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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vault of secrets
Latest Doctor Who companion chronicle. These are talking books which see an actor who played a companion to the Doctor on TV return to the role to read an all new story for their character.

They usually run for an hour, in two episodes complete on one cd. The actor will do all the voices save for one which is done by a guest performer.

But this one...
Published on 14 Aug 2011 by Paul Tapner

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The UNIT vault - what secrets does it keep?
This is a "companion" cd of sorts - instead of the more usual narrative of a story involving the Doctor told by one of his companions, this is the story of the UNIT vault - the place where artefacts, alien or otherwise, are kept safe and under control by UNIT. In the course of the story, we are introduced to a new UNIT member of the Vault team, who is in turn inducted...
Published on 5 Jun 2012 by Keen Reader


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vault of secrets, 14 Aug 2011
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tales from the Vault (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
Latest Doctor Who companion chronicle. These are talking books which see an actor who played a companion to the Doctor on TV return to the role to read an all new story for their character.

They usually run for an hour, in two episodes complete on one cd. The actor will do all the voices save for one which is done by a guest performer.

But this one breaks that format. It features Daphne Ashbrook and Yee Jee Tso who appeared in the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie. Since the producers of these audios don't have the rights to use the characters from anything post seventh doctor tv stories, they had to come up with something different for them.

Thus the two play Captain Ruth Matheson and Warrant Officer Charlie Soto. Soldiers of UNIT. The former is a veteran at the Vault. A place where UNIT keeps strange and alien artefacts. And the latter is a new recruit to the vault who is being given a tour of it.

On the way, he gets to see several strange items. All of which were involved in things that the Doctor and his companions did. And by various means, the companions can tell the stories of the objects in question...

This is one long episodes running just under an hour, and the bulk is dialogue between Ruth and Charlie rather than narration. There's not a great depth to either character but they're both fine and both actors do well with their roles.

Four companions - Katy Manning as Jo Grant. Mary Tamm as the first Romana. Wendy Padbury as Zoe. And Peter Purves as Steven - all get a look in as an item in the vault is examined. They tell the story of the adventure with the Doctor in question that led to the item being there. These bits are not ordinary narration as they are presented as coming from recordings and other things. There's some clever technical and scene setting styles in the way all of these are put together.

The four tales are rather short and may not seem to have much consequence but they are well done. And certain events late on in the story do make it a lot more than a mere anthology collection of four pieces.

But to say any more would spoil that.

This isn't quite a five star release, although it's very good and an entertaining listen. The format would allow for more. So here's hoping there will be a tales from the vault two.

There's a trailer for the next companion chronicle on the track on the cd right after the end of the story.

And just over seven minutes of interviews with cast and crew right after that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The UNIT vault - what secrets does it keep?, 5 Jun 2012
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Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tales from the Vault (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
This is a "companion" cd of sorts - instead of the more usual narrative of a story involving the Doctor told by one of his companions, this is the story of the UNIT vault - the place where artefacts, alien or otherwise, are kept safe and under control by UNIT. In the course of the story, we are introduced to a new UNIT member of the Vault team, who is in turn inducted into what the Vault keepers do - and so we hear about it as well.

It's a fairly slow moving audio experience; there was an awful lot of exposition done in the "story" through the old "Of course! ..." or the "You mean ..." trick where the painfully obvious point being portrayed in the story can (again) be spelled out for the listener by the character. I found this rather too thickly laid on and a bit annoying after a while.

The stories seem quite disjointed to start with, as we are told small tales of earlier Doctors and the links to the artefacts in the vault being studied; but, while they do come together in the overall story by the end, it all seems a bit laboured and, sadly, rather dull.

The highlight for me was hearing parts of the story narrated by the characters of Jo, Romana, Zoe and Stephen. Fairly good; but not great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever title for a clever play, 10 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Tales from the Vault (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
Season 6 of the Companion Chronicles opens well as we have an example of a well written and structured piece that we did not always see throughout series 5. The story features four companions, but technically 6 actors to have played them. Steven Taylor, Zoe, Jo Grant and Romana I all have a narrative part, with Zoe a bit more interactive. The Vault is a UNIT one, and two UNIT personnel, previously unknown to us are introduced in the capacity of manning the vault/museum. Of course this is no ordinary museum and references are made to artefacts from the programme's past. The current curator and new starter are played by Eighth Doctor companion actors who cannot reprise their roles for contractual reasons. I feel this is an "awkward" choice because it draws attention to itself, and whilst the actors do a fine job, it still needed characters that are familiar in order to be true to the range.

The plot of introducing a newcomer to the museum and his inevitable curiosity landing them into a spot of bother is a good one, and the story is resolved by other clever items introduced along the way.

Overall Tales from the Vault is a worthy addition to the Companion Chronicle range, and could easily end up with sequels or a spin-off. The story feels a little lightweight because it is a story of small patchworks (historically set recordings from companions in the past) with a strong thread (the modern UNIT characters' dialogue and vault exploration). But for what it is trying to do, Big Finish have produced this very well. I prefer dialogue-heavy stories rather than ones that are almost entirely narrative, and this story is almost entirely dialogue, with the narration coming from four other different people.

In a range that takes more risks and is generally more inconsistent in quality than the monthly Big Finish 4 episode releases, Companion Chronicles have taken a lesser risk here in breaking the format. I want to give it 5 stars for ticking most boxes, but it lacks that something special we sometimes get to join the league of 5 star stories.
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Tales from the Vault (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles)
Tales from the Vault (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) by Jonathan Morris (Audio CD - 31 July 2011)
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