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on 26 June 2013
I first watched Doctor Who back in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and I was instantly hooked, I then discovered he original series. I now own over 100 DVDs, the Murray Gold soundtracks, the toys, the autographs, the posters, ect.

Why start off my review like that? Well, for the longest time, i've been meaning to buy the audio adventures produced by Big Finish, but I always kept putting it off. "I'll buy a CD next time, for now I need the latest special edition of Robots of Death!" However, as I was looking through Big Finish's website to see what adventures they had available that I could add to my EXTREMELY LONG wish list, I spied an audiobook, starring the sixth Doctor, Colin Baker and my all time favourite classic monsters, the Silurians! So I thought, i'm only going to continually wait some more, I might as well finally buy an audiobook and see if I like it or not.

Short answer, I did.

Long answer, this was an incredibly enjoyable adventure, it was dark, sinister, scary, thought provoking and a fun story. Not a lot of people enjoy Colin Baker's performance as the Doctor from the original series, and while I can see why, I don't think Colin is to blame. It could be down to a number of things, the director, the writer, even down to the coat (i'm sorry, it HAD to be mentioned!). Now I don't ever think there has been a Doctor to play the role poorly, I love each and every one of them, they all give their own performances that make them all unique and fantastic, it's just a shame that even though Colin had amazing moments as the Doctor, he usually habits and pieces that fell flat due to the writing or direction. However, I particularly enjoyed his performance in this adventure, it was a nice balance of seriousness to him acting like a clown (no, not another jab at his coat.). We don't get to see much of the full potential of the Sixth Doctor, but since Colin is featured in a lot of the Big Finish adventures, i'm hoping that can now be fully rectified.

Maggie Stables stars as the Doctor's companion, Evelyn Smythe. Like I said before, this is my first purchase of the Big Finish adventures and I picked an adventure that is part of the Doctor Who continuity, not just in the televised series, but now the Big Finish series now. So I was pretty confused about who exactly Evelyn was, listening, I took it that was a teacher of some sort. I didn't really know much about Evelyn, but i'll be going back to buy more CDs and hopefully learn more about her, however, I enjoyed Maggie's performance and she was enjoyable and got into the action as much as the Doctor did.

The Silurians are terrific, I was surprised that even though these are based on the ones from the 70's, this adventure features a female Silurian. Not strange now I suppose, being that the majority of the Silurians featured on the new series are female, but it's great that now the Silurian's world is no longer as small as it was back in 1970. I absolutely LOVE the classic Silruians and I loved them in this, they're incredibly dark and scary once again. The Silurian actors were great, the voices were exactly how I remembered them. Miles Richardson and George Tefler play Charles Darwin and Captain Fitzroy respectively and they did a marvellous job on their performances, especially Miles. For a second, I almost believed he was a young Darwin.

Getting near the end of my review now, I think what kept putting me off from buying one of Big Finish's products was how exactly they were going to tell their stories and whether or not they'd be good. I remember listening to David Tennant reading "Stone Rose", in hopes for some more Doctor Who action, but in the end, it was just David reading from a book. It bored me, I had no interest and I was worried that Big Finish's stories would be like that also, just Colin Baker doing a Silurian impression. But this felt like a genuine Doctor Who adventure to me, the sounds, the acting, the music, the atmosphere, it was all there. I was expecting a narrator to explain what was happening visually, but there was none, just the actors playing away and it felt real and I could see what has happening. All you need is your imagination to fill in the images and it was all there, it was amazing.

I strongly suggest any new comers to Big Finish to not be shy and buy this adventure for your collection! I am thrilled that I enjoyed this adventure so much and I'm definitely going to purchase more from Big Finish in the future...or was it the past?
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on 31 July 2014
Continuing the Sixth Doctor's revival thanks to Big Finish, this sees #6 pitting wits against the ancient reptiles, the Silurians, though over a century before he meets them in Derbyshire in his third incarnation. Instead, the story takes places on the Galapagos Islands in the mid 19th century, where fishermen go mad, jails have no prisoners and genocidal schemes that could rewrite human history are being concocted...

Like most of BF'S audios, we have a fine selection of performers here, headed up a wonderfully lively Colin Baker as the irascible Sixth, joined by Maggie Stables as his companion, the spunky professor Evelyn Smythe, and they make for a cracking team. However, the star of the show is are the Silurians, and the amazing job done to emulate their original 70s voices as opposed to the squealing from 'Warriors of the Deep'. They still have a tinge of humanity, however, and are not entirely non-sympathetic in their ideology and bitterness towards man, deftly being both intimidating yet weirdly understandble.

