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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scherzo: The Doctor explores the rhythm of life
This is the fifty second release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Paul McGann as Eight and India Fisher as Charley Pollard. It is the first in a season of four linked Eighth Doctor stories that follow directly from the events of Zagreus. There are 4 episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with...
Published 18 months ago by Victor

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor & Charley & That's Yer Lot!
Doctor Who: Scherzo.
Doctor: Eighth Doctor.
Companion: Charley Pollard.
Main enemy: The Sound creature.
Main setting: The Divergent Universe.
Writer: Robert Shearman.
Director: Gary Russell.
Release number: 52.
Format: 4 Episodes on 2 CDs.
Running time 100 minutes.

Cast.
Paul McGann - The Doctor.
India...
Published 20 days ago by Timelord007


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor & Charley & That's Yer Lot!, 1 July 2014
By 
Timelord007 (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Scherzo (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Doctor Who: Scherzo.
Doctor: Eighth Doctor.
Companion: Charley Pollard.
Main enemy: The Sound creature.
Main setting: The Divergent Universe.
Writer: Robert Shearman.
Director: Gary Russell.
Release number: 52.
Format: 4 Episodes on 2 CDs.
Running time 100 minutes.

Cast.
Paul McGann - The Doctor.
India Fisher - Charley Pollard.

Trivia.
1)The Doctor has lived for a thousand years.
2)The Doctor claims that when he dies, he wishes to do so alone.
3)Time Lords have senses other than the usual five, all of which are related to time.
4)At the time it was released, this was the only piece of performed Doctor Who fiction since TV: The Edge of Destruction in 1964 to feature only the regular cast.

Plot Synopsis.
The Eighth Doctor & Charley Pollard together this duo have travelled the cosmos,They thwarted tyrants & defeated monsters, they righted wrongs wherever they went, They explored the distant future & the distant past, new worlds & galaxies, places beyond imagining.

But every good story has to come to an end.

With no times or places left to explore, all the two friends have now are each other. But maybe that's one voyage too many. Maybe they'll discover things they'd rather have left undisturbed... hidden away in the suffocating, unfeeling, deafening brightness a creature they can only hear.

Once upon a time. Far, far away.

Timelord Thoughts.
This release sees the beginning of a series of adventures featuring the Eighth Doctor & Charley in the what will be known as The Divergent Universe.

This play is also the first two hander released by Big Finish that doesn't feature any guest star's as it features only the two main leads, but the question is does this format actually work?

Writer Rob Shearman has written some classic Doctor Who story's for Big Finish, Jubilee, The Holy Terror & The Chimes Of Midnight yet here Shearman writes the Eighth Doctor as a bitter, self pitying & just plain miserable git, while India Fisher as Charley Pollard is whiney bordering on the unsympathetic as she bored me to tears with her moaning about the Doctor doesn't feel love in the same way about her asshe does him this becomes very tedious & plain dull, I half expected to hear the Dum Dum Dum Eastenders drums kick in or have Jeremy Kyle to appear & start berating the Doctor.

The idea of the sound creature is a thrilling new life form & it's dependence on inflection does provide the story with some wonderful tense moments that builds up some great dramatic atmosphere, it's just a shame that the Doctor & Charley are so self-piteous & unsympathetic to care.

Overall, Scherzo is a decent if uninspiring adventure yes it takes risks that don't quite pay off & the story tends to get caught up in the lead characters own self loathing & importance which doesn't do this play any favours, To me Doctor Who should be a show that's optimistic & adventurous yet in this adventure it is anything but optimistic & while the play ends on a satisfying conclusion it doesn't really deliver that great an audio adventure.

Timelord Rating.
6/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scherzo: The Doctor explores the rhythm of life, 22 Jan 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Scherzo (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
This is the fifty second release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Paul McGann as Eight and India Fisher as Charley Pollard. It is the first in a season of four linked Eighth Doctor stories that follow directly from the events of Zagreus. There are 4 episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes.

The producers of the Big Finish range seem to have taken the decision to do something new and experimental with the Eighth Doctor. His stories have morphed over time from straight adventures as we know them into tales that are a bit more challenging. The mind bending Zagreus marked the full transformation. At the end of that epic, the Doctor and Charley voluntarily departed for the divergent universe, to remove the possibility of infecting our universe with anti-time. This is the story of the consequences of their actions.

Cleverly playing with perceptions and senses, the story explores how the relationship between Eight and Charley has been irrevocably changed by their actions. It's a character study that goes into what it means to be a companion of the Doctor, why he has companions and why they want to travel with him. It also starts to explore the possibilities of this new universe, with different laws and properties to our own.

It's a bit of a masterpiece. OK, so occasionally it strays into the overly sentimental, and the L word (you know, that 4 letter one that blokes are traditionally uncomfortable with) comes up a few times too often, but that can be forgiven. It works so beautifully to take you to places you never imagined you would see in the Whoniverse. The script is excellent, but it's the performances that really make it. McGann portrays the change in Eight's character from the happy-go-lucky carefree adventurer to the weary, wary man who has endured too much to a T. There is now a feeling of deep pain behind his mask, and McGann just makes you feel sympathy for this hero who has sacrificed so much. And India Fisher s usual excels as Charley, portraying her confusion, hurt, and strength of character.

