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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The puppets of Peril, 7 April 2013
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Scorchies (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
Latest Doctor Who companion chronicle. These are a monthly range of talking books which see an actor who played a companion to the Doctor on tv return to the role to read an all new story for their character.

They do all the narration and the voices save one, which is read by a guest actor.

They usually run for two parts of roughly twenty five to thirty minutes each, and are complete on a single cd.

This one see Katy Manning return to the role of Jo Grant, who she played opposite Jon Pertwee's Doctor back in the 1970's.

It is a two parter, on a single cd, and each episode runs for twenty five minutes [approx].

It does break the usual format though, like some of these have, by being full cast drama with all dialogue and no narration.

Which isn't the only thing that's unique about it.

The story sees Jo trying to deal with the Scorchies. A tv show involving a group of rather disparate puppets, that will bring back memories to those of a certain generation of shows like Pipkin's and Fingerbobs and Bagpuss. However, people have died whilst watching the Scorchies. Because they are actually evil aliens who look like puppets, and who are trying to take over the world.

UNIT are on the way. But there's no sign of the Doctor. What has happened to him? Can Jo save the day on her own? Or will she be as baffled as the Scorchies resident scientific genius?

The characterisation of the puppets does make them feel like a programme from the time of the aforementioned 70's shows. Guest actor Melvyn Hayes [best known for his role in 'it ain't half hot mum'] does an amazing job with them, making each a totally unique character.

And he also signs.

Yes, this has musical numbers. But don't let that put you off, because they do fit in with the narrative, are also in keeping with the 70's style, and are incredibly catchy with it.

This does start in the middle of the action and only gradually fill in some of the exposition, but you get used to that easily enough.

It plays clever in jokes with certain tv cliches.

And those who know the cliches of this era of the show will laugh out loud when they hear one quite brilliant bit of dialogue.

The story does also have a lot of substance, as it gets quite dark when describing the origin of the Scorchies, and it allows for some strong characterisation as a result.

This is totally original, full of the style of the time it tries to evoke, and a lot of fun with it. You won't get the songs out of your head for a while afterwards, also.

It may not be to everyone's taste, but if you're in the mood for a fun, original, and highly clever story, it's highly recommended.

There's a trailer for the next in this range on the cd track after the end of part two.

And fourteen minutes worth of talk from the writers of the musical numbers on the two tracks after that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bonkers, 28 Mar 2013
By 
Tony Jones "Tony" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Scorchies (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
We get a kids TV show (Muppets meets Rainbow) with plenty of singing which is a cover for aliens brainwashing TV viewers as part of their destruction of all life on Earth. Jo infiltrates the studio in an attempt to defeat them but is soon 'Making a Thing' as part of the show.

We get more Pertwee than Pertwee when the attention is turned to a device something like a flow reverser for the neutron flow parity reverser (something like that - you get the drift) before all ends well.

Big Finish only occasionally do singing episodes - this one works well and the cast (Katy Manning and Melvyn Hayes) deserve credit as does James Goss for writing this.

Give it a go, but be warned - it's bonkers!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Totally mad but such fun, 10 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Scorchies (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
I absolutely loved this. Be warned that this isn't your average Doctor Who story, but for anyone brought up in the 1970's who watched Play School, Bagpuss and Blue Peter, it is an absolute delight.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!!!, 18 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Scorchies (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
A totally different kind of story both funny and well-acted!
A creepy tale of killer muppet-like things!
Sounds odd but it's not!
Well worth the money!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bonkers and Brilliant, 28 April 2013
This review is from: The Scorchies (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
I loved this story from start to finish. I found it creepy and dark in a weird way. I don't want to create spoilers so giving examples is a bit tricky, but a children's tv show with a puppet called 'Ugly Dolly' perhaps hints at the underlying unpleasantness. And the chanting mice : "It's time for death all over the world. All over the world it's time to die". *Shudders*
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The Scorchies (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles)
The Scorchies (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) by James Goss (Audio CD - 31 Mar 2013)
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