Indeed, Morris' script does follow in the footsteps of the original Silurian stories by Mac Hulke, but now with a rather fitting period flavour, set during Darwin's Galapagos expedition. The story effortlessly balances suspense, chills, some chuckles and even moments of genuine emotion across its four parts. What's more, the technical crew do another fine job, recreating the hub bub of the islands and its inhabitants, which contrasts nicely with the desolation and quiet of the caves. The only complaint I really have is how anachronistic it is to use the 70s Who theme to open each part instead of the synthy 80s version which would fit the Sixth better. Like this, I picture the Fourth Doctor's title sequence, and then get a little throw-offish when I then hear Colin's voice.

As for extras, unlike most BF Audios, there are no making of/interviews here, so this is strictly for the story. To cap off, 'Bloodtide' is a wonderful story. It may be a barebones release, but the story, i assure you, is anything but. From period adventure to science fiction to debates on the nature of evolution and choice, it covers a broad, and very satisfying, spectrum of cocnepts and styles to make a very fun ride.
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This is the twenty second release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Colin Baker as Six and Maggie Stables as Evelyn Smyth. There are four episodes, roughly 25-30 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 pictures of the cast and production notes.

The eternally name dropping Doctor takes Evelyn off to the Galapagos islands as a surprise to meet her hero, Charles Darwin in the crucial days as he starts to develop his theory of evolution. But not all is as it seems on the islands, as an ancient force reawakens and tries to reassert its dominion over the world it once ruled. Yes, the Silurians are back!

The Silurians were one of my favourite `monsters' as they raised such great moral questions, and there were no easy answers. Here the Doctor must prevent them destroying humanity, while fighting to preserve history by making sure Darwin manages to evolve his theories. The usual moral questions come up, and the production deals with them effectively.

Baker really shines as Six here. He and Maggie Stables really work well together, with her giving us a more mature companion able to reign in Six's ebullience and enthusiasm, and force him to be a little more considerate. Baker has dropped the arrogance of his TV persona, and now presents us with a fiercely intelligent Doctor who is full of passion and compassion, but with a more human side and more able to relate to other people. Evelyn is a character who is also intelligent and strong, witness the way she manages to discuss things with Darwin, but lets him arrive at his own conclusions without leading him or giving anything away. These are well written and well played scenes.

One of the real benefits of audio is nicely demonstrated here. The Myrka makes an appearance. While it was a total disaster on screen, on audio there are no problems with making the monsters convincing and scary. The visual effects are so much better...

All in all another cracking adventure from BF, worth every one of the 5 stars I am giving it.
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This four-part audio story with the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn Smythe mixes history with a little bit of imagination. The Doctor takes Evelyn to meet Charles Darwin on the Galagapos Islands as Charles is travelling on the Beagle. Little do they know that there are others already living there who see the whole world as theirs, not that of the "ape creatures" - yes, the Silurians are back again! This story features a small group of Silurians who are living under the caves on one of the Islands, and from there they are terrifying, and taking, villagers and visitors. They have someone in power in their command, and they are determined to take back the world. The Doctor is quick to pick up that something is wrong, but when he disappears, it's up to Evelyn to team up with Charles Darwin and see if they can sort out whatever it is that's happening.

This story, while packed with action, Silurians, and plans to rule the world, is also thought-provoking. Man's place in the Universe is questioned, and there are moral questions to be answered by many of the charcters.

