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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking storyline, but brilliant just the same!
I was actually genuinely surprised by the storyline of this story. The murderous game is quite horrible, even if you only hear it. If this was a screen adventure and not just an audio, it would be worse than Terminator!

But the story is still very very good, and the characters are believable and yet much more serious due to the nature of the storyline. Peter...
Published on 28 April 2007 by big mad doctor who guy

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Let The Game's Begin
Positive.
William Russell as Lord Carlisle a wonderful performance as wonderful performance by a Doctor Who legend.
Darin Henry writes a very intriguing script that has echoes from the 1975 Rollerball movie.
Peter Davison & Sarah Sutton have perfect chemistry of Doctor/Companion.

Negative.
This is 6 parter at 15-19 minutes why not do the...
Published 10 months ago by Timelord007


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking storyline, but brilliant just the same!, 28 April 2007
This review is from: The Game (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
I was actually genuinely surprised by the storyline of this story. The murderous game is quite horrible, even if you only hear it. If this was a screen adventure and not just an audio, it would be worse than Terminator!

But the story is still very very good, and the characters are believable and yet much more serious due to the nature of the storyline. Peter Davison again gives a realistic performance as the Doctor. What would one do if forced to enter into a game that butchers thousands? Even an alien would be sick to the pit of their stomach, and Peter conveys this very well. Sarah Sutton of course is brilliant as Nyssa, who despite of many other views, is a good companion! Shes compassionate and caring, and thats the kind of person i like most.

And hearing William Russell too is a joy. He was excellent as Ian in 1963 and he's brilliant in this too in 2005! Cant wait for the next story with Morian, i want to see what happens to the bad guy. He cant get away forever surely?.....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gamezone - A sporting adventure for the Doctor and Nyssa!, 17 April 2014
This review is from: The Game (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Welcome to the planet Cray as the Doctor and Nyssa witness a pretty violent and brutal civil war between two groups of people in the form of a hyper-active sports game!

'The Game' is a really good `Doctor Who' story with the Doctor and Nyssa, played by Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton. It was such a nice change to listen to a proper linear story following the complex odd structure of the previous story 'Creatures of Beauty'.

I had this for Christmas 2008 and enjoyed listening to it in the car whenever me and parents went and did visits to friends and family. It really is a captivating story and the environment and setting in which it's set really feels authentic being all sporty and street cred throughout.

This story is unique in one respect. It is a six-part story. Darin Henry who wrote it made the conscious decision of expanding the story's episode length. This makes `The Game' the first six-part story in the Peter Davison era. This is unusual because mostly Peter Davison stories are either four or two-part adventures. But this is a six-episode story, and I was really looking forward to how the story would be told in these six instalments. This could easily have been the season finale of the first set of Doctor and Nyssa adventures. It kept me hooked as I was listening to the story and wondering what was going to happen next at the end of each episode.

The story of `The Game' has the Doctor and Nyssa arriving on the planet Cray. The Doctor hopes to meet his hero Lord Darzil Carlisle, an Earth ambassador who is uniquely successful in ending wars and making peace on planets. But the war the Doctor and Nyssa have come across on Cray happens to be a sports game called naxy. Naxy is a pretty brutal game between two teams - the Lineen and the Gora. The contestants fight it out with each other on the playing field in the sports arena, using wands made of sharp blades. They eliminate each other to win the game. By eliminate, it means killing and slaughtering the constants on the spot in the field. It's a horrible scenario, yet nobody seems to care as they want to keep the game alive and no one considers it to be a war between two factions. Lord Carlisle is here to end the bloodshed in the peace talks and to put a stop to naxy. Can the Doctor and Nyssa help Lord Carlisle out in his negotiations?

I really like this story and what it does to depict an alien scenario of a sports game on an alien planet. Darin Henry, who is an American writer, comes up with authentic setting to depict the naxy game. Now I'm a sports fan really, but I just visualise the game arena and all the crowds shouting and cheering providing the atmosphere for a sports game setting. I also found the characters believable too from coaches to players as they sound like rugby or football players that you would expect them to sound when playing a game, and it's easy to visualise this setting especially on an alien world. The story also suits the Fifth Doctor who's into sport due to his cricketing prowess and he gets to play naxy much to his horror and disgust.

