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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peri returns home and faces the Cybermen, 15 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Reaping (Big Finish) (Audio CD)
I love `The Reaping' starring Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant! It's my favourite `Doctor Who' story with the Sixth Doctor and Peri. I love it simply for the fact it's a real proper character drama and it's a lovely piece written by Joseph Lidster who's become a popular writer with Big Finish.

The biggest highlight for me in this story is that is it's all a story about Peri, as we get to return to her home and see what she left behind with her family and friends. I've always like Peri as a companion and wanted to know more about her especially on TV as a person. And this is the best story we get to know about Peri's character and it's strong one for her and delicious offering for Nicola to play with. I find Peri really lovely and really enjoyed her in this story in particular.

This is a 2 by 70 minute story spread across two discs (140 minutes in total).*

I had the pleasure of meeting Joe Lidster, the writer of this, at a recent convention in Slough last August. It was great to meet and chat to him at that convention, and we talked about the stories he wrote including this one as well as the following story that's a sequel/prequel to this `The Gathering'. I really enjoyed chatting to Joe about his stories and about writing in general.

I liked how the story opens with its various news reports overlapping with each other across various time periods. It was very eerie and exciting experience listening to it, and gives an unusual sense of what the story's about. It sets up the atmosphere of this story pretty well and connects the news of the world in this story very well with all its connections to other Doctor Who stories in Big Finish. The news reports lead us directly to a new channel in 1984, on the day when Peri disappeared.

I really liked the semi-prologue sequence at the beginning where Peri visits her mom at her hotel in Lanzarote where they have their vacation, before she goes off to meet the Doctor in 'Planet of Fire'. We get to meet Peri's mom Janine (played marvelously by Claudia Christian) and Mrs Van Gysegham (played by Denise Bryer) who was mentioned in Peri's first story at the beginning of her time on the show. It sets up the story pretty well and depicts what Peri had left behind before she went travelling in time and space with the Doctor and was an exciting sequence to listen to.

In this story, the Doctor takes Peri in the far future to visit the Gogglebox - one of humanity's `greatest achievements'! - that's burrowed deep down in the centre of Earth's moon (not solely the property of Miss Perpugilliam Brown apparently). It's maintained and looked after by various clones of `Alan' (played by Nicholas Briggs) and is a gateway to seeing various events and information distributed from Earth's long history . It's like an outer-space Wikipedia or Google where you get to see information on various things like news, movies, television programmes, historical events, etc. all for your personal pleasure. Peri wants to see what's happened to her family and friends back home, and she gets into one of its cubicles and accesses information. After a humorous sequence with the computer, Peri gets to see info about a murder mystery in a graveyard and it turns out the murdered victim is one Anthony Chambers (played by Stuart Milligan, who would later play President Nixon in the Matt Smith story 'The Impossible Astronaut'/'Day of the Moon'). Shocked and upset by this, Peri demands the Doctor to take her back home to Baltimore, 1984 since this Anthony Chambers happens to be the father of her once best friend Kathy Chambers at school. The Doctor grudgingly agrees and takes Peri back in the time to her home.

We arrive back in Baltimore, 1984 - four months since Peri left home - just in time to witness the funeral of Anthony Chambers. This story has the resemblance of another `Doctor Who' story from the new series 'Aliens of London'/'World War Three' where Rose returns to her home and family only to have missed a year out. Peri has only missed four months from her home but the similar principles still apply. When she returns to meet up with her mom and friends, it sets off an uneasy reaction since she's been gone for so long without word of where she's been. I couldn't help but feel for Peri since she has an uneasy time explaining where she's got to.

I like stories where companions return to their roots and have to face the consequences of being away for so long after travelling in the TARDIS. I've done my own personal 'Doctor Who' story where a companion faces a return coming home and has to face the issues with it. My favourite companion Nyssa certainly has had that experience in the story 'Primeval' as well as Rose and Peri.

