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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Up the Great Space Elevator with Victoria, the Doctor and Jamie!, 24 July 2014
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This review is from: The Great Space Elevator (Dr Who Big Finish Companions) (Audio CD)
This is a really nice companion chronicle to have!

`The Great Space Elevator' is a special audio story that features the return of Deborah Watling as Victoria Waterfield, companion to the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) in `Doctor Who' with Big Finish. I enjoyed listening to this audio when I bought it back in early 2012 and have had the pleasure of having the CD cover signed by the lovely Debbie Watling at a convention in Newcastle last year in October. This is a treat to have and I'm sure you'll enjoyed it.

For me, Victoria Waterfield is a companion I have sympathy for. At the time in 2012, most of Debbie's stories were missing from the BBC archives. You can only get to hear stories like 'The Evil of the Daleks'; 'The Abominable Snowmen' and 'Fury from the Deep' on audio and the only full stories with Victoria in them were 'The Tomb of the Cybermen' and 'The Ice Warriors' (although two episodes from that story are missing). Also Victoria tended to be a poorly developed character sometimes as she tended to scream a lot and always seemed to be the scared little girl when facing against monsters. But what struck me about Victoria and Debbie's performance was despite being scared a lot, Victoria kept on being brave; showing her resourcefulness and a compassionate side in the face of danger. I wanted to discover more about this Victorian girl who travelled in the TARDIS, and Big Finish have done wonders providing this companion chronicle and `The Emperor of Eternity' to develop on Victoria's character.

I've had great pleasure meeting Deborah Watling at conventions and have had nice chats with her. Recently I saw Debbie at a convention in Weston-super-Mare. Debbie enjoys reminiscing over her `Doctor Who' days and her fond memories working with Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines in the series. I enjoyed sharing some of my favourite stories she was in such as `The Evil of the Daleks' and `The Tomb of the Cybermen'. I'm very pleased she signed the CD cover of this story for me in Newcastle. I remember chatting to Debbie during a drinks receptions how pleased I was that two of her stories 'The Enemy of the World' and 'The Web of Fear' were recently found. Debbie's equally pleased, as these stories were considered lost for so many and there seemed no chance of them ever coming back. I'm glad those stories have come back as we get to enjoy more of Victoria alongside her surviving adventures and brand new ones from Big Finish.

For `The Great Space Elevator', this is a really good story for Victoria, written by Jonathan Morris. I really like how Jonny Morris touches upon Victoria recollecting her adventures, particularly this one, after she's finished travelling with the Doctor. It transpires Victoria's now married; has children and soon to have grandchildren. I found this very interesting as I wonder what happened to Victoria after she finished travelling in the TARDIS. Shame we couldn't hear more or have it developed further in this story. Victoria keeps holding onto the memoires she has of her adventures with the Doctor and Jamie as she recollects this story.

The actual story of `The Great Space Elevator' is about the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria arriving on Sumatra in the far future on the planet Earth. They are captured by Tara Kerley and her security team who run a weather control station. Something mysterious goes on as a space station linked by a space elevator to Sumatra suffers an emergency. The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria join Tara on a trip up to the space station in the great space elevator that is a thrill of a ride. When they arrive at the top, they discover all the crew on the space station have blank faces as something odd goes on. It isn't belong long that the Doctor and friends face a deadly force that controls electricity and the electric impulses of an incoming storm coming for them!

I really like how Debbie has narrated this story from her perspective as Victoria. She tells the story with such a clear voice and such a calm and patient presence throughout. I think it's fair to say Debbie's not one for doing different voices for other characters, but at least she drives the story forward describing where we are and what each of the characters are doing. I like how she plays Victoria with the same character of Victorian attitudes yet with determination not for being left out or being patronised by the Doctor and Jamie for being a mere girl. Debbie's voice has changed since she's more older and not the young person she used to be in the 60s. But the spirit of Victoria is still within her and that's what's most important. I do like it when Victoria's describing her experience of going up the elevator and being really terrified and finding it exhilarating and painful when going up. I like when Victoria recollects the Doctor to keep holding onto the memories of their travels together as they're most important!

I like how Debbie impersonates the Doctor and Jamie in this story. Debbie has such fond memories working with Patrick Troughton that she brings across his reassuring and calming presence, especially when he's introducing Jamie and Victoria to some of the characters in the story like Tara. I like it when the Doctor goes to Tara, "Well, isn't it obvious? I'm coming with you' when offering to go up the tower. Debbie does well with Jamie. She doesn't do a Scottish accent but you can tell its Jamie with his `Aye' and Scottish dialect throughout the story. I liked the fire alarm sequences when they're in the lift as there's the Troughton humour going in there. "No Jamie, not that switch!" Foam oozes out into the lift all over the Doctor, Jamie, Victoria and Tara, which I imagine would have been very funny in the story if it was done on TV. I also like when somebody goes, "What is that little man up to now?!" when the Doctor's wandering around the space station, as I imagine that would happen with Patrick's Doctor very clearly.

