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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon 9 November 2015
This story is the 136th release in the Big Finish Main Range, and is the first story in a trilogy featuring the Fifth Doctor. The story is set shortly after Nyssa has left the Tardis (the tv story Terminus) for the Doctor, and his companions Tegan and Turlough. But intriguingly a much longer period has passed for Nyssa, and her life has become very different. They are all somewhat startled to find themselves reunited on the planet Helheim.

This reunion creates quite a different dynamic with the Tardis crew, as Tegan doesn’t trust Turlough, Turlough still feels he has to justify the Doctor’s trust, Nyssa has matured and created a very different life for herself, and the Doctor now has to juggle a whole new set of problems, and people. The gene-tech facility on Helheim is deserted, apart from a computer intelligence, and the maintenance spiders have been doing their best to keep up the station. But when the Doctor, Tegan, Turlough and Nyssa try to find out what happened there, they discover that time has a way of catching up with them.

This is a great story. It is one that requires the listener’s attention, as there are a lot of threads that need to be pulled together to make sense of the narrative as it unfolds, and it’s not until the last credits have rolled (as it were) that the whole story really comes round to being complete. I always enjoy the Tardis crew of the Fifth Doctor, with Tegan, Turlough and Nyssa, and it is interesting now to have Nyssa back so far in her own future life. The supporting cast in this story are tremendous; very much actors who portray their characters through their voices, and for the listener it is an opportunity to hear very different personalities coming through in a purely audio medium. This is a story that feels very ‘viewable’ for the listener, and you can imagine what is happening very clearly. Raymond Coulthard, Helen Griffin, Adrian Lukis and Charlotte Lucas do a great job as their various characters, and if at times I felt Edgar was channelling Marvin from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, that certainly didn’t detract from the tension of the narrative, and the overall enjoyable experience of this story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 June 2014
'Cobwebs' is the first of a new series of adventures in 'Doctor Who' from Big Finish!

The Fifth Doctor is reunited with his companions Tegan, Turlough and Nyssa. They become the new TARDIS team embarking on exciting adventures in time and space. This four-part adventure by Jonathan Morris starts the new series with this TARDIS team.

Mark Strickson, who was recording a Companion Chronicle, suggested to Big Finish about reuniting the 80s TARDIS team including himself, Peter Davison; Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding. All agreed including Janet to reunite and record some new audio dramas.

When I heard about this new set-up with the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Turlough, I was initially excited. After enjoying the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa audios from Big Finish and having watched 'The Black Guardian Trilogy' on DVD, I couldn't wait to listen to these new stories.

I wondered where these adventures would be placed. I initially thought it would be placed between 'Mawdryn Undead' and 'Terminus'. I managed to find the CD cover for 'Cobwebs' online and was shocked when I saw Nyssa was older than the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough.

I was like "No! They can't make Nyssa old! Nyssa's young, beautiful and sweet! I want her to stay that way!" I didn't like Nyssa being older and wasn't sure I would like this TARDIS set-up. I then thought these stories would be set during Season 21 after Nyssa left.

In July 2010, I had 'Cobwebs' and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Apparently this story is set between 'Enlightenment' and 'The King's Demons' from the Doctor's perspective, two days later. For Nyssa though, fifty years have passed since she left the TARDIS. Wibbly-wobbly; timey-wimey!

I like how writer Jonathan Morris manages to set up and reintroduce Nyssa into the series with the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough; putting this team back together again. It would take some time before I would get used to Nyssa being older, but Sarah still sounds lovely and unchanged in her voice.

Nyssa, who is now 70 years old, is on a mission to find a cure for a disease called Richter's Syndrome. She travels to the planet Helheim in her spaceship, joined by her pet robot Loki. She finds a gene-tech facility and is reunited with the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough who also come to Helheim.

The highlight for me is Sarah Sutton as Nyssa. I've met Sarah many times and she told me about these three new stories at my first 'Doctor Who' convention in February 2010. Sarah is playing an older Nyssa who's already a well-regarded scientist on 'Terminus'.

This is set for Nyssa after 'The Darkening Eye' and 'Circular Time: Winter'. Nyssa is still the same person we know and love. She's gentle; kind; compassionate and intelligent. She's more experienced in years; has been through a lot and is the calming link between the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough.

This is the first time I heard Janet Fielding as Tegan in a Big Finish audio. I like how the story opens with Tegan arguing with the Doctor about Turlough since she doesn't trust him after what happened in 'The Black Guardian Trilogy' and can't seem to stand him initially.

I like it when they arrive and the Doctor tells Tegan to try not to scream before seeing a maintenance spider and shudders. She's delighted when Nyssa comes back, but doesn't like what's going on as they're past of Hellheim's past and she argues with the Doctor.

