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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Latest Doctor Who companion chronicle. These are a range of talking books which see an actor who played a companion to the Doctor on tv return to their role to read an all new story for their character.

They do all the narration and the voices, save for one. Which is done by a guest actor.

They are usually two part stories complete on a single cd, with episodes of roughly thirty minutes each.

At this time each year, the companion chronicles do break the format slightly by bringing out a four part two cd story. Most of those have two narrators.

This story sees William Russell and Carole Ann Ford return to the roles of Ian and Susan, whom they played alongside William Hartnell's Doctor, right back in the early days of the show.

It's a four part story, and the episodes run from thirty to thirty three minutes each. [Approx].

It is in keeping with the style of it's era, because like a few tales from then, it's a purely historical one. With no science fiction elements at all.

At the start of the story, the TARDIS brings the four travellers to Spain. In the late sixteenth century. A country being subjected to the terror of the inquistion. And one at war with England. With invasion plans underway.

It's not a good place to be English. But Ian's innate sense of decency lands him in trouble and at the mercy of the inqusition. As his friends plan to rescue him and a man called Esteban whom Ian tried to save from danger, they are also well aware that Sir Francis Drake and his fleet are on the way to mount a raid. Ian idolises Drake. But there's an old adage: you should never meet your heroes...

The narration duties jump back and forth between William Russell and Carole Ann Ford. The initial changes are rather quick and you do take a moment to get used to that. But it quickly settles down. And the segments they narrate do become longer and longer. The first episode is rather scary. But not in the usual Doctor Who way of frightening alien monsters. The monsters here are humans. And the terrible things that fanatics will do.

The two narrators are very good at this and a pleaasure to listen to. The sound design and the very subtle incidental music do create a great sense of time and place.

But the fact that this is straight drama rather than the usual style of Doctor Who means that the second and third episodes aren't quite so gripping. Although they are subtly involving. There are just a couple of action set pieces in episode three that do grab.

The cliffhanger ending to part three is resolved in a delightfully unexpected way. But then everything does come together superbly for part four. Which features action, swordfights, some great character moments, and a splendid sense of being in the middle of history as it unfolds.

There's also one superb final plot development that you really won't see coming.

This is not the strongest story in this range - pure historicals aren't always to everyone's taste - but it is a splendid bit of drama that does try to do something a little different, and one which does recapture the style for which it is aiming. You might also learn a few things from it. It is well worth a listen.

There's a trailer for the next release in this range on the track right after the end of part four.

Plus just under ten minutes worth of the music from the story on the track after that.
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on 14 November 2015
Another first-rate historical adventure for the original TARDIS crew of Ian, Barbara, Susan & the First Doctor.
The incredible William Russell (now aged 90!) plays both Ian & the Doctor and makes them sound utterly different from each other.
Carole Ann Ford plays her original role, Susan, as well as Barbara. Both actors share the narration of what is a tense, fast-moving and dangerous story set in Spain amidst the Inquisition and the preparations for the Armada.
It's excellent stuff, and would have fitted perfectly into the gap between Season 1 and Season 2 in 1964.
My only quibble is that it's a bit TOO MUCH like the historical adventures of the first year of "Doctor Who", almost formulaic in that Ian inevitably ends up in prison then enduring whatever grueling ordeal the age specializes in, accompanied by a loyal and brave fellow captive, whilst the Doctor ingratiates himself into the corridors of power with varying degrees of success. Barbara and/or Susan are taken in by locals who risk their own lives doing so. Historical celebrities are either befriended unknowingly, or glimpsed at a distance.
This apart, I found "The Flames of Cadiz" hugely enjoyable, but can't decide whether I'm more in awe of the long-suffering Ian Chesterton or the seemingly immortal and indefatigable William Russell!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 August 2013
A cool historical tale with the Inquisition! All the cast are very entertaining and the story is great!I prefer the original cast in good historicals.
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