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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Numlocks & Unit Await The Umbrella Man
Doctor Who The Lost Stories : Animal.
Doctor: Seventh Doctor.
Companion(s): Ace, Raine Creevy.
Main enemy: Scobie, The Numlocks.
Main setting: Margrave University, England, 2001.
Writer: Andrew Cartmel.
Director: Ken Bentley.
2xCD.
4 episodes.
Running time 120 minutes.

Extras.
Trailer for Earth Aid.
Behind...
Published 1 month ago by Timelord007

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3.0 out of 5 stars The nature of the beast
This third entry into the "Season 27" Lost Stories builds upon script editor / writer Andrew Cartmel's development of a recurring cast of supporting characters for the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy). "Animal" marks the return of Angela Bruce as Brigadier Bambera, who was introduced in Doctor Who - Battlefield [DVD, seemingly as a successor to Nicholas Courtney's...
Published on 2 Aug 2011 by R. C. McGinlay


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Numlocks & Unit Await The Umbrella Man, 16 Jun 2014
By 
Timelord007 (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Animal (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories) (Audio CD)
Doctor Who The Lost Stories : Animal.
Doctor: Seventh Doctor.
Companion(s): Ace, Raine Creevy.
Main enemy: Scobie, The Numlocks.
Main setting: Margrave University, England, 2001.
Writer: Andrew Cartmel.
Director: Ken Bentley.
2xCD.
4 episodes.
Running time 120 minutes.

Extras.
Trailer for Earth Aid.
Behind the scenes interviews.

Trivia.
1)In the previous story, Crime of the Century, the Doctor encountered defensive government robots built by Margrave University in the 1980s.
2)UNIT officer Brigadier Bambera previously appeared with the Seventh Doctor and Ace in the 1989 season 26 story Battlefield.

Plot Synopsis.
Margrave University in 2001, Raine Creevy is enjoying her first trip in the Tardis but for the Seventh Doctor, there are mysteries to solve: what are the mysterious alien creatures imprisoned in the science labs? & just what are the true motives of the student Scobie and his fanatical followers?

With enemies on all sides, the Doctor teams up with his old friend Brigadier Bambera & the forces of UNIT in a battle for the future of the whole world.

Timelord Thoughts.
Animal is my favourite story of the series 2 Lost stories adventures as it features the Seventh Doctor reuniting with Brigadier Bambera & Unit in a tension filled audio adventure written once again by writer & former Doctor Who script editor Andrew Cartmel.

Sylvester McCoy is on excellent form here whether his incarnation of the Doctor is trying to diffuse a bomb or encountering a homicidal alien vegetation his Doctor is full of the joys of spring yet underneath that charming exterior is a cunning manipulative incarnation of a Timelord who uses those characteristics to battle aliens very cleverly in this audio adventure.

Beth Chalmers as Raine Creevy seems a little sidelined in this adventure, Raines first encounter with an alien is of fear & terror making her character babble on incoherently, one great moment in the play sees Raine looks up her father online and discovers that he is dead which has a haunting affect on her bringing out an emotional side to her character & while Raine decides to stay on the Earth in coming to terms with her fathers death she asks the Doctor to return for her in a weeks time showing Raines courage to go forward to whatever shes confronted with next.

Sophie Aldred as Ace is a little more humourous in this adventure, particularly when she's forced to go undercover as a `Happy Herbivore' is one of the storys highlights but gets involved inmany of the storys action sequences usually involving blowing things up with Nitro-9.

As for Unit & Brigadier Bambera well Angela Bruces performance shines throughout this adventure as Bruce slips effortlessly back into the role like a comfy pair of slippers & while Bambera & the Doctor disagree often throughout this adventure there is a underlying respect there for each other while Bambera is given a interesting subplot of her own as her Sergeant might well be a killer or something else entirely?

As for the aliens race of the Numlocks they are brought excellently to life by actor John Banks as the Numlocks are a species of polite vegetarian pacifists who need to obtain dietary supplements you can guess from where gives this adventure a better threat than the usual power-crazed aliens looking to enslave humanity.

Animal is slightly reminiscent of the Fourth Doctor adventure The Seeds Of Doom which isn't a bad thing as that story is a classic, yet Animal has its own story to tell which it delivers with chilling menace with intriguing alien creatures in the Numlocks thanks mostly to the impressive vocal talents of actor John Banks.

Overall Animal more than delivers with wonderful performances by the main cast of Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Beth Chalmers & Angela Bruce who all bring great drama to Andrew Cartmels action packed creepy written Seventh Doctor adventure.