It was great listening to Mark Strickson as Turlough. It's not long since he was free from the Black Guardian's influence following 'Enlightenment'. But Turlough's still a pretty shifty character and rather unpredictable and isn't willing to tell Tegan about his past life.

Turlough's keen to reacquaint himself with Nyssa since they didn't spend much time together as she left not long after he arrived in 'Mawdryn Undead'. It's going to be interesting how the older Nyssa and Turlough get on with each other in this series of stories.

Of course there's Peter Davison who's wonderful as the Doctor. This is the first in a long time that Peter's been reunited with Janet, Sarah and Mark as his three companions. It's going to be an interesting ride in this brand new chapter of the Fifth Doctor's life.

I like how Peter's Doctor's curious as to why the TARDIS was dragged to the planet Hellheim. He's delighted to be reunited with Nyssa, but doesn't have time to catch up with her when swept into the adventure. He's finds it difficult to cope with Tegan arguing with him.

The guest cast are as follows. There's Helen Griffin (from 'Rise of the Cybermen'/'The Age of Steel') as Director Cardell; Adrian Lukis (from BBC's 'Pride and Prejudice' and 'The Children of Seth') as Enforcement Officer Bragg and Charlotte Lucas as Bio Technician Valis.

Nyssa has a pet robot called Loki, voiced by Raymond Coulthard. Loki looks impressive in the sleeve notes, looking almost like Kamelion from the Doctor's future. He's a nervous soul and over-cautious for Nyssa's liking with his defence settings. Nyssa thinks Loki should be put on a lower setting.

Raymond also voices the computer Edgar, who seems to know the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Turlough from before and has a personality complex. The voice for Edgar is pretty creepy compared to Loki, as Raymond plays both parts very well.

This story is pretty complex with timey-wimey elements, but is very well-structured with some exciting cliff-hanger moments. I must admit though I did get lost part-way through 'Part Three' that required me to give this another listen as I lost some of the points from early on.

The monsters are the Cractids. They are crustacean-like monsters who are the indigenous form of life on the planet Hellheim. They are part of the cure for Richter's Syndrome, although they are pretty lethal. There are also the maintenance spider robots on Helheim.

At the end of the story, Nyssa asks the Doctor to take her back home. She's determined to take the cure back to treat worlds infected with Richter's Syndrome. But it's going to be a while for Nyssa as the TARDIS takes this new team on some exciting adventures.

This is a great opening story to a new series of adventures with the Doctor, Tegan, Turlough and the older Nyssa. I had my doubts about this new TARDIS team and the older Nyssa. But I was determined to plough on and listen to more audios and find out what they're like.

The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Disc 1, there's a suite of incidental music to enjoy. At the end of Disc 2, there are behind-the-scenes interviews with cast and crew including Peter Davison;; Janet Fielding; Sarah Sutton; Mark Strickson; writer Jonathan Morris; etc.

There's a trailer for next story with the Doctor, Tegan, Turlough and Nyssa called 'The Whispering Forest'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A new Doctor Who audio play that starts a trilogy of stories featuring Peter Davison as the Doctor.

With Janet Fielding as Tegan.

Mark Strickson as Turlough.

And Sarah Sutton as Nyssa.

The 1983 line up are back and it's like they've never been away.
Although they do sound a bit older at times but you'll quickly get used to them and the story and you won't even notice that after a little while.

In a four part story, two episodes to each cd in the box, each episode running for roughly twenty nine minutes, it's immediately after the end of the tv story enlightement, and it immediately recreates one key element of the era. The Doctor and Tegan arguing. Loose ends from the end of enlightement are dealt with and then - another staple of the old series - the TARDIS is pulled by a mysterious force into a deserted research base. Where they meet Nyssa again. Decades having passed for her.

The mystery of what happened on the base occupies the Doctor and companions. And a first episode cliffhanger shows there's deadly danger awaiting them. That they may not be able to escape....

A research base with corridors and staff with their own agendas. Lots of running around and being captured. Doctor and companion squabbles. The era is so perfectly recreated. But at the same time it's something more, thanks to a very clever script that does a lot with the notion of time travel.

You have to concentrate hard on the story post episode one because all the time travel stuff is very involved, but it's all worth the effort thanks to a very clever script and a great main cast who make the most of their time back together. Some of the resolutions at the end of part four are really not what you might have expected and that makes for clever writing.

This one is a bit much to take in at times because of the complexity of the script but that means future listenings will be a rewarding experience. And it makes you want to listen to it again.

The story is self contained but for further audio adventures of this line up listen to the next story The Whispering Forest (Doctor Who) a trailer for which can be found at the start of disc one.

