Customer Reviews


7 Reviews
5 star:
 (6)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Medieval machinations
Out of all of the previous television Doctors who are now reprising their roles on audio, I have always been least impressed by Peter Davison's portrayal. His feyness, youthful exuberance, and breathless delivery, have always been better suited to a visual medium in my opinion, and his companions have tended to be either bolshy and pointless (Tegan), or nasal and...
Published on 14 Nov 2009 by Captain Pugwash

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't work for me
The first of the Stockbridge trilogy which for me didn't help as I have no background with the sources for this. As a piece in its own right I thought it tried too hard to be clever, interweaving mummery / English folk tradition and time travel in a plot that started in the 19th century and then got back to medieval times. Here a decent story setup was (for me) spoilt,...
Published on 24 Jan 2011 by Tony Jones


Most Helpful First | Newest First

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Medieval machinations, 14 Nov 2009
This review is from: Castle of Fear (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Out of all of the previous television Doctors who are now reprising their roles on audio, I have always been least impressed by Peter Davison's portrayal. His feyness, youthful exuberance, and breathless delivery, have always been better suited to a visual medium in my opinion, and his companions have tended to be either bolshy and pointless (Tegan), or nasal and pointless (Peri). However, this may well be The Fifth Doctor's finest hour, as Alan Barnes' script is superb - crackling with wit, energy, and verve, and wringing huge amounts of drama out of a pretty simple premise - this after all is what good Doctor Who does best.

The Doctor's bewilderement and foreboding are brought out immediately, when landing in the Middle Ages he and his companion Nyssa appear to have been expected. How do the local serfs and peasants know so much about the Time Lord, his TARDIS, and his apparel? What is the eerie mist that is blighting the land? And what are the so-called 'demons' who are possessing Stockbridge castle and subsuming the wills of any humans who come into their path..? An old enemy of The Doctor's is on the prowl again, and it will take all of the Time Lords' determination and ingenuity to emerge triumphant once again...

What I liked most about this story was the irreverent humour - many of the asides, muttered comments from the extras, and dialogue, bring to mind episodes of Monty Python and Blackadder. The historical setting also provides numerous opportunities for anachronistic jokes and dramatic irony, whilst the location of Stockbridge itself is one that has been used in Doctor Who novels, comic strips, and annuals several times in the past, thus lending a vaguely familiar tinge to the drama and providing fans with titbits that are not continuity-laden nor too abstruse and off-putting for more casual listeners.

As well as the usual interviews with cast and crew at the end of the first disc, the latest installment in the intriguing bonus story 'The Three Companions' adds value to this purchase; Thomas Brewster's manipulative schemes continue apace, whilst The Brigadier and Polly battle on valiantly.

Overall then this is a fine effort from Big Finish; after the equally compelling Paper Cuts (Doctor Who) and the impressive Blue Forgotten Planet (Doctor Who), it seems that Nick Briggs and co. have hit a purple patch - long may it continue!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the two maudes, 25 Nov 2009
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Castle of Fear (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
A new doctor who audio play featuring Peter Davison as the Doctor and Sarah Sutton as his companion Nyssa. Running for four thirty minute long episodes over two discs this is the start of a trilogy of stories set in the village of stockbridge. And it's totally accessible to casual listeners. There are continuity references to the tv show, another audio, and the comic strip in doctor who magazine, but not picking up on them shouldn't lessen your understanding or entertainment.

The story begins in 19th century stockbridge when the tardis crew notice some oddities whilst watching the local christmas play. This leads them back to the middle ages to investigate. at the when the rather pompous lord of the local castle is returning from the crusades, only to find his castle has been taken over by demons from the stars in the meantime. The Doctor and nyssa have to assist him, but wild boars, a mercenary french knight, and the locals all combine to make sure their task isn't easy.

And then there's the creatures in the castle...

What could be a rather conventional story is in fact a delightfully entertaining listen thanks to a wonderfully sharp script. There's a lot of comedy in the first two episodes but it's written ever so well and played perfectly by the cast that it works superbly, thanks not least to guest actor jon sessions and a wonderfully deadpan straightman performance from peter davison. there's so many great puns and clever bits of worldplay that you could listen to it again and again and still find things you'd missed or forgotten.

