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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What has got into that boy?
Welcome to London at the dawn of the eighteenth century, where young men of varied character are disappearing, while blackguards and Phatasmagoria roam, frightening the unwary. Amidst this, the Fifth Doctor and Turlough pick their way through an intriguing plot...

Gatiss has written a solid adventure, richly textured with atmosphere and character, both of which...
Published 12 months ago by P. Kennard

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3.0 out of 5 stars It's Worth a One Time Listen
I'm currently on a mission to listen to all of the Big Finish audio plays, and my journey has brought me to the second story in the monthly series, Phantasmagoria.

This story, set in 1703 is a little hard to follow, with a lot of the cast and characters speaking in olde English making you concentrate even more on the dialogue then you usually would have to. The...
Published 11 months ago by Ash


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What has got into that boy?, 2 Sep 2013
By 
P. Kennard (Worcestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Phantasmagoria (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Welcome to London at the dawn of the eighteenth century, where young men of varied character are disappearing, while blackguards and Phatasmagoria roam, frightening the unwary. Amidst this, the Fifth Doctor and Turlough pick their way through an intriguing plot...

Gatiss has written a solid adventure, richly textured with atmosphere and character, both of which are given plenty of time to develop before the story starts to bite. We are introduced to the various players in this mystery expertly and satisfyingly, the sketchiness of some relevant to the plot. The Doctor himself seems to be a comfortable portrayal, Peter Davison giving a slightly more mature performance than on screen, while Turlough doesn't seem to quite fit. His character is largely there, but some of his more striking elements, such as his sense of self-preservation, seem to have been played down or ignored, presumably to serve the plot, which requires more of him than you would have expected. It actually feels a little as though the script has been tweaked to allow for actor availability rather than written specifically for him.
Supporting characters fare somewhat better, a sort of proto-Jago and Litefoot being the main support: a man of eloquence but dubious character working with Turlough, while a doctor with a penchant for the occult providing support and clues to the Doctor. The actors get themselves round the occasionally prosaic language admirably, using horrendously obscure terms on occasions, but thankfully in a context that generally allows you make make sense of them.

In the end, script, cast and production all largely gel, producing a solid, if slightly unremarkable adventure that's worth a listen, if only to enjoy Mark Gatiss' occasional quirky use of language.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Visitation Revisited, 8 Aug 2004
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This review is from: Phantasmagoria (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
With the brand new television production imminent, it's nice to get a flavour of Mark Gatiss' writing style for Doctor Who. Famous for the BBC comedy series 'The League of Gentlemen', Gatiss has written for the new series as well as for these Big Finish audio CDs
On the whole, it's a strong story, set in London in the early 1700's, it has echoes of The Visitation, even down to a character who sounds very much like Richard Mace.
Peter Davison gives a solid performance, but he's sounding old (either that or he had a bit of a cold that day). Mark Strickson didn't sound anything like the Turlough I remember. He's far too nice and helpful in this story.
Production of this story has been made to emulate the television show as closely as possible, with 4 x 25 minute episodes, cliffhangers and visual effects (which are much better on audio!)
Overall; excellent, and I can't wait to see what Mark Gatiss come up with for the new TV show.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Phantasmagoria - A welcome revisitation for 5 and Turlough, 24 Feb 2012
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Phantasmagoria (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
This is the second release from Big Finish in their range of audio only adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. Starring Peter Davison as Five, Mark Strickson as Turlough and from the pen of Mark Gatiss, this is a cracking adventure that really captures the feel of the old TV adventures, while subtly updating and making use of the fact that on audio the visual effects are so much easier to realise. There are four episodes, roughly 25 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some notes from the author.

Gatiss has created a script that seems to owe a lot to The Visitation. Set in 1702, the Doctor and Turlough find themselves in London where there are strange disappearances. It is son appararent that there is an alien force at work. The Doctor has to contend with demons, gentlemen's clubs, mysterious card games, a highwayman who is not all he seems and an alien presence bent on destroying London. There is plenty of atmosphere, especially from the rich cast of early 18th century gentleman, played by a talented cast who ham it up to the rafters. Things soon get dark and a little creepy, and in the realisation of the alien space ship, the benefits of audio rather than low budget TV soon become clear. The imagery that Gatiss and the cast draw in the mind's eye really sends a shiver down my spine.

