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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For a long story, it is very entertaining....
Zagreus was quite confusing and hard to understand as the opening of the Paul Mcgann Divergence set of stories, and the only one i gave a lower mark. But that is not so with the end.

The Next Life is brilliant and entertaining right from the word go. Don Warrington especially gives a menacing performance as Rassilon, and Anneke Wills is great as Lady Louisa...
Published on 5 Sep 2007 by big mad doctor who guy

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sadly, The Next Life was a bit of an anti climax.
After an up and down season where the Doctor, Charley and K'Riss find themselves in a universe without time, I was really looking forward to this story. I hoped that it would tie up all of the loose ends and finally return the Tardis back to our regular time and space.
I can't fully review this story without giving away spoilers but it is sadly a pedestrian affair...
Published on 27 Mar 2011 by D Harris


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For a long story, it is very entertaining...., 5 Sep 2007
This review is from: The Next Life (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Zagreus was quite confusing and hard to understand as the opening of the Paul Mcgann Divergence set of stories, and the only one i gave a lower mark. But that is not so with the end.

The Next Life is brilliant and entertaining right from the word go. Don Warrington especially gives a menacing performance as Rassilon, and Anneke Wills is great as Lady Louisa Pollard. Paul Mcgann and Daphne Ashbrook make such a good team. They were great together on the movie and they are even better here.

The plot is more easy to go along with and all the characters are believable this time round. Zagreus was a lumpy and wierd production, but im glad to say the end to the divergence series isnt at all as bland as the first outing. A great epis end to a great series. Now its back to our universe at last....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sadly, The Next Life was a bit of an anti climax., 27 Mar 2011
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This review is from: The Next Life (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
After an up and down season where the Doctor, Charley and K'Riss find themselves in a universe without time, I was really looking forward to this story. I hoped that it would tie up all of the loose ends and finally return the Tardis back to our regular time and space.
I can't fully review this story without giving away spoilers but it is sadly a pedestrian affair spread over 3 discs. A superb cast brings out the best of the story and listening to Paul Darrow is always a treat. Although an anti climax to the season, the end of this story certainly isn't. It is a great surprise and a final reminder that after all of the unpredictability of the timeless universe, things are going to be a lot more familiar from here on in, for better or worse.

Sadly I can only give this story 3 stars but of course it is a must listen if you need to know how the season ends.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Necessary but a tad unsatisfactory..., 27 May 2005
By 
Andrew Kyle "Fangg" (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Next Life (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
To be honest i was looking forwards to this not because of the plot or the cover or the appearance of Rassilon, or for Daphne Ashbrook, or even for Paul Darrow (though that was a minor selling point) but because it was to finally tie up all the loose ends of the overall disapointing Divergent Universe saga. As much as i enjoyed one or two of the audios, i thought as a whole it was inferior to the rest of McGann's dramas.
The actors are all great - McGann, Ashbrook, and Darrow especially - and the sound effects, including giant killer crabs (!) and tsunamis (!) are all very well done, but overall, well the plot just seems overdrawn. There is a massive information dump near the end just to tie up plot threads in one fell swoop, and the character of Daqar Keep (great name) is so clouded by plot twists that come the end of the drama you're not really sure whats going on. Only the final moments when everything crashes to a climax made me satisfied...and unfortunately for the wrong reasons...because its all finished and we can get back to the stand alone episodes which are much better. The cliffhanger is somewhat cliche and probably only thrown in because Zagreus ended the season with a spectacular cliffhanger all those audios before. However, it was not without some enjoyment that i listened - at not one point did i think of giving up, the plot still pulled me along at an acceptable pace - and so it sits at an average score. I must say, however, this is a necessary listen if you've been following the arc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The End Of The Line For The Divergent Arc, 4 July 2014
By 
Timelord007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Next Life (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Doctor Who:The Next Life.
Doctor: Eighth Doctor.
Companion(s): Charley, C'rizz.
Main enemy: Rassilon,The Kro'ka, Zagreus, Daqar Keep.
Main setting: The Forge world, the Divergent Universe.
Writers: Alan Barnes & Gary Russell.
Director: Gary Russell.
Release number: 64
Format: 6 Episodes on 3 CDs
Running time 180 minutes.