Janine Foster, Peri's mom, is played by Claudia Christian. A `striking woman' as the Doctor describes her and is definitely how I envisioned Peri's mom to be. She's not happy when Peri comes back as she's been sick with worry about where she's been, thinking she was dead. It cost her the end of her marriage with Howard, Peri's stepfather who was also in `Planet of Fire'. It's a fractious relationship and an argument occurs between the two of them where Janine threatens to throw Peri out. Peri is upset and angry that she can't bear to tell her mom about where she's been. When Janine learns of her daughter's activities about where she's been, she can scarcely believe it and is worried about Peri's safety. It's a truly remarkable performance from Claudia Christian who is very convincing to play Peri's mom.

I absolutely find Peri really lovely in this story as she's played by the equally lovely Nicola Bryant. I've always wanted to find out more about who Peri is since it seems rather vague on the TV show and she tended to scream quite a bit and didn't have much of a character. I've always wondered why she stays with the Doctor since they don't seem to get on well with each other and argue with one another. But as Peri explains to her family and friends, just because they argue a lot it doesn't mean they don't like each other or care about each other. And it turns out Peri is grateful for the Doctor saving her life in 'The Caves of Androzani' and says he's her best friend. That was a very lovely moment and made me like Peri all the more, since it's a strong character relationship between her and the Doctor and its says it all what they were about both on TV and audio. It's a great character drama especially for Peri, where it comes to reuniting with her family and friends as well as being with the Doctor.

The Doctor played by Colin Baker is equally superb in this. I've had the pleasure of meeting Colin Baker four times now and he really is a good Doctor both on audio and TV. Colin's Doctor gets to do so much in this story, as he's investigating the death of Anthony Chambers and freeing the suspect vagrant Daniel Woods (played by Vincent Pirillo), helping him to remember step by step what happened when he witness the victim's death and seeing the Cyberman. I found it hillarious when the Doctor was with Mrs Van Gysegham in her car and he gets freaked out by her terrible driving fearing for their lives and telling her to `face the road!'. I was impressed with the Doctor's relationship with Peri in this one, and how he interacts with her family and friends as they work together to beat the Cybermen in `Part Two'. The scenes with Lt Doyle (played by John Schwab from `Dalek') were pretty intense scenes when he was forcing the Doctor to `Drink the coffee!' and the Doctor refused.

We get to meet Peri's friends in this, who were the children of Anthony Chambers. There's Peri's best friend Kathy (played by Jane Perry) and Nate (played Jeremy Lindsay Taylor). I really like the friendship that goes on between Peri and Kathy when they're in Peri's bedroom in `Part One'. They're buddying it out and Peri's catching up with what she's missed since she's been away. It's a lovely sequence between character and a joy to listen to since it's proper high drama.

Listen! `Eight six eight seven. Eight six eight seven.' - Sorry! Don't know why I said that. Those numbers seem to be a recurring thing throughout this story - like `Bad Wolf' and `Torchwood'. They have some signficance but what it means I don't know yet. You have to find out.

Also in this story we have the return of the Cybermen which I was absolutely thrilled. I know on the cover they look like the 80s Cybermen and they still are. But these Cybermen sound proper and right in their voices and they have that mechanical walk and footsteps that they should have, which pleased me very well. Nick Briggs does the voices again with the Cybermen and does wonders with their deep grating voice and is able to convey a sense of menace and power from these guys. They're the ones responsible for Anthony Chamber's death and as we go through the story with the Doctor we get to see why they've been doing these things. They recognised Peri from 'Attack of the Cybermen' which was set in 1985 - a year after 1984 - which makes them `time-travelling Cybermen' which really annoys the Doctor. They're great in this one, and I don't have any quarrel with them, except perhaps they do say 'Excellent' once or twice.

The music and sound effects in this story is quite eerie and unsettling yet fits in very well and effectively for this story. I liked it and it gives the story an atmospheric edge when listening to it.

Towards the end of this story, Peri decides to leave the Doctor and remain on Earth with her mom. It's a shock to the Doctor and rather a sad way for them to part. It saddens the Doctor when Peri decides to stay, and it's beautiful done in giving a proper and realistic way for Peri to stay since she's now back home with her family and wants to reconcile with them.

