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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lost Adventure for the Original TARDIS Crew, 31 May 2010
A. Foxley (UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Transit of Venus (Dr Who Companion Chronicles 3.7) (Audio CD)
I'll confess, I'm not entirely sold on the format of 'The Companion Chronicles' - one of the Doctor's former associates telling the story almost in monologue form, with the addition of dramatised sections featuring another actor - it can limit the way the stories can be told to an extent. But when the stories are as entertaining as this one, I'm more than happy. In his twilight years, the First Doctor's companion Ian Chesterton relates a hitherto unheard-of adventure where he and his fellow TARDIS travellers find themselves meeting Captain Cook aboard his ship the Endeavour, en route to discovering Australia. 'Doctor Who' traditionalists should love this story, as it's very much in the spirit of some of the classic historical adventures from the early days of the series, albeit with an intriguing twist, as Ian begins to suspect the ship's scientist, Banks, is not all he appears to be. It's a joy to hear William Russell reprising his role as Ian, and he makes for an engaging narrator, so much so that I forgot my reservations about the format and became lost in the story.

For anyone who enjoys the William Hartnell era, it's wonderful to be able to revisit it in the company of one of the original cast, in a tale which evokes those 1960s adventures so brilliantly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High Sea Shenanigans For The First Doctor & Ian Chesterton, 17 Oct. 2014
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Transit of Venus (Dr Who Companion Chronicles 3.7) (Audio CD)
Transit To Venus (Doctor Who Companion Chronicles 3.7)

Product Info.
Doctor: First Doctor
Companion(s): Susan, Barbara, Ian
Main enemy: Joseph Banks
Main setting:
Earth, 2004
Endeavour, 1770
Publisher: Big Finish Productions
Writer: Jacqueline Rayner
Director: Nigel Fairs
Release number: 3.7
Running Time 60 Minutes

Behind The Scenes Interviews

CAST edit
Ian Chesterton - William Russell
Joseph Banks - Ian Hallard

1)This was the first time that William Russell reprised his role as Ian Chesterton in a Big Finish audio drama. However, he had previously played Lord Darzil Carlisle in (Audio: The Game).
2)The conflict in this story is indirectly caused by the telepathic abilities of the Sensorites & the effects they have on the TARDIS crew being carried over from that story to this one.

Episode Titles.
Episode 1 - Voyage Of Discovery
Episode 2 - Dangerous Endeavours

What's Up Doc?
The year is 1770, and daring explorer Captain James Cook & his crew on the Endeavour are navigating the Pacific Ocean.

Into their midst come strangers: the First Doctor & Ian Chesterton, who are believed to have come from Venus. But the TARDIS is lost to them along with both Susan & Barbara.

Ian makes an enemy of the ship's chief scientist, Joseph Banks who is acting strangely? Could it be that the travellers are not the only visitors from the stars?

Timelord Thoughts.
This is a good effort by writer Jacqueline Rayner who goes for a historical adventure setting that is set during the first season of Doctor Who which sees William Russell reprise his role of Ian Chesterton for the first time since his departure from the 1965 Tv story 'The Chase'.

The story sees a eariler mishap with the Tardis with Susan & Barbara inside has vanished while the Doctor & Ian are on-board the Endeavour the ship of legendary explorer Captain James Cook.

As the Endeavour sails the seas of the Pacific ocean Ian suspects that a possible alien is on board but is everything really as it seems?

William Russell is superb as Ian Chesterton & reprises his role with considerable ease who's character is pushed to his limits in this adventure, Russell's enthusiasm is infectious & has the perfect voice for narrative storytelling & brilliantly captures the mannerisms of the late William Hartnell's Doctor who is more grumpy, pricklier & evasive in this adventure yet is quite emotional & even sheds a tear when he believes that Susan is lost to him.

The story has a claustrophobic tense atmosphere as the duo are stranded for weeks on board the Endeavour, Ian becomes more & more obsessed with ship's chief scientist Joseph Banks, who appears to possess knowledge of the future, writer Jacqueline Rayner gives a great characterization on both the Doctor & Ian & keeps the plot moving forward which has some great moments of suspense, mystery & paranoia with some excellent two hander dialogue between Ian Chesterton & Joseph Banks who is played very nicely by guest actor Ian Hallard & builds up to a finale which sadly concludes on a slightly disappointing note & delivers a cop out ending that undoes all the good work of the play's previous 50 minutes.