Helen Goldwyn guest stars in this story as Tara Kerley, the security chief who captures the Doctor, Victoria and Jamie when they arrive on Sumatra. Tara's a rather cold person without feeling, especially when she responds to a panicked crewman aboard the space station when there's an emergency. She leads the trip up in the space elevator with the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria to the space station. Tara gets infected and possessed by this strange alien electrical that forms part of the collective of humans aboard the space station. I don't think Tara's a major supporting character in the story, but it's a nice performance by Helen who plays her.

I like the use of electricity that Jonny Morris puts into the alien menace the Doctor and friends are up against in this story as it sounds pretty frightening. Although saying that, I'm not entirely sure I know what this alien menace is. I do like the concept of the space elevator in the story and it put me in mind of the children's book by Roald Dahl called `Charles and the Great Glass Elevator' for some strange reason.

There aren't any behind-the-scenes interviews on this story as usual with companion chronicles, which is a shame I would have liked to have heard Debbie's thoughts on this story. This is made up however with interviews on `The Emperor of Eternity' CD. There is a coming soon trailer for the next companion chronicle with Jo Grant played by Katy Manning called `The Doll of Death'.

I really have enjoyed Debbie Watling's first companion chronicle as Victoria. It was a delightful listen with a nice story by Jonny Morris and well directed by Nigel Fairs. Debbie has only done two companion chronicles with Victoria as well as a Lost Story with Colin Baker called 'Power Play'. Debbie was wondering at a panel in Weston-super-Mare why Big Finish haven't asked her to do another story with Victoria. Sarah Sutton and Wendy Padbury who were on the panel with her said they'll have to sort that out with Big Finish. I certainly like to hear more stories with Debbie as Victoria from Big Finish. I've written for Victoria myself in my own personal `Doctor Who' stories. Maybe there's something for Victoria for the brand new `Early Adventures' from Big Finish. Let's hope so!

The next story with the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria is 'The Emperor of Eternity'.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars trouble at the top, 25 Dec 2008
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Great Space Elevator (Dr Who Big Finish Companions) (Audio CD)
this is the latest release in the third season of doctor who: the companion chronicles. a series of talking books in which an actor who played a companion to doctor who on tv returns to their role to read a new story of an adventure for the companion and their doctor. the usual format of these is to have a story complete on one disc, in two long episodes, with the performer reading the story in character, and another voice actor performing one other role in the story.

this time it's the turn for deborah watling to reprise the role of victoria waterfield, who she played alongside patrick troughton's doctor in the 1960's. her particular era of the show is famous for what they called 'base under siege' stories, and this is a homage to that style. the tardis crew visit near future earth, where a huge elevator based in sumatra leads all the way up to a space station high above. something has taken over the station, and it has deadly plans for earth. can the doctor save the day?

this succeeds very well indeed at recreating the style of the era, with cold scientist characters in a futuristic base, and some scary moments from a nasty monster. all the regular characters are very well written indeed and well in character. deborah watling reads the story playing victoria as a lady of mature years, and she has a good voice that's nice to listen to. usually in this series the reader has tried to impersonate the voice of the other characters, but she doesn't do that here, and that works perfectly well because they're written so well in character that it's not a problem.

each episode runs for roughly thirty eight minutes, and that is a little on the slow side at times pacing wise, but the nature of the story is always driving the narrative forward, so it's not as much of a problem as it has been in a few other releases in the range.

the final track on the disc has a short preview clip for the forthcoming third story in this season, featuring katy manning reprising the role of the third doctor's companion jo grant.

this could do with being slightly shorter, but all in all it's an excellent attempt to recapture the style of the time, and an entertaining listen
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scream and scream again!, 15 April 2009
This review is from: The Great Space Elevator (Dr Who Big Finish Companions) (Audio CD)
A very solid addition to the Companion Chronicles range. Deborah Watling effortlessly recaptures the role of Victoria and the whole story has a very authentic Troughton era flavour. Especially recommended!
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The Great Space Elevator (Dr Who Big Finish Companions)
The Great Space Elevator (Dr Who Big Finish Companions) by Jonathan Morris (Audio CD - 31 Aug 2008)
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