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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fire in the library, 6 May 2013
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Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Library of Alexandria (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
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 also do all the voices save one which is performed by a guest actor.

They are usually two part stories complete on a single cd, with episodes that run for twenty five to thirty minutes each. [Approx].

This one sees William Russell return once again to the role of Ian Chesterton. Whom he played opposite William Hartnell back at the very dawn of the show.

The story sees the TARDIS crew in Alexandria, back in the fifth century. Taking a vacation. And a chance to enjoy the library. Which contained seemingly all recorded knowledge that there was at the time.

All of which was lost to history in due course when the building was destroyed.

Ian strikes up a friendship with a lady philosopher.

But how exactly was the library destroyed? The time travellers are about to find out. And what will survive when it happens?

William Russell has done several of these before and it's always great to see him return to the range for another one because he's a superb narrator.

Whilst some tales from this era would be purely historical and never have any science fictional elements beyond the TARDIS, this one does throw something alien into the mix. It's an interesting creation which fits the era and never feels out of place.

But the story isn't about aliens. It's about the earlier stages of the Ian Barbara relationship, before they'd fully realised their feelings for each other. Ian's relationship with the philosopher Hypatia, a meeting of minds, allows for this to be looked at from a fresh angle. Hypatia is very well acted by guest star Susan Franklyn and allowing her to narrate some of the story is a smart move because her character gives us an interestingly fresh look at the Doctor as a character when we see him through her eyes.

It's also about history. Being in the middle of it. And knowing what might be lost does have an effect on the time travellers.

The sound design and music does vividly bring a hot city and then one that's in chaos to life.

There are some final moments which are slightly reminiscent of similar in a recent release in this range. But they provide a fresh and clever twist, so that's not a problem.

Not quite a five star release but a very good one nonetheless, and well worth a listen.

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

And just over nine minutes of music from the story on the track after that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice history lesson and novel character development wrapped up in a decent tale, 19 April 2013
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This review is from: The Library of Alexandria (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
One of the most enjoyable listens in a long while. As a listener, I don't like to be alienated, so recent Companion Chronicles such as The Child and The Scorchies were more than I could put up with. However, "Library" is a return to form.

It explores a couple of themes that really add to the ethos of Doctor Who, and is therefore highly original. It gradually detaches Ian a little from the rest of the crew allowing us to see the Ian-Barbara relationship in a refreshing light. It added tremendously to the character of Ian, and gives the Doctor the challenge of dealing with one of the most awesome adversaries realised on Big Finish audio.

I am deliberately avoiding any spoilers. Suffice to say having listened to all CC's so far this ranks very high. It feels like "The Aztecs" in quality (my favourite black and white story).

Highly recommended, and probably a nice place to start if new to the range, or only able to sample a very limited number. I really feel I have "watched" this story and was sad that it ended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is absolutely brilliant especially for anyone with an interest in the science ..., 10 July 2014
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This review is from: The Library of Alexandria (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
This is absolutely brilliant especially for anyone with an interest in the science of Classical antiquity and how its fundamental ideas still impact on contemporary thought. There are sea monsters as well. The background sound effects provide an outstanding sense of ambience to the scenes set in the story. The reading and cast are superlative. (There is one annoying grammatical error '...to Barbara and I' - why don't people get the idea that in English that the personal pronoun in all cases except the nominative is 'me': 'x was given to Barbara and me' not I. Sorry about that but it annoys me!)
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good story, 20 Aug 2013
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This review is from: The Library of Alexandria (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
William Russell gives a great performance as Ian as usual. I actually preferred the story more before the monsters turned up oddly. I don't think they would ave had the budget to show them on TV back then!
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The Library of Alexandria (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles)
The Library of Alexandria (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) by Simon Guerrier (Audio CD - 30 April 2013)
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