Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dan Starky's Superb Strax Steals The Show., 17 April 2013
This review is from: Doctor Who: Devil In The Smoke (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Following the teams appearance on Doctor Who I was really looking forward to hearing this book and had high expectations.

I was expecting that the story would feature Madame Vastra and have a Sherlock Holmes approach rather like the excellent Movies of Holmes by Guy Richie, or either of the two excellent TV Holmes, Elementary on Sky or Sherlock on the BBC.
Indeed reading the blurb on Amazon this would really suggest this.

BUT and I am absolutely delighted to report this I was disappointed.

Yes disappointed.
Rather than it featuring Madame Vastra or her `wife' Jenny it really has the star of the book Strax as its centre.

And this dear reader was a really wonderful discovery because this has taken this prodduction to a whole new height of excellence.

I was totally knocked out about just how good a character Strax is. The story is not strong but Dan Starkey who played Strax in the TV show, is just so good he carries this story to a much higher level.
David Starky reads the story well he creates authentic voices for all the characters.
Strax is a natural fit in. He is Strax but his vocal talents really carry the story along.

Strax is a hero but a one dimensional one. The humour of Strax really brings a smile to the listener's face. It is Dan Starky/Strax' story and my goodness it is brilliant.

Think of Brian Blessed's scene stealing in the Scarifyer's Curse of the Black Comet or on Have I got News for You and you get an impression of just how good Strax is at taking the story over.

Now a few niggles.

The story is not strong and I had thought it was an imitation of the Christmas Doctor Who episode featuring this Trio but I was wrong certainly Snowmen are made and a body- seeping blood is magically transported within the Snowman.

Jenny as Vastra's wife is still an unexplained puzzle and this book does not expand on this one iota.

We never get to hear the origin of the trio at all.
Where did Vastra come from?
How did she meet Jenny where does Strax come into the equation?
Maybe these will be revealed in a later story- If so I will preorder it like a shot!

The puzzle in the story is solved but not in the `Sherlock Holmes' Way by Madam Vastra that I imagined.
Indeed Vastra is a total waste of space and time in this story with her sword attacks on smoke beings and a very low key detective skills- more Dixon of Dock Green or a slow story on the Bill than a really good CSI or other top notch American Detective story.

She is literally a cold bloodied Killer (As a Silurian Lizard) and as visciousand as dangerous as a hungry alligator with a bad toothache and a mean streak.
But there is simply no evidence of that here.

I would love to hear this story as a dramatized production along the lines of Jago and Lightfoot- the other Doctor Who Spin Off.

Also I would love more but with far stronger stories.
Dan Starky can only carry a mediocre story so far.
He has done wonders with this 'thin' script but if he had a really top rate story this would merit seven stars never mind five.

Now don't get me wrong I really enjoyed this CD immensely and I think you will do so too.
Dan Starky is simply a wonderful narrator Strax is his character , so his voice is authentic and he not only gets the best lines, there are wave after wave of them.

I cannot rate this excellent CD set highly enough.

It really is an excellent piece of work and is worth a buy.
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Review Details

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4.1 out of 5 stars (67 customer reviews)
5 star:
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£13.25 £11.15
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Reviewer

Glenn Cook
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Location: South Cave, near Hull UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 10