Cast.
The Doctor - Paul McGann.
Charley Pollard - India Fisher.
C'rizz - Conrad Westmaas.
Perfection - Daphne Ashbrook.
Daqar Keep - Stephane Cornicard.
Guidance - Paul Darrow.
L'da - Jane Hills.
The Kro'ka - Stephen Perring.
Rassilon - Don Warrington.
Louisa Pollard - Anneke Wills.
Simon Murchford - Stephen Mansfield.
Mother of Jembere-Bud - Jane Goddard.
Uncredited Cast.
Davros - Terry Molloy.
The Daleks - Nicholas Briggs.

Trivia.
1)The Doctor, Charley & C'rizz have been in the Divergent Universe for several months.
2)The Doctor says that as a "teenager," he was a terror until the age of 120, claiming that he was a late developer.
3)Charley has told C'rizz about King Edward VII.
4)After Charley expresses her admiration for Rassilon, C'rizz suggests that she has a thing for Time Lords.
5)Perfection claims that Daqar Keep is the richest man in the galaxy.
6)C'rizz had a brother.
7)Davros briefly appears when the Doctor, Charley & C'rizz return to the normal universe, leading into (Audio: Terror Firma).
8)There are nine galaxies in the Divergent Universe.
9) Daphne Ashbrook played Dr Grace Holloway in the 1996 Doctor Who Tv Movie.
10)Paul Darrow played Ker Avon in four series of BBC Sci-fi series Blake 7.
11)This marks the last of the Divergent Universe stories which began with Scherzo. It also marks the last appearance of the villain Kro'ka.

Plot Synopsis.
Washed up on the sandy shores of a paradise island, a wild-eyed shipwreck survivor is rescued by the wife of Daqar Keep, the richest man in the galaxy.

Her name's Perfection. He's the Eighth Doctor. Together, they face a journey into the dark heart of this mysterious island, to discover the deepest secrets of this timeless cosmos. That's if the giant crabs, killer crocodiles and murderous natives don't get them first.

Meanwhile, fellow travellers Charley & C'rizz have their own ordeal to endure, in the grip of the Doctor's most dangerous rival.

And in a universe that's facing extinction, even the best of friends may soon become enemies...

This life is almost over. Not everyone will make it to the next.

Timelord Thoughts.
This is the final story of the Divergent Universe saga ending on a six part finale written by not one but two writer's Alan Barnes & Gary Russell.

This is a decent conclusion but could have been so much better, The Next Life ends the Divergent Universe two season arc on a bland confusing & yet satisfactorily resolution.

As ever Paul McGann is brilliant as theEighth Doctor & lifts the play from being very average to slightly above, He really should've had had his turn on the television as he's a fantastic Doctor & engages well with several character's in this adventure.

Paul Darrow hams up his usual growling villainy & gives a performance of a true religious devotee named Guidance who adds great menace to the play & is a worthy advisory for the Eighth Doctor.

But the standout performances for me belongs to Daphne Ashbrook, who covers a wide range of emotions & adds a sassy attitude as Perfection while actor Don Warrington who as Rassilon has a fabulous vocal gravitas delivering Rassilon's manipulation of events so charmingly.

India Fisher as Charley gains some healthy development throughout this story as Charley becomes unsure as to where the Doctor's priorities actually lie & wonders if he would actually turn on them to get home, As for the character of C'rizz well we finally get to share some of his backstory & praise should go to actor Conrad Westmaas who in these last few audio plays has allowed C'rizz to standout & engage productively in the adventures with his appearances.

Overall The Next Life lacks pace & is quite poorly plotted & overlong yet it is strangely a odd enjoyable listen with good performances by the cast & a wonderful sound design by Big Finish Productions which captures the sounds of the Forests, Insects, Crashing waves & jungle wildlife creating a great other worldly environment that adds to the play's atmosphere.

