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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Votes for alien women!
Latest Doctor who companion chronicle. These are an ongoing series of talking books that usually feature an actor who played a companion to the doctor on tv returning to the role to read an all new story. They will do all the voices of the characters as well save for one which will be done by another actor. These usually run for two episodes of thirty minutes on one...
Published on 16 Mar. 2010 by Paul Tapner

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather patchy uneven historical tale
My hopes were high for this double disc Special Edition which for the first time brings two companions (in this instance Steven and Vicki) together to relate this expanded adventure from differing perspectives. It all begins promisingly enough with Steven opting to take the lead and it is another marvellous performance from Peter Purves whose vocalising of Hartnell's...
Published on 16 April 2010 by Ms. Sarah E. Tarrant


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nearly superb but the audience experience a different 'suffering'..., 12 Dec. 2011
By 
This review is from: Dr Who Companion Chronicles the Suffering (Dr Who Big Finish) (Audio CD)
I really want to give this story 5 stars, I know it is an important theme. But I think it is dragged out a little and could have been more concise. Where I have previously considered Peter Purves the best narrator of the range, I would retract that view for this one story because his rise-and-fall tones become part of every sentence, and just too predictable, although I prefer his disc overall.

The crucial story is very good. Neither narrator fully captivated me on this occasion forcing a relisten to most episodes. This is probably because the pace is just too slow as capable minds need more to keep them attentive. There are some nice scenes, and it is quite amusing at times. Purves does Hartnell beautifully so he should have done them on the second disc rather than have Maureen O'Brien impersonate a difficult-to-impersonate man.

Big Finish are certainly moving into more adult themes with series 4 and 5 of the Companion Chronicles. It does not bother me, but might affect some audiences.

A very good audio overall that perhaps should have been two long episodes, rather than 4 shorter ones. I don't like narrators needlessly padding my day out. When you listen to some other readings, the narrators are double speed at times trying to fit it in. The equivalent series five 4-episode story Peri and the Piscon Paradox (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles), also very adult at times, is an example of how a traditional four-parter is should be done, although I am would not want to encourage more than one a year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Votes for alien women!, 16 Mar. 2010
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dr Who Companion Chronicles the Suffering (Dr Who Big Finish) (Audio CD)
Latest Doctor who companion chronicle. These are an ongoing series of talking books that usually feature an actor who played a companion to the doctor on tv returning to the role to read an all new story. They will do all the voices of the characters as well save for one which will be done by another actor. These usually run for two episodes of thirty minutes on one disc.

But like a few of them lately this one breaks the format because it has not one but two former companions reading the story and it's a four parter spread over two discs.

Peter Purves and Maureen O'Brien played Steven and Vicki opposite William Hartnell's doctor back in the 1960's. They return to their roles here for a tale featuring both their characters. This runs for four episodes spread over two discs, Peter Purves reading the bulk of the former and Maureen O'Brien reading the bulk of the latter. The episodes vary in length from thirty to thirty eight minutes.

The story involves the TARDIS arriving in Britain in 1912. A time of social unrest with the suffragettes campaigning for votes for women. And also that year the legendary Piltdown Man was discovered. Claimed to be the missing link in evolution, it was later exposed as a fraud.

Here, Vicki finds the Piltdown man skull and apparently falls under an alien influence. A creature from another world, a woman from a society where females were slaves to men, the creature hates men with a passion and wants them all dead. And on a planet where a battle of the sexes is raging and turning violent, the entire Earth could be in deadly danger as a result.

The narrative device of the story is that the two companions are recording a record of events after things took place. This leads to some initial banter between the two characters on how to tell the tale, which is fun but just manages to avoid outstaying it's welcome.

Once the story gets going though there are many delights along the way. Perfect period detail, some very interesting and occasionally quite horrible history, and the two actors both do excellent impressions of the first doctor. Peter Purves' take on him in particular is quite delightful to listen to and great fun with it.

The two companions are both people well out of their own time and the characterisation of both fully remembers that, with some clever dialogue and culture clash as a result. The last two episodes can feel rather long thanks to lots of exposition, but there are moral points raised as a result that are interesting food for thought.

