Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather patchy uneven historical tale, 16 April 2010
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This review is from: Dr Who Companion Chronicles the Suffering (Dr Who Big Finish) (Audio CD)
My hopes were high for this double disc Special Edition which for the first time brings two companions (in this instance Steven and Vicki) together to relate this expanded adventure from differing perspectives. It all begins promisingly enough with Steven opting to take the lead and it is another marvellous performance from Peter Purves whose vocalising of Hartnell's Doctor and Thomas Arden are particularly pleasing. As a former space pilot familiar with a variety of craft Steven says that he hadn't seen a vehicle that he hadn't wanted to climb straight in and race to the moon until this story. The young man eyes the vintage car of Thomas Arden with an eye of suspicion. I mention this because riding alongside the goggles and cap wearing Doctor is a very dangerous but highly amusing well realised and most memorable aspect of this first disc. I thought the latter stages with the Doctor and Steven (the latter indignant by the hairy moustache he is given) adopting period costumes likens it to the lost TV story "The Massacre". After Steven's 63 min part of the story I was intrigued when, in the 9 min CD EXTRA chat Peter Purves suggested that a possible Steven Taylor story could explore what happened after he left and the end of the TV tale "The Savages"... what a great idea!
Sadly "The Suffering" is less appealing on the second disc where I feel it's all rather too esoteric for my tastes. It is here, especially during the epic ten minute 7thh track where the story delves into the motivations of the alien and relates it to the suffragette movement. However aside from this Maureen O'Brien is in fine form conveying the wide eyed innocence so typical of Vicki particularly when she is initially so easily led by Constance. I love the teenager from the futures perplexed manor regarding primitive medicine in the 20thh century when Doctor Forest attempts to examine her. The main set piece of note of course is the protest rally in Hyde Park which is well realised but this second disc for me rather lacks any true sparkle. Out of the 77min total there is a mere approx 4 min chat where interestingly Maureen suggests a possible English Civil War future story.
Although you've clearly got two narrating actors at the top of their game for this title it fails to save a story that in my opinion seems overtly padded out and for me is a relatively unengaging dramatic adventure.
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Initial post: 28 Sep 2014 12:41:11 BDT
A fair and balanced review.
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Location: Southampton, UK

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