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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fair But Weakest Of The Trilogy, 7 Mar 2014
timelord007 (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Excelis Dawns (Doctor Who - Excelis) (Audio CD)
CD Info.
2xCd of a 2 episode story, Running time 100 minutes approx.

1)Anthony Stewart Head featured in Tenth Doctor story School Reunion but is better known for his roles in Buffy The Vampire Slayer & Merlin.
2)Katy Manning played Jo Grant alongside Third Doctor in three seasons of Doctor Who.
3)The Doctor mentions Adrics death in this audio adventure.
4)First Appearance by the character of Iris Wildthyme.
5)Paul Magrs also wrote Hornets, Demon & Serpent Creet mini series featuring the Fourth Doctor for AudioGo.

On the savage plant of Artaris time traveller Iris Wildthyme has gotten herself in trouble & locked up in a Nunnery.

Here she meets the Fifth Doctor who along with the brutal warlord Lord Grayvorn reluctantly travel with Iris in her double decker bus through murky swamps & creepy forests while trying to avoid flesh eating Zombies along the way in there quest to locate a holy relic of unfathomable value & questionable pedigree.

And just what is the Mother Superiors role in these event's.

This story is the start of a new linking trilogy featuring a different incarnation of the Doctor in each of the trilogys parts.

This opening called Excelis Dawn features Peter Davison's Fifth Doctor who play's the part superbly, Sadly Davison is hampered by a poor script by writer Paul Magrs.

This story should've been far better paced & added a lot more urgency & tension as the travellers seem very lacklustre in there quest & the character of Lord Grayvorn isn't well established enough for my liking as writer Paul Magrs focus seems to be on writing humour for his creation of his new character Iris Wildthyme.

The character of Iris is played by Third Doctor companion Katy Manning who has reprised her character of Jo Grant in many Companion Chronicles superbly over the year's.

But the character she play's here Iris Wilsthyme is a very irritating silly character that drags the tone of the story into a farical adventure at times & one wishes she could be omitted from the story would've maybe benefited the actual tone of the story somewhat.

The battle with the zombies is poor as again there no panic, Fear or tension created by the writer everything seems so lacklustre making the story seem quite pointless in it's actual quest.

The play has a few decent moment's but isn't the greatest of starts for this new trilogy, Thankfully parts 2 & 3 are a vast improvement.

A uninspired audio adventure & the Fifth Doctor deserved far better than this shabby effort.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mildly mystical, nice but non-challenging nonsense, 5 Aug 2006
M. Wilberforce "mwilberforce" (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Excelis Dawns (Doctor Who - Excelis) (Audio CD)
"That terrible old reprobate and transdimensional adventuress Iris Wildthyme has gone and locked herself up in a nunnery on the savage world of Artaris.

"Here she is discovered by the Doctor and the reasonably brutal warlord Grayvorn. Together - with a peculiar nun they pick up en route - they must travel the forests and swamps of this ghastly world in Iris' double decker bus in order to tussle - to the death - with a horde of flesh-eating zombies for a mysterious and holy relic of unfathomable value and questionable pedigree.

"But what is the Mother Superior's part in all this?"

"Excelis Dawns", written by Paul Magrs with tongue lodged most definitely in cheek, begins a trilogy of three feature length plays starring respectively Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy that were released during Big Finish's second Paul McGann "season" in order to give fans of the earlier Doctors something to look forward to. In all three stories the Doctor is companionless, this story being set during the "gap" in episode four of "Frontios" during which the Doctor briefly leaves Turlough behind, with Tegan left shut up in the TARDIS for the duration of the story. "Excelis Dawns" is in two parts over two CDs rather than the one part format of "Excelis Rising" and "Excelis Decays", but one suspects that this is primarily due to its length and that the play should really be listened to in one go. Thankfully, one can quite comfortably do either.

"Excelis Dawns" marks the audio debut of renegade time lady Iris Wildthyme, originally Magrs' creation for BBC Books, and Big Finish cast Third Doctor companion Katy Manning in the role. Manning throws herself into the part with glee, sounding like a bag lady from northern England in a significant departure from her "little girl" persona of the 1970s. Peter Davison seems to enjoy the experience and special guest star Anthony Stewart Head puts in a excellent turn as the growling warlord Grayvorn, who also narrates the story and does a good job of setting the scene in an engaging monologue at the start of the story.

The story is enjoyably silly and has a good score from music man David Darlington, particularly during the narration scenes. However, "Excelis Dawns" is hardly the fastest paced or most involving piece that Big Finish have put out. Whilst quite atmospheric and refreshingly fantastical, it seldom picks itself up above average.
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Excelis Dawns (Doctor Who - Excelis)
Excelis Dawns (Doctor Who - Excelis) by Paul Magrs (Audio CD - 11 Feb 2002)
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