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3.6 out of 5 stars
Horror of Glam Rock (Doctor Who)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
First released in 2006, this is the third episode of a of the first standalone series for Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor outside of the monthly range of Big Finish releases. This is a one disc release, with a single 50 minute episode. There are some interviews with cast and crew at the end of the disc.

This series got off to a cracking start with the two part `blood of the Daleks' and it keeps its foot firmly on the throttle here. The Doctor and Lucy land near a motorway services in the middle of the night in the mid seventies. The services are infested with glam rockers on their way to and from gigs and appearances on Top of the Pops. There is an infestation of another sort, and could that be linked to one of the more spaced out rockers?

It's remarkable that the producers manage to pack so much into 50 minutes. There is suspense, action and excitement, some really great characters who all get a good share of the action and a really great image of the time and place. It also has a very welcome turn from the immortal Bernard Cribbins as a single minded impresario determined to get his latest act to London in time for their big moment. Throw into the mix Una Stubbs as the world's most imperturbable dinner lady and Stephen Gately as a nascent glam rocker working along side Paul McGann's Eight and Sheridan Smith's Lucie and you have a great cast who really deliver. Especially Cribbins who towards the end has some really powerful scenes. And it's nice to see the Eighth Doctor having a bit of fun for a change.

It's fast, it's fun, it has a T-Rexed version of the Dr Who theme music at the end. It's a great release. 5 stars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 13 June 2013
Whilst looking for a bite to eat, the Doctor and Lucie arrive at a Motorway Service Station on the M62 during a terrible blizzard. Also en-route to the Service Station is star-making music manager, Arnold Korns, and his latest signings, Trisha and Tommy Tomorrow, ready to make their debut on Top of the Pops. However, outside in the snow and darkness is a dangerous threat - a pack of alien monsters that threaten to bring a sudden halt to the careers of these fledgling Glam Rockers...

The idea of a remote Service Station under siege by alien creatures is very reminiscent of the classic `base under siege' storylines that were used during the Second Doctor's era such as: The Moonbase, Fury from the Deep and The Ice Warriors. Unfortunately, the story doesn't have the benefit of a multi-part serial to build up the suspense and instead, throws itself straight into the action and is finished within the hour, which is the equivalent of a two episode storyline in the classic series. As a result the story felt like a mish-mash of `Classic Who' storytelling, mixed with the format and modern approach of the current series, similar to recent stories like Cold War.

We're quickly introduced to the cast of supporting characters: Flo, Pat, Arnold Korns, Trisha and Tommy Tomorrow, as well as a few extras who are effectively `Monster Meals' with several lines. Each of the characters was easily identifiable by their voices, which is something that can cause issues if several characters sound similar to each other. I really liked the character of Arnold Korns, played well by Bernard Cribbins who managed to chew on the audio scenery when on-air. While I wasn't entirely convinced by his change of heart mid-way through the story, I was impressed by Cribbins' acting range in playing a different character to the one he would eventually play on-screen (Wilfred Mott)

The tone of the story is hard to define as it's a strange balance of both comedy and horror with the unusual setting and references to 70's Glam Rock and the horror of bear-like creatures attempting to smash their way in and devour the humans inside. The death sequences seemed to be played for laughs with the over-the-top screaming and crunching sound effects used, along with the jokes prior to them, such as when Arnold observes Ron the Roadie making a run for it: "Maybe he'll make it" and then we hear the sound of crunching as Arnold adds, "But then again..."

Overall, this was a fun little adventure which took the Doctor Who trope of the base under siege and gave it an unusual setting in both time and space. The setting of a Motorway Service Station is really quite inspired as it is a very British tradition and evokes that feeling of isolation that a good 'base under siege' story needs. I also really enjoyed the Bowie-esque incidental music, especially during Arnold Korns' speech to the rampaging monsters as he stays behind to buy the rest of the group time - it felt very much like David Bowie's Life On Mars as the music swells.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2009
i bought this cd after finding out about Stephen Gately taking part and having been a fan of the recent tv show with David Tennant.

i thoughly enjoyed it, even though i have never bought an audio cd before. it was so well done it feels like a show without the visual. the sound effects and music add to the feel of the episode.

the cd comes with interviews with the cast of the drama and the song "Children Of Tommorow" sung by Stephen Gately and Clare Buckfield.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Third in a new series of audio stories for paul mcgann's doctor who. These follow the model of the current tv series in being complete stories in fifty minutes, with the occasional two parter. The doctor's companion is lucie miller, a girl from blackpool who has been put with him by the time lords for protection as she saw something she wasn't supposed to. The two don't entirely get on.

