on 29 October 2010
I thought this was a heart-warming story that effectively blended elements of humour and parody of classic series chronology with moments of sincerely touching tenderness. Katy Manning is on fine form by both recreating the sensitive caring Jo Grand and the scatty blundering but well meaning Iris Wildthyme, an eccentric character whom is bound to make you smile. Due to the quirky nature of the initial narrative certain liberties are taken in reinterpreting televised events like learning of a previous impromptu arrival of the bus as Iris begins her Earth exile. Although the stakes are fairly minimal as befits the mischievous but appealing narrator Huxley this is indeed a well crafted pleasing title. Nostalgia is played well in the second half as our trio head back UNIT HQ of the 70s with a good feel for the environment and the familiar element of adulation that Jo has Sgt Benton. My abiding memory of this 61 min story has got to be Jo's eventual meeting with the Doctor in the lab. Not only is this beautifully touching both in narrative and vocal delivery it also provides one of the best incidental music scores that I've ever head from Big Finish which greatly enhanced my enjoyment and appreciation of the story. As well as the obligatory next story trailer we polish off this disc with a satisfying 8 mins of cast/production members chat. A very enjoyable title which is well worth getting!
on 26 October 2010
I loved this Companion Chronicles story. The atmosphere was just right. Jo shopping for presents at Christmas in a big department store and getting stuck in a lift with Huxley, the noveliser from Verbatim six.
Katy Manning does a brilliant job of recreating her character of Jo, and is in total contrast to her portrayal of Iris Wildthyme.
But it's her impression of Jon Pertwee's voice that is so remarkably accurate. I really feel I am experiencing a genuine story from way back in the 3rd Doctor's era, such is the degree of successful characterisation Katy achieves. I could easily visualise the story in my mind, as Katy (as Jo) goes back in time and once again sees the familiar surroundings of the UNIT establishment and 'her' Doctor working in his workshop still attempting to find some way he may 'escape' from planet Earth.
The Doctor doesn't appear until the 2nd epsiode, but the lead up to this, throughout episode 1, is extremely well done and held my interest completely. And then, when Jo is reunited with the Doctor, it is just the icing on the cake. One of the best stories Big Finish have ever done.
I hope they do another one with Jo and Iris and the Doctor. I'd also love to hear another CC done with Charlotte (Charley to her friends) Pollard as I miss hearing India Fisher in the audios.
But this CC really is one of the very best ever!
In short I think this is probably one of the best audios Big Finish has released in a long time. Katy Manning is marvellous, I love her portrayal of Jo: she gives it just the right amount of emotion without being overly mawkish. Her interaction with the Doctor is wonderful. I really felt I was there with her as she entered the lab and met the Doctor. She's still somehow the same Jo we know from the Jon Pertwee stories, but she comes across as a stronger character here. Her portrayal of Iris is also fantastic, as is her portrayal of Jon Pertwee's Doctor is beautiful. The relationship between Jo and the Doctor is shown so perfectly, and shows how much love and respect Katy clearly had for Pertwee when they filmed the original show.
I love how she jumps from the characters of Jo to Iris to the Doctor, acting them out perfectly. The interview at the end suggests not its not edited and if she did jump from character to character like that it shows what a talented actress she is. Paul Magrs has written a brilliant script and I hope someone else pens another one with Jo or Iris soon.
I enjoyed, as always, this Companion Chronicle. They really are a marvellous tool for allowing Doctor Who fans to live or `relive', if you will, favourite doctors, companions and times and places. And this is a classic one for reminiscing - Katy Manning reprises her role as Jo Grant, and in the process revisits an old friend - and the atmosphere and the characters really do bring a lump to your throat in the second part of the story.
Unfortunately, I do admit to finding Iris Wildthyme to be rather on the annoying side - loud, brash and rather irritating.
And the story itself is not really mind-blowing - more of a chance to wander down old dusty corridoors and remind ourselves how Doctor Who used to be.
An enjoyable romp in the future which becomes a stroll through a past of sorts. Great stuff.
on 28 February 2013
I just listened to Find and Replace, the Big Finish Companion Chronicle and it is the most beautifully crafted nostalgic Doctor Who story that I have heard/read for a long time. That is really going down as one of my favourites. It really warmed my heart and brought a tear to my eye today as walked to and from work.
I thought Paul Magrs brought the magic of that era to life. Listening to this story made my day This is exactly the kind of story that I want to hear in this 50th anniversary year.
I can wholeheartedly recommend to any fan to pick up a copy of this story, trust me you won't be disappointed.