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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invitation to a wake, 4 Feb 2014
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Doctor Who: Afterlife (Doctor Who Big Finish)
A Doctor Who audio play. Which features Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor and Sophie Aldred as his companion Ace.

This follows on from the end of earlier story Gods and Monsters (Doctor Who). That story was the culmination of plot strands that ran throughout the Seventh Doctor audios for years. And you needed to have heard quite a few other ones in order to get into it.

Since this deals with what happened at the end of that, it's thus not really a story for the casual listener.

But if you have been following these plot strands and have heard Gods and Monsters, read on.

Afterlife is a four parter. Spread over two cd's. With episodes running from twenty eight to thirty three minutes in length [approx.].

The first episode is almost entirely a two hander. In the TARDIS. As Ace and the Doctor deal with what happened to Hex. The Timelord really is sorry. But how can he convey that to a so very human ace, who is undergoing a very human reaction?

There's some very strong character material here, which allows for some really powerful drama. And the two leads really give it their all.

A flashback device allows for Hex to feature. It's fascinating for regular listeners because it shows how far his character came from his early days.

The story then heads to Liverpool. Where we meet Hex's gran, played by veteran Liverpudlian actress Jean Boht.

Then both Ace and the Doctor find they still have things to deal with. But they're things they really didn't expect.

This is a hard one to review without spoilers. Suffice it to say that there's more great character drama to come in parts two to four, particularly the scenes between Hex's gran and the Doctor. It also then gets in another strand which is more plot based. One early twist in this is one you will not see coming.

As the story flips between superb character drama and this plotline as it goes on, the former remains great but you can wonder where the latter is heading. It doesn't initially appear as if it's going to be the total change to the status quo you might have expected this story to be from the off.

But then the last few minutes of part three all come together and make it all clear. And you have to admire some very clever writing.

Part four brings things to a resolution. With some more strong character moments, one in particular will stick in the mind for a while. Plus some great material for Sylvester McCoy whose Doctor really gets to let loose in scenes you won't forget in a hurry.

The end isn't what you might have expected at the start. But it will leave you wanting to know what will happen next.

A strong character drama with some great plotting, this is a very good continuation of the storyline and an excellent listen.

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

A trailer for the next release in this range [A new run of three for the Sixth Doctor] on the track after the end of part four on disc two.

And twelve minutes of interviews with cast and crew on the tracks after that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Character Driven Audio Adventure., 18 Jan 2014
By 
Timelord007 (The Tardis) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Doctor Who: Afterlife (Doctor Who Big Finish)
Positive.
1)Sylvester McCoy gets to perform one of his best performances as the Seventh Doctor were he has to face the consequences of his recent actions.
2)Sophie Aldred as Ace gives an heart felt emotional performance that few actresses could do on audio.
3)A excellent script by Matt Fitton who I E-mailed my enjoyment & praise for this audio adventure & received a wonderful reply from him thanking me for my feedback.

Negative.
You need to have some insight to the previous event's to understand & appreciate this story or you may become confused at the event's surrounding this adventure.

Cd Info.
2x CD of a 4 part audio adventure, Running time 120 minutes approx, Behind the scenes Interviews, Trailer.

Trivia.
1)Jean Boht as Hex's Grandma Hilda Scofield is better known in 90's BBC1 tv sitcom Bread as Nellie Boswell.
2)Amy Pemberton has starred in 3 other main range Doctor Who audio adventures & one Companion Chronicles to date as her character Sally Morgan.
3)In the Doctor's final speech he mentions he's the Sandman & the Oncoming Storm, Two of many name's the Doctor has been refered to on audio & tv.

Review.
Hex is dead & the Seventh Doctor wants to just move on like Hex is a now an afterthought.

But Ace is distraught & stands her ground holding the Doctor accountable for his actions as Ace force's the Doctor to confront his mistakes to go & see Hex's Grandma Hilda Scofield to break the sad news to her about her Grandsons recent passing in person.

Liverpool in the 21st century who is the mysterious Hector Thomas who looks & sounds just like Hex but has none of his characteristics & has a completely different personality.

Why is Hector Thomas seemingly attacking the Finnegan family for as Hector Thomas claims the Finnegans are not entirely human?

Mysterious force's seem to be at work here, Are the God's involved somehow now playing another game, Just who is Hector Thomas? & can the Doctor & Ace solve this mystery when Ace's anger towards the Doctor threatens to tear there relationship apart.

Timelord Thoughts.

I enjoyed every moment of this 2 hour audio adventure.

This story written by the excellent Matt Fitton delivers a superb follow up to God's & Monster's & takes the story of the Hex character in a whole new direction.

Sylvester McCoy delivers one of his greatest performances as the Seventh Doctor from his confrontation with a heartbroken Ace to his social phobia at Hexs memorial service to finally the Doctor's chilling climactic speech at the end of this adventure that gave this reviewer goosebumps especially the "Fear me" quote that McCoy delivers chillingly, Plus a whole range of other emotions in this terrific audio adventure.

Sophie Aldred act's her heart out in the storys emotional scenes portraying grief & a sense of loss over Hex's apparent death then turning on the Doctor in anger in the story's opening episode which is pretty tense character driven stuff.

Jean Boht does well as Hex's Grandma who has a few choice word's to say to the Doctor of her own about her Grandsons death, Boht plays the part well & I'm curious to see if her character returns in a future audio play.

If you've noticed I'm not mentioning the fate of Hex in my review this is because I don't wish to spoil the twist for you listener's but by the story's conclusion I will say It's going to be very interesting adventures on were things are going to go from here.

A outstanding character driven & well acted audio adventure that delivers tension, Intrigue & at the story's conclusion a Doctor you wouldn't want to go up against.
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