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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Lost Story First Doctor Audio Adventure, 14 Oct. 2013
By 
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Dark Planet (Dr Who Big Finish) (Audio CD)
Doctor Who: The Dark Planet (Audio).

CD Info.
3xCD's
6 Episodes
Running Time 180 Minutes

Cast.
Ian Chesterton - William Russell
Vicki Pallister - Maureen O'Brien
Shadows - John Banks
Light - Charlie Norfolk

Positive.
1)A excellent quality production by Big Finish & a clever written script by Brian Hayles that has been adapted superbly by writer Matt Fitton.
2)This is a slightly darker story for The First Doctor.

Negative.
1)The occasional problems with pacing at times, this would have made a better 4 episode adventure as the pace needed tightening up in places.
2)Strangely no CD extras on this release.

Review.
This is the First story of the final series of Big Finishes lost stories range & this one features the final first doctor lost story.

What's Up Doc?
Somewhere far back in the early days of the universe the TARDIS lands on a world lit by a dying sun. Missing from the Doctor's star maps & dotted with strange crystalline statues, it is a world ripe for exploration. But it is also a world of destruction.

Venturing out onto its surface, the time travellers find themselves drawn into an age-old conflict between the two species residing on the planet - people of Light & Shadow. Proving a catalyst for the escalation of the conflict, the Doctor & his friends need either to create a peace or to pick a side.

Because in times of war, nothing is ever black & white.

Timelord Thoughts.
This is a enjoyable First Doctor adventure as the root of this 6 part story really is about can a civil war on a dying planet force two species to put there differences aside for the good for a greater threat.

'The Dark Planet' features great narration by actor William Russell who mimics the late William Hartnells speech patterns rather than doing a straightforward impression captures the spirit of the First Doctor superbly as well as reprising his role of Ian Chesterton, while actress Maureen'O'Brien also deserves credit with her narration but maybe it would've been wiser to just have had one actor voicing the Doctor as at times can be jarring.

The only fault i found was that as a 6 part adventure was the pace slows a little here & there at times affecting the narrative, if this had been a 4 parter the tighter pacing could've helped to improve the storys narrative structure.

But this is a minor fault & only my personnel opinion, But what i found at the storys heart is the moral message of good or bad, right or wrong scenario which is evident throughout this excellent story.

Overall,'The Dark Planet' for the most part is a very good audio drama & one that deals with modern day issues, Matt Fittons adaption of Brian Hayles tv script is strong & doesn't pull it's punches as it delivers a wonderful thought provoking sci-fi drama that's well worth a listen.

Timelord Rating.
8/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The light and shadow war, 11 Oct. 2013
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Dark Planet (Dr Who Big Finish) (Audio CD)
Down the years, many scripts and storylines have been written for Doctor Who and never managed to get to the tv screen.

Now, thanks to Big Finish adapting them for audio, we can find what might have been.

The Dark Planet is based on a storyline by writer Brian Hayles. It features the First Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Vicki.

It is a six part story, complete in one set and spread over three cd's.

William Russell [Ian] and Maureen O'Brien [Vicki] read the story. Both do dialogue for their own characters, and several others. Both also narrate sections. The narration will jump back and forth between them without any notice, but this is an approach you quickly get used to and it doesn't cause any problems. Both are pretty good at coming up with voices for other characters. William Russell's take on the First Doctor, whilst being a take on the way he spoke rather than an out and out impression, is very good indeed.

The story sees the TARDIS land on a very strange world that circles a dying star. On the planet, which is not in any of the Doctor's records, live two different species. Creatures of Light and creatures of Shadow. Literally. Remarkable sights await the time travellers. But the two species have long been at conflict. And the world is dying.

Which side should the Doctor and his friends help? The choice is not easy. Because, as they say, not everything is black an white...

Back in the early days of the show it's ambition was never limited by the show's budget. And this strives hard to recreate that style. Stories of strange and fantastical aliens and their worlds brought to life on a shoestring budget and filmed in black and white. It strives hard to recreate that feels and succeeds perfecly, because in your mind's eye you can visualise it in the fantastical ways the narration describes. And in the way the BBC would have brought it to the screen also.

A lot of this is done by narration. Which does help bring the images of the tale to life. It does also mean that it's not a casual listen and does require concentration at times. It's a six parter and each episode is a little over thirty minutes. As a six part story it just about works but the episode length could ideally be at least five minutes shorter each time.

The story has moral lessons which are simplistic, but presented in a decent way, and in keeping with how the programme would have done it back then. All the alien voices are done in certain tones and sound treatment, a way that regular audio listeners might find over familiar. And yet is perhaps also in keeping with the style of the day.

A long story and one that could perhaps be better paced. Certain aspects may also feel over familiar. But a very well produced attempt at recapturing the style of the time, and well worth four stars out of five.

There are three more releases to come in this season of lost story audios. But there are no trailers or interviews on this particular release.
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The Dark Planet (Dr Who Big Finish)
The Dark Planet (Dr Who Big Finish) by Matt Fitton (Audio CD - 30 Sept. 2013)
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