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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ace and Hex with Lysandra and Sally
Wow! Four companions of the Seventh era! Quadruple wow!

'Black and White' is the second story of this linked White/Black TARDIS trilogy with Sylvester McCoy's Doctor. Following on directly after 'Protect and Survive', I couldn't wait to hear this four-part adventure by Matt Fitton and find out what happened as Ace and Hex meet Lysandra and Sally.

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Published 10 days ago by Tim Bradley

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Black And White - You can only get the measure of a man from the stories that are told of him
This is the hundred and sixty third release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Sylvester McCoy as Seven, Sophie Aldred as Ace and Philip Olivier as Hex. There are four episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with cliffhangers and original theme music between each. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs,...
Published 15 months ago by Victor


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ace and Hex with Lysandra and Sally, 23 Jun. 2015
This review is from: Black and White (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Wow! Four companions of the Seventh era! Quadruple wow!

'Black and White' is the second story of this linked White/Black TARDIS trilogy with Sylvester McCoy's Doctor. Following on directly after 'Protect and Survive', I couldn't wait to hear this four-part adventure by Matt Fitton and find out what happened as Ace and Hex meet Lysandra and Sally.

At the end of 'Protect and Survive', Ace and Hex ran into the Black TARDIS to find Lysandra and Sally. The first episode specifically focuses on Ace and Hex's reaction to Lysandra and Sally and why they're in the TARDIS. Apparently Lysandra and Sally have been travelling with the Doctor for a time.

This story resolves some unanswered questions in previous Seventh Doctor audios. The mystery is solved as to why the TARDIS was white from 'The Angel of Scutari' to 'Lurkers at Sunlight's Edge' and why the TARDIS was black in 'Robophobia', 'The Doomsday Quatrain' and 'House of Blue Fire'.

It turns out that the solo Seventh Doctor trilogy from 'Robopobia' to 'House of Blue Fire' took place between 'Lurkers at Sunlight's Edge' and 'Protect and Survive'. The Black TARDIS was actually grown from the White TARDIS by the Doctor, so that he can have adventures without Ace and Hex.

This story features two TARDISes. There's the White TARDIS with Ace and Hex and the Black TARDIS with Lysandra and Sally. I like the opening episode where Ace, Hex, Lysandra and Sally interact with each other as they're antagonistic; wonder where the Doctor's gone and why they're in the dark.

This story is fantastic as it heads a superb cast of companions with Sophie Aldred as Ace and Phillip Oliver as Hex with Maggie O'Neill as Captain Lysandra Aristedes and Amy Pemberton as Private Sally Morgan. It's like a Seventh Doctor box of delights for those who've listened to the Big Finish audios.

Lysandra and Sally have of course appeared in 'Doctor Who' before in previous stories. Lysandra first appeared in 'Project: Destiny' where she was a member of the Forge. Sally first appeared in 'House of Blue Fire' where she met the Doctor and was invited to join him at the end of that story.

Sylvester McCoy, like 'Protect and Survive', again barely features in this story due to working in New Zealand on 'The Hobbit' trilogy. His appearances in this story are mostly flashbacks to how he recruited Lysandra and Sally in the first place and what his involvement is in the events of this story.

There are flashback scenes interlinking previous adventures before this story. Firstly, there's a link between 'Lurkers at Sunlight's Edge' and 'Robophobia'; a link between 'Robophobia' and 'The Doomsday Quatrain' and a link between 'The Doomsday Quatrain' and 'House of Blue Fire'.

Despite distrusting each other at first, the four companions need to work together in order to find the Doctor. They split up as Ace and Lysandra travel in the Black TARDIS to Beowulf's time as a young man and Hex and Sally travel in the White TARDIS to Beowulf's time as an older man.

Sophie Aldred delivers a superb performance as Ace here. Ace doesn't like it when she sees Lysandra and Sally in the Black TARDIS together. Ace winds Lysandra up when they're together and mocks her efficient manner. I like the connection Ace makes with both young and old versions of Beowulf.

Phillip Oliver is terrific as Hex. He doesn't like it when he and the ladies are left in the dark and is angry with the Doctor. I really like it when Hex gets on well with Sally and there's flirting between them. The two work together when the White TARDIS takes them to Beowulf's time as an old man.

Maggie O'Neill is great as Lysandra. She's no longer working for the Forge and takes Sally under her wing. She comes across as a strong-willed and forthright woman taking charge. She tolerates Ace's impulsive behaviour and does some investigating of her own when finding Garundel's lair.