All in all an excellent release in the range with a lot to please in it and one that more than justifies the extra length.

Theres an interview with Peter Purves on the end of disc one - worth a listen for his tales of the uncertainty and change of the show's third year - and one with Maureen O'Brien at the end of disc two. And there's a trailer for the next release in the range at the start of disc one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best "Doctor Who" audio I've heard for years!!, 22 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Dr Who Companion Chronicles the Suffering (Dr Who Big Finish) (Audio CD)
This CD arrived in perfect order, unbelievably quickly and was an amazingly good price.

And now to the story on it itself: oh, that more women had written for "Doctor Who" over the years! The characterisations and the thought that went into this story were truly wonderful and made for something which - for me - is much more thought-provoking and enjoyable than endless special sound effects and explosions.

It was so great for me on a number of levels: the Piltdown element I greatly enjoyed. One of my friends reconstructed the skull of an Australopithecus Africanus and told me that it had taken him just ten seconds to tell that "Piltdown Man" was a fake!

My great-grandmother was a suffragist - someone we're immensely proud of in the family. It was really nice having a story which dealt with that period of British history and of the feelings that must have been there for millions of unenfranchised women all over the country.

And to have Maureen O' Brien, my all-time favourite female companion, reconstructing her character Vicki alongside the wonderful Peter Purves whose imitation of William Hartnell is a joy to listen to.

And the backroom chats with the actors about what life was like working on "Doctor Who" in the 1960s, right down to which restaurant William Hartnell used to take Peter Purves to lunch to (as Peter was one of Mr. Hartnell's "likes" rather than being on his long list of "dislikes" lol!) were all priceless.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Suffering Here, 18 April 2010
By 
M. Gardiner "Coulsdon eagle" (COULSDON, SURREY United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dr Who Companion Chronicles the Suffering (Dr Who Big Finish) (Audio CD)
It is nearly 45 years since Maureen O'Brien and Peter Purves first played these roles, yet they sound no older than when they appeared in black & white! That is the main delight of this story, and they fitted together as though they had never left the show. Having two narrators necessitates splitting the story into two - Vicki's & Steven's - with them being rendered asunder early on and only reuniting towards the end.

Unfortunately the plot, starting very much like an old Quatermass story, does not hold together as stongly as the cast, with the idea of joining an alien entity with the suffragete movement feeling very forced. There are some lovely points, such as Steven and a skeleton on a London omnibus, and Vicki becoming involved in a suffragete riot in London. And both manage to convey the First Doctor's endearing mixture of gruffness and curiousity.

If you enjoy William Hartnell's version of the Doctor, then this is an enjoyable 90-odd minutes, which nicely filled a midweek drive back down the M1. Otherwise, a decent idea that doesn't quite fulfill its potential.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Engaging Companion Chronicle, 4 Aug. 2014
By 
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dr Who Companion Chronicles the Suffering (Dr Who Big Finish) (Audio CD)
Doctor Who: The Suffering.
Doctor: First Doctor
Companion(s): Vicki, Steven
Main enemy: The Suffering
Main setting: Piltdown, East Sussex and London, 1912
Writer: Jacqueline Rayner
Director: Lisa Bowerman
Release number: 4.07
2 x CD, 4 episodes
Running time 120 minutes.

Extras.
Trailer.
Behind the scenes interviews.

Cast
Steven Taylor - Peter Purves
Vicki Pallister - Maureen O'Brien

Trivia.
1)Vicki describes Steven as a "handsome space pilot", herself as a "plucky orphan" & a "sensible girl" & the Doctor as a "mysterious, white haired old man."
2)Steven studied basic anatomy as part of his training.
3)The Doctor describes himself as "a student of science & the wonders of the universe."
4)The Doctor claims that he has friends in the Knights Hospitallers.
5)Steven was not aware that British women did not have the vote in 1912.
6)The Doctor has not lived in one place for a year at a time for several centuries.
7)Thomas Arden is an enthusiast of "the newfangled motorcar."
8)Astra was established as an Earth colony at some point after the 23rd century.
9)A diagnosticator is a 25th century medical device.
10)Vicki considers 20th century medicine as being from the Stone Age.
Constance refers to Herbert Asquith, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
11)Vicki learned much about the 20th century from Ian Chesterton & Barbara Wright as well as from the history machines in her own time.
12)The Suffering's home planet is in the Fourth Galaxy.