Finally the cliffhanger cameo ending featuring Davros & the Daleks is a great gut punch ending.

Timelord Rating.
6/10
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Epic?, 21 Oct 2010
By 
S Maslin (Utsunomiya, Japan) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Next Life (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Doctor Who has often shirked one rather obvious consequence of travel in the Tardis: the sheer amount of death that is encountered. Even in the revived TV version, death is as often unremarked as it is unremarkable. Departing companions tend to dwell on how much fun they had, cheerfully ignoring how many people they had witnessed exterminated first hand.

With a few strokes of the pen, Alan Barnes and Gary Russell manage to redress the balance in this regard in what is one of the finest soliloquys the franchise has ever produced: Charley's "life and death on such a scale" speech on disc one of 'The Next Life'. Beautifully delivered and backed by Russell Stone's exceptional music from 'Faith Stealer', it is one of the most moving few minutes of Doctor Who I know of.

There is much else to admire: Paul McGann is (again) brilliant (and his banter with TV movie sparring partner Daphne Ashbrook is rather special), Stephane Cornicard makes for a marvellous villain and ERS do a wonderful job with the sound design, as well as mixing and matching music from previous stories to great effect. Charley revisiting the events prior to 'Storm Warning' is a lovely touch too, as is The Doctor's brinkmanship at the very end. So why not the full five stars?

'The Next Life' is let down by its tedious tying up of C'rizz's non-story. Conrad Westmaas does his best to fight through his miscasting, without ever succeeding, while Paul Darrow (as his dad) aims for 'sinister' but merely ends up with 'dreary'. One is constantly reminded that C'rizz's being there at all was a huge miscalculation and that time spent on fleshing out his back story was a narrative dead end.

Don't get me wrong: 'The Next Life' is really worth the money. Another epic, yes, and by no means a bad one, as long as one is prepared to put up with periodic lapses into the ordinary; its great moments, of which there are many, are enough to make it worth your while.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tying Up Loose Ends Successfully!, 7 Jan 2005
This review is from: The Next Life (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
With the arrival of the 9th Doctor on TV shortly, the Big Finish team had to figure out a way to get the 8th Doctor out of the Divergence's universe and back into ours, ready for his invetiable regeneration and I was slightly concerned that this would mean rushing the conclusion of this mini-arc but I was pleasantly surprised by The Next Life as it feels like a natural end and not something they made up as they went along.
When the TARDIS crashlands on a blue planet, the Doctor finds himself partnered with an unusual woman and on the run for his life whilst companions Charley and C'Rizz fall into the hands of someone very familiar to them.
Stretched over 3 discs and nearly 4 hours long I expected some padding but for once there is enough material to fill up the vast running time and the pace never flags for a second with surprises, shocks, revelations and plot twists coming thick and fast to keep the listener totally engrossed in what is a highly engaging story in which both the regular and guest cast are well served.
Highly recommended - especially as there's a totally awesome cliffhanger that ends the final part of the story but I'm not saying anymore and you shouldn't leap ahead to the end because that will only spoil the excellent surprise!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A somewhat bloated conclusion to the Divergent Universe arc, 1 Aug 2007
By 
M. Wilberforce "mwilberforce" (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Next Life (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
"'All things must die.'
"Washed up on the sandy shores of a paradise island, a wild-eyed shipwreck survivor is rescued by the wife of Daqar Keep, the richest man in the galaxy.
"Her name's Perfection. He's the Doctor. Together, they face a journey into the dark heart of this mysterious island, to discover the deepest secrets of this timeless cosmos. That's if giant crabs, killer crocodiles and murderous natives don't get them first.
"Meanwhile, fellow travellers Charley and C'rizz have their own ordeal to endure, in the grip of the Doctor's most dangerous rival.
"And in a universe that's facing extinction, even the best of friends may soon become enemies...
"This life is almost over. Not everyone will make it to the next."

