Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time for games, 25 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Queen of Time (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories) (Audio CD)
Down the years, many stories have been written for Doctor Who that, for one reason or another, failed to get to the tv screen.

Now, thanks to Big Finish adapting some of them for audio, we can find what might have been.

This story features the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe. It's based on a storyline by writer Brian Hayles, best known for creating the Ice Warriors.

Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury - Jamie and Zoe on TV - both narrate and do dialogue for various characters. The narration thus jumps back and forth between them at a moment's notice, but it's something you so quickly get used to it works perfectly. As regular audio listeners will know, Frazer Hines impression of Patrick Troughton as the Doctor is superb and great to listen to.

They are joined by actress Caroline Faber who plays Hecuba. The villainess of this tale.

It runs for four parts, of twenty five to twenty seven minutes each [approx] and is spread over two discs.

The story sees the TARDIS taken out of time and into the realm of Hecuba. A beautiful and immortal woman. She lives in a very strange realm with lots of clocks. She has two very strange creatures as servants. And she makes the Doctor and his friends play games. Most of which are related to time.

Can they escape her realm before their time - literally - runs out?

Hecuba is a very good foe, superbly brought to life by Caroline Faber. The sleeve notes describe her as being like a faded old silent movie star, and that approach works very well.

The length of the episodes means the pacing of the story is spot on, and they do zip along very nicely.

You can't help but think when listening to this of how similar the idea is to another Brian Hayles story Doctor Who: the Celestial Toymaker. And is structured like that as well, in that the Doctor and friends end up playing the games for three episodes before things are quickly resolved at the end.

But it does have enough variety to not be quite as repetitive as that story is. The quick pace also helps with that. The imagery that the narration describes, of Hecuba's very strange and often changing realm, is quite strikingly surreal at times. Although it might just have been achievable for the show at the time.

Another plus point is that the writing does get Jamie's character just right, allowing him some good moments in part four.

It is all worth it though for the last five minutes. With some quite brilliant and rather haunting resolution to the whole thing. That does address a point that will have occurred to the listener throughout also.

It never got made, possibly because it might have stretched the budget and possibly because of it's similarities to the Celestial Toymaker, but as an audio it has a lot of good points. And it's worth a listen.

A trailer for the next lost story can be found on the track after the end of part four on disc two.

There's just over fourteen minutes of interviews with cast and crew on the track right after that.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Nov 2013 10:25:47 GMT
Timelord007 says:
Spot on review Paul you nailed the synopsis of this Lost Storys to perfection.

Great points & stucture too this great review.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Nov 2013 12:17:41 GMT
Paul Tapner says:
It was surprising to hear in the extras how many unused Storylines of Brian Hayles they had. I wonder if this one was adjuged to be too similar to the celestial toymaker. Looking forward to Lords of the Red Planet, because that will go where no ice warrior story has before.
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