Nyssa is terrific in this story! I really like Sarah Sutton's performance throughout, since she's my favourite Who companion. Nyssa is easily shocked and horrified as the Doctor when she discovers what naxy is. She meets Lord Carlisle and they both share a good bond between them throughout this story. Nyssa gets to learn who Carlisle is and how his relationship to the Doctor is significant and important to him. Nyssa comes to regard Carlisle as a surrogate father figure since her own father died in 'The Keeper of Traken'. She makes a decision to stay on Cray to help him out in the peace talks, which saddens the Doctor since she never intended to stay with him indefinitely. Nyssa works things out in this story regarding Carlisle and the connections between naxy, the peace talks and certain documents mentioning a certain Morian in them.

I like how Nyssa is strong in this story, and she develops a good friendship with Hollis Az, one of the naxy players of the Lineen team. She tries to get Hollis to talk to her since he's to have a one-and-one match between him and the Doctor in naxy and he doesn't want to do it. She tries to persuade him to back out of it, and she happens to inspire Hollis in thinking ahead for the future beyond naxy. She gets a proposal of marriage from Hollis which was very sweet, yet she turns down politely since she doesn't want anyone she gets too close to getting hurt. But Nyssa and Hollis really sparkle with each other, and I enjoyed this special friendship between them. They part ways towards the end, giving each other a kiss before they go which was very reassuring in terms of Nyssa's character in her compassionate nature and sweetness.

The last scene in the TARDIS where Nyssa shares to the Doctor and asks him to sort out the other peace makings with Carlisle after she leaves since she doesn't want to face him again since it reminds him of her father. It's an indication and precursor to Nyssa's departure when she finally leaves the Doctor in 'Terminus', which is a very interesting development in the character of Nyssa and her story.

The Doctor is great in this too, played by Peter Davison. Peter's Doctor is so full of energy in this story throughout when he wants to meet Lord Carlisle and asks Nyssa to take a camera with them to see him. The Doctor gets to play naxy whether he likes it or not, and is so enraged to see both Gora and Lineen teams fighting it out with each other and slaughtering each other creating a blood bath. The Doctor's determined not to take part again, but he can't seem to escape from it since he's made the naxy champion in the Gora team. He manages to win Hollis Az round in stopping from killing him on the playing field when they're having their one-and-one match. It seems the Doctor has been outwitted as the peace talks were all a trap for him, since crime boss Morian wants to use his time machine and has worked hard in luring the Doctor to come to Cray to meet his hero Lord Carlisle for that reason. I really like how Peter gets to play the Doctor in this, showing his full energy and enthusiasm for the story and his character. His scenes with Nyssa are ones I always enjoy whenever they have a banter with each other or have connection scenes with each other, making me realise why I like these two so much in `Doctor Who'.

The supporting guest cast includes William Russell playing Darzil Carlisle. For `Doctor Who' fans, Bill Russell is well known for playing Ian Chesterton with William Hartnell's Doctor back in the early 1960s. This is before Bill would reprise his role for Ian in Big Finish for the companion chronicles range. Here he plays Lord Carlisle, a completely different character to the one he plays in `Doctor Who'.

Carlisle is an old Earth ambassador who has been successful in 36 negotiations between planets in civil wars and is a popular figure in Earth's future history. The Doctor wants to meet his hero, but he doesn't turn out as he seems. Firstly, he seems pretty casual and lazy about his job and doesn't care about the political and war situation on Cray. But it turns out Carlisle isn't the peace negotiator he claims to be. He's been successful in his peace talks because of one person. The Doctor. But it's not the Doctor we know in this story. It's a Doctor from the future. The Doctor hasn't met Carlisle before, but Carlisle knows the Doctor pretty well already. It's like that timey-wimey situation with River Song , where Doctor Ten hasn't met River yet, yet she knows him already. It's pretty confusing, but here in this story its played out pretty well by Bill Russell who shares his secret with Nyssa and has a good relationship with. I like hearing Bill Russell in this story and he plays a great supporting character in Carlisle who has a sad ending in the story.

