Latest Doctor Who companion chronicle. These are a range of talking books which usually see an actor who played a companion to the Doctor on tv return to the role to read an all new story featuring their character. They do all the voices as well save for one which is voiced by a guest actor.
Usually these are two part stories complete on one disc. But this is a four parter spread over two discs.
It sees Nicola Bryant return to the role of Peri, who she played alongside both Peter Davison and Colin Baker's Doctors on tv. Since it's three years since the last audio to feature her this is a welcome return.
The story involves Peri and the fifth doctor hunting down a fish like alien called Zarl in Los Angeles 2009. Zarl has threatened the future of the planet Earth.
The guest voice actor in the story is Colin Baker.
As the Sixth Doctor.
The first two episodes involve Peri and the Fifth Doctor trying to stop Zarl's schemes. The extra length of the story really gives it time to breathe, opening with a long monologue from Peri that really cuts to the heart of why she went off with the Doctor in the first place. And then has some entertaining and very well written culture clash as Peri, a lady from the 1980's, has to adjust to life in 2009.
Then she meets a future version of herself. A hardbitten secret service agent who deals with alien incursion and threats to the planet.
Elder Peri - who doesn't think much of her younger self's dress sense - clashes with her younger self and the Doctor over the best way to deal with Zarl. But is she telling the truth? And can she be trusted?
The first two episodes deal with all this and are relatively self contained and end with the end of the story for younger Peri and the Fifth Doctor. The episodes run thirty seven and thirty two minutes approx each but they never feel overlong because as mentioned the length really adds so much to the story.
And the next two episodes then show the whole thing from the point of view of elder Peri.
How does the Sixth Doctor come into this? And why does elder Peri not have all the memories you might expect. Didn't she marry King Ycranos? So why is she in 2009?
To answer all that would be telling..
But these two episodes present a whole new slant on the first two and show that there was far more going on than met the eye.
Both Peri's learn a lot about themselves via their enounters with their other selves, and a lot of this is hysterically funny. Nicola Bryant does some excellent voices for supporting characters and Colin Baker is very adept at comedy.
But the inlay warns that the laughter eventually stops, and then it might break your heart.
And it does.
Older Peri can't tell her younger self one terrible life lesson she knows. And then her existence is explained in a clever scene that writes away all the inconsistences of her final moments on television.
Leading to a very sad but ultimately rather uplifting finale.
This is a very clever script and doubtless you could listen to it again and again and discover something new every time. It's ever so well written and superbly acted, and is a great showcase for a companion who like so many probably never got used as well as they could on tv.
And frankly, it's the best companion chronicle yet.
There's a trailer for the next in the range after the end of the story on disc two.
And a little over four minutes of interviews with cast and crew after that. It's a shame this bit is so short, but what's said is very good and it's well worth a listen.
This is another in the companion series of audio stories. However, this differs in that it is spread over two cds; two interlinked stories of two parts each. The other main point of difference in this story is that the second cd actually has one of the Doctors; the sixth Doctor makes an appearance in this part of the overall story.
The first cd is narrated by Peri; a young Peri, who has been travelling (in this audio universe) with the Fifth Doctor for some time. Listeners to the audio series will know that there are a number of stories including the Fifth Doctor with Peri, both on her own and with Erimem. So there is a lot more to their relationship, and the growth of that relationship, than was evident from just the few stories shown in the TV series before the Fifth Doctor and Peri visited Androzani, with somewhat unexpected results for the Doctor.
The second cd is also narrated by Peri; but this is not the same Peri who travelled with the Doctor. She is older and changed; and how and why that is so becomes evident at the end of the story. We find out what happened to her when, according to the tv series during the Trial of the TimeLord with the Sixth Doctor, Peri stayed with King Yrcanos. We also know from the audio series that Peri has travelled for some time in other stories with the Sixth Doctor. So how are these various relationships tied together? Well, you have to listen to find out.
The story seems, for quite a time, to be a `comical' turn; funny noises, bad puns, lots of running around and falling down. But by the time you get to the end, the tone has changed. It left me sad; sad for Peri, sad for the Doctor. But it makes you think. The story is superficially a typical (if there is such a thing) Doctor Who story; but there's much more to it than that.
Well worth listening to; worthwhile for the fact that it very respectfully handles the relationships between Peri and the various Doctors, and the changes in Peri that she needs to come to terms with. Worthwhile for the longer story, and the ability for the story (stories) to expand to more than their usual single cd length. The characters are well captured; both the Fifth and Sixth Doctors are well characterised and well represented.
Nicola Bryant does a brilliant job with all the characters voices, moods, and tones; and seamlessley transitions between her perky "Fifth Doctor" self and the other voice requirements.
on 8 November 2011
Peri meets another version of herself, a version she grows to dislike to an almost abhorent level by the end of the first disc. The second disc gives the alternative Peri's perspective. Wow! How we can misjudge...
The latter part of the second disc had me literally stop in my tracks. After many amusing moments, one of the most profound arrives, a reality that Doctor Who has not addressed in this manner before.
Essentially this is a two part story told from two perspectives with some significant revelations. Companion Chronicles do focus on back and forward stories for companions and are worth the listen. Nicola Bryant conducts the first double length Companion Chronicles, and just when you think it is beginning to drag you are snapped back and "corrected" such that you want to re-listen to the whole thing.
This is the 7th release of the fifth series, and it has to be said that it is the best and most profound Companion Chronicles. It breaks the mould big time for conventional story-telling just as [ASIN:1844350282 Flip-flop (Doctor Who)]] did many years ago for the monthly stories.
Colin Baker makes a significant and comical appearance on the second disc, and you quickly forget this is not a mainstream monthly full-cast audio.
If anyone is to buy just one Companion Chronicle, this is it. It may cost slightly more because of the double length, but the writer Nev Fountain and Nicola Bryant playing more than one role deserve recognition for adding something quite special, and more importantly significant, to the Doctor Who canon. Highly recommended.
on 26 August 2015
Two Peris wrestling in mud would have been many a fanboy's ultimate fantasy back in the Eighties! Perhaps it's just as well that this excellent two-disc Companion Chronicle is audio only!
Nicola Bryant is utterly convincing as the younger Peri familiar from TV, and also as an older, hard-bitten version from today. Her vocal technique means you are never in doubt as to which is which.
There have been many explanations in books, comics and even the original Target novelisation, of what really happened to Peri on Thoros Beta, and here we have two further alternatives. As with the Sixth Doctor himself in the novel "Spiral Scratch", it seems there are an infinite number of Peris & their storylines, and we will never have a definitive explanation. Indeed Nev Fountain has continued this idea in more recent Big Finish stories in which the Doctor is reunited with Peri.
I enjoyed this "Who Meets TORCHWOOD/ X-FILES" drama very much - Peri has never been a favourite of mine but here Nicola Bryant excels in making her sympathetic, though not always by a direct route. In fact, what is largely a light-hearted story (to the point that we have the Sixth Doctor dressing up as an alien to fool the Fifth!) suddenly becomes horribly real and brutal. The gear changes are handled superbly. Not everyone's cup of tea, but I for one rate it amongst the very best Big Finish has given us
on 21 December 2011
In 48 years of Doctor Who, and after so many excellent ideas, imaginative scripts and clever ideas, sooner or later there would inevitably by a script that was childish, self indulgent and without merit. Sadly, this is it. Both 'versions' of Peri are totally dislikeable, a character that is as smug, and as painfully unfunny as the entire script itself. The pattern of self indulgent writing and painful dialogue is endless, the audio equivalent of a particularly painful trip to the dentist. Big Finish have produced many superb Companion Chronicles, this isn't one of them.