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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Adventure in Alaska with the Doctor and Nyssa!
`The Land of the Dead' is one of the most memorable stories of 'Doctor Who' in Big Finish's history.

It is most significant of being the first of a new series of adventures with the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa starring Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton. I had listened to other audio adventures with the Doctor and Nyssa including 'Circular Time'. But it was nice to...
Published 11 months ago by Tim Bradley

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alaska, Nyssa and exposition
"Landing in Alaska, the Doctor and Nyssa encounter a group of people in a most unusual house, cut off not only by the harsh climate but by their individual secrets and obsessions.
"Millionaire Shaun Brett is utilising chunks of the local area to construct a shrine to his dead father. But when deadly creatures start roaming outside, and a terrifying...
Published on 11 April 2006 by M. Wilberforce


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Adventure in Alaska with the Doctor and Nyssa!, 2 April 2014
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This review is from: The Land of the Dead (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
`The Land of the Dead' is one of the most memorable stories of 'Doctor Who' in Big Finish's history.

It is most significant of being the first of a new series of adventures with the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa starring Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton. I had listened to other audio adventures with the Doctor and Nyssa including 'Circular Time'. But it was nice to re-start back at the beginning where these adventures took place, and it really is a gripping tale featuring these two lovely characters travelling together in the TARDIS.

The story of `The Land of the Dead' takes place after the abrupt departure of Tegan in the previous story 'Time-Flight'. The Doctor and Nyssa are about to have their first set of adventures.

Their first port of call is in Alaska where they arrive in 1964. During a snowstorm, the TARDIS almost collides with a plane before they dematerialise and jump ahead 30 years in the future in 1994. The TARDIS detects energy readings within a small vicinity of Alaska. Wrapping themselves warm, they go outside to explore and in a run in with some mysterious creatures, the Doctor and Nyssa race to the house of millionaire Shaun Brett. They take refuge, but strange things occur and it isn't long that creatures with flesh-bones start coming out and terrorise the house inhabitants.

I really like this story by Stephen Cole, who would later write the Tenth Doctor novel `The Feast of the Drowned'. The story kept me in check and it was gripping to listen to with the Doctor and Nyssa. The sound effects and music is pretty atmospheric. I didn't fully understand what the Permian skeletal creatures were, but hearing them was pretty eerie and scary. The setting of Alaska made it more appealing and adventurous especially when the Doctor and Nyssa tread the snowy landscapes and it has the feel of a base-under-siege type of story about it.

This is a great story for Nyssa and Sarah Sutton is absolutely tremendous. This is Sarah's first Big Finish audio and she has fond memories of recording it. I remember Sarah mentioning at conventions and in a DVD interview about the first day's recording with everyone so awed by her and Peter slipping back into their characters like they've never been away. Sarah sounds exactly the same as he was as Nyssa when she played her on TV. Her voice hasn't changed a bit as she sounds so young and beautiful. Sarah's chemistry with Peter is still the same and like the camaraderie they share as this is where for Sarah a long line of audios with Big Finish begins.

Nyssa is at her best and gets to have a voice of her own. I love that first scene with Nyssa and the Doctor in the TARDIS and when they walk through Alaska. I like Nyssa's scenes with Tulung who she forms a close friendship with as they both have lost their fathers Nyssa's latent psychic abilities are used again when she's sensing the Permian creatures and she gets to share an adventure with Tulung in a 4X4 on the Alaskan landscapes. I liked it when Nyssa's on the phone to the Doctor, telling him to get out of there when one of the skeletal creatures breaks out at the end of `Part Two'. Nyssa does get taken hostage, but she stands up to Brett pretty well.

Peter Davison is great as the Doctor as he enjoys being with Nyssa as her favourite companion. Peter's energy is the same as ever and is exuberant throughout. I really enjoyed how he takes an interest in the mysterious things, challenges Brett's work over the years and shows a concern for Nyssa. I like it when he and Nyssa rescue Nyssa from the sea room at the beginning of `Part Two'. I found the Doctor's scenes with Monica Lewis very enjoyable as they bounce off each other and she's almost like Tegan and the Doctor having to tolerate her in his polite way. Peter's Doctor works out of the problem pretty well and knows what these creatures are and what's at stake.