Things do get a little more serious in the second two episodes but there are still plenty of twists and turns to come such that the story will still keep you captivated.

This is quite simply a hugely entertaining listen and well worth getting.

The end leads right into the next part of the trilogy The Eternal Summer (Doctor Who). You can find a trailer for it at the end of disc two.

There are seventeen minutes of interviews with cast and crew at the end of disc one. and the end of disc two also contains part eight of the ongoing story the three companions which is being release one episode a montn on these discs. Casual listeners will probably struggle with this one as there's no recap, but regular ones will find a good episode that brings the second part of the storyline to a close with some great doctor and brigadier moments, and promises big developments in part nine. And it will make you look forward to finding out what happens next.

All in all high quality doctor who and well worth a listen
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome To Stockbridge!, 12 Aug 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Castle of Fear (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Well...what can I say about 'Castle of Fear'?

I really enjoyed it and found it very amusing. Of course I had to listen to it a number of times in order to get my head around some of the terminology they used in the Middle Ages.

I had my CD cover for this story signed recently by the lovely Sarah Sutton who plays Nyssa. She's absolutely brilliant in this story, and it happens to be one of her favourites which I can understand why that is. She said to me she listened to it in the car and remembered really enjoying the recording of that story with the cast especially with the likes of John Sessions.

It was Christmas 2009 for me, and I was so excited about the new trilogy being released from Big Finish, featuring the Doctor and Nyssa who are my favourite TARDIS duo.

The setting for the trilogy is in a special place from comic book land called Stockbridge. I've never read any of the Fifth Doctor comic book adventures, but that didn't matter to me as this was a trilogy that featured the Doctor and Nyssa, and that was enough for me to enjoy.

"Castle of Fear" really sets 'The Stockbridge Trilogy' off to a good start, and it certainly feels like a Christmas offering. The Doctor and Nyssa attend a Boxing Day gathering at the 'Green Dragon Inn' in 1899. They watch a mummer's play being performed about 'St. George and the fiery Dragon', and it happens to feature a certain 'doctor' with a stick of celery on his lapel. As you can guess this concerns the Doctor greatly and it isn't before long that the Doctor and Nyssa are whisked off back in time to the 'measly' Middle Ages at Stockbridge Castle.

Written by Alan Barnes (Big Finish's Script Editor), this story is filled with doses of drama and comedy from the likes of 'Monty Python' and 'Blackadder'. This is evident in the performances of some of the guest stars in the play, which I really like. Some of the guest stars are outrageously funny and over-the-top with their performances, and it made me think 'wait a minute, this can't be happening!' The cast feature the likes of John Sessions, Joe Thomas and Susan Brown.

John Sessions, who plays Roland of Britanny, is outrageously funny as he's playing a Normandy Knight with a bad French accent and a cruel streak in him. As the story goes, Roland claims to be a famous knight declaring glory and honour on his noble quest. It isn't before long that he soon loses his accent and the secret's out that he's not what he seems.

Joe Thomas (from 'The Inbetweeners') who plays Hubert, Earl of Mommerset, was such a delight to listen to. His stuck-up upper class manners really make the comedy work and Joe Thomas certainly has good comic timing. Hubert, who returns to Stockbridge Castle to claim his inheritance, is an interesting character as it turns out that Hubert isn't the 'Earl of Mommerset' at all. He's not even 'Hubert'!

Susan Brown (straight from 'Torchwood - Children of Earth') gives a really extraordinarily funny performance as Maud the Withered. Her cackling laugh that echoed over the closing credits of 'Part One' really gave me the shudders not to mention bewilderment. Her 'You're doomed! DOOMED!' reminded me very much of 'Dad's Army's' Private Frazer. I really like the scenes she has with the Doctor when she helps him out of the boar trap and into the castle underground. It's such a shame she got killed off at the end of 'Part Two'.