The actual ending of this story is rather sad and upsetting, as Peri's mom gets killed when Cyber technology unexpectedly blows her and Miss Van Gysegham in her house. Peri's at her gravestone, completely upset as she sobs away mourning over her loss, alone and lost. It's a really heart-breakng moment and I couldn't help but bring tears to my eyes. The Doctor, learning upon the tragic incident, comes to comfort Peri at her mom's gravestone. It's a really moving and touching sequence, and is played brilliantly by two actors who work well together and great friends with each other. It's a turning point in the Doctor and Peri's relationship and I thought it very touching when the Doctor comes to comfort Peri as she's so upset. They leave together in the TARDIS since there's nothing left for Peri anymore on Earth. It's a really moving sequence and an effective way to end the story on such a high note.

As the end credits music roll on after that moving sequence, we get to hear Janet Fielding as Tegan narrating about how she reunites with the Doctor as it's what happens next. We get a coming soon trailer for 'The Gathering' with Tegan returning to reunite with the Fifth Doctor and it follows on directly after this story.

The other special features are a number of trailers. On Disc 1, there's a trailer for the Paul McGann Doctor story 'Memory Lane' with Charley and C'rizz, which occurs before `The Reaping' starts. At the end of Disc 2, there are trailers for more stories with the Doctor and Peri including 'Cryptobiosis', 'Her Final Flight', '..ish' and 'Whispers of Terror'.

This is definitely a high quality drama of `Doctor Who' from Big Finish with the Doctor and Peri, and is one of my favourites. It has the style of a soap opera about it with the likes of `Coronation Street' and is truly well-written and well-performed by good cast led by Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant. And it's also a great story to feature the Cybermen. Highly recommended! You won't be disappointed.

The next story with the Doctor and Peri is 'Recorded Time and Other Stories'.

*Thanks to timelord007 for the check-up on the running time for this CD.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Homecoming, 4 Oct. 2006
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Reaping (Big Finish) (Audio CD)
The sixth doctor and peri team up on audio again. For only the third time in eighty six stories [if you don't count the two special releases that they did]. After so many stories featuring the sixth doctor and evelyn, it's quite strange to hear him with another companion, as their dynamic is so different.

Prompted by discovering that an old friend of hers died in mysterious circumstances a few months after she left earth, peri and the doctor head to boston in 1984 - the sound effects and the music create the setting very well - and whilst peri gets an uneasy reunion with her mother, played by claudia christian from the babylon 5 tv show, the doctor looks into the death. And discovers that the cybermen are involved. This is not a spoiler, as they're on the cover of the box.

A long story, clocking it at just over two hours, and there are only two episodes, thus each is longer than an hour. You might think this would cause it to drag, but they are gripping enough to hold your attention. ALthough the first is more like this than the second, which could possibly have done with being split down the middle.

I am not going to say too much about the plot of this one because it's very cleverly written and there are lots of twists and turns on the way, some of which will leave you open mouthed in shock. Those cybermen are very cunning! Perhaps even more so than the doctor realises.

The supporting cast are great, and the two leads are typically superb. You will not forget the end of this story for as long as you live. And I won't spoil that for you either [so please don't give this review an unhelpful vote because of that! You'll thank me for it!]

Be aware that there are some loose ends left. They will be tied up in the next release. Doctor who: the gathering. But that's another story. And hopefully it will explain the relevance of a pair of numbers that some of the characters keep quoting....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cybermen Are Reaping Upon The Sixth Doctor, 17 Dec. 2013
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Reaping (Big Finish) (Audio CD)
Doctor Who: The Reaping.

Product Info.
2 - Episodes
Running Time 140 Minutes

1)A very enjoyable Cybermen adventure written by Joseph Lidster.
2)Colin Baker is very engaging here as The Sixth Doctor.
3)Nicola Bryant's Peri character has a excellent back story added to this adventure.

1)This story links to another story The Gathering that follows on this adventure with Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor but it's all very Timey Wimey in places that may confuse the listener & is best listerned to together to appreciate the whole story arc.