Whats the story.
The Tardis materialises in England in the year 1912, a time of great social change The Suffragette movement is lobbying for votes for women & the skull of the so-called ‘missing link’ has been discovered in Piltdown.

While Vicki falls victim to a strange influence, the Doctor & Steven investigate the fossilised remains, The Suffering has been unleashed. Can the travellers survive its rage?

Timelord Thoughts.
The Suffering is a extended 2 hour Companion Chronicles featuring two companions, Peter Purves & Maureen O'Brien reading but doesn't feature any another guest actor.

This longer running time gives writer Jacqueline Rayner far more time to fleshout her characters & explore her storyline in greater detail as Raynors story adds a sense of realism in the discussions of gender equality & social change of the women's movement in 1912, Raynor writes these events extremely well while the story is at times moving & paced well.

The characters are brought to life wonderfully by Peter Purves & Maureen O'Brien recreate their characters with ease, sounding engaging, energetic & enthusiastic both giving a very good reading here that's enhanced by some excellent sound design by Toby Hrycek-Robinson gives The Suffering a very atmospheric First Doctor audio adventure.

Timelord Rating.
8/10
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather patchy uneven historical tale, 16 April 2010
By 
Ms. Sarah E. Tarrant (Southampton, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Dr Who Companion Chronicles the Suffering (Dr Who Big Finish) (Audio CD)
My hopes were high for this double disc Special Edition which for the first time brings two companions (in this instance Steven and Vicki) together to relate this expanded adventure from differing perspectives. It all begins promisingly enough with Steven opting to take the lead and it is another marvellous performance from Peter Purves whose vocalising of Hartnell's Doctor and Thomas Arden are particularly pleasing. As a former space pilot familiar with a variety of craft Steven says that he hadn't seen a vehicle that he hadn't wanted to climb straight in and race to the moon until this story. The young man eyes the vintage car of Thomas Arden with an eye of suspicion. I mention this because riding alongside the goggles and cap wearing Doctor is a very dangerous but highly amusing well realised and most memorable aspect of this first disc. I thought the latter stages with the Doctor and Steven (the latter indignant by the hairy moustache he is given) adopting period costumes likens it to the lost TV story "The Massacre". After Steven's 63 min part of the story I was intrigued when, in the 9 min CD EXTRA chat Peter Purves suggested that a possible Steven Taylor story could explore what happened after he left and the end of the TV tale "The Savages"... what a great idea!
Sadly "The Suffering" is less appealing on the second disc where I feel it's all rather too esoteric for my tastes. It is here, especially during the epic ten minute 7thh track where the story delves into the motivations of the alien and relates it to the suffragette movement. However aside from this Maureen O'Brien is in fine form conveying the wide eyed innocence so typical of Vicki particularly when she is initially so easily led by Constance. I love the teenager from the futures perplexed manor regarding primitive medicine in the 20thh century when Doctor Forest attempts to examine her. The main set piece of note of course is the protest rally in Hyde Park which is well realised but this second disc for me rather lacks any true sparkle. Out of the 77min total there is a mere approx 4 min chat where interestingly Maureen suggests a possible English Civil War future story.
Although you've clearly got two narrating actors at the top of their game for this title it fails to save a story that in my opinion seems overtly padded out and for me is a relatively unengaging dramatic adventure.
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1.0 out of 5 stars The audio book began well, but soon descended into a tirade of boring and tedious monologue., 12 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Dr Who Companion Chronicles the Suffering (Dr Who Big Finish) (Audio CD)
The audio book began well, but soon descended into a tirade of boring and tedious monologue. I didn't listen to the last half hour of the story, as I became disillusioned with the direction it was heading in. Sorry, but this audio book didn't need to be so long winded and protracted!
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Dr Who Companion Chronicles the Suffering (Dr Who Big Finish)
Dr Who Companion Chronicles the Suffering (Dr Who Big Finish) by Jacqueline Rayner (Audio CD - 28 Feb. 2010)
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