on 12 March 2010
Story #1, "The Stuff of Nightmares", was entertaining but a bit full of exposition and never really felt scary. With this second story however the pace changes and the mood darkens.
Set in an English seaside town in the 1920s the plot concerns a pair of 'enchanted ballet slippers', except that, as is usual in Doctor Who, the enchantment turns out to have a 'scientific' explanation (involving power-hungry aliens). The slippers are on exhibition in the town's museum, a creepily deserted place; and we arrive as they prepare to claim their next victim.
Great stuff, reminiscent of the Philip Hinchcliffe era and wonderfully voiced by Tom Baker and the supporting cast. Tightly plotted and genuinely suspenseful.
By the end of the story we also understand more about the nefarious 'Hornets' and their evil plan.
The Hornet's Nest Part 2, The Dead Shoes - Will the Doctor Dance to the Hornet's tune?
Released in 2009, this is the second part of a five part story that saw the return of Tom Baker to the role of the Fourth Doctor. It is part of a story arc, and can probably be listened to in isolation but I would advise listening to Stuff of Nightmares first. It is a single hour long episode on a single disc, with some well realised artwork on the inlay.
Following the events of Stuff of Nightmares, the Doctor and Mike Yates are trapped in the cellar at Nest Cottage for the night while the murderous menagerie of possessed taxidermical terrors roams the rest of the building. The Doctor uses the opportunity to fill Mike in on his other encounters with the Hornets. His tale takes him to Cromer in the 1930's, where the dnacer Ernestina Stubbs has an unhealthy fascination wit a pair of old ballet shoes (complete with the owners feet) in the local museum. Strange things start to happen to her after she steals the shoes, and she and the Doctor are thrown into a thrilling adventure as they come up against the museum owner, who is a lot more than she seems.
The tale is largely narrated by Baker, with a few lines from other cast members. It's more than a simple audiobook, but not quite a full production. It's an effective style and allows us to glory in Bakers orotund tones as he slips right back into the role. The story itself is pretty decent, with thrills, spills and chills along the way, with the odd moment of humour. A good listen, 4 stars.
This story, the second in the Hornet's Nest series, follows on well from the first story, The Stuff of Nightmares.
The story would not stand well on its own, but follow on nicely as a second instalment, with background becoming clearer on Mrs Wibbsey, and the link between Percy Noggins and the insects making a bit more of a linear transition. As the Doctor moves back in time the hornets are moving forwards - should make for an interesting meeting point at some stage in this series!
Tom Baker is well in form in this story, with his wonderful tones ringing out the story; you feel as if you are there in the Nest with him and Mike Yates as he tells the story of the Dead Shoes ... and the feet still in them.
Can't wait for the next one! I can feel the story building up to something really spectacular and who better than Tom Baker to spin this gothic yarn in his own inimitable way.
on 2 January 2011
After the initial story's slightly restrained re-introduction of the Fourth Doctor as played by Tom Baker, part 2 really gets the ball rolling. The storyline is indeed extremely macabre, but this simply echoes the Gothic feel of Baker's mid-period TV stories, and the creepy and doom-laden atmosphere only enhances his rich and booming delivery of a host of classic lines. Baker and writer Paul Magrs are both clearly at the top of their games, and the supporting cast (including a sadly sidelined Richard Franklin) are great value too. A superb installment in a great series - roll on part 3!
on 17 December 2009
Firstly this Edition of the umbrella story 'Hornet's Nest' is part two in a five part fantasmagorical, baroque, enthralling, grotesque adventures featuring the Fourth Doctor. As colourful, funny and quirky as Tom Baker's 7 year run was, one gets the impression that these audio adventures are exactly as they should have been had Tom Baker had 100% creative input into the show. Which is to say that although his TV stories were always the best, has Hornet's Nest been made for TV the ratings would have shot through the roof as nobody in Britain would have been watching anything else.
The first installment 'Stuff of Nightmares' was a fantastic beginning if one is a fan of the weird, wacky and wonderful but this second adventure is where the dirt and grime of the story begin to appear. If you are interested in curiosities, the bizarre and the grotesque then allow Tom Baker and the narrative of these stories take you to a 'Palace of Curios' in the town of Cromer 1932 and encounter the Dead Shoes!
on 2 October 2009
The disc starts with a helpful "The story so far. . ." recap before launching into an intriguing, (and just plain batty), tale of dancers, dolls' houses, piers, hornets and Tom Baker's Doctor at an unrestrained best.
The 'Hornet's Nest' series got off to a poor start as they were advertised as plays; they are not. They are effectively multi-voiced talking books, far more reminiscent of a Sherlock Holmes story where the Doctor (Tom Baker) narrates a tale to Cpt Mike Yates, (the excellent and highly welcome Richard Franklin); in this episode they are in holed up in the cellar of the Doctor's cottage whilst upstairs. . .
I don't want to give away any details as, for me, the pleasure of having the chance to have another adventure with Tom Baker's Doctor is the whole point of these releases and I wouldn't want to spoil anyone else's enjoyment.
I will say that I highly recommend this title and suggest listening in a comfy chair with a box of violet creams and a glass of cream sherry.
Second in the new series of doctor who talking books from the bbc that feature tom baker reprising the role. This one is complete on one disc, runs for approx one hour and five minutes, and those who havent heard part one should be able to get into it easily as it's pretty much a stand alone story and there is a pre credits sequence that fills in the story so far.
Even so there are ongoing plotlines here so you may be better off following the series in order.
This is an improvement on the first, as the writing and tom baker's performance and narration get into their stride. Mike Yates barely features, only at the start and the beginning, and the rest is a story that the doctor tells him. Of a trip to cromer in 1932 following up a lead on the hornets he met in part one. He finds a strange museum with a familiar curator, and a young lady desperate to dance. Something in the musuem will help her do that. But the cost might be too high...
There are more dialogue scenes than part one had, and whilst these are stronger than the narration moments tom baker's performance in these is still pretty good. The story strives hard for sinister atmosphere and succeeds quite well, although narration rather than dramatisation means certain moments aren't quite as effective as they possibly could be.
The doctor meets several eccentric individuals and he reacts with them well. It really does feel like a fourth doctor story.
It's not a classic by any means, but it's not a bad listen and I find myself looking forward to part three, A reaction I hadn't expected after part one. So well done to this.