When it's revealed who the 'demons' of Stockbridge Castle are, it took me completely by surprise. I wasn't expecting it and it was week before I'd seen 'Horror of Fang Rock' on New Year's Day. But in fact it turned out to be the Rutans, enemies of the Sontarans.

Nyssa's definitely the highlight for me in this story. She gets to do so much in this story when separated from the Doctor. It's nice that Nyssa has a sense of humour, although that's not implying she didn't have one before. I really like the moments when she laughs during the story and finds things amusing i.e. when having a piggy-back on Osbert or when seeing Roland's long johns. I like the scenes when she stands up to Roland about his principles of being a 'mercenary' and that beautiful line she gives when she said 'I'd rather be a peasant than a mercenary'. It demonstrates her compassionate and caring nature in the story, especially when she befriends a certain peasant named Osbert.

I was completely fooled by Nyssa in 'Part Four'. Like the Doctor, I thought that the Rutans had actually killed her or she'd been turned into one of them. I really like it that it's Nyssa who saves the day from the Rutans and not the Doctor, and that she solves the mystery of the mummer's play connecting with the events of Stockbridge Castle in the Middle Ages.

Nyssa of course has visited Stockbridge before this story, as she had a love affair with Andrew in the 'Autumn' episode of 'Circular Time' which is my favourite Doctor and Nyssa audio. I'm very pleased that the connection was made to Nyssa's past in 'Castle of Fear' as well as for the whole trilogy.

Peter Davison is certainly one of my favourite out of three Doctors (the other two being Christopher Eccelston and David Tennant). His energy really fuels his characterisation of the Doctor, as he's so determined to solve the mystery of Stockbridge Castle. His reluctance to take part in events such as the mummer's play featuring a certain 'doctor' makes the comedy really work. His fondness for Nyssa really stands out in this story, as it's clear that she's his favourite companion.

The climax of 'Castle of Fear' ends on a cliff-hanger in which the Doctor and Nyssa are trapped in the Rutan ship and it explodes. This of course leads into the next story of the trilogy, which I couldn't wait to listen to after hearing this one.

The special features included on this CD are some 'behind-the-scenes' interviews with the cast and crew on Disc 1. I really like the comments made by Sarah Sutton; Peter Davison and some of the crew about how the Big Finish audios really develop their characters especially with Nyssa.

There's a mini-episode of 'The Three Companions' on Disc 2. This stars Nicholas Courtney as 'The Brigadier', Anneke Wills as 'Polly' and John Pickard as 'Thomas Brewster'. Although I couldn't quite follow what was going on in the episode, I really enjoyed listening to the voices of the actors playing their characters.

And the CD wouldn't be complete without a 'next-time' trailer for the following story in 'The Stockbridge Trilogy'. All I can say is that I immediately put the first disc of the next story into my CD player after listening to 'Castle of Fear'...

The next story with the Doctor and Nyssa is 'The Eternal Summer'.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Goes Medieval, 5 Dec 2013
By 
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Castle of Fear (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Positive.
1)Peter Davison & Sarah Sutton truly enjoy this story as they both give wonderful performances here.
2)Alan Barnes delivers a first rate script which is the first part of the Stockbridge trilogy.
3)Return of a old villian comes as a great twist.

Negative.
Non, It's a joy from beginning to end.

Trivia.
John Sessions appeared in the webcast story Death Comes A Time featuring Sylvester McCoy & Sophie Aldred.
Jo Thomas appears as Simon in The Inbetweeners series & movie.
Susan Brown appeared in Torchwood Children of Earth.

Audio Info.
2 x 4 part adventure, Running time 120 minutes, Trailer, Behind the scenes interviews.

Review.
This is a great adventure full of great humourous moments that doesn't distract from the drama.

When the Doctor & Nyssa arrive in Stockbridge in 1899 at the Dragon Inn on Boxing Day as they settle in to watch a play being performed of George slaying the Dragon by the mummers but to the Doctor's astonishment he overhears himself in the dramatic advents that are being played out in the story.

The Doctor & Nyssa return to the middle ages were strangely they have been expected & seemingly the local serfs & peasants know so much about the Tardis & the Doctor being a Timelord.