The story's villain is the malicious Morian played by Christopher Ellison. Ellison is well known for his appearances in `The Bill' and he plays a pretty nasty character with a sense of humour. Morian is a crime boss who comes to Cray and wants the game naxy to keep going being played. He does a lot of gambling in his line of business and wants to win on his bets. He seems to know the Doctor pretty well when he discovers Lord Carlisle and the connection with his successes in the peace talks. Morian is determined to get the Doctor's TARDIS to use to win bets and gamble successfully which could entire to take control of half of the universe. Morian appears in the last three episodes, but his presence is pretty chilling and gripping to listen to. Ellison has such a relish playing this character, especially when it comes to seducing Faye Davis (one of the ambassadors working with Carlisle) and threatening the Doctor to break his spine in half. He's pretty nasty and seems a really good villain who deserves to have his comeback as he manages to escape from Cray by the end of the story.

Throughout the naxy games being played there's a broadcasting booth with a commentator giving announcements and commenting on the games. This commentator happened to be Garny Diblick, played by Jonathan Pearce. Pearce is an actual sports commentator from `Match of the Day' and his presence makes the sports setting all the more authentic. I liked it when Pearce as Diblick comments on what goes on in the naxy games between players as it sounds and feels like a rugby match or a football match throughout. His comments help to describe what goes on in the match and what the Doctor's doing when he plays in the game, which suits the audo medium perfectly. Diblick appears mostly for the game scenes in this story, but it's nice to have an actual commentator performing in the story and it's pretty when he gets into trouble a snout-face bornox attacks him with a laser pistol in the booth.

Also from `The Bill' is Gregory Donaldson playing Coach Bela Destry for the Lineen team. Destry is an interesting character as he wants the naxy games to end and stop the bloodshed. Yet he also wants the Lineen team to win over the Gora and win with honour. But it turns out Destry is hiding a secret as he is in secret league with Morian over a deal regarding the naxy game. He also has a secret concerning his top Lineen player Hollis Az, which has some horrible disturbing revelations.

On the Gora side, it's led by Coach Sharz Sevix played by Dickon Tolson. Sharz is an arrogant character who's obsessed with playing naxy. He forces and tricks the Doctor to play naxy for his Gora team and makes him their champion despite the Doctor's objections. He intends to end it all with `total elimination' for the Lineen. Sharz is determined to keep on playing naxy and support his wife and kids. Can there be any hope for this man as he doesn't seem to realise that all his naxy players and himself sacrifice themselves for death in game?

The Lineen's top champion is Hollis Az played by Andrew Lothian. I actually like Hollis who turns out to be a good soul playing a vicious game. He plays naxy for a reason, in order to get his revenge on Sharz who it seems killed his father. But Hollis also wants to finish the game for peace and has faith in his coach Bela Destry. Hollis seems to have an attraction to Nyssa, and the two of them get on well with each other and seem to like each other which I like. Hollis fights the Doctor in an one-and-one match which results in a tense cliffhanger in `Part Four' as he's about to kill him. But Hollis reframes from killing the Doctor and shouts to the crowd in a stirling speech that `naxy isn't a game! It's a war!'. A very interesting sportsman who has this sense of pride and honour in what he does. He gets to rescue the Doctor, Nyssa and Carlisle from Morian when attacking a bornox with his naxy wand. He proposes marriage to Nyssa which I found very sweet and was glad that somebody showed an interest in her, even if he was kindly declined on the offer by her.

The story ends with a two plot points that haven't been resolved lately by Big Finish following the release of this story. Morian seems to have escaped with Faye from Cray, and is still out there about to cause more trouble in the crime world. I wonder what's become of Morian lately. Also the Doctor has yet to resolve Carlisle other's peace talks that he has yet to help him out with. I wonder when the Doctor meets Carlisle again. All these elements have the ingredients for a potential sequel to this story, which I hope will happen soon and that Big Finish will revisit considering these elements of the story.

There aren't any special features or trailers unfortunately on this CD release for `The Game'. But it's good to hear the story all the way through.

This is one of the Doctor and Nyssa's finest stories. The first sixth-part story in the Fifth Doctor era and a very good story with an interesting idea of a sports game of death. I like this story and it contains fine performances from Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton who were fast becoming my favourite TARDIS team. Already I was looking forward to more of their audio adventures from Big Finish.

