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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great story for Steven and Sara, 24 May 2012
Huw Davies (Taunton, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Anachronauts (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
This is another of Big Finish's Companion Chronicles series, this time focussing on the First Doctor's companions Steven and Sara, played by Blue Peter favourite Peter Purves and Upstairs Downstairs creator and star Jean Marsh. Their previous Companion Chronicles were amongst the strongest in the series, so this double-disc encounter was highly anticipated.

Like Steven and Sara's previous adventures this story is scripted by the talented writer that is Simon Guerrier. He once again crafts an imaginative and complex tale which twists and turns, with layers of exposition and an exciting twist (though here there are 3 - so lap it up!).

Purves and Marsh are both accomplished performers and they both play their characters with gusto. Marsh has always been my favourite of the two - her acting contains subtleties which sometimes amaze me - yet Purves too does a great job, especially with his performance 'as' William Hartnell, which along with William Russell's interpretation is exceptional.

My one gripe with 'The Anachronauts' is a small one, though it does unfortunately merit the drop from 5 to 4 stars. The problem is - and it's a pity really - but this play doesn't have the 'wow' factor that previous Steven/Sara encounters like 'Home Truths' and 'The First Wave' had. Nevertheless this is highly recommended - especially for fans of either Purves or Marsh's previous Chronicles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Anachronauts, 2 Nov. 2014
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Anachronauts (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
This is another in the Companion Chronicle series, where past companions of an incarnation of the Doctor tell a tale, generally of a time when they were travelling with the Doctor; a story that we have not known of before. Usually there is one companion who narrates much of the story, and does other characters, and one other key cast member who plays a role in the story. This Companion Chronicle is unusual in that it features two companions of the First Doctor, Steven and Sara, and also unusual in that it runs for 4 episodes over 2 cds (instead of 2 episodes on 1 cd).

This story fits into the First Doctor’s incarnation directly after Episode 7 of the Dalek Master Plan story, after the time travellers have managed to elude the Daleks briefly, and have celebrated Christmas. Now, still trying to evade the Daleks who are chasing them for the Taranium core which the Doctor has stolen from them, the Tardis is involved in a crash while in transit through space and time, with an experimental timeship. The crew are involved in a war of their own in their own time and on their own world, and are suspicious of the Doctor, Steven and Sara. As the experimental craft has been badly damaged, and the Tardis appears to have been destroyed in the mid-vortex crash, they are all marooned on what appears to be a tropical island. But they soon find they are not alone. And things are about to get a lot worse, before they can even begin to get better, for Steven and Sara both have their own individual battles to face.

This is a great story; it is complex and multi-dimensional; the narrative moves from travelling in the Time vortex, to survival on an island, to escaping horrors that appear to be there with them, to … well, you have to listen to the story, but believe me, it’s action-packed and with great movement in both space and time. Sara and Steven take turns in narrating the story, and it’s great to hear both Peter Purves and Jean Marsh reprising their roles, and doing it brilliantly. The emotion in their narratives is clear, and Peter Purves does a fantastic job as the Doctor’s voice as well. Their characters are given a real chance to develop and to shine as individuals, and it’s extremely well done. This is a Companion Chronicle I wholeheartedly recommend; brilliant from beginning to end. This is a great story, and perfectly executed by all concerned.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding First Doctor Companion Chronicle Adventure, 4 Aug. 2014
Timelord-007 (The Eccentric Wanderer) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Anachronauts (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
Doctor Who: The Anachronauts (Companion Chronicles)
Doctor: First Doctor
Companion(s): Steven, Sara
Main enemy: The Time Sprite
Main setting: East Berlin, 1966
Writer: Simon Guerrier
Director: Ken Bentley
Release number: 6.07
Running time 120 minutes
2xCD'S, 4 episodes

Sara Kingdom - Jean Marsh
Steven Taylor - Peter Purves

1)Reflecting on these events, Steven commented that he & Sara were fast becoming friends over the course of their travels & that their relationship might have developed further if Sara had survived.
2)Natalie Lang is the captain of the time travel test vessel Hank Morgan IV, The Doctor tells Steven & Sara that she and her crew may be the first humans to travel through time using their own technology.
3)The crew of the Hank Morgan IV are from a time far in the future when the 40th century is considered the distant past.
4)In Steven's time, human science considered tertiary star systems to be impossible.
5)Sara is under the impression that Liverpool is a planet.
6)As children, Steven & his classmates built a 5D representation of East Berlin.
7)Steven tells the Stasi that Pluto is not a planet.
8)By the 40th century, the most common form of residential home on Mars was a prefabricated model known as M9.
9)This marks is the first time that Jean Marsh (Sara Kingdom) & Peter Purves (Steven Taylor) have appeared together as their original Doctor Who characters since (Tv: The Daleks' Master Plan in 1965/1966).
10)The Doctor does not appear in the third episode.