"The Next Life", by Alan Barnes and Gary Russell, was always going to be convoluted, with the arrival of the new TV series necessitating Big Finish's early mothballing of the season format in which their Eighth Doctor audio adventures had hitherto been presented, and hence requiring the Doctor and friends to escape from the exile in the Divergent Universe and resume more normal adventures somewhat ahead of the intended schedule. As such, "The Next Life" runs to six half-hour episodes rather than the usual four.
"The Next Life" is also a sprawling tale, utterly mired in the Rassilon / Anti-Time storyline introduced in "Neverland" and "Zagreus", which also tries to be a self-contained adventure in its own right and to explore the background and motivations of companions Charley and C'rizz in more detail. It's a continuity overload and, to fully comprehend it, one must have taken on board a great deal of information from "Neverland", "Zagreus" and the intervening two seasons set in the Divergent Universe. Unfortunately I hadn't remembered quite as much as perhaps I should have done, with the result that I'd really lost track of what Rassilon was up to in the Divergent Universe, why he wanted to escape and what exactly would be so bad about his doing so. This rendered the final episodes of "The Next Life" somewhat unsatisfactory.
The more self-contained adventure stuff is quite fun, with Paul McGann and Daphne Ashbrook (as Perfection) sparring and sparking in quite an entertaining fashion as they flee from a hunting party. Paul Darrow (as seen in Timelash) is menacing in an amusing sort of way as Guidance, who claims to be C'rizz's "Father", although whether in a biological or purely religious sense I am uncertain, and begins to drive the vulnerable companion off the rails. Charley, meanwhile, has a vision of her mother, with a great performance by Who veteran Anneke Wills as Lady Louisa Pollard. However, the bigger story, as with much of the Divergent Universe arc and "Zagreus" before it, is so over-complicated and consequently poorly executed that "The Next Life" never really reaches for greatness.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't Believe the Hype, 16 Nov 2007
This review is from: The Next Life (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Out of all the audio Doctors The Eighth seems to be the worst served in terms of stories. The most successful are those that marry sinister characters and eerie locations with The Doctor separated from his companions; a classic trick that the television series has used on and off for over forty years. Whilst this adventure falls into the above category, it isn't as great as it could be; the whole thing actually feels quite bloated and pompous and the characters mainly seem far too preoccupied with their own problems and too lacking in any real purpose. The Doctor, too, seems poorly drawn - weak puns and fey comments abound, whilst the so-called 'story-arc' lacks interest and any real drama.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a brillient end to the divergent stories, 4 July 2005
This review is from: The Next Life (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
This story is the best divergent story.it begins with the tardis crasing in to a moon.the docor is ship recked and ceres is with his wife lyda and charly with her mother. any way don`t want to spolil the syory so i`ll just say that there is twist at the end somthing to do with davros
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It�s over! It�s over!, 10 Feb 2005
By 
Jane Aland (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Next Life (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Hooray - At last the abysmal Divergent Universe adventures of the 8th Doctor are over! The Next Life is a curious beast, due to it's off pacing - perhaps stung by criticism of the similarly bloated epic Zagreus the authors have chosen to present the majority of this story as a highly traditional continuity-light romp, with the Doctor being the human prey hunted by the malevolent Keep. It's reasonable if mindless stuff, let down only by the Doctor's abysmal puns. Unfortunately with the final episode the whole thing is revealed to have been largely irrelevant padding, as the hunting was just a herding exercise to push all the main characters together for the final showdown. With only one episode left we the authors then rattle through the explanations to the Divergent arc in a series of flat infodumps - it's a real shame as the background information on cyclical time, the Foundation etc sounds interesting, but I would much rather have heard dramatic representations rather than boring speeches. The play also ends badly, with some retconning of Charley's character into a generic 'what's that Doctor?' companion, and a hideous coda featuring the return of some old villains where the authors completely misunderstand the unpopularity of the 8th Doctors Divergent adventures - people were complaining about poor scripts, not a lack of old monsters. By no means is The Next Life one of the worst of the Divergent stories, and at its heart it does have some fascinating ideas - but the execution is terribly flawed.
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The Next Life (Doctor Who)
The Next Life (Doctor Who) by Gary Russell (Audio CD - 1 Dec 2004)
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