Timelord Rating.
9/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alien rights activists, 3 Aug 2011
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Animal (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories) (Audio CD)
Back when Doctor Who was cancelled in 1989 the production team had stories for the next season in the works. Now, thanks to big finish audio, we can finally hear what might have been.

Note to those who don't follow these audios regularly: This is the third in a series of these stories featuring the Seventh Doctor and Ace. And in the second story they picked up a new travelling companion. Raine Creevy. Daughter of a London gangster, she went to finishing school and has a upper class voice as a result. But she went against her father's intentions and is as a result an expert safe cracker. Among other things.

This story stands pretty much on it's own with only a couple of plot points that tie into the first two Thin Ice (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories) and Crime of the Century (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories)] and casual listeners should be able to get into it quite easily.

It also sees the return of Brigadier Bamberra, from the tv story Battlefield, played once again by Angela Bruce. In a role she clearly enjoys.

The story runs for four episodes, from twenty five minutes to a little over a thirty in duration, and is spread over two discs.

It sees the Doctor and his companions visit a twenty first century university. Where there are strange things locked away in the labs. And a radical student has a hidden agenda.

The Doctor and UNIT soon find there's more going on than meets the eye, and a threat to the entire planet Earth...

The first episode is perfectly paced at twenty five minutes and sets things up nicely.

The second involves a lot of running around and build up to a big cliffhanger. But when the latter arrives it is a very good cliffhanger and takes the story up to another level.

The monsters of the piece are the focus of the last two parts, and are a very interesting creation, brought to life with some clever voice work.

Parts three and four do go beyond twenty five minutes in length and you do feel you're waiting for something to happen at times. But things eventually do. And they are well worth waiting for.

There's no complicated story arc either, just the Doctor getting involved and trying to sort out a problem. Part four does contain a great scene where his schemes in regards to this don't go quite according to plan.

Raine has some good character moments, coping with her first trip into the future. And all that has to offer. As with the previous story she and Ace do make a very good double act.

And one character does get a very satisfying come uppance.

A certain major moral issue is discussed but the story does allow the listener to draw their own conclusions on the matter.

This isn't quite as strong a story as Thin Ice, but it has more plot than Crime of the Century. It would have worked quite well on tv. And it's not too bad on audio. It's worth a listen.

There are roughly nineteen minutes worth of interviews with cast and crew at the end of disc one.

Ten more minutes worth at the end of disc two [worth a listen in regards to how the monsters of the piece were brought to life]

And a trailer for Earth Aid (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories), the next in this series, after part four.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The nature of the beast, 2 Aug 2011
By 
R. C. McGinlay (Ilford, Essex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Animal (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories) (Audio CD)
This third entry into the "Season 27" Lost Stories builds upon script editor / writer Andrew Cartmel's development of a recurring cast of supporting characters for the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy). "Animal" marks the return of Angela Bruce as Brigadier Bambera, who was introduced in Doctor Who - Battlefield [DVD, seemingly as a successor to Nicholas Courtney's Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, but never had a chance to reprise the role - until now, that is.

Despite her presence, I found the first couple of episodes uninvolving. This is partly because certain aspects of the story don't lend themselves too well to audio, such as characters describing flesh-eating plants advancing upon them. The deadpan nature of Bambera and some rather two-dimensional guest characters don't help - what was UNIT thinking of hiring such a trigger-happy thug as Sgt. Achterberg (John Banks)?

Evidently it is "animal rights month" at Big Finish Productions. In common with the Fifth Doctor adventure Rat Trap (Doctor Who), this audio drama features a laboratory setting and deals with the welfare of our furry friends - a familiar topic for Cartmel, as is vegetarianism, as he admits during the half-hour of CD extras.

Things get more interesting during the final two episodes, thanks to some intriguing arrivals, who (through a more satisfying deployment of Banks's vocal dexterity) successfully combine amusement and menace. I wonder whether the writer was staring at his keyboard, specifically the Num Lock key, when he came up with their name...

Cartmel and McCoy give us a more light-hearted, bumbling Seventh Doctor than we're used to, more like the Season 24 version than the sinister manipulator of Seasons 25 and 26. His schemes don't always work out, and there's an amusing scene in which he tries to defuse a bomb. Meanwhile, Ace (Sophie Aldred) and Raine (Beth Chalmers) continue to make an interesting team, playfully sniping at each other's class differences, but are also effective when split up on separate assignments.

"Animal" is my least favourite story of this lost season so far, but it's worth hunting down, catching and devouring for the last couple of episodes alone.
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Animal (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories)
Animal (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories) by Andrew Cartmel (Audio CD - 30 Jun 2011)
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