The supporting cast is very small for this story, consisting of four characters. But for their time in the story, they are captivating to listen to with such interesting journeys.

There's Monica Lewis, played by Lucy Campbell. She's an interior designer hired by Shaun Brett to build the monument in the Alaskan rock face. She's an interesting character who's spent three years of her life on this project and is easily frustrated. She complains to Brett, but gets on well with Tulung. She strikes a good friendly start with the Doctor. When trouble starts, she becomes shocked and sickened when one of the creatures breaks out. She can be pretty squeamish, but she's a willing to help the Doctor despite her reluctance. I found it funny when the Doctor suggested having a cup of tea to her and she guides him, when he expects her to make one.

There's Shaun Brett, played by Christopher Scott. He's a pretty interesting and complex character with mysterious motives. He seems charming at first, but there's more going on under that smooth surface. He's had a rough patch from his childhood. He's set up this monument in honour and memory of his father who died years ago. He's tied himself to Tulung who he blames his father for the death of his own father. There's this bitter rivalry between Brett and Tulung that's lasted for many years and provides dramatic effect for this story. Brett loses it half way through the story and goes mad which builds up to a final showdown between him and Tulung.

Tulung is a character I enjoyed listening to, played Neil Roberts. Tulung is a torn good hearted character who is tied to Shaun Brett. Tulung is a man of mixed heritage. He's half-American, half-Koyukon which makes him connect to his Eskimo origins. I enjoyed Tulung's scenes with Gaborik and when he's explaining things to Nyssa and the Doctor about his past. I love Tulung's relationship with Nyssa and how she connects to him. Nyssa reveals to Tulung what she saw with the plane involving the accident with his father. This leads to an awkward position where Tulung believes Nyssa to be her guardian spirit, which I found rather sweet and pretty unnerving at the same time.

The last member of this group of characters is Gaborik, who is a fifty-year old Eskimo, played by Andrew Fettes. He's a full-blooded member of the Koyukon and works for Mr Brett. He's not a very cheerful sort of person. He doesn't make friends with anyone despite working with them. He has this strong belief in the Raven Father and the sea spirit called Sedna who comes from Adlivum, the land of the dead. He doesn't appreciate Tulung in his enthusiasm for the Koyukon and threatens to leave Brett's house when the Permian creatures begin to revive. Gaborik has an untimely and horrific demise when one of the creatures attacks him, ending his story abruptly in `Part Two'.

There are some interesting revelations, connections and references to the dinosaurs and 'Earthshock' when the Doctor and Nyssa are investigating the Permian creatures.

The CD extras for this story are as follows. There are trailers for two stories with the Seventh Doctor and Ace called `The Fearmonger' and `The Genocide Machine'. Inside the CD casing, there's a floor map of Brett's monument which is very handy to find where you are in this story and where the characters are inside the monument. I found it easy to get into the story without the map on hand.

This is a great start to a new series of adventures with the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa in Big Finish. `The Land of the Dead' is one of their finest outings. I certainly enjoyed listening to it. Sarah Sutton signed the CD cover of this story for me in Newcastle, 2013, and I'm really glad she signed it for me. It's a story full of atmosphere and adventure and I will cherish this story always for featuring my favourite TARDIS duo still going strong today in many adventures.

The next adventure with the Doctor and Nyssa is 'Winter for the Adept'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Land Of The Dead - A deadly Danger for the Doctor, 28 Feb. 2012
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Land of the Dead (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
This is the fourth release from Big Finish in their range of audio only adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Peter Davison as Five and Sarah Sutton as Nyssa. This is a cracking adventure that really captures the feel of the old TV adventures, while subtly updating and making use of the fact that on audio the visual effects are so much easier to realise. There are four episodes, roughly 25 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 notes from the author.

The Doctor and Nyssa arrive in 1960s Alaska, the TARDIS on the trail of a mysterious energy source. They suddenly jump forward thirty years and on setting out to investigate they find themselves trapped in a house with the usual bunch of Dr. Who supporting characters and some very odd fossils.

