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4.0 out of 5 stars Clever and memorable Companion Chronicle, 30 Aug 2012
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This review is from: The Jigsaw War (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
In a good story, and Big Finish have yielded plenty of them, the Jamie character can be an absolute joy to follow, but ironically there is a real treat here (and with some other Big Finish stories) of a superb Patrick Troughton "involvement". Who better than the actor (Frazer Hines) to have played longest serving companion to impersonate Troughton's Doctor, and it is as good a personation of another actor as we will ever get with Doctor Who; far better for example than Britain's greatest actor, Derek Jacobi, impersonation of Frazer Hines in the flawed narrative reading of The Mind Robber.

The story is deliberately fragmented, so some sequences will be difficult to follow, but the first person narrative is sequential which helps.

The Jigsaw War is very good overall but not an outstanding five-star outing, that often Big Finish can muster.

Many years ago in the main Doctor Who range, Big Finish experimented with a similarly clever concept with Flip-flop (Doctor Who). This is sufficiently different, but in a similar vein, to deserve some recognition in the Big Finish annals of successful experimentation. In fairness, such extremes from conventional narrative are few and far between, but hats off to them for dabbling and producing products that one would be content to revisit.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pieces of the puzzle, 2 July 2012
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Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Jigsaw War (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
Latest Doctor Who companion chronicle. These are a range of talking books which feature an actor who played a companion to the Doctor on TV returning to the role for an all new story that hasn't appeared before in any other medium.

They usually run for two episodes of twenty five minutes each, and are complete on one single cd.

And the main actor will usually do all the narration and all the voices save for one of the latter which is done by a guest actor.

This one sees Fraser Hines return to the role of Jamie, whom he played opposite Patrick Troughton's Doctor on tv back in the 1960's.

And it experiments a little with the above mentioned format. Because rather than having any narration it's a full cast audio drama. Although the cast is just two people and the setting of the story is one single room.

Jamie finds himself in a cell at the start of the story. Under interrogation by a man called Moran who wants to know exactly who he is and why the Doctor is helping the local aliens who are being oppressed by human colonists.

But then Jamie starts jumping around in time, finding events happening out of sequence.

It quickly becomes apparent to him that in order to escape he must work out what's really going on here. And the correct order of events.

But with Moran trying to plant doubts about the Doctor in Jamie's mind, it's going to be a very tricky escape..

Fraser Hines returns to the role of Jamie as if he's never been away. And as regular listeners to these will know, he also does a superb impression of Patrick Troughton as the Doctor, which really does sound like his former co-star himself. It's just uncanny.

Guest actor Dominic Mafham is also very good as Moran, a man who remains an enigma for almost all the story and whose true motivations the listener is always in doubt about.

The bulk of this is conversations between Jamie and Moran, and it's all excellently done.

The scenes do jump all over the place and none really link, so some don't really have the impact that you might hope and don't stick in the mind initially as much as you might like.

But it is a great story for Jamie that allows the character to show that whilst he may not be as smart as his companions he's not at all stupid, and everything does come together superbly well at the end, with some very good surprise twists.

Since you could, if you wish, listen to the scenes in absolutely any order, the re-listen value of this one is very high.

It's just quite memorable enough to make it a five star release, but it's a very clever experiment and it's well worth a listen.

A trailer for the next release in this range can be found on the track after the end of part two.

And just over six minutes of entertaining interviews with cast and crew can be found on the track after that.
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The Jigsaw War (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles)
The Jigsaw War (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) by Eddie Robson (Audio CD - 31 May 2012)
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