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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bad memories, 5 Sep 2010
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Echoes of Grey (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
Latest Doctor Who companion chronicle. These are talking books that feature an actor who played a companion to the Doctor on the tv show returning to the role to read an all new story for their character. The actor usually does all the voices save for one character who will be played by a guest actor.

And they are two part stories complete on one cd.

This one sees the return of Wendy Padbury, who played Zoe Herriot opposite Patrick Troughton's Doctor back in the 1960's. As fans of the show will remember, Zoe had her memories of her travels with the Doctor wiped by the Time Lords when she was returned to her regular life.

But what would happen if she met someone who she'd encountered during her travels?

The opening makes it clear that Zoe feels there's a gap in her memories. So when she meets a lady called Ali, who claims to know her from a past encounter and who wants to know exactly what Zoe can be made to remember of it, she takes up the offer. These opening sequences have a strong and atmospheric quality which nicely creates the kind of feelings Zoe would be having.

It also allows for one of the best framing devices the companion chronicles have ever done as all her memories of the past enounter come out in present tense as she relives them whilst the scenes with Ali are told via dialogue.

The past encounter concerns the TARDIS crew visiting a secret medical facility where experiments are going on with creatures called Achromatics. But they're not being told the whole truth about what they encounter.

The first episode vividly recreates the style of many second doctor stories in having an isolated environment run by a group of people who have different motivations and who then come under attack. The episode does feel slightly overlong at thirty seven minutes though.

The second episode doesn't become the kind of base under siege story, as so many Troughton tales were called, that you might expect. It begins with investigation and then a fair amount of exposition as the secrets of the base come to light. These are well written and pretty original, not least in the nature of the monsters.

And they do offer moral dilemmas that give food for thought.

There's still a good bit of action after that, though.

And once that past encounter has been dealt with, the present day one still remains to be resolved. Some good plot developments here, leading to an ending that feels exactly right.

The second episode is forty minutes long, but the length of this feels fine.

A very good story, well reminiscent of the era and offering excellent material for Wendy Padbury. The length of the first episode could as mentioned do with being shorter but that's the only minor fault with it.

There's no interview with the star at the end of the disc, which until now has been an almost regular feature on these. But there is a trailer for the next one in the range at the start.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Things are not always black and white", 5 July 2011
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Echoes of Grey (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
This is a companion chronicle featuring Zoe Herriot, a companion who travelled with the Second Doctor and Jamie. Zoe's memories of travelling with the Doctor were wiped when the Doctor was exiled to Earth and regenerated into the Third Doctor, so the beginning of the story has her remembering through a device about her earlier life. One particular episode in particular seems to trouble her, and this is the story that we hear recounted here.

The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe arrive at what appears to be a medical facility - but there are no patients, just their empty beds and charts. And what are the medical staff actually doing here? And what are the Achromatics? And when the Doctor and his companions find the answers, will it be too late for all of them? Well, we know it isn't, of course as Zoe is telling us the story - but there is plenty of action, plenty of suspense, mysteries, moral dilemmas and good `classic' Doctor Who action with the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe as they unravel another mystery and put the universe to rights. And all is not what it seems, as there is a story within a story, if I can put it like that - so a nice little twist as you feel the story is just about to wind down.

Highly recommended.
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Echoes of Grey (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles)
Echoes of Grey (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) by John Dorney (Audio CD - 31 Aug 2010)
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