This story does what classic Who did so well, and blends the superstitions of the Alaskan peoples with the science fiction elements beautifully to create a story that is tense and intelligent. The script writers have realised that the monsters are so much better in audio, and are not limited by dodgy screen effects. By letting the imagination work with the descriptions given by the characters you can conjure up some quite frightening images. It's really well done and makes the most of the new medium.

This is set in the period between Arc of Infinity and Timeflight, when Five and Nyssa were travelling alone without Tegan. This addresses a missed opportunity in the TV series to show the Dr and Nyssa travelling alone, as she was too often overshadowed by the annoying Adric and Tegan. Davison and Sutton step right back into the roles as though they had never been away, and it all works rather well. 4 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alaska, Nyssa and exposition, 11 April 2006
By 
M. Wilberforce "mwilberforce" (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Land of the Dead (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
"Landing in Alaska, the Doctor and Nyssa encounter a group of people in a most unusual house, cut off not only by the harsh climate but by their individual secrets and obsessions.
"Millionaire Shaun Brett is utilising chunks of the local area to construct a shrine to his dead father. But when deadly creatures start roaming outside, and a terrifying discovery is made inside the house, the Doctor realises that Brett has unleashed an unimaginably ancient force."
The Land of the Dead is an imaginative, if rather odd, concept. Most peculiar is the house, with its themed rooms of stone, earth, timber, sea, ice and bone - if only we could see this strange creation on the screen! However, visuals are really unimportant in this story, as it's the characters inhabiting the house that matter.
They include the bitter and twisted Shaun Brett (Christopher Scott), the ageing Eskimo Gaborik (Andrew Fettes), the half-American Tulung (Neil Roberts) and the artist Monica Lewis (as opposed to Lewinsky), in an engaging turn by Lucy Campbell.
Unlike some of the Big Finish Audio series, there is no problem identifying who is who in this particular tale. Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton are in good and recogniseable form as the Doctor and Nyssa, and the remaining characters are all well-drawn and have distinctive voices. Whilst the monsters have a role to play, the crux of the story is really the personal struggle between Brett and Tulung, with the unfortunate Nyssa caught in the crossfire. In the absence of Nyssa's company, Monica Lewis makes a good companion to the Doctor during the last episode as she runs the gamut of stress from tense to wittering to sarcastic in what becomes something of a running joke.
Like many of the Big Finish stories, The Land of the Dead has good sound design and a decent script, this time written by Stephen Cole, which lets itself down only by including too much obvious descriptive exposition. I look forward to hearing more of the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alaskan Dangers Await The Fifth Doctor & Nyssa, 24 Mar. 2014
By 
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Land of the Dead (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Doctor Who: Land Of The Dead.

Product Info.
2xCD
4 Episodes
Running time 115 minutes

Cast.
The Doctor -- Peter Davison
Nyssa -- Sarah Sutton
Monica Lewis -- Lucy Campbell
Supplier -- Alistair Lock
Shaun Brett -- Christopher Scott
Tulung -- Neil Roberts
Gaborik -- Andrew Fettes

Trivia.
1)This release includes a floor plan to aid the listener as to were the action is taking place.
2)The first Fifth Doctor & Nyssa Big Finish release.
3)The classic tv adventure Earthshock is referenced in this story.

Synopsis.
The Fifth Doctor & Companion Nyssa lock on to some strange enemy omissions in the Tardis & are forced to make an emergency landing to avoild collision with a light aircraft as they land 30 years in the future in Alaska in the year 1963.

There the time travellers stumble across a peculiar house owned by Englishman Shaun Brett & aiding him is his expedition are interior designer Monica & Tulung who is a half Inuit who was raised in America.

Each of these characters have there own secrets & reasons for being here especially
the sinister & twisted Brett who is constructing a shine utilising rare pieces he's collected to honour his late father.

But in the snowy wasteland of Alaska something strange is lurking, An evil spirit that doesn't want Brett to complete his shrine & as strange creatures roam outside the house ready to attack inside a sinister discovery of fossils are unearthed & the strange event's that are going on here are soon made very clear.

Could this have a possible connection with Tulung or his ancestry?

As Nyssa senses the spirits true intentions though her powers of telepathy she doesn't like what she sees.