Davison and Strickson step right back into their roles as though they had never been away, and as I said, this really fits in with the old series, with the characterisation of each fitting in well with how the characters had developed during the TV days and the gap between `Resurrection of the Daleks' and `Planet of Fire' during which I think this story is set. An excellent job from all concerned, 4 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Phantasm Card Games Haunt The Fifth Doctor & Turlough, 1 Jun 2014
By 
Timelord007 (The Tardis) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Phantasmagoria (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
CD Info.
2xCD.
Running time 100 minutes approx.

Extras.
Trailers of forthcoming releases.

Trivia.
1)Quincy Flowers is played by comedian David Walliams.
2)Writer Mark Gatiss features as Jasper Jeake in this story.
3)Voice of the Daleks/Cybermen/Ice Warriors Nicholas Briggs features as Henry Gaunt.
4)This was the second Big Finish audio adventure released on 4th October 1999 on CD & Cassette.

Plot Synopsis.
The Fifth Doctor & Turlough investigate the mysterious goings on at the Diabola Club in London 1702 were card players are suddenly disappearing after losing at cards against Sir Nikolas Valentine who seemingly always has a winning hand.

Can the Doctor & Turlough discover who is the mysterious Nikolas Valentine? & why does he were gloves to play cards? & what is he really up to?.

As the stakes are raised so high the Doctor needs to deal out a winning hand against Valentine as the Timelords fate hangs in the balance.

Timelord Thoughts.
Considering Big Finish had just started these audio adventures featuring classic Doctor's in new audio adventure format, Phantasmagoria is for the most part a decent Fifth Doctor adventure.

Writer Mark Gatiss who has also written for the tv series delivers a intriguing storyline on card players seemingly going missing after losing to a Sir Nikolas Valentine, Gatiss keeps the pace flowing throughout keeping the listener intrigued & engaged in the storyline which features some great performances by the guest cast of David Walliams as Quincy Flowers who's character is tailor made for Walliams eccentric humour while David Ryall is excellent as Sir Nikolas Valentine who adds an enigmatic presence to his character.

Peter Davison is on fine form returning as the Fifth Doctor it's like he's never been away slipping comfortably back into the role & giving a more seasoned performance here as the Timelord gets involved in the mysterious going on of this adventure.

Mark Strickson as Turlough delivers an edginess to the character that showcases Turlough characteristics far better than it did in the tv series which is a credit to Gatiss writing.

The only minor gripe is the timing with some of the episode's which are shorter than several other audio adventures this runs to around 89 minutes + 11 minutes of trailers but I assume this is due to Big Finish ironing out the teething troubles of being a relatively new production.

Overall a decent paced entertaining story with great performances & a intriguing script by Mark Gatiss that delivers a superb mysterious audio adventure.

Timelord Rating.
8/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Phantasmagoria, 11 Dec 2009
By 
R. Thomas "unreadable" (S Wales) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Phantasmagoria (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
This story is by no means my favourite, but it comes pretty close. There is only one way to describe this story, I seriously believe it is impossible not to enjoy this story. Everything in this production comes across well and there are no glitches at all or anything else that comes across bad. Davison and Strickson go on to show what we already knew from Planet of Fire, that they could have been one of the shows best double acts if things had turned out differently. Turlough manages to bring an edge to this story that no other companion could. The Doctor is just pure fantastic in this, forget about Davison saying he had trouble recapturing The Doctor, he is perfect here. Other things to look out for are a few great killer one liners, Jasper Jeake, great twists and fantastic cliff hangers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Phantastic!, 16 April 2009
Despite listening to this on a creaky old cassette, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this story; as the second Big Finish audio drama it gets them off to a very strong start. It would be nice to see Mark Strickson (TV's Turlough) in more audio stories as he works well with The Fifth Doctor. The historical setting is great fun (we need more Eighteenth Century ones!) and the duplicitous characters that the time travellers meet make for a great story. Hard to get hold of (well you might still find it on CD) but well worth it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's Worth a One Time Listen, 20 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Phantasmagoria (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
I'm currently on a mission to listen to all of the Big Finish audio plays, and my journey has brought me to the second story in the monthly series, Phantasmagoria.