In this story they arrive at a motorway service station one night in 1974 to find the place under attack by strange monsters. Many doctor who stories have involved humans trapped in a remote location under attack by monsters, so this follows that pattern. It's a very conventional story in that respect - a surprise as it comes from a writer who has previously done very inventive and unconventional stuff - but there are lots of incidental delights along the way.

Paul Mcgann and Sheridan Smith who play the doctor and lucie have a wonderful chemistry together. Some of the people in the service station are pop stars on their way to appear on top of the pops. And some are former pop stars whose careers didn't work out. The story thus reminds us that for everyone who makes it in the music industry there are plenty who don't. This is emphasised even further in a superb scene where lucie discovers that a little foreknowledge can be a dangerous thing.

A fast moving doctor who story complete in fifty minutes - well, almost, as there's an ongoing plot that runs throughout these in regards to precisely what lucie saw, and the final scene deals with that - which is fast moving and involving, and all the better for being relatively conventional. Well worth listening to, especially for the closing music which is a glam rock remix of the doctor who theme and really quite superb
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Named both as an allusion to the Sylvester McKoy 'Fang Rock' story and a descriptor of the early 70s, this story is set in a motorway services late at night when the only occupants are kitchen staff, various glam rockers travelling post gig and some monsters trying to break their way in, apparently to destroy everyone inside. Into this maelstrom (did I mention the snow storms?) coem the Doctor and Lucie.

There is a lot to like about this:
1) We meet Lucie's Auntie Pat as a young woman who reappears next season in the Zygon who Fell to Earth, another rock & roll story
2) Bernard Cribbens is excellent as the dodgy dealer manager who comes good right at the end
3) The location - why are more stories not set in a service station? This is clearly the UK equivalent of a motel - random visitors, isolated, lots of corners. I really like that this is one of the services with the bridge over the motorway where the story culminates.

As to the series, yes this is a one-off but note that relations between the Doctor and Lucie are much improved as they grow more used to each other.

I orignally gave this four stars, but have now decided it's a five; I may even listen to it again soon!
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2014
What was the point of this story? Some great actors wasting their time. I've listened to other Dr Who talking books and they were very good, interesting plots, well thought out with some nice twists. this was not one of those.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 19 October 2010
In 2006, BBC7, the BBC's digital archive radio station, after airing some previously recorded Eighth Doc stories, asked Big Finish Productions to produce a series of new 50 minute tales, with a new companion, Lucie Miller, later to be released on CD. They should have been wonderful. Big Finish wheeled out some of their most respected writers, the casts were, in radio terms, stellar, Paul McGann (one of the finest radio voices of his generation) was still in the lead chair. It all looked rosy right from the off. The remit seems, understandably, to have been 'new series for the radio' but for all their lining up of the big guns, what makes the NEDAs so much less than they should have been is that they are so slavishly adhere to the norms of new series TV, with its constant musical accompaniment, casual slaughter (specifically of women), and with modern youth as something to be pandered to, rather than analysed or, god forbid, criticised. The Doctor is, for Lucie, more a figure of ridicule than one of mystery (for no other reason than he is older than she is). One doesn't expect a Victoria Waterfield clone in this day and age but had I been the Doctor, I would have booted her out of the Tardis quicker than you could say "Turlough". (Actually, he does try to do just that quite early on in the previous story.)

'The Horror of Glam Rock' is story number two and there are a couple of funny moments. The cast ain't that bad, although Lucie is really annoying and the whole thing crawls its way into predictabilty pretty quickly. When the most engaging supporting character is killed, it is not only sadly predictable but the death is then happily forgotten by everyone in no time at all. Since when did death become so easily shrugged off?

There is a certain poignancy in hearing the late Stephen Gately (and he is rather good) but 'The Horror of Glam Rock' is, as audio entertainment, a badly choreographed train wreck.
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