The Doctor needs to workout what Brett has actually been up to in Alaska if he has any chance of stopping the spirits vicious attacks or face all will face certain death from this powerful sinister force.

Timelord Thoughts.
Writer Stephen Cole has written a eerie audio adventure here featuring the Fifth Doctor & Nyssa, The storys Alaskan setting is ideal fo this well written audio adventure as writer Stephen Cole slowly builds up the tension & fears keeping the central part of the action contained inside the house.

The characters are well written especially Shaun Brett who comes over as a devious unpredictable character & Tulung who may have a connection to the spirit & the unearthing of fossilised bones are both intriguing plot points that add character drama.

Peter Davison & Sarah Sutton give very good performances here keeping there characters of the Fifth Doctor & Nyssa grounded by keeping there wits about them.

This is a great chilling atmospheric audio adventure that delivers a great eerie script by writer Stephen Cole, Good performances by the cast & excellent sound effects & music by Big Finish Productions.

A great Doctor Who audio adventure thats worth adding to your Big Finish collection.

Timelord Rating.
8/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sins of the Past, 2 Sept. 2013
By 
P. Kennard (Worcestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Land of the Dead (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Floating above the Arctic Alaska, the TARDIS narrowly avoids being ploughed into by a small plane, re-materialising thirty years later in the same spot ... Where the Doctor and Nyssa promptly get menaced by Hybrid Creatures...

And so starts another Fifth Doctor adventure, with just the one companion this time, in a base-under-siege story that despite some excellent supporting characters, struggles to keep the listener engaged. The first of the Big Finish audios to significantly overrun the '25-minutes per episode' format, this story feels overlong and suffers from real pacing issues, particularly in Episode 2. The author has gone to a great deal of effort to present a group of people with real histories and character, with extraordinary detail going into the background of the local people and their beliefs/motives. But it is this extensive detail that drags the story down; too much time is spent explaining the background to the story that nothing really happens for whole chunks of the running time.
I made it to the end thanks to some of the supporting characters: while a couple fit comfortably into the stock of caricatures often found in such adventures, one manages to spring out of the speakers so wonderfully that you almost wish she had decided to join the Doctor, if only to liven things up. I love Nyssa to bits, but even with half the story to herself, she still fails to be really engaging. Sarah Sutton does her best, but writers seem to have no idea how to get the best from the character. Meanwhile, the acerbic Monica ends up stealing all the best lines, puncturing the Doctor's pomposity and leaving him almost lost for words. This can only be a good thing, as he is in his 'teaching' phase where he likes to explain everything to anyone who'll listen, and even some of those who won't.

A Special Edition of this story, losing about half an hour, would make it far better and bring out the research and effort Stephen Cole put into this far more effectively. Another early story that could benefit from more experienced hands.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I see dead people, 17 April 2009
This review is from: The Land of the Dead (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Landing in Alaska, the Doctor and Nyssa encounter a group of people in a most unusual house, cut off not only by the harsh climate but by their individual secrets and obsessions.

Millionaire Shaun Brett is utilising chunks of the local area to construct a shrine to his dead father. But when deadly creatures start roaming outside, and a terrifying discovery is made inside the house, the Doctor realises that Brett has unleashed an unimaginably ancient force...

The early Big Finish audios were more closely linked to the classic series than in more recent times, and in many ways they were more accessible for it. Land of the Dead features the Fifth Doctor and his Trakenite companion Nyssa; ancient monsters, shifty people harbouring secrets and an 'ancient evil' make this more akin to the late 80s Sylvester McCoy period, however it is a strong and engaging story and kept me riveted throughout.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good, but a little slow....., 17 Aug. 2007
This review is from: The Land of the Dead (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
after so many great big finish audios, its rare to come across even a little biot of a let down, as i love most of them. but this story is a weak one for me. it just takes too long to get started and when it has it isnt that interesting. The things that save it are Sarah Sutton giving a good performance as Nyssa and the shorter and faster paced final episodes on disc two. the first two episodes are really boring, with not much going on at all. but it gets better towards the end.
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The Land of the Dead (Doctor Who)
The Land of the Dead (Doctor Who) by Stephen Cole (Audio CD - 30 Jan. 2000)
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