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4.0 out of 5 stars8
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Latest Doctor Who companion chronicle. These are a range of talking books, which feature an actor who played a companion to the Doctor on tv returning to the role to read an all new story for their character.

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

The stories are usually complete in two parts, on a single cd.

In this one, Carole Ann Ford returns to the role of Susan, whom she played opposite William Hartnell back during the very first year of the show.

The two episodes of this release run for thirty three and twenty eight minutes respectively. [Approx].

And it's a prequel to the show itself. Plus the couple of other stories that this range has done which have taken place before the first tv story.

This one tells the story of what happens to the Doctor and his Granddaughter right after they leave Gallifrey.

They visit a strange world. Meet some very strange aliens. And a man called Quadrigger Stoyn. Who has been brought along for the ride in the TARDIS. He's not very happy about it...

Licensed fiction can't ever do anything to change established continuity. Nor can it create new continuity. Thus those who are looking for the full story as to why the Doctor left Gallifrey in the first place will not find the answers they are looking for here. This one starts with him and Susan in the process of getting a TARDIS.

Mind you licensed fiction can reference established continuity, so you will find a couple of fan pleasing moments early on. They fit in very nicely with the narrative without being at all obtrusive.

The script and the reading manages to convey superbly, via Susan's viewpoint, what she goes through. The danger of the escape, the feeling of being inside a strange machine. And then of finding they have the freedom to go wherever and whenever they want.

Their first landing is also superbly conveyed.

Stoyn is a solid character, ably voiced by Who stalwart Terry Molloy, who does very well at portraying the shock, anger, confusion and all other attendant feelings of a man suddenly taken out of the life he knows.

Once all this is done the story then kicks in, as the travellers meet some strange aliens. It's not quite as compelling once we get into this, and the final third of part one isn't quite on a par with what has come before. The first half of part two gets very complex thanks to what happens in the cliffhanger, and you need to work at it hard to follow what is going on.

For a lot of part two it's hard to see where the story is going to go. But then it pulls itself together very nicely. Many in this range have involved epiphanies and foreshadowing, and this does that. Explaining a few things about the two main characters along the way.

This isn't quite a five star release because it's not as good in the middle third as what comes before and after. It does have one loose end which will be dealt with in the next companion chronicle. But it has some very good moments. So it is worth a listen.

There's a trailer for the aforementioned next release on the cd track after the end of part two.

And just under ten minutes or so of interviews with various cast and crew on the track after that.
11 comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
It took me a while to decide what I thought overall about this story. I came to the conclusion that it started off strongly and intriguingly, got a bit lost in the middle, and then picked up at the end, which left me for a while feeling a bit ambivalent about it. But I have to say, now that I’m analysing it for review purposes, that my overall feelings about it are far more positive than negative. The idea of what happened that made the Doctor and his granddaughter Susan leave Gallifrey all those years ago is one that has, of course always intrigued Doctor Who fans. In this story we find out a little more, and how they got the Tardis that sent them off through the galaxy. But they get more than they bargained for when they take the Tardis that has Quadrigger Stoyn working in its depths, stripping it for decommissioning. Stoyn is an odd character; frightened of leaving Gallifrey, sticking rigidly to the rules he knows so that he can assure himself he won’t get into any more trouble, he blames the Doctor (or ‘Grandpa’ as he keeps calling him) for all that goes wrong. And that, as we who know the First Doctor and his temperament so well does not get him very far in the business of making friends and influencing people.

Where the Tardis and its runaways, and the inadvertent third passenger goes, and who/what they meet when they get there, gives us, the listeners the first glimpse into the strange new way of life that the Doctor and Susan now find themselves living. The Doctor’s traits of curiosity, intellectual searching and irascibility are evident from the start, as is the strong relationship with his granddaughter. I think that where the story fell down a little for me was in the middle when there was a shift in timeframes between the two planets; it all got a bit weird there I thought. But the resolution of this story, and the thought that there are two more stories where Quadrigger Stoyn features are a great incentive to keep being enthralled, and I hope that we find more stories from the very early days of the Doctor and Susan’s travels, where everything is new, and everything leads them inexorably and eventually to the junkyard in 1963.
22 comments|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This audio tells the untold story of how the 1st Doctor and his granddaughter Susan left their home planet Gallifrey and stole an abandoned about to be scrapped TARDIS beginning their adventures through space and time only to discover a stowaway, Quadrigger Stoyn on the ship who is very unhappy with them. Hard to tell if the BBC will make this the official story of how The Doctor left Gallifrey but it is a good fun tale nicely told by Carol Anne Ford as Susan who tries her best to do a decent William Hartnell impression with Terry Malloy as Quadrigger who will apparently be back in future audios giving a good performance and nice to hear him in a role other than Davros. This companion chronicle is pretty much a talking book rather than Big Finish's full cast dramas that they do for Doctors 4-8 and it neatly ties into the series 7 finale Name Of The Doctor too.
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on 1 July 2014
Of all the special products that came out to mark Who's 50th, this was the one I was waiting for most eagerly - the story of how the Doctor and Susan left Gallifrey and started roaming the universe. Sadly it proved to be rather a disappointment. Carole Anne Ford does her customary excellent job of recreating Susan, while Terry Molloy struggles manfully with the unattractive character of Quadrigger Stoyn. However, we aren't told why our heroes left Gallifrey, and the plot leaps about in a most unconvincing manner. If you're a Ford completist get this, otherwise leave it alone.
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on 24 January 2016
Another well told story from Big Finish nicely tied into the 50th tv story Day of the Doctor read by Carol Ann Ford.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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on 7 July 2014
It was okay. But very forgettable. I can't say any more, I already don't remember it and I heard it 2 weeks ago.
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on 4 July 2014
Lots of references that tie up many of the little loose ends that we always imagined were there. Brilliant!
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on 29 June 2015
perfect prequel to dr who , it deceivers on the story you've had in your head for many years
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