The Doctor - Colin Baker
Peri Brown - Nicola Bryant
Janine Foster - Claudia Christian
Anthony Chambers - Stuart Milligan
Kathy Chambers - Jane Perry
Nate Chambers - Jeremy Lindsay-Taylor
Daniel Woods - Vincent Pirillo
Lt. Doyle - John Schwab
Dominique van Gysegham - Denise Bryer
Natalie Hamilton - Allison Karaynes
The Cybermen / Commander Zheng / Alan-56 - Nicholas Briggs

1)Claudia Christian has appeared in US sci fi hit Babylon 5 & movies Maniac Cop 2 & Sci-Fi B' movie classic The Hidden.
2)Stuart Milligan was the voice of Superman/Clark Kent in Dirk Maggs 2 Superman Radio Adventures & has become a recurring character in the Seventh Doctor storys Black & White & Starlight Robbery as Garundel, His other credits include playing President Nixon in Doctor Who series six The Impossible Astronaut/Day Of The Moon & is a regular in BBC drama Jonathan Creek.

What's Up Doc?
The Sixth Doctor & Peri travel to Baltimore in the Tardis in 1984 four months after leaving her mother & stepfather on the 9th May 1984 in Lanzarote.

As Peri trys to explain to her mother Janine Foster we she's been the last 4 months The Doctor discovers a trap has been set for him by his old enemies The Cybermen.

Could this recent encounter with the Cybermen have anything to do with Peri's best friend Katherine Chambers recent father's death?

As the Doctor's past catches up with him with events he's yet to encounter is his past interfering now affecting his future?

Timelord Thoughts.
This is a timey wimey story & best listened to with it's follow up story 'The Gathering', written by Joseph Lidster 'The Reaping' delivers a fantastic but complex script that rewards the listener with it's pay off but is best listened together with 'The Gathering'.

Joseph Lidster delivers a cracking paced Sixth Doctor adventure producing an intriguing script that features a great timey wimey plot & also introduces Peri's family & friends, as events with her best friend who's father has recently died may have connections with the reappearance of one of the Doctors oldest enemy's The Cybermen.

Colin Baker & Nicola Bryant deliver great solid & engaging performances that see the complex plot through it's occasional lapses, while the Cybermen are terrifyingly written & add a chilling presence throughout this audio drama thanks to some excellent atmospheric sound effects & music score.

There is a third loose link story to 'The Reaping' & 'The Gathering' called 'The Harvest' but that story can be heard as a stand alone adventure as this story really needs to be listened to with The Gathering to get the full benefits of all the story's plot point's.

Overall, 'The Reaping' is a excellent audio release from Big Finish that plays to the Sixth Doctor's strengths & a great creepy Cybermen adventure to boot.

Timelord Rating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Reaping: There is nothing to fear..., 18 Feb. 2013
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Reaping (Big Finish) (Audio CD)
This is the eighty sixth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Colin Baker as Six and Nicola Bryant as Peri. There are 2 episodes, roughly 70 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. One episode per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes.

After a run of uninspiring releases from Big Finish, this is unexpectedly a belter of a story. Unexpectedly because it sees Six once again paired with Peri (for only the third time in the Big Finish adventures), a combination that I found a little uninspiring in the TV series. However, developments in this story allows the relationship between them to grow, and become a lot more believable. For the first time Peri is really explored and developed as a character, and it is a very welcome development.

The Doctor and Peri are travelling in the future when Peri comes across an old news article describing the death of a friend back in 1984. Travelling back to attend the funeral and to do a little investigating, Peri discovers the ramifications for her family of her sudden departure, and the Doctor discovers some disturbing alien technology.

What follows is a corkingly good story as they try to resolve personal issues and save the world from alien invasion. At 70 minutes an episode it sounds long, but the time just flies by in this involving story that delivers on excitement and emotional involvement.

Baker and Bryant put in sterling performances, especially Baker who gets to show the less egotistical and more compassionate side of Six. The final scenes are actually quite moving, due to the talent of the two actors.