This story, set in 1703 is a little hard to follow, with a lot of the cast and characters speaking in olde English making you concentrate even more on the dialogue then you usually would have to. The first two episodes are very slow but it does pick up slightly in the second half.

On the cast, I'd say Peter Davison was on top form as The Doctor but Mark Strickson was unrecognisable and flat as Turlough. The eagle eared listeners out there will recognise David Walliams lending his brilliant voice talents to two of the characters (Flowers and Cotton).

Overall, it's worth a listen. If I wasn't so anal about listening to every audio play in order I probably would have skipped this one if I'd already heard it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "What Phantasmagoria is this?", 11 April 2006
By 
M. Wilberforce "mwilberforce" (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Phantasmagoria (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
"The TARDIS takes the Doctor and Turlough to the London of 1702 where a mysterious highwayman roams the streets, a local occultist has made contact with the dead and gentlemen of fashion are disappearing, only to find themselves in a chamber whose walls weep blood...
"The time-travellers become enmeshed in the hideous plans of Sir Nikolas Valentine, a gambler at the mysterious Diabola Club who always seems to have a winning hand..."
The second Big Finish Audio Adventure, and the first to feature Peter Davison in the leading role (aided by Mark Strickson as Turlough), gets the series off to a further strong start. Written by Mark Gatiss, the story borrows somewhat from both The Visitation and Ghost Light, but works out remarkably well and, I would say, is better than The Unquiet Dead, Gatiss' episode of the new TV series with Christopher Eccleston.
The story is populated by a variety of well-voiced characters, with particular credit going to David Ryall as the smooth and enigmatic Sir Nikolas Valentine and an unrecognisable turn by Gatiss himself as Jasper Jeake (the League of Gentlemen voice skills working in his favour there). Davison and Strickson are both immediately recognisable, although both are sounding older.
The story is well written and the cliff hangers reasonably done, although the first episode gets things off to a confusing start, with a wide range of unrelated characters introduced at an early stage (in the absense of visual information, telling these characters apart at first is tricky). The story soon warms up over episodes two and three, however, and comes to a good conclusion in episode four, by which time everything has pretty much fallen into place.
It's fun to hear the Fifth Doctor and Turlough once again. Both are also largely on character; Turlough is perhaps more pleasant and helpful than he was on the TV series, but still has that slight air of self-centredness that his character has always carried.
On the whole, a strong story that bodes well for the rest of the series.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not so Phantas-tic, 19 Aug 2009
By 
Amazon Customer "J-P" (Warwick United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Phantasmagoria (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Continuing my odyssey to listen to, and review, all of the BF audio's I moved onto number 2.
This I felt was an average and unspectacular, albeit engaging, adventure. The doctor does not really get involved integrally in the events until part 4 as events carry on about him with the Doctor stepping in late in the day to beat the baddie.
The plot also fell away as what began intriguingly became a humdrum plot regarding a nasty alien war criminal being pursued by other aliens wanting to bring him to justice (a plot done better (and more succinctly)in the McCoy story arc in Sirens of Time. Also, The Turlough here is unrecognisable from the TV series.
There is a good cliff hanger at the end of part 3, although even this is wasted in part 4 as it turns out not to be a threat at all but an ally.
An enjoyable,if lightweight, romp through an admittedly well realised historical setting.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phantastic!, 16 April 2009
This review is from: Phantasmagoria (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
First I have to take issue with M Wilberforce's dissing of The Unquiet Dead! A great story and no real fan (oooo controversial) could fail to see its strengths. Anyway, that done I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this story; I listened to it on tape first and as the second Big Finish audio drama it gets them off to a very strong start. It would be nice to see Mark Strickson (TV's Turlough) in more audio stories as he works well with The Fifth Doctor. The historical setting is great fun (we need more Eighteenth Century ones!) and the duplicitous characters that the time travellers meet make for a great story. Hard to get hold of but well worth it.
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Phantasmagoria (Doctor Who)
Phantasmagoria (Doctor Who) by Mark Gatiss (Audio CD - 30 Oct 1999)
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