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3.4 out of 5 stars
Doctor Who: Snake Bite
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Our top draw Dr Who audio CD sets are those featuring the big guns, e.g. Tom Baker and the awsome Mrs Wibbsey (Susan Jameson) in Demon Quest, and The Sarah Jane Adventures read by Elisabeth Sladen: The Sarah Jane CD Collection. At other times these audio CD stories seem to be read by the lady holding the cat at the rear of the shop, but at least they all have a bone fida Dr Who connection. In this case Snake Bite is read by someone far more memorable: Madame Kovarian (Frances Barber), the eye-patched arch villian who kidnapped River Song and created all sorts of mischief for Dr Who in Season 6 ('Day of the Moon' to 'A good man goes to war' & 'The Wedding of River Song'). As would be expected from the cover, it features the Eleventh Doctor, Amy Pond and Rory Williams. This story involves a failed Higgs-Boson type high energy physics experiment being conducted far in the future, which results in a tear in reality and the universe ripping into two. Probably not as bad as a crack in time, but a problem for the good Doctor none the less. Given the CD artwork and the title, chances are something nasty and snake-like is involved as well. As usual my Dr Who fan'atic teenage daughter and I enjoyed this CD audio story while travelling in the car, and we thought Frances Barber did a decent job reading it, so 4*. Sadly it's the final audio CD in the series to feature Amy Pond and Rory Williams. The single CD run time is 1h 13 mins, and it easily rips to the iPod.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Another Doctor Who talking book from the BBC. Telling an all new story for the Eleventh Doctor along with Amy and Rory.

As with most of the others in this range it's a complete story that runs for just over seventy minutes [approx], on one single cd. The only breaks in it being the usual cd chapter ones.

Minimal sleeve notes give copyright details and advertise other Eleventh Doctor audios.

This has been billed as the last one to feature Amy and Rory. And it will also be the last Eleventh Doctor one for now, given that next year's releases will involve a different Doctor each month.

This story is read by Frances Barber, who played Madame Kovarian [the woman with the eyepatch] in some of the 2011 episodes of the show.

It starts at a research facility where two scientists are experimenting with creating wormholes. The fact that the TARDIS arrives in the middle of this leaves Amy and it stranded a long long way away. In a very strange place. And the Doctor and Rory desperate to find a way to get both of them back.

Nobody is quite prepared for what else they find there. And the threat that it poses...

This is very much a story in three acts. But whereas some of this range have slightly lost pace after excellent openings, this one really does manage to keep going nicely. The changes in the story come at just the right point to keep the momentum going.

Even the though nearly all the first third is four people standing in a room talking, it's very compellingly written and the dialogue does keep you hooked.

The two main settings of the story are good science fictional creations. The place where Amy ends up being well realised through some good sound design. And what is found there being a very interesting creation.

The characterisation of the Doctor does stand out. But the two main supporting characters also have a lot of depth.

Frances Barber does a good reading, her narration getting quite involving. She never exaggerates the voices of the regulars, nor the supporting character voices that she comes up with.

The ending is a bit abrupt, but that's the only minor complaint. This is a very good listen. And one of the best in this range. This run of them finishes on a real high.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 28 January 2013
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This latest Doctor Who audiobook features the TARDIS landing in the middle of a wormhole experiment, resulting in the Doctor and Rory being trapped at one end on a giant orbiting spacestation, whilst Amy is whisked away to a planet of snake-like aliens half a galaxy away...
Scott Handcock's story is solid enough, but the essential story beats of Snake Bite are a little too stock to make this particularly memorable. It's basically your average 'aliens attempting to escape a doomed world by invading another' scenario, and the plot depends a lot on both convenience and the bad buys being really bad. Frances Barber's reading is enjoyable, complete with Scottish lilt for Amy, but ultimately neither of the Doctor's companions get much active input into the story, with Rory in particular seeming to do nothing than ask the occasional 'whats that Doctor?' line.
By no mean bad, this is a straightforward but ultimately unspectacular Doctor Who runaround. Possibly the best (and most amusing) side of the play is hidden in the backstory (MILD SPOILER WARNING), as the listener tries to work out quite how a couple managed to become man and wife without one of them realising that the other is actually an giant alien cobra wearing a mask. One can't help thinking of the honeymoon without the mind boggling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Amid a sea of lazy audio adventures cashing in on the new TV series over the past few years, Snake Bite emerges as one of the better ones without actually standing out. There's certainly a good hook, with the TARDIS materialising in the middle of a scientific experiment that sends Amy through a wormhole to a dying planet of snake-like creatures. In leather jackets. Despite some initial attempts at misdirection, naturally there's a secret behind both the experiment and the dying planet, and just as naturally it's tearing a hole in the space that threatens to tear the universe in two, which is pretty much all in a day's work for the Doctor. And at times it feels abit like the Doctor is doing the kind of work an emergency plumber charges for by the hour: solid, professional work that stands up to short term use, but not a real labour of love that'll last much longer - for that you'll need to call in someone else. Frances Barber's reading is a bit hit-and-miss too, with too many opportunities for her to ham it up without ever quite losing it. Worth a listen for the fans but nothing that'll make converts of newcomers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Mrs Wolf is a big fan of Dr Who. She knows an awful lot about it. She owns
a Dalek made out of spongy material which threatens to exterminate you when
you press its tummy and a radio controlled model of K-9 (a source of abject
terror for our cat!) She was, therefore, as you can imagine, very excited
when this landed on the doormat.