There's nine minutes or so of the music from the story on it's own on the last track of disc one.

And roughly fifteen minutes worth of interviews with cast and crew at the end of disc two. Which are an entertaining listen and absolutely fly by.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 August 2010
The idea to bring back the TARDIS crew from the early Eighties has proved to be an inspired one, and for this reviewer who was 9 when Peter Davison first stepped out as The Doctor, it is also a deliciously evocative and nostalgic trip back to those innocent times.

Mark Strickson, the devious Turlough, appeared in the first Big Finish audio Phantasmagoria (Doctor Who) with Peter Davison, but has not returned until now. Janet Fielding as the spiky Australian air hostess Tegan Jovanka has also appeared in one BF audio play, Doctor Who - The Gathering (Big Finish), whilst Sarah Sutton as the aloof genius Nyssa has appeared regularly alongside Davison's Fifth Doctor.

The four travellers make for a crowded TARDIS, and Tegan's enmity towards Turlough for trying to kill herself and The Doctor whilst under the malign influence of the Black Guardian means that tensions run pretty high a lot of the time. Turlough insists he is now free of the evil influence but Tegan's natural ebullience and fierce loyalty towards The Doctor will not let her be fully convinced. This aside, the quartet have to battle against marauding monsters and homicidal humans on the seemingly abandoned gene-tech facility of the planet Helheim. Nyssa has come here separately and is reunited with her old friends - but who has engineered this meeting and what part do the deadly Cractids play in the strange events that seem to be unfolding..?

Overall this is a hugely enjoyable and fascinatingly intricate story from Doctor Who script veteran Jonathan Morris, and as it's the first in a new trilogy there's plenty more to look forward to...
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is the hundred and thirty sixth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Peter Davison as Five, Sarah Sutton as Nyssa, Mark Strickson as Turlough and, in a very unwelcome move, Janet Fielding as Tegan. 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 set immediately following the TV series 20 adventure `Enlightenment'. There are some interviews with cast and crew at the end of the second disc and a few minutes of the soundtrack at the end of disc 1.

Before I start, I must say I have a bias that means I probably cannot review this story with a proper detachment. I disliked Tegan intensely when she was in the TV series, and felt that her presence really spoiled what would have been some great adventures for the Fifth Doctor. If he hadn't been saddled with the eternally whinging and disagreeable mouth on legs then more of Davison's TV episodes would probably now be regarded as classics. So it was with a grimace of distaste that I noted Tegan's presence in this adventure and put the disc in the player.

The story is set just after the end of the TV adventure Enlightenment, with Five, Turlough and Tegan travelling together and encountering a much older Nyssa, who left the TARDIS crew at the end of Terminus. She is on the hunt for a cure to a deadly space plague and her quest has led her to an old deserted research facility, where she bumps into an insane computer and some old friends. They discover some very disturbing relics in a sealed lab, and are soon on a desperate quest to avoid what seems to be an unavoidable fate.

It's an OK story, even if the resolution is a bit rushed. But it suffers from all the problems that the series 19-20 stories suffered from - namely too many companions with not enugh to do and one of the companions being the essentially unlikeable Tegan.

Seriously guys? After the abomination that was `The Gathering' you decided it was a good idea to bring Tegan back? Here she does nothing but moan and then moan some more. It obscures poor Turlough, and an interesting take on Nyssa struggles to be heard. It's very annoying, and drags a three star story even lower. Bring back Turlough, who has appeared in three great BF productions, or Nyssa, who has had a great story arc and character development with BF yes, but why resurrect the whinging Aussie, especially after her appalling previous appearance? If you had to do it, why not do it in the same was as you treated Adric in `The Boy That Time Forgot'?

So all in all a three star story dragged down to 2 stars. I note with dread that most of the Fifth Doctor releases from this one up until the time of writing feature Tegan, I am seriously considering not purchasing these future releases. And for a geek collector like me that is a serious step.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 October 2010
This audio took me right back to the Peter Davison years. A great story that kept me listening and the cast were spot on. I would recommend this one.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2012
A fantastic release.

Peter Davison: The Doctor
Janet Fielding: Tegan
Mark Strickson: Turlough
Sarah Sutton: Nyssa

The old team back together in a fantastic first stoy in a trilogy of adventures with my favorite TARDIS team of all time. Tegan is my all time favorite companion. I never heard in The Gathering and so this feels to me like a proper 80's adventure. It is a really great release. Well done's to,
Jonathan Morris for a great story,
Mark Strickson for proposing, what was a joke, to bring the old 80's team together,
Janet Fielding for being Tegan,
and Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton for being great, as usual.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 August 2015
Sublime (but do not purchase fro Amazion).
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