A great story, and one that utilises the Doctor and Evelyn well - the character of Charles Darwin is portrayed well, and sympathetically. A really great historical Doctor Who with a twist.
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on 30 August 2004
To grab the attention to those Who fans that did not like the Fifth Doctor's Warriors of the Deep - this is so much better! The Silurians featured in this adventure sound much more like the 1970s creatures and the whole plot seems to be a homage to that original story. Its not perfect, by any means - the Myrkha makes an appearance and the plot is very much identical to the original story (all about a bacteria that will destroy the human race, the tide of blood), but the characters allow this story to shine. The Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) is fantastic, Evelyn (Maggie Stables) is good (but i still can't get to grips with a companion who says 'i'm getting too old for this', as all the others have been young and headstrong), and Charles Darwin is convincing. His battle to believe in Eden and the creation theory despite his discoveries are truly believable and you really root for him.
The Silurian voices, while not perfect, are acceptable and the actual characters of Tulok and his companions are quite dimensional, as opposed to flat bad guys (again, reminiscent of Malcolm Hulke's original classic). It only gets three stars because its not as good as it should have been (its plot doesn't sparkle with originality or indeed inventiveness) but nevertheless the tangle with Charles Darwin is an area of history where the Doctor's involvement is welcomed. Further complaint - the Dr Who theme on offer here is Jon Pertwee's. No problems, really, but shouldn't it be Colin's? It was great!
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on 25 January 2015
Good Silurian story from Doctor Who and Colin Baker gets better as the Doctor in these Audio drama's. alot better than when he played the Doctor on TV. i like the older Silurians more than the new one's that are in Doctor Who now. This story also explains why the Silurians went into hibernation which has not been explained before. Fans of Doctor Who should Love it.
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on 25 September 2007
The prehistoric Earth is dying. Thunderclouds roll across the skies, cloaking the land in darkness. The seas crash and boil as the rain turns to acid. The remnants of the Silurian race place themselves in suspended animation, deep below the surface. One day they will awaken and reclaim their world...
The TARDIS has landed on the Galapagos Islands, a desolate outcrop of rocks shrouded in mist and fear. In the settlement of Baquerizo Moreno, there are rumours that prisoners have been mysteriously disappearing from the gaolhouse. A fisherman has been driven insane by something he saw in the caves. And the Doctor and Evelyn are not the only new arrivals; there is also a young natural philosopher by the name of Charles Darwin...
In this, the 22nd Big Finish Doctor Who story, a histrionic tone is set from the outset by Jez Fielder & Jane Goddard who ham it up for all they're worth as persecuted brother and sister: "The Deveels, the Deveeels, zey are cumeeeeng!" whilst Julian Harries' toe-curlingly camp Governor Lawson seems like an escapee from a Carry-on film.
Meanwhile, Colin Baker reprises his TV role efficiently yet again and The Silurians are a welcome nod to the classic series. More negatively, Evelyn Smythe again makes for an irritating and intrusive companion - what next - Clive Dunn in the TARDIS, exclaiming "those Daleks don't like it up `em Mr Mainwaring!"
Other positives include gruesome sound-effects although The lead Silurian sounds a bit too much like Davros.
Overall a decent installment but nothing that's going to set the world alight...
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on 31 May 2006
"The prehistoric Earth is dying. Thunderclouds roll across the skies, cloaking the land in darkness. The seas crash and boil as the rain turns to acid. The remnants of the Silurian race place themselves in suspended animation, deep below the surface. One day they will awaken and reclaim their world...

"The TARDIS has landed on the Galapagos Islands, a desolate outcrop of rocks shrouded in mist and fear.

"In the settlement of Baquerizo Moreno, there are rumours that prisoners have been mysteriously disappearing from the gaolhouse. A fisherman has been driven insane by something he saw in the caves. And the Doctor and Evelyn are not the only new arrivals; there is also a young natural philosopher by the name of Charles Darwin..."

"Bloodtide", by novice writer Jonathan Morris, is one of those stories that features the return of a classic "Who" monster - this time, the reptilian Silurians. And as usual, the dastardly Silurians are seeking to rid the planet Earth of its infestation of "ape creatures". However, by setting the serial on the exotic Galapagos Islands and rewinding the clock to the 19th Century, Morris undercuts the "Silurians" / "Sea Devils" / "Warriors of the Deep" cliché and makes the story more than different enough to be interesting.

The performances in Bloodtide are generally excellent, but as is often the case, the Doctor is separated from his companion for much of the story (a shame, as the Doctor and Evelyn always have a good repartie), and instead the Doctor acquires a companion substitute in the form of terrified Baquerizo Moreno native Greta. However, herein lies the major weakness of the first two episodes: actress Jane Goddard gives her one-shot character the most shrill, overblown one-shot performance imaginable. As I was listening to the first two episodes on the bus with the volume turned up high, I honestly felt that my eardrums were about to burst. Thankfully, Greta gets polished off at an early stage of episode three (although not in the manner you might expect), leaving us free to enjoy the rest of the story and the machinations of the Silurians. Her short-lived brother Emilio, meanwhile, manages better even if he does tend to slip back into actor Jez Fielder's regional British accent at the critical moment!

The B-story is Charles Darwin and the voyage of discovery that leads to the formation of his theory of evolution. Aided by Evelyn, he mulls over the implications of the Silurians and the subtle variations in more familiar species from island to island in a pretty convincing way. However, his final affirmation of his theories is badly handled, and leaves the story open to criticism by some listeners who might find the content offensive. Thankfully the most openly atheistic scene was cut prior to the recording of the story.

Bloodtide is a good Silurian story with a unique setting. It's not without its weaknesses - the grating Greta for instance, and the fact that it sometimes reads a bit like a science lesson - but at least the majority of listeners should at least be grown up enough to take with the atheist content either at face value or with a pinch of salt, whichever is their choice. Oh, and the cover art is excellent!
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