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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exciting & Heartbreaking Conclusion To The Oliver Harper Trilogy, 28 Dec. 2014
By 
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The First Wave (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
The First Wave (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles).
Doctor: First Doctor
Companion(s): Steven Taylor, Oliver Harper
Main enemy: The Vardans
Main setting: Grace Alone
Writer: Simon Guerrier
Director: Lisa Bowerman
Release number: 6.05
Format: 1 Disc - 2 Episodes
Running Time 60 Minutes

CD Extra.
Trailer
Behind the scenes interviews

Episode Titles.
Episode 1 - The First Wave
Episode 2 - The Last Wave

Cast.
Steven Taylor - Peter Purves
Oliver Harper - Tom Allen
The Vardans - Lisa Bowerman

Trivia.
1)There is a human city on Sedna.
2)This story marks the first appearance of the Vardans in an audio drama.

What's Up Doc?
Caught in the inevitable path of its own history, the TARDIS arrives on the planetoid Grace Alone, where the Doctor, Steven & Oliver expect to face their fate.

What they don't expect to find is a massacred crew & a race of alien invaders known as the Vardans.

When the Doctor is apparently killed, his companions attempt to survive against the odds, But those odds are narrowing as their borrowed time has expired.

Timelord Thoughts.
'The First Wave' is the final part of the 'Oliver Harper Trilogy' which is written again by Simon Guerrier that sees Oliver Harer & Steven Taylor become separated from the Doctor whom it seems has apparently died, while a time paradox looms near that threatens to destroy an entire alien world.

Simon Guerriers script maintains the great character drama of the previous two story's but tightly paces & injects his story with plenty of clever plot twists & turns which makes for an engaging suspenseful listen & concludes this trilogy with a heartbreaking emotional conclusion.

Peter Purves & Tom Allen both give wonderful outstanding performance here as Steven Taylor & Oliver Harper who both add a genuine enthusiasm into the script, while the multi talented Lisa Bowerman not only directs this adventure brilliantly & efficiently but also provides the voices of the alien race The Vardans.

Sound Designers Richard Fox & Lauren Yason inject a exciting tension fuelled atmosphere into the mix with there impressive sound effects & music score, while the Vardans make for a excellent advisory against the tetchy Doctor who is brought to life once again thanks to a wonderful interpretation by actor Peter Purves of William Hartnell's iconic First Doctor.

'The First Wave' is a action packed dramatically engaging & heartbreaking final part of this trilogy which has been overall an impressive set of three entertaining First Doctor adventures that have seen Big Finish push the boundaries & deliver some great human character drama on some sensitive topics in a positive way & delivers a message that shows there is a true hero within us all & sometimes we just need someone of inspiration to shine a light & show us the way.

Timelord Rating.
9/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who and the Vardans, 18 Dec. 2011
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The First Wave (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 their role to read an all new story for their character.

They do all the voices save one which is performed by a guest actor.

And they usually run for two episodes, complete on one disc, of thirty minutes each [approx].

Here, Peter Purves returns once again to the role of Steven Taylor. Who he played on tv opposite William Hartnell's Doctor back in the 1960's. This is the third of a trilogy for Steven and the First Doctor which sees them with another companion. 1960's London city trader Oliver Harper. The first two stories in the trilogy were The Perpetual Bond (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) and The Cold Equations (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles).

The second ended with the Doctor having found photos of him and his companions in the criminal records of another planet. A place they'd not yet been to. So at the start of this story, they are heading there. To make sure history happens as it should.

Whilst there's enough exposition in this one to bring those who didn't hear the previous two parts of the trilogy up to speed quite quickly, I would still recommend you hear them first. As the development of Oliver as a character over the course of the trilogy does make this one stronger if you've heard all of it.

On reaching the planet, a mining facility out in the Kuiper belt on the very edge of the solar system, they find the crew of place dead. And aliens. The Vardans. Who are composed of pure energy and can travel at the speed of thought. But with the Doctor seemingly killed, Steven and Oliver have a fight on their hands to survive.

Is it, as Steven thinks, possibly their time? Or should they, as Oliver thinks, fight to the last?

The Vardans were first seen in the tv story Doctor Who - The Invasion Of Time [DVD]. And are not the most highly regarded of the Doctor's foes, possibly down to their realisation as men in suits. But an enemy who is pure energy and who can travel at the speed of thought is a threatening notion. The script here does work with that and makes them a very convincing creation. It also addresses the fact of why beings of energy would need spaceships.

Just like the Cold Equations this has a setting that draws on the writer's knowledge of astronomy and makes some of the description of it quite fascinating. Oliver as a character shows a great sense of wonder which Steven has long since moved past. And is also very brave and determined to keep on fighting when Steven gets fatalistic. This makes him a likeable character and the two of them a good pairing.

Peter Purves does a superb take on William Hartnell's voice and that makes these a delight to listen to. It also gives him stronger material than he often got back in the day on the tv show. It remembers that his character, being a spaceship pilot, would have to be very smart.

There is a non linear structure to some of this, as it begins with Steven and Oliver escaping the Vardans and then flashes back to before their arrival on the planet. But it's very easy to follow.

The end of part two is the end of this trilogy, and thus it's the end of Oliver's story. It does feel a little disappointing that his story has to end and some of what happens does feel a bit familiar. But it's still pretty memorable.

So whist that does take the overall mark down ever so slightly this is still a superb release, and the whole trilogy is well worth a listen and is highly recommended.

There's a trailer for the next release in this range after the end of part two.

And eight minutes or so of entertaining chat with cast and crew after that.
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The First Wave (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles)
The First Wave (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) by Simon Guerrier (Audio CD - 30 Nov. 2011)
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