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The Masters of Luxor (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Down the years, many stories have been written for Doctor Who which, for one reason or another, never got to the tv screen. Now, thanks to Big Finish adapting them for audio, we can find what might have been.

This story features the First Doctor, plus Susan, Ian and Barbara. It runs for six parts and is spread across three cd's. The episodes vary in length. The longest is just over forty minutes, the shortest just over twenty five. But most are just over thirty minutes long.

This story will be familiar to some because a book of the script for it was released, almost twenty years ago.

The audio version is pretty faithful to that, although it has edited out some religious references that were in the original script. Also, since only two of the four original stars are still with us, this isn't a full cast drama as per usual for these audios. It's a talking book with narration. William Russell [Ian] and Carole Ann Ford [Susan] share the duties for that. And also do the dialogue for their characters. Plus the Doctor and Barbara. William Russell's version of the Doctor is pretty good. Carole Ann Ford's version of Barbara is very good.

The nature of the story means that which of the two is doing the reading can flash back at forth, often at short notice but occasionally a lot longer. This is something you do quickly get used to.

Another thing that has resulted from adapting the original script into this format is that there's a lot of narration and scene setting at times, which is probably why some of the episodes go well over twenty five minutes.

The story sees the TARDIS drawn to a seemingly dead planet by a strange signal. Inside a strange structure the crew find robots. Who are waiting. For the masters of Luxor to return to them.

But one of the creatures who is in this structure has a desperate desire to achieve a certain something. And will stop at nothing to get it. All of which puts the Doctor and friends in terrible danger.

This script does feel as if it's structed in the typical way for a six parter of the time. IE; there will be some padding and long scenes of the TARDIS crew exploring a strange new environment. But it also does feel a little different from what you might expect from this Doctor and companions. Particularly in the first two parts. The character relations don't feel formed in the way that they should be.

The length of the first two episodes does mean that whilst they are a good listen you can feel that you're spending a long time waiting for something to develop. There are long bits of description and moral debates. But then about a third of the way into part three it somehow clicks, and the rest, perhaps because it feels like a more traditional story from then on, is a pretty good listen.

It is quite a serious piece, offering some big moral and ethical questions for the listener to consider.

Guest actor Joseph Kloska reads four different supporting characters, and does a very good job with each.

The production team never used this script. They went instead with a story - in defiance of an instruction from on high in the bbc not to use 'bug eyed monsters' - involving creatures called the Daleks. And the rest is history. Would Doctor Who have endured had they gone with this story instead? Would the Doctor have seen many a return engagement with the deadly Derivatrons?

Who can say. But whilst this isn't the best lost story ever, it's a fascinating look at what might have been. And thus it's worth a listen.

There are five minutes [approx] of interviews on the last track of disc two with the writer of the audio version.

Eleven minutes [approx] of interviews with cast and crew on the last track of disc three.

And a trailer for the next release in this range on the track before that.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Firstly, can I suggest that whoever thought of putting these "lost stories" on as audio cds for us to enjoy now should be given a pat on the back for his or her brilliance. This is an absolutely wonderful idea, and I am thrilled that this looks to be a good series of stories from all Doctor Who eras, with stories that we never got to hear or see previously now being released in an audio format, narrated and performed by wonderful actors.

This story features a First Doctor story, originally put forward in 1963 for a six-part tv story by Anthony Coburn. The Doctor, with Ian, Barbara and Susan find themselves drawn unwillingly down to the surface of a planet. There does not appear to be anybody there, but there are vast buildings, futuristic technology and robots. Are the time travellers expected? And if so, by whom, and for what purpose?

The narration in this story is brilliantly done by William Russell (playing his original character, Ian, and the part of the Doctor) and Carole Ann Ford (playing her original character, Susan, and the part of Barbara). The nuances of the voices as they speak the characters' parts are brilliantly done, and the linking narration which is shared by both narrators is top-notch. Other voices in the story are played by Joe Kloska. I particularly like the absolutely spot-on characterisations of the four main time travellers - the Doctor's tone is captured perfectly, Ian's joking and teasing attitude is played perfectly, and Barbara and Susan are also captured absolutely perfectly.

This is a real `classic' Doctor Who story - even though we never got to see it on the small screen, there is no doubt that this story was well suited to the Hartnell era, with his companions Ian, Barbara and Susan. This cd brings the story totally to life; you can `see' it in your minds' eye as the story unfolds, and imagine how it would have looked without a doubt on the tele. Not only that, it's a whole 180 minutes long. And there are very interesting cast and production interviews as extras on the cds. What more could you ask for? Absolutely wholeheartedly recommended. Totally brilliant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I was always wondering how this lost tale from the earliest days of Doctor Who would be brought to life. I had the script book and read it and thought what an amazing story. Rather a bit like the story of the Cybermen done early, but in reverse. Here in this story we have the notion of an alien robot wanting to gain a soul, (one is reminded of Bicentennial Man but this story has none of Robin Williams loveable robot in the mix) and this theme is quite lavishly explored and delivered with class gusto by the mighty giant actors Carole and William. But I was just hoping that if and when it ever saw the light in a Big Finish production, they might sell the script short. And I needn't have worried. The Masters of Luxor boasts so many gripping moments of terror and there is even a touch of religion, but it isn't just a mickey take or insulting take on different peoples beliefs. What this story boasts too is a creepsville sound score, which actually almost gave me palpitations with fear! But the robots are all barren and soulless machines and this makes also for some tense showdowns between the four TARDIS crew and the Perfect One, who is so easily and brilliantly brought to life by Joe Kloska. And William Russell and Carole Ann Ford masterfully capture the Doctor and Barbara too. This really is another excellent, and exceptional first Doctor lost story! I cant wait for The Dark Planet....
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