Customer Review

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is there a Doctor in the Horse, 27 Jan 2001
By A Customer
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This review is from: Doctor Who: The Myth Makers [1965](Original BBC Television Soundtrack) (Audio CD)
The prospect of spending an hour and a half with Doctor Who, especially the Hartnell black and white vintage, and not even on television, but some off-air recording of a 'junked' story, tarted up by a bit of narration, can't fill many people's hearts with excitement. So, I assume, this release is meant for the die-hard fans. The same people who dismiss this, and the writer's other contribution to the programme, The Gunfighters, as among the worst stories ever in the series, and you can imagine the stiff competition. So, who is this meant to appeal to? Anyone with a sense of fun and an appreciation of clever dialogue. Set during the Trojan War, the story rattles along with a casual disregard for historical, or literary, accuracy and is all the better for it. The events are restructured to fit the Doctor Who world in the same way that Shakespeare was more interested in telling a good story, than give a history lesson. Featuring a line up of stage and screen stars, notably Max Adrian as King Priam and Francis de Wolff as Agamemnon, this is still Hartnell's show. Seeming to delight in the freedom from technobabble and the historical stories usual forced gravitas, he puts in a comedy performance the right side of tongue-in-cheek and send-up, something that future Doctors could have done well to echo. The story is by no means light, especially the more down-beat final episode, and it contains a fair amount of Doctor Who 'business', namely the departure of a long-standing companion. Not being made for an audio-medium, however wordy the script, can make listening to an adaptation of this sort hard work. Although cleaned up magnificently, these amateur mono recordings are of poorer quality than would normally be expected of a professional product. Still, due praise should be given to the fan who had the foresight to record it way back in 1965. And boos and hisses to the BBC for not recognising the programmes significance. This is never going to appeal to anyone but a Who-fan or TV nostagist but it does deserve a better reputation even amongst that scene. And a wider appreciation too.
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