There is also an excellent soundscape on offer here, and this really makes the story stand out. There seems to be always something going on in the background, from birds singing to other characters conversing. It has a feeling of reality about it. And there is an excellent score that really sets the mood and era of the piece.

Not all of the plot strands are tied up, the following release, the Gathering, is a sequel that will explain everything. The Reaping and The Gathering from a trilogy along with seventh Doctor adventure The Harvest.

In all 5 stars for this cracking adventure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You reap what you sow, 15 April 2009
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Reaping (Big Finish) (Audio CD)
Not being a big fan of any of the Sixth Doctor's companions (on TV or audio) I approached this with fairly low expectations. Thankfully, it was better than I'd anticipated; probably due to Colin Baker's sterling performance; his interpretation of the Timelord has mellowed since his TV days and is well-suited to audio. The story is fairly contrived (as a fellow reviewer has perhaps rather harshly stated) but it is emminently listenable, and Peri's obnoxious transatlantic whine aside, a pretty solid entry in the Big Finish series.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, Bring on the Cybermen, 2 Oct. 2006
Mr. T. D. Foster "Doctor Tom" (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Reaping (Big Finish) (Audio CD)
Really was exiceted when i heard about this, as a fan of the new Doctor Who was slightly dissapointed that the Cybermen were from a parallel world not the ones from Mondas as we know from the classic series and I was happy they had returned in this the Reaping. I was gripped from the beginning and there was some great Colin Baker humour in the story at the beginning. Alot of emotional stuff for Nicola Bryant which i felt she brought of brilliantly! The story ends with not everything being tied up which is what I have heard Big Finish next audio play will do 'The Gathering' with Peter Davison's Fifth Doctor. As soon as The Reaping had finished I found myself wanting the Gathering!!!!! Shame its not in stock yet. GRRRRRRRR

Highly recommended

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really well written Big Finish Audio, 29 Dec. 2014
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Reaping (Big Finish) (Audio CD)
The Reaping is a very well written Doctor Who story. It features Colin Baker as the 6th Doctor and Nicola Bryant as his companion Peri. I'm not going to go into the storyline as it really is well written but I felt that Peri was never well written in the television series but has been written for wonderfully with Big Finish and they really have expanded the character. This is a good story from Big Finish.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent adventure, 1 April 2008
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Reaping (Big Finish) (Audio CD)
I just recently found out about the Doctor Who audio adventures and I have listened to about 6 of them. This is definatley the best so far. It follows the sixth doctor Collin Baker and his assistant Peri and feautures the Cybermen. (Im not giving anything away as a picture of a cyberman is on the box.) It is set in 1984 and Peri comes back home to go to a friends funeral and mayhem ensues. Nichola Bryant as Peri is very good and she reminded me why she is one of my favourite assistants. Collin Baker as the Doctor is also very good and this and his other audio adventures proves my theory that his performences as the doctor on the show were not well loved because of bad writing on the show at the time not coz of bad acting on his part. The writing makes him more mellow and his banter with peri is more light hearted. It runs for 142 mins and is in 2 parts and is a fine addition to the growing Doctor who audio collections.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant story, I am listening to it now, 7 April 2015
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This review is from: Doctor Who - The Reaping (Big Finish) (Audio CD)
Brilliant story, I am listening to it now, I love Peri, and Colin Bakers Doctor. He's one of my favourite Doctors, and of course the Cybermen, one of my favourite monsters.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a rollercoaster of a story., 27 May 2007
This review is from: Doctor Who - The Reaping (Big Finish) (Audio CD)
This story is one of the best to feature the cybermen, which is surprising as there are actually only two cybermen in the whole story. But as per usual, Joe Lidster has done it again. Written a play with all the right qualities: good strong characters, good dialogue and good twists and turns. I really was surprised by the shock ending of Peri's Mum dying. Quite a sad and well performed ending. Love how the Doctor tricks the cyberleader...ha ha! So overall, yet another classy and cool addition to the big finish range.

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Doctor Who - The Reaping (Big Finish)
Doctor Who - The Reaping (Big Finish) by Joseph Lidster (Audio CD - 1 Sept. 2006)
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