The next story for the Doctor and Nyssa is 'Circular Time'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Let The Game's Begin, 26 Oct 2013
By 
Timelord007 (The Tardis) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Game (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Positive.
William Russell as Lord Carlisle a wonderful performance as wonderful performance by a Doctor Who legend.
Darin Henry writes a very intriguing script that has echoes from the 1975 Rollerball movie.
Peter Davison & Sarah Sutton have perfect chemistry of Doctor/Companion.

Negative.
This is 6 parter at 15-19 minutes why not do the adventure as a four parter of 25 minutes episodes or a proper 6 parter of 6 25 minute episodes?
The ending of the villian isn't properly concluded was he meant to return?

Trivia.
William Russell is better known to Doctor Who fans as First Doctor Companion Ian Chesterton.
Christopher Ellison is better known in the Bill as DCI Frank Burnside & was Boyard in gameshow Fort Boyard featuring Tom Baker as the Captain.

Review.
The Doctor & Nyssa arrive in the Tardis on the planet Cray were one of the Doctor's heroes & friend Lord Carlisle is there to put the finishing touches to a peace treaty to end a civil war.

But what the Doctor finds is that Lord Carlisle has no recollection of the Doctor & the planet's civil war is infact a Game called Naxy.

Naxy is a brutal game of combat were players the Gora & lineen play to the death in a arena, This is the alternative to a civil war on the planet Cray.

What scheme is Morian up too? & is Lord Carlisle all he appears to be or is there somebody else manipulating event's & can the Doctor intervene & bring about a end to this brutal bloodsport & together with Lord Carlisle find a peaceful solution to the planet Cray?

But can the Timelord can survive long enough to find that peaceful solution as the Doctor has been chosen to play the Game within the blood soaked Arena.

This is a exellent story by Darin Henry bringing the brutality of sport that wipes out thousands on the planet Cray.
The Game Naxy is the alternative to all out civil war & it's quite chilling to hear a crowd cheering for blood instead of seeing the horror of war on national tv.

Peter Davison is splendid here & suits his more pacifist Doctor, To see The Doctor in awe of Lord Carlisle & to then see his image of the great man shattered is genuinely moving.

William Russell as Lord Carlisle is superb of bringing a character that appears to be a peace negotiator but is infact a Liar & a coward.

Another great performance by Sarah Sutton as Nyssa who gets some great scenes in the audio play.

My quibble is the character of Morian as he lives to fight another day as i felt his character evaded justice.

I'm hoping his escape was done as a proposed new recurring villian that as yet is to return to the Doctor's Audio adventures.

Also the structure of having 6 parts at 15-19 minutes in length instead of the usual 4 part main range structure is baffling?

Quibbles aside this is another exellent adventure for the Fifth Doctor & a great edition to the Big Finish Doctor Who range.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Game: The Doctor realises that it is time to stop playing around, 6 Feb 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Game (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
This is the sixty sixth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Peter Davison as 5, Sarah Sutton as Nyssa and, in a very welcome return for someone who has been associated with the Doctor since the very beginning, William Russell as Lord Carlisle. There are 6 episodes, roughly 15-20 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. Three episodes per disc on 2 discs.

The Doctor visits the planet Cray to witness one of his heroes, Lord Carlisle, negotiate his last peace treaty in the conclusion of Cray's civil war. But there are some problems - there appears to be no civil war, just a sport that has got out of hand, and Lord Carlisle claims the Doctor is his best friend, even though the Doc has never met him.

This starts out as an excellent play, with two really good ideas at its heart - the idea of war and sport being substituted is interesting, and the notion of the Doctor as a time traveller meeting people out of sequence is fascinating. For the first disc these are used to good effect and the story structure works quite well to provide a sense of mystery and edge of the seat excitement as the Doctor and Nyssa are plunged headlong into the `sport' of Naxy. It all falls apart a little with the twist at the start of disc 2 and the introduction of Morian. This leads to a less than satisfying ending and the introduction of a pantomime villain that really doesn't fit with the tenor of the start of the story.

