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Customer Review

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, macabre, bonkers and brilliant, 12 Oct. 2009
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This review is from: Doctor Who Hornets' Nest 2: The Dead Shoes (BBC Audio) (Audio CD)
The second installment of Tom Baker's 5 story return as the Doctor is a step up in quality from the first episode, which itself was hugely enjoyable, although it did feel a little awkward in places and Baker took a while to settle back into a role that he hadn't played properly for nearly 30 years. Here, however, he sounds much more like the Doctor we know, and throws himself whole-heartedly into the action. Baker really sounds like he's enjoying himself here, and gives a wonderful performance, much more like the fourth Doctor, and less like the Tom Baker, Little Britain narrator he often came across as in the first story. It helps greatly that the story itself is a much better one, with more great characters than part one had, a great setting, excellent performances from the other actors, and a fantastically strange, bizarre and macabre storyline. It also benefits from giving the Doctor a companion of sorts for this story, as Baker's Doctor has someone to bounce off like he did in the old series, the character just doesn't work very well when he's on his own. Also, the balance between spoken narration and audio drama is more even in this installment, about 50% narration and 50% audio drama.
Richard Franklin's Mike Yates has, unfortunately, very little to do here, appearing just at the beginning and at the end, although this does help as there is no intrusions throughout the story, as there was in the first part, with the Doctor breaking off mid way through his 'tale' to speak with him.
I enjoyed the first story, but I found this one to be better by far. Baker is clearly having a whale of a time and really has found his feet in the role again after a slightly shaky start, and the bigger story arc is starting to become more clear and intriguing, as plot threads start to become more apparent.
The Dead Shoes is one of the best Dr Who audio dramas I've heard for some time, and I can't wait for the next chapter....The Circus of Doom! Wonderful stuff.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 Oct 2009 12:52:47 BDT
Mike says:
Wonderful review. Wasn't this installment a treat? Can't wait for episode 3!

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Oct 2009 16:02:24 GMT
M Evans says:
Thank you. I think the best way to appreciate this series is to come to them without any pre-conceptions, you just need a love of Dr Who in general and Tom Baker in particular. So far the first 2 installments have a real timeless quality to them, and I think in years to come they will have aged a lot better than the majority of the Big Finish audios.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Nov 2009 21:30:42 GMT
Mike says:
I entirely agree with your first comment M evans and share your enthusiasm. Classic who fans have never had it so good! What we are winessing here is a galifreyan comet blazing brightly! Tom Baker has produced what none of us ever dreamed of - he has once again time-tripped! Nearly 30 years later he is still as entertaining as ever. Like many others, as a child I spent nights secretly listening to my audio cassette of "Genesis of the daleks" after the lights went off. Being able to now listen to new Tom Baker stories is just monumental - and now we can leave the lights on! After Tom's autobiography - wherein he looks after his own tombstone - I honestly thought he'd lost his tardis key! With regards to Big Finish - forget not that they are classic Fandom's heros and possibly the reason why who came back. They kept the tardis light blinking during the dark ages of post-Grade-ism and have enabled 5th doctor fans like myself (don't tell Tom baker, please!) to escape into never-never land on Friday nights wherein terribly british good manners from the 80's can still thwart the evils of the universe. Big finish 5th doctor adventures are for 90% of the tales not only timeless but essential "viewing". Big finish have defined and allowed the 5th doctor to develop into the Christo-Galifreyan hero he was longing to develop into. Long live Big finish, long live Tom Baker, and may the wasps be tamed before the end of volume 5!
People reading this discussion might want to refer to the Amazon Volume 1 review "Magnificent genre spoof post-John Culshaw, 13 Sep 2009".
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