Things can always go wrong when a serious science fiction franchise decides to go for an out and out funny episode. However, the Big Finish team have managed to avoid all the obvious pitfalls and self indulgence here and managed to deliver an involved tale that delivers both mystery and comedy in equal measure.
The Doctor, accompanied by Peri and Erimem, is forced by an overdue publishing contract to go back to the War of the Roses in the time of Richard III to find out just who murdered the Princes in the Tower. What follows is a typical farce plot of mistaken identity, people just missing each other, amazing coincidences and the other stalwarts of British humour. It is all played almost straight by the cast, so this works both as a comedy and as an adventure.
With comedy greats Jon Culshaw and Arthur Smith, and classic central performances from Peter Davison as the Doctor and Stephen Beckett as Richard, this is an enjoyable romp as it explores one of the most infamous periods of English history and provides a rather unique explanation for the mysteries surrounding the age.
Another excellent addition to the Big Finish range, highly recommended to those who enjoy their Doctor Who with a sense of humour.
on 29 September 2007
The mystery of the princes....
The first time we hear the doctor explain why hes known as doctor who....
erimem breaking a mans arm for fondling her backside....
will shakespeare as the deluded baddie in this one....
peter davison definitely at his best as the doctor.....
well, those are just the major points that make this story such a success with me. I like nev fountains writing, its imaginative and different from other writers. Hes in his own kind of league. How he makes what could appear a simple plot complex is great. And this story has a great epic feel to it too. The story doesnt stop for breath. It has the lot, shakespeare, richard the third, a disgusting bar, double crosses and plenty of other brilliant moments.
Caroline Morris is such a brill companion too. She is so believable and great, she really makes this play. If id ever make a suggestion of what id like to see in an audio itd be to have just a scherzo like play with her and Peter Davison, that would be just great!
This is the kind of s story id like to hear more of....
Then he'd probably be alone, because this is a fantastic piece of work. The doctor and companions are forced by desire and circumstance to try and find who killed the princes in the tower. The story that ensues is a wonderful bit of writing, funny at points and a pretty serious discussion of moral issues at others.
Performed to perfection by the guest cast, in particular stephen beckett as richard the third who being a northerner can't help but remind you of a certain other doctor, and arthur smith as the smelliest barman in olde england.
This has excellent cliffhangers, several stunning twists, and a few moments that long term fans will absolutely love. Highly recommended
The 5th Doctor and companions Peri and Erimem set out to discover whether Richard III really killed the princes in the tower, and the results are certainly surprising! While mostly played as a comedy `The Kingmaker' still succeeds as a brilliantly plotted Doctor Who story, with enough twists and turns to keep the listener on their toes, some very cheeky near appearances from the 4th and 9th Doctors, and some post-modern fun with such familiar items to long term Who fans as the `Doctor Who Discovers...' book series and the infamous Doctor Who Cookbook! Funny, well-plotted and brilliantly performed by both the regulars and guest cast, `The Kingmaker' provides far more challenging and enjoyable fare than the majority of the new TV series, and is heartily recommended for all but the most po-faced fan.
on 9 January 2015
I'm a big fan of Big Finish. They have taken the Doctor Who franchise and (with permission) carried on producing stories that genuinely feel like original Doctor Who tales using the original cast members and many of the same writers. This predates the relatively recent reincarnation of the doctor on the BBC, and was one of the few things to keep fans happy in the TV show's hiatus between 1989 and 2005.
The key to the success is of course that Big Finish has convinced all of the previous Doctors (those still alive anyway and pre the BBC 2005 revival of the show) to be part of these recordings. There is even one CD featuring the voice of the late, great John Pertwee as the 3rd Doctor. Unlike the TV show where it is becoming increasingly difficult to bring back the old doctors due to the passage of time, on the radio their voices sound as great as ever they did and even Paul McGann gets a decent outing.
For those unfamiliar with Big Finish Doctor Who Drama's, they are presented much like the original TV show, in an episodic nature, spread over one or two CD's and with the traditional cliffhangers at the end of each episode (together with the iconic music).
I have perhaps 50 of these CD's, and of all those I have listened to this is by far my favourite. To use the modern lingo, this is a 'Timey Wimey' episode up there with the best of them. It is also hilariously funny.
It features Peter Davidsion as the 5th Doctor as well as two of his companions, Nicola Bryant as Peri from the TV show, but also a new radio only companion, Erimem who comes from ancient Egypt (an interesting dynamic). Interestingly this episode also boasts the voice of Tom Baker. Well that's not strictly true as when this was made Tome was still refusing to work with Big Finish, however it is brilliantly acted by John Culshaw (best known for his work on Dead Ringers).
It also gives us a credible, and also extremely amusing, reason why the Doctor is known as 'Doctor Who'!
I can't talk too much of the plot other than to say it features a number of very significant individuals and events from English history. You will no doubt never look at this period of history again in quite the same light after listening to this.
There is also (and again I must tread very carefully to avoid spoilers) a very significant villain behind much of the plotting, who is only revealed towards the end of drama.
I will admit that this can at times be a hard plot to follow due to the time dimension and the numerous plots and twists. I hope like me you will come away from this loving the fantastic historical twist at the conclusion.
A real must for long time fans of Doctor Who.
P.S. For those worried whether or not these drama's are canonical with the BBC series this has always been a somewhat grey area, although the recent BBC radio short 'Night of the Doctor' mentioned a number of Doctor Who companions by name that have only ever appeared in the Big Finish Radio dramas. If that's not proof that these are an accepted part of the main canon then I don't know what is.