It is largely saved by the dignity William Russell brings to the role of Lord Carlisle, as he realises the juncture that fate has brought him to. And of course, Davison and Sutton are great as Four and Nyssa, still exploring their relationship in the absence of Tegan and so soon after the death of Adric. Starts off well, has some good performances, but has a saggy unsatisfying middle section before rallying for a pretty good ending. 3 stars.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Step aside, football, here comes naxy!, 12 Aug 2007
By 
M. Wilberforce "mwilberforce" (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Game (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
"On the planet Cray, it's game time...
"The Gora and the Lineen are set to face off it the grudge match to end all grudge matches. The players are limbering up, the commentators are preparing, the fans are daubing themselves in their own team's colours.
"The arena is set, and the kick-off is approaching.
"When the Doctor and Nyssa arrive, however, they find that naxy is a sport that anyone can play... whether they want to or not. Cray's entire future depends on the match's outcome, but the time travellers soon realise that it is anything but just a game..."

"The Game", by Darin Henry, is a brave attempt by Big Finish Productions at a six-part story for Peter Davison's fifth Doctor. Thankfully, the story's six episodes each run at a trim twenty minutes, meaning that the story doesn't have time to sag around the middle like many of the televised six-part stories of the 1960s and 1970s tended to do.
Aside from its six-part format, "The Game" is most notable for the guest appearance of William Russell, who played Ian Chesterton opposite William Hartnell's first Doctor, as Lord Carlisle, a famed negotiator who is credited with the peaceful resolution of numerous bloody wars, but who seems strangely ill-at-ease with the negotiation he is about to undertake on Cray, and who claims that the Doctor is his best friend when the Doctor is certain that he and Lord Carlisle have never met.
The Doctor / Lord Carlisle storyline, which comes to a rather affecting and very well-played conclusion in the sixth episode, is, however, rather more of a subplot to the alpha story, which revolves around the game of naxy, a bloody sport that is costing the lives of thousands of Cray's people in something very akin to a civil war. The Doctor fails to realise at first exactly what naxy is, and quickly finds himself roped into playing the fatal game. After witnessing the slaughter of hundreds of Lineen players, the Doctor takes it upon himself to put an end to the sport, and turns to Lord Carlisle for assistance, but the famed negotiator seems strangely ineffectual and unable to help.
Aided by the ever more likeable Sarah Sutton as Nyssa, Peter Davison and William Russell put on a star turn in a disturbingly credible send-up of traditional team sports, and the sort of future that could arise if fan hooliganism is allowed to continue unchecked. Many of the minor supporting characters are exactly the kind of people one would find orbiting such a high-profile and brutal sport, from the "honourable" coach to the manipulative criminal mastermind, and all are well cast and played. The casting of real-life football / Robot Wars commentator Jonathan Pearce as naxy commentator Garny Diblick is worth a laugh and adds a degree of authenticity to the combat scenes, in which the action is primarily described in commentary form (a great move by the writer and director). The only spanner in the works is the performance of Ursula Burton as Ambassador Faye Davis, Lord Carlisle's assistant, whose voice sounds like a flat, monotonous version of the fifth Doctor's later companion Peri, and whose performance is almost entirely superficial.
The sound design in "The Game" is absolutely stunning, on par with Big Finish's finest work, and in conjunction with the good script and generally enthusiastic performances of the cast, rounds off what is a very well-balanced Doctor Who production.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars game on, 19 July 2006
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Game (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
The doctor and nyssa visit a harsh world where people are crazy about a very violent sport. A visiting diplomat is trying to get the sport ended. But why does he feel out of his depth? And what villains are lurking the shadows? There is more to this world than meets the eye.

An attempt at doing a six part story that just about succeeds, by virtue of a few short episodes, this is a pretty decent audio. Nyssa gets a romance. The doctor gets some moments of moral indignation. And the story is kept going by new elements appearing as we go along, the same way they used to do it in tv six parters. This never feels like padding.

And the guest cast includes william russell - once ian chesterton in the tv days of william hartnell's doctor - as the diplomat. It is a pleasure to hear him again, and he turns in a superb performance. I'd almost recommend this on those grounds alone, but everything else about the story is good enough to make it a definite 4/5
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The Game (Doctor Who) by Darin Henry (Audio CD - 1 Mar 2005)
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