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This is the hundred and fifty seventh release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Colin Baker as Six and Lisa Greenwood as Phillipa ‘Flip’ Jackson. There are four episodes, roughly 30-40 minutes each, complete with cliffhangers and original theme music between each. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes. There are some interviews with cast and crew at the end of the second disc and a few minutes of the soundtrack at the end of disc 1. It is the second in a trilogy of adventures featuring new companion Flip, but you don’t need to hear the preceding adventure to get right into this.

Big Finish are at their best when being brave, experimental and trying something new. And here they are at their best... This is an exuberant story that blurs the boundaries of reality and fiction to give a story that is a total mind scramble yet absolute fun at the same time. Flip is transported into a strange world where dramatic moments are accompanied by music, and everyone seems a two dimensional character. The Doctor has to invade a media screening for a new TV show in order to try and rescue her, but before long the universe is being threatened by an evil genius of unimaginable proportions. The Doctor has to cross the boundaries of reality in order to save the day, as well as saving everyone from the side-threat of the Porcians, possibly the best alien race to be introduced to the Whoniverse thus far. Even deadlier than the Daleks...

This is a whole lot of fun, as everyone gets to run around lots and spout lots and lots of great lines. Funnily, there is some great character development for some of the characters, but not the ‘real’ people. The writer has a lot of fun with the concept of a writer’s duty towards his characters. Fun, yet intelligent and thoughtful. This is a perfect Who story, and the second 5 out of five in a row for old Sixie and Flip. Lets hope that they can keep up the quality for their next adventure.
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Latest Doctor Who audio story. Featuring Colin Baker as the Doctor, and Lisa Greenwood as his latest companion, twenty first century British teenager Philippa 'Flip' Jackson.

This is the second in a trilogy of stories featuring the pair. But it does stand totally on it's own, so those who haven't heard the preceding story The Curse of Davros (Doctor Who) should be able to hear this one without any problem.

It runs for four episodes, spread over two cd's. Each episode is a little over thirty minutes in length [approx].

The story involves an intergalactic media mogul whose business is going through a very bad patch. His latest venture is a new science fiction adventure series called Laser. A show about an intergalactic adventurer which is extremely cliche ridden. But which is made with new technology, that promises a viewing experience the like of which you would never have had before.

Naturally, things go wrong, and the Doctor is caught up in what happens next. Which leaves Flip battling to survive in a hostile and strangely familiar barren wilderness....

This one has both comedy and drama, and switches between both very neatly at the drop of a hat. The comedy can be very funny indeed at points, and the drama pretty memorable.

It might even have worked on tv in the mid 80's, the Sixth Doctor's time, because it could have made a virtue out of cheap visuals.

It also brings in some very interesting concepts about the nature of existence and reality, all of which do give food for thought and also allow for excellent drama.

And it uses an alien race who have never appeared in any other Doctor Who stories of any kind, but whom the Doctor is familiar with, who are a truly inspired and memorable creation.

It is another story where there is an awful lot going on and thus repeat listenings may be an idea, but you could clearly listen to this one again and again and find something new or something you'd forgotten each time. Which is another plus point.

The one thing it doesn't have though, which may disappoint some, is a lot of the Doctor and Flip. The interviews with the producers at the end do make it clear they wanted to do something a bit different for her first adventure as a regular companion. Thus she is apart from the Doctor for a lot of it. And there's an awful lot of scenes that she's absent from.

So whilst it's a bit disappointing on that front, the rest of it is a detailed and clever and funny script that results in a unique, enjoyable and very memorable tale. So for that it's worth five stars.

There's roughly ten minutes worth of music from the story at the end of disc one.

A trailer for the next in the trilogy after part two on disc four.

And just over ten minutes of interviews with cast and crew right after that.
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on 26 September 2012
Unlike the previous reviewer, I find Phillipa 'Flip' Jackson an altogether one-dimensional and grating character, and was quite happy to see her sidelined for much of this adventure. The story itself is a decent one, reminiscent of surreal Second Doctor TV serial Doctor Who - The Mind Robber [1968] [DVD] in its manipulation of reality and its bringing to life of fictional characters. There is also plenty of humour - the aptly named 'Porcines' are great value, especially the father and son double act, and the tongue-in-cheek performances of the main cast do a decent script full justice.
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VINE VOICEon 14 March 2012
Having enjoyed Curse of Davros and Flip (played by Lisa Greenwood) this disappointed as Flip is left out for a lot of the story. The plot revolves around a sophisticated 'sort of' artificial reality populated by characters that get to escape and meet their actors (both played by the same actor if you are following). This is all very clever and no doubt amusing to act and direct, I however would have liked more chance to get to know Flip in this her second story. It isn't all bad just for me not well enough balanced
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