We have listened to it together; she puffed and sighed a lot and clenched
her fists during the tense bits and I was mildly bemused (the good Doctor
was never quite my thing to be honest!) Frances Barber does a good job with
the narration but I'll admit to being a tad disappointed that she reads it
"straight" rather than put on a few silly voices. The story is as engaging
as tales about worm holes and other such stuff could possibly be and was
certainly enough to maintain Mrs Wolf's attention and interest from top to
tail. I'm afraid I dozed off a couple of times. I'm at that funny age.

A little treat for the aficionado. A duty to be endured for love by her doting husband.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 23 January 2013
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Snake Bite is a superb one hour and ten minute tale that is read very capably by Frances Barber (who played Madame Kovarian in series 6). Her voice, which is very flexible in the characterisation she gives to the voices of this story, is supported by excellent sound effects and music.

This is Doctor Who at its best - conjuring up a fantastic setting that is so much bigger in the imagination than CGI could ever make it!

Using a plot that includes a `Ringworld' type space station, wormholes and a race bent on conquest, the story is developed rapidly into a tense saga that ends horribly for the new enemy.

The new enemy is well developed and described to the point that any listener will appreciate the evil and its outworking.

I was totally caught up by the story and enjoyed it immensely. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys `Who' and has some drive-time to while-away or the opportunity to sit down and enjoy this single CD at home.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 15 May 2013
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
There is a danger that the BBC are going to over milk the Doctor Who franchise, and these CDs are a case in point. Whilst the story is probably recognisable to those of us who have been fans for thirty years, the younger audience will miss the point. Yes it has Rory and Amy in, but otherwise it is old school.

I thought it was OK, but my teenage daughter who joined at Ecclestone didn't think that much of it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 27 January 2013
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I didn't read any of the blurb on the packaging before popping the disc in to play, and for just a few minute I thought I was in got a rare Doctor and Rory with no Amy adventure. The thought really appealed because the characters don't ever seem to spend much time in each others company, but the spell didn't last long. Anyway, the story kicks off with some mild scientific intrigue and events amble along with no particular sense of urgency or sense of threat. Even in the final moments everything feels low-key. I was left somewhat alarmed by Doctor's almost casual willingness to let a barely sketched alien species become extinct because of a single member of that race. There are few good ideas bubbling under the surface of a great many sci-fi cliches and the result is quite a bland and mildly dissatisfying outing for our favourite Timelord and his peculiarly unmoved companions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Francis Barber reads this hour-long story, in which the doctor and company are sucked into a tear in the fabric of space and time, and into an alien intrigue over extinction. The story has a decent idea behind it, and it is told efficiently, but it's not the most thrilling outing for the doctor. The aliens are decidedly old-hat, and there is too little happening to occupy the hour. The doctor is so foppish and unflustered by every turn of events, that he diffuses any sense of peril. Even so, it picks up pace in the second half hour, to a climax that concludes the plot neatly.

I do wish they wouldn't wait until the theme music has finished, rather than talking through it. The sound effects are few, and the reading could do with a bit more urgency about it. Overall, it's not bad value for money, but not a must-have, either.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Snake Bite is a decent Audio book featuring the 11th Doctor, Amy Pond and Rory.
It is read by Francis Bava who better know to Dr Who Fans as the actress who played Madame Kovarian in the 6th series of Doctor Who.

So the pedigree is good if you like.
Bava reads the story well and it is enjoyable.
Other reviewers have compared the plot to those that were typical of early Dr Who's episodes.
`The old Mad scientist that develops a new contact but it brings with it an malevolent alien presence'. Indeed I must admit to having a feeling of de ja vue. And I feel sure that it won't be just me.

BUT it is an entertaining listen for the car, is a good price and and is a good way to pass the time and that cannot be bad can it?
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