It's a perfect little duet, taking us to unexpected places and sensitively analysing relationships. It's also got a really good adventure at it's heart. In all 5 stars for this excellent effort.
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9 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's about ideas and the fragility of who we are., 27 Dec 2003
By 
Stuart Burns (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Scherzo (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
After I'd listened to Scherzo, the first story in a new season of Eighth Doctor audio adventures, I reached for Google and found that in Italian it literally translates as 'joke' and that it's the third part of various musical forms such as symphonies, string quartets and sonatas. So the joke is that it's named after music but it doesn't feature any at all. So it's a very clever title - but then it's a very clever work.
If you really want to demonstrate to someone how far Doctor Who has traveled since the TV Movie get them to sit down and listen to this. Imagine a story in which everything is stripped to the bare minimum. There is The Doctor (Paul McGann), a companion, in this case Charlie Pollard (India Fisher), a mystery to investigate in a bare landscape and that's it. Without giving away too many secrets (and half the fun is discovering those secrets) there are no other real characters. This isn't a monster adventure, or a 'historical'. The only arch enemy is perception itself and the inherent tension is in whether the travelers decide between themselves if they should live or die.
This is a Who adventure set in The Theatre of the Absurd, as difficult to pin down as Samuel Beckett, the characters as adrift as Vladimir and Estragon standing under that tree in Waiting for Godot. Nowhere to go, no end in sight. If this had been made for television (which is impossible since it wouldn't work on television, or in a book for that matter) it would have to be on late night BBC Four not teatime BBC One. The concepts and ideas on display are utterly terrifying, magnifying how hopeless our short lives are really is when faced with the passage of time, or what can pass for time -- sometimes.
The writer of the piece, Robert Shearman is an award winning playwright turning his keyboard to his love affair with a timelord (not counting his wife, who according to the inlay notes let him work on the play while they were on their honeymoon). None of his previous works have been what you would call traditional. In Chimes at Midnight (voted best audio drama of all time in a recent anniversary poll) The Doctor had to investigate why the same figures in a murder mystery kept dying over and over again. Another work Deadline featured Derek Jacobi as a ex-writer for Juliet Bravo with delusions of traveling the universe in a police box with his granddaughter and her school teachers based on a treatment for a tv show he never managed to get off the ground. Scherzo fits perfectly into this ouvre as Shearman again reduces the concept of the show to it's bare bones, stretches and manipulates them but still produces something which is both recognizable and alien at the same time.
The direction falls to the multi-talented Gary Russell, the overall series producer. It's his bravery which led to this, the most evocative adventure of them all. He asked the writer to create a two hander which would tie up some of the loose ends from premise the shattering doublebill Neverland and Zagreus. I can only imagine how he felt when Scherzo landed on his desk. My first thought would have been 'How the hell do I direct this? but direct he does, realizing that the only way the listener is going to understand the void which the characters have been dropped into is to have the experience replicated for them too as much as possible.
Without the usual props of supporting characters to bounce off McGann and Fisher again demonstrate the heartbreaking chemistry we've seen between them time and again. Recent events have made The Doctor a much darker character - if this had pictures you could imagine the light in his eyes once so bright, dimmed slightly. The characters are coming to terms with words spoken, and we are right on Fisher's shoulder pleading with our friend to be just as he was, the man so willing to pretend to be a private eye and talk Orson Wells into stopping an alien invasion or take Romana on one final trip to Oxford to find out what really happened in 1979. It's her performance which helps us adjust to this new version of the character, as McGann's interpretation gains layers of hurt and pain which may take years to sort out. It's a tragedy that their work here is only going to be heard by a relatively small audience.
When Doctor Who returns (and how odd to be able to say that) it won't look or sound anything like this. Which isn't to say it won't be challenging and with Russell T Davies at the controls it won't be boring either. But to garner an audience it will have to be fairly traditional, mostly offering the frights that people remember from all those years ago, hiding behind a collective sofa of nostalgia. Scherzo is for a different audience, the kind who'll go and see the Japanimation import Spirited Away and talk about it for hours afterwards. It's about ideas, expectations and the fragility of who we are and next to a Cyberman I'll take those kinds of scares every time.
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2 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but dull, 3 Dec 2004
By 
Jane Aland (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Scherzo (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Following on from the anniversary story Zagreus Scherzo, the first story in Big Finish's 3rd 8th Doctor season is another story to mark up as an interesting failure. Where Zagreus went overboard, throwing everything including the kitchen-sink into it's 3 and hour running time, Scherzo is decidedly minimalist, featuring no actors beyond Paul McGann and India Fisher, and a very slight plot (Doctor and Charlie arrive in the Divergent Universe, lose the TARDIS, accidentally create a creature of sound, and compete in an evolutionary race against it). In fact, this must rank as one of the shortest stories ever to be extended to two discs - at around 90 minutes running time it really should have had some padding trimmed (plus the extremely irritating episode breaks, which are intrusive as there are no dramatic cliff-hanger moments) and released as a one disc story. Robert Shearman is without a doubt the best writer in the Big Finish range, and there is still some excellent material in Scherzo, but compared to previous triumphs The Holy Terror, The Chimes of Midnight and Jubilee this falls somewhat flat. The play isn't helped by the addition of a sickly Doctor & Charlie love angle, which robs the character of the Doctor of his individuality and makes him like every other hero. Scherzo is a brave experiment, and has some flashes of genius, but it's also a fairly dull story.
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Scherzo (Doctor Who)
Scherzo (Doctor Who) by Robert Shearman (Audio CD - 31 Dec 2003)
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