Amy Pemberton is lovely as Sally Morgan. I was pleased to hear Sally again following `House of Blue Fire' and it was interesting how she compares with Lysandra. Both Sally and Lysandra know each other well by this point, and she delivers the caring and compassionate side compared to Lysandra.

This story's setting of course takes place during the time of Beowulf in the Anglo-Saxon times. I'm not very familiar with the Beowulf poem and am only aware of it as the inspiration for Rohan in 'The Lord of the Rings'. But it was interesting learning about Beowulf and how it's depicted in this story.

Matt Fitton delivers an intriguing take on this Beowulf story which I enjoyed. There are two actors who play Beowulf in this story. There's Michael Rouse who plays the younger Beowulf that Ace and Lysandra meet and there's Richard Bremmer as the older Beowulf that Hex and Sally meet.

The villain is Stuart Milligan (well-known in 'The Impossible Astronaut'/'Day of the Moon') as Garundel. Garundel is a toad-like creature called an Urdodelian with an American accent. He's a dodgy character that the Doctor and companions meet who builds robots and threatens people.

At the end of the story, the four companions meet up in the Black TARDIS with the White TARDIS inside. The Doctor sends them a message and the White TARDIS turns blue again. All four companions go off inside the blue TARDIS to find the Doctor whilst the black TARDIS crumbles away.

'Black and White' has been a fantastic audio story to listen to with four companions teaming up. I wondered what was going to happen next and what they will find when they meet the Doctor again. Will he answer their and our questions? Will it be dangerous? Only one way to find out!

The title of this story refers to the White TARDIS and Black TARDIS in this story. But 'Black and White' also means the colours of chess pieces on a chessboard. In an epilogue sequence, the Doctor is playing a chess game with a deadly enemy. That can mean only one thing, can't it? Fenric!

The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Disc 1, there's a suite of incidental music to enjoy. At the end of Disc 2, there are behind-the-scenes interviews with cast and crew. These include Sylvester McCoy; Sophie Aldred; Phillip Olivier; Maggie O'Neill, Amy Pemberton and director Ken Bentley.

There's a trailer for the next story with the Doctor, Ace, Hex, Lysandra and Sally called 'Gods and Monsters'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Black and White, 18 Jun. 2015
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Black and White (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
This is the 163rd release by Big Finish in the main range of Doctor Who audio stories. The story is the second of an interlinked trilogy (following on from `Protect and Survive' and completed in `Gods and Monsters'). Once again, the Doctor is largely absent from the story, and the parts that he does appear in are sometimes retrospective. Instead this story features the companions. Ace and Hex have returned to the Tardis after their adventure in Protect and Survive, but found that there are two people already there. One of them is familiar - Captain Lysandra Aristedes. The other is Private Sally Morgan. Both of these women have been `recruited' by the Doctor to help him in his battle against the Elder Gods. But the Doctor has been careful, up to now, to keep Ace and Hex from knowing about Morgan and Aristedes, and vice versa. Why? What game is the Doctor playing? And where is he?

In an effort to find the Doctor, and to work out what's going on, the Tardis crew must travel to the land of the Danes, where legend meets truth, and reality meets fiction. What is truth, and can the Tardis crew find out what they should be doing, before it's too late for all of them - and the Doctor?

I love the story of Beowulf, and was very excited to hear Matt Fitton's take on the story, aligned with the Doctor and the Tardis crew. He has very cleverly taken the legend of Beowulf and Grendel and re-woven it in such a way that it becomes a seamless mesh of truth and fiction, and you never see the joins. Brilliantly done.

The cast in this story deserve special mention. Sophie Aldred and Philip Olivier work together wonderfully as always, along with Sylvester McCoy. Maggie O'Neill as Lysandra Aristedes and Amy Pemberton as Sally Morgan are fantastic, and play their characters to the hilt, yet perfectly matching up with what we have heard of them in previous stories (Lysandra was in `Project Valhalla', `Project Destiny' and Project Nirvana'; Sally Morgan in `House of Blue Fire' and `Project Nirvana'). But note that it wouldn't matter if you had not heard these stories before coming to this trilogy. It's not a deal breaker by any means.

The characters of the Danes and their visitors are brilliantly played: Michael Rouse as Young Beowulf and Richard Bremmer (Voldemort in `Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone') as Old Beowulf are completely in character all the way through. John Banks as Weohstan and James Hayward as Wiglaf are also perfecly cast; they sound like the characters that they play, from beginning to end. The only `off' note I found was Stuart Milligan as Garundel. Stuart Milligan is a very good actor, but I think the part of Garundel needed to have been played differently, and by a different voice. I just could not match up the voice and the way the character was played, to the visual identity of the character he was supposed to be as noted by the other characters through the story. Great stuff; I'm looking forward to the climax of the trilogy in Gods and Monsters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Black And White - You can only get the measure of a man from the stories that are told of him, 8 April 2014
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Black and White (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
This is the hundred and sixty third release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Sylvester McCoy as Seven, Sophie Aldred as Ace and Philip Olivier as Hex. There are four episodes, roughly 25-30 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.

