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The Eight Doctors???,
This review is from: The Light at the End (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
As Big Finish's celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who, `The Light at the End' could otherwise be more traditionally known as the Eight Doctors. In many ways though, it could easily be considered as a second Five Doctors. It is certainly written and performed in the same spirit as `The Five Doctors'. It has also has definite plot similarities. Both involve the Doctors being taken out of their own timelines by the evil machinations of certain dubious Timelords.
This time it is not the Fourth Doctor who ends up stuck in some type of limbo but rather the first three Doctors who are rather sidelined. Obviously it is a little different to feature the three great actors who are no longer with us, but a more than adequate job is done in covering them as best as possible. William Russell provides a very convincing First Doctor and Frazier Hines delivers yet another perfect Second Doctor. The Third Doctor has, perhaps, the smallest role and some of his lines are a little unclear on the audio.
Doctors four to eight all receive a well balanced share of the action though. The Fourth and Eighth Doctors are paired off early on. This gives them the bulk of the first quarter and their interaction is possibly the highlight of the play. Tom Baker and Paul McGann are at their most playful, witty and Doctorish. Their toying with the lead antagonist and the irritation they cause him is highly entertaining. They seem to really enjoy playing off each other.The relationship is also somewhat reminiscent of their meeting in Terrance Dicks' novel `The Eight Doctors'.
Doctors five, six and seven all spend most of the story sectioned off with their companion; Nyssa, Peri and Ace respectively. They are each given separate tasks/missions by the author giving them equal air time. They are sufficiently varied and combine well as the story is revealed. Eventually they come together in true multi-Doctor style. It comes as little surprise, especially considering the marketing, that the main villain is the Master. Geoffrey Beevers plays it more in line with a Roger Delgado interpretation than his own decayed corpse, on screen version. Somehow this seems fitting. He also seems to revel in acting opposite Tom Baker and Paul McGann. Celestial Time Agent, Straxus, who has appeared in previous Big Finish productions, also makes a significant appearance.
The multitude of Doctors and companions are fitted into the storyline quite well. Obviously for some of the companions there isn't a great deal to do as the Doctors are almost acting like their own companions (similar to what has been scene in `The Day of the Doctor'). Even so, their performances are all of a high standard and all are clearly enjoying the experience of being in this anniversary piece. Nicholas Briggs, the writer of this and the voice of many televised monsters, also gets to take part in playing the Vess.
It is a somewhat complex but still easy to follow plot that is well written and highly enjoyable. But it is the performances that really draw the listener in. Its only major drawback is that when you reach the light at the end you are left with the wish that it could have been televised.
The special edition of this is also beautifully presented in a book style format with a whole array of fan indulgent special features and even a bonus audiobook. Well worth the extra cost and a good souvenir of the anniversary.
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Initial post: 25 Jan 2014 08:16:17 GMT
Timelord - 007 says:
Great review of product.
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