There is also a matter of a strange mist surrounding Stockbridge Castle & what are the eerie ghostly strange goings on inside it's walls by an apparent Demon?

But as the Doctor & Nyssa will soon find out a old enemy is inside the walls of Stockbridge Castle who will soon make his intentions very clear.

This is a fast paced & intriguing adventure that has some great humourous & dramatic moments that neither outstay there welcome & the supporting cast of John Sessions, Joe Thomas & Susan Brown add real weight to there characters performances.

But top marks go to Peter Davison & Sarah Sutton whom are on sparkling form here & truly relish there roles as the Doctor & Nyssa with great enthusiasm.

Alan Barnes has delivered a superb script peppered with humour,Intrigue & great supporting characters that make this a joy to listen to from start to finish.

The reveal of a classic Doctor Who monster came as a shock but adds to the storys great mysterious goings on within the walls of Stockbridge Castle.

This is the first of a trilogy of storys featuring a Stockbridge theme that running through the plot arc & this first adventure is a great start to a new trilogy of Doctor Who audios at Big Finish.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Castle Of Fear: And now for something completely different!, 16 July 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Castle of Fear (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
This is the hundred and twenty seventh release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Peter Davison as Five and Sarah Sutton as Nyssa. There are four episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with cliffhangers and original theme music between each. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes. This is the first in a trilogy of three linked adventures centred around the village of Stockbridge. There are some interviews with cast and crew at the end of the first disc. There is a treat for regular listeners in the form of the eighth 10 minute segment of a twelve part adventure called `The Three Companions' on the end of disc 2.

Watching a traditional play in late Victorian Stockbridge, The Doctor and Nyssa are astonished to find that there are references in the centuries old text to a certain Doctor, Lord of Time and Space, and his blue chariot. The next thing they know, they are back in Stockbridge's early history, helping the local Lord (fresh back from the Crusades) to regain his Castle from Demons, aided by various peasants and Roland of Normandy.

It's a hugely enjoyable adventure, mixing traditional Who with a large dash of Monty Python (perhaps, as Davison points out in an interview on the disc, as a homage to his time as King Arthur in Spamalot). Davison and Nyssa get right into the spirit of it, Davison in particular proving quite adept at the comedy. Nyssa gets some character development, and we see her start to work independently of the Doctor, with her own plans to bring about victory. John Sessions quite obviously has a blast in his role as the arrogant Roland in a hilarious performance. It's a breathless run around adventure, with a lot of laughs (and absolutely TERRIBLE puns) along the way. 5 stars for this really enjoyable romp, right up there with the Kingmaker.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant script from Alan Barnes, 22 Oct 2013
This review is from: Castle of Fear (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
This is such a clever script which has echoes of 'The Time Warrior' and The Visitation' television stories but is so, so much better. Alan Barnes has writen a very clever, witty script. Everything comes together so well and the sound production and music is top rate. The pictures are painted vividly in your mind's eye.The 'Dr Who Magazine' review said the 'comedy' detracts from the drama. Well, it really doesn't, it all works so well and is performed magnificently by the cast. Peter Davison is brilliant... if only he had been like this more on the television series. It is so funny to hear his Doctor undercut by the events and characters around him... it makes his character so much more interesting and Nyssa is quite commanding. And there is a real twist in the tail that makes you want to listen to the next story, 'The Eternal Summer' staright away. Well done Big Finish!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't work for me, 24 Jan 2011
By 
Tony Jones "Tony" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Castle of Fear (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
The first of the Stockbridge trilogy which for me didn't help as I have no background with the sources for this. As a piece in its own right I thought it tried too hard to be clever, interweaving mummery / English folk tradition and time travel in a plot that started in the 19th century and then got back to medieval times. Here a decent story setup was (for me) spoilt, despite John Sessions, with the most cod French accents this side of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

This may appeal more to those with the background, but for me no
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Castle of Fear (Doctor Who)
Castle of Fear (Doctor Who) by Alan Barnes (Audio CD - 31 Oct 2009)
£13.78
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews