Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The TARDIS takes the High Road for reel good fling., 12 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Highlanders Original BBC Television Soundtrack (BBC Radio Collection) [AUDIOBOOK] (Audio CD)
The latest in the series of "lost" television soundtracks to be released on CD based on Sixties episodes now junked, "The Highlanders" is the last truly historical story in the show's long and distinguished career. Charting the conflict between the Scots and the English - always a popular theme - this adventure compensates for allegedly historic inaccuracies with a tale of derring-do and highland flingery the likes of which it rarely did before in its' previous histories. The Doctor and his crew take sides with the oppressed Scottish clan McLaren, and become quickly embroiled in the dastardly attempts by Solicitor Grey and his posse to ship captured Highland prisoners off to plantations in the West Indies. A ring from, we are told, Bonnie Prince Charlie helps turn the affair around, and following a classic swordfight on board deck, Solicitor Grey is brought to face his own personal justice when he is arrested by the bashful Lt Algernon-Ffinch. This story, for me, works well as pure and simple entertainment. The scene moves from Highland Moor to a tavern called The Sea Eagle, from an animal pit on land to a prison onboard The Annabelle, all accomplished with speed and style. There are some memorable performances too. Hannah Gordon relishes her part as Kirsty Mclaren the Laird's daughter, whilst David Garth conveys all the crispness of a slimy Solicitor Grey. Yet it is the regulars who steal the show. Anneke Wills and Michael Craze have more than enough scope to allow them to shine, whereas Fraser Hines - who provides a top quality narrative in between the dialogue - makes a Stirling(!) debut as the ever-popular Piper of the Glen, Jamie McCrimmon. But this is Patrick Troughton's moment, as he wonderfully lays on his immeasurable acting talents with disguised voices ranging from old Granny to a clipped German doctor. This is one reason where the audio format excels itself. The sense of being there in sound is further noted in the creaking effects on board the ship, and the noise created within the tavern. Add to that the sound of battle and a bagpipe introduction to each episode and you have an audio CD adventure which cries out to be in your collection. As the saying goes, flings ain't what they used to be!
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