Overall, Transit Of Venus is a fine addition to the Companion Chronicles range & a wonderful debut for the original companion Ian Chesterton, the story is educational & engaging which contains atmospheric sound effects & wonderful music score by David Darlington which is sadly let down by a poor ending which stops this Companion Chronicle from being a five star audio adventure.

Timelord Rating.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lost at Sea with Doctor Who, 10 Sept. 2012
J Brackell (England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Transit of Venus (Dr Who Companion Chronicles 3.7) (Audio CD)
Big Finish's Companion Chronicles range are different from the full-cast audio dramas that they produce in the Doctor Who line as they focus primarily on the First, Second and Third Doctors era, using their companions to retell a 'lost story' in a monologue form. Since the companions were a lot younger than those original Doctors, many of them have outlived their Doctor and are available to tell these lost stories, often framed as the Companion (now in old age, to explain the difference in voice) tells a tale to the audience or a secondary character.

This particular release focuses on Ian Chesterton (William Russell) who along with Barbara Wright, was one of the first human companions to accompany the First Doctor and his grand-daughter, Susan, on their adventures in time and space. I had watched the First Doctor's adventures recently on DVD and was particularly fond of Ian and Barbara's tenure on the show. This story takes place firmly between two of the televised adventures, 'The Sensorites' and 'The Reign of Terror' and makes frequent reference to the events of the former adventure, so it is recommended that you view that serial before listening to this audiobook. Luckily, it has been recently released on DVD as Doctor Who - The Sensorites [DVD], so it should be easier to source than before when your only option was VHS or dodgy youtube links.

William Russell manages to keep the story interesting and it does feel as if it would slot into the First Doctor's era, since there is a very historical & educational tone to the story, which was one of the key components to the early black and white serials. Russell slips effortlessly back into his role as Ian Chesterton and manages to convincingly convey the voices of his absent cast members, especially his interpretation of William Hartnell's Doctor. The 70 minute story is broken up into two distinct parts, including the classic Doctor Who theme music separating them and a trademark cliffhanger!

I would recommend this to fans of Doctor Who, particularly the Classic black & white stories, who haven't experienced the Big Finish Range of Audio adventures. It manages to be quite stand-alone without much continuity, apart from watching the serial 'The Sensorites'. Sometimes the main range of Big Finish audios are quite self-referential and require listening to prior audio stories, even from completely different Doctors, in order to pick up the plot or characters. As I said, that isn't the case with this story which supplements the TV adventures really well. I would quite enjoy listening to further lost stories from Ian Chesterton and the rest of the classic companions!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy season one story, 24 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Transit of Venus (Dr Who Companion Chronicles 3.7) (Audio CD)
This story really is in keeping with the spirit of the first season of the classic Doctor Who both in terms of pace and continuity. William Russell's natural ability as a story-teller really had me wanting to hear of other adventures, but more importantly I did not feel any less engaged by the absence of the other regular cast members. The story "resolve" is rather clever.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars voyage of discovery, 16 Feb. 2009
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Transit of Venus (Dr Who Companion Chronicles 3.7) (Audio CD)
latest talking book in the series of them called doctor who the companion chronicles. these feature actors who played doctor who companions on tv reprising their role reading an all new story featuring their character.

they run for roughly sixty minutes, in two approximately half hour long episodes, spread over one disc. the discs conclude with short interviews with cast and crew. and there will always be one other speaking role in the story, played by another actor.

this time it's the turn of william russell, who played ian opposite william hartnell's doctor who back in the sixties. he reads a story set during the first season of the show - there are continuity references but you don't need to have seen the stories in question to follow this - which has the tardis landing on captain cook's ship the endeavour, which is on the way to make history by finding australia. the tardis and susan and barbara are suddenly lost, and ian and the doctor are left on the endeavour, waiting for landfall. when Ian discovers a man onboard who knows things that he shouldn't, he wonders if there are aliens present...

william russell has an absolutely superb voice and it's a pleasure to hear him do a reading, so this is captivating listening. in addition the sound design of the story is superb and really makes you feel like you're on a sailing ship. the script presents a tale well in keeping with the style of the show at the time, when it strived to educate about history, and the plot moves along nicely. there's a very clever ending also.

and in a nice touch the two episodes, as the show did at the time, have their own individual titles. see the disc label to find them.

this is the best of the third series of these so far, and an utterly captivating listen. an excellent release.
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Transit of Venus (Dr Who Companion Chronicles 3.7)
Transit of Venus (Dr Who Companion Chronicles 3.7) by Jacqueline Rayner (Audio CD - 15 Jan. 2009)
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