Following the events of the excellent trilogy opener, Protect and Survive’, this adventure finds Ace, Hex, Lysandra and Sally searching for the Doctor. The ongoing thread of the black and white TARDIS’s is resolved and the presence of Sally and Lysandra explained. The four head back to the time of Beowulf, as the Doctor was studying the story when he vanished. Soon they are tangled up in the legend of Beowulf in two different time periods, two of them at the time of his defeat of Grendel and two of them at the time of his final tale. The authors give a somewhat different explanation for Beowulf’s exploits, and have a little fun with the power of words and spin doctors.

This is a tale with many good and bad points. On the plus side, Beowulf is a great character, and he lives up to the legend. The four companions have well portrayed adn interesting relationships, and the bickering between a jealous Ace and Lysandra is a bonus. On the down side, the exposition of the back story as Lysandra and Sally are introduced is clunky to saythe least, the alien threat surrounding Beowulf isn’t very well done and Garundel, whilst a good character, is totally out of place here and one feels would be better placed in a lighter tale.

A very mixed bag, not easy to get into unless you have been following the Seventh Doctor adventures since Project: Destiny, clunky, but with a great central hero (Beowulf) and some good moments for the four companions. 3 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking for a legend, 4 Sept. 2012
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Black and White (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Latest Doctor Who audio story. This one is the second in the latest trilogy of them to feature the Seventh Doctor, along with his companions Ace and Hex.

It follows directly on from the ending of the first in the trilogy Protect and Survive (Doctor Who).

Those who haven't heard that story should stop reading right now and go to the reviews of that. Because this trilogy is pulling together years worth of long running plot strands, so if you haven't heard protect and survive [plus a fair few of the Seventh Doctor stories that came before it] you will not have a hope of getting into this one.

But if you have heard those, read on.

This story runs for four episodes. Spread over two cd's.

And, as mentioned, continues the story on from the cliffhanger ending to protect and survive. Which does get a brief reprise.

It's not an easy story to review without spoilers.

The first two episodes involve the Doctor's companions trying to find him. They have some great character moments and form some interesting dynamics. Although Ace spends a lot of the story being rather jealous, which does get annoying. The scenes Hex has in these early parts though are great.

More answers as to the mysteries of the bigger storyline that's being presented here are slowly revealed - and they will make you see some earlier stories in a whole new light.

Then the hunt for the Doctor takes the companions back to Europe of long ago. On the track of Beowulf. Every story and legend have an origin. And the TARDIS crew are about to discover the surprising truth about this one.

But will they also find the Doctor?

Once in europe doing the above, this does turn into a more conventional story for a while. And with groups of characters separated and the narrative constantly jumping between them, it does demand a lot of concentration. But this plot strand is ultimately pretty good and does manage to be very moving as well. There's an interesting villain who does have one great line that should make you laugh out loud.

Once all that is resolved the bigger story moves up to another level. As more answers appear and there's a terrific cliffhanger.

But do keep listening, because there is a scene after the credits of part four. Which is even better.

As with protect and survive this gets around Sylvester Mccoy's restricted availability very well. The middle of the story isn't quite as compelling as the beginning. But it does manage to be a decent tale in it's own right and to develop the bigger story of this trilogy very nicely.

A trailer for the final part Gods and Monsters (Doctor Who) is on disc two on the track after the end of part four.

There's fourteen minutes [approx] of music from the story on the final track of disc one.

And twelve minutes [approx] of interviews with cast and crew on the final track of disc two.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent layered story, 29 Oct. 2012
By 
Tony Jones "Tony" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Black and White (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
This is the story that (almost) explains what has been happening to the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Hex for years. It explains the origin of the black TARDIS and turns the white TARDIS blue. We also cross over into the Forge / alternate companions of Lysandra and Sally Morgan.

Following the excellent Protect and Survive and leading to the remarkable Gods and Monsters this is another good piece by Matt Fitton (also wrote for Counter Measures and has a Companion Chronicle coming up).

This should be on the must listen list for any Doctor Who audio fan
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 20 Oct. 2014
By 
Mr. C. Potter (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Black and White (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Brilliant!
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Black and White (Doctor Who)
Black and White (Doctor Who) by Matt Fitton (Audio CD - 31 Aug. 2012)
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