is a minor irritation and is more than compensated by the Dalek epic the two releases form which provides the series with a big finale.

In a continuation from ‘War Against the Laan’, the Doctor finally discovers the nature of Cuthbert and his Conglomerate’s experiment. But so have the Daleks. It soon becomes a case of who will reach the product of the experiment first; Cuthbert, the Daleks or the Doctor and his rebel allies.

The story sets the Doctor against two main opponents, Cuthbert and the Dalek Supreme. The Dalek Supreme is portrayed as an intelligent foe, one that is content to be patient and plan. He adopts of an orchestrating role. There is some typical amusement to be taken from the Cuthbert/Dalek Supreme relationship in that Cuthbert is naïve enough to believe he can control the Daleks where the Doctor knows he can’t. Cuthbert becomes a more intriguing opponent during the course of this audio. As the Doctor suspects there is something more to him than just a businessman. Nothing is really confirmed in the story and Cuthbert is left as a slightly mysterious figure. There is certainly scope for more from this character and David warner is superb throughout. Although, the whole ‘Ramona’ running joke gets a bit tedious.

‘The Final Phase’ is a good story for Romana as it sees some substantial character development for her. Her emotions at the Doctor’s supposed sacrifice reveal her altered attitude towards him. It is a moment of realisation for her, she has come to like and respect the Doctor. It portrays the unexpected closeness that has developed between them. It is a moment that also significantly bridges the gap between ‘The Armageddon Factor’ and ‘Destiny of the Daleks’ to some degree. There is no return to Gallifrey after the search for the Key to Time for Romana. For some reason she opts to continue travelling with the Doctor and this story provides a suitable possibility for why. This suggests that this audio play could take place sometime not too long before ‘Destiny of the Daleks’. However, that compounds the issue that Romana seems to know more about the Daleks in this story than she later does in ‘Destiny of the Daleks’.

‘The Final Phase’ is a fitting finale to this Fourth Doctor season. Not only does it provide a Dalek epic suitable to conclude a series that has taken place in the fiftieth anniversary year, it also includes Tom Baker doing an impersonation of a Dalek and, more importantly, serves as a worthy final story for the first incarnation of Romana and, sadly, the last appearance from Mary Tamm.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BIG FINISH always quality, 21 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Final Phase (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
The disc was sent promptly and in great condition, the story is also good quality, great to hear Tom and Mary at their best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good story, 15 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: The Final Phase (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
Good story for the Tom Baker fans. Bought for a Doctor Who fan as a gift and they liked it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 8 July 2014
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This review is from: The Final Phase (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
Son loved this
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The Final Phase (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures)
The Final Phase (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) by Nicholas Briggs (Audio CD - 31 July 2013)
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