Whats the story.
An experimental timeship smashes into the Tardis & the crews of both ships wake up on a desert island, Has the TARDIS been destroyed? & why doesn't the Doctor want to escape?

Steven Taylor & Sara Kingdom find themselves on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall in 1966, Their only way back to the Tardis is to betray the Doctor.

Timelord Thoughts.
Writer Simon Guerrier has delivers a fascinating engaging story here giving some great interesting characterisation to First Doctor companions Steven Tyler & Sara Kingdom in this wonderful polished script.

The first half of the story is like a prologue for the main adventure that gives the Doctor, Steven & Sara to get settle down after being chased around by the Daleks in this `sideways' adventure taking place between events during the Daleks Masterplan as Guerriers script Indulges in some haunting imagery & some strong written character development

The second half of the story is more a historical drama that the Companion Chronicles range excels at that forces the characters into making some really tough decisions.

There's a real sense of heightened danger to The Anachronauts as writer Simon Guerrier ramps up the tension, suspense & claustrophobia throughout these 4 episodes as Steven & Sara try & evade capture in a bid to survive that builds up to deliver a very satisfying & unforgettable conclusion.

The Companion Chronicles are usually 2 episodes at 60 minutes in length but The Anachronauts benefits the longer 2 hour running time & brings the best out of the director Ken Bentley & sound designer Toby Hryrek-Robinson, with Bentleys tight taunt paced direction & Robinsons excellent soundscapes & incidental music which enhances the atmosphere of the production which features a wonderful reading by Peter Purves & Jean Marsh reprising there characters of Steven Tyler & Sara Kingdom with ease & makes The Anachronauts a excellent addition to the Companion Chronicles range.

Timelord Rating.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time wrecked, 28 Feb. 2012
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Anachronauts (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
Latest Doctor Who companion chronicle. These are a monthly series of talking books that see actors who played a companion to the Doctor on the tv show returning to the role to read an all new adventure for their character.

They will do all the voices save one which will be read by a guest actor.

And they usually run for two parts and are complete on one cd.

But this is a bit of a format breaker because it runs for four episodes, spread over two cd's. And it features two former Doctor Who stars, who both share the narration duties. Peter Purves who played Steven opposite William Hartnell's Doctor back in the 1960's. And Jean Marsh, who played Sara Kingdom, at the same time.

The two share the narration duties, reading the bulk of an episode each. Peter Purves also voices the Doctor. Anyone who has ever listened to his previous stories in this range will know that his take on the first doctor is superb and a delight to listen to, and it's as good as ever here.

The story is set right after episode seven of Doctor Who - The Daleks' Master Plan at a point when the Doctor and his friends are on the run from the Daleks. But here, their flight is derailed when a time machine piloted by a group of humans who are engaged in a war crashes into the TARDIS. The crews of both thus find themselves stranded on a strange desert island.

The Doctor and Steven and Sara must face up to the fact that the TARDIS may be lost for good. They must find out more about the place where they are. And they have to worry as to whether the human time travellers from the other ship can be trusted.

That's just the start of their problems, though, because fate has another twist in store for Steven and Sara, who then find themselves in even deeper trouble, and face a desperate fight to stay alive.

Each episode of this is over thirty minutes long. Initially the style of the story does take a little bit of getting used to, because only the Doctor and Steven and Sara are voiced for the bulk of it. The other characters all speak in recorded dialogue. Nevertheless, there's a nice lot of intrigue to the first part. And showing it all from the point of view of Steven and Sara does allow for some moments that make the Doctor superbly enigmatic. As he should be.

In part two it does suddenly seem that you're waiting for something major to happen. And then right at the end it does, with some explanations that make sense of what has gone before. And send the story off in a different direction.

This different direction does use Steven well, because it remembers the original idea for his character. A man of the future, lost and struggling to survive in the primitive and distant past. There are no science fictional elements in part three at all, but it's a good strong historical drama and very memorable with it.

Part four starts as more of the same, then gets a little weird as some science fiction does creep in. Jean Marsh really gives her all as the episode develops as Sara is forced into some very emotional moments. Steven by contrast is brilliantly restrained and underplayed at these points.

And then there are more explanations for you. Which pull the whole thing together. Will make you think about everything you've heard so far differently. And allow for a memorable resolution.

The story does just about justify it's double length. And whilst it doesn't quite rate five stars it is a clever script with some excellent performances and it's well worth a listen.

A trailer for the next release in this range can be found after part four on disc two.

And there's roughly ten minutes of entertaining chat with cast and crew right after that.
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The Anachronauts (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles)
The Anachronauts (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) by Simon Guerrier (Audio CD - 31 Jan. 2012)
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