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5.0 out of 5 stars The Specials: The Companion Chronicles, 22 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: The Specials (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
This is a set of 5 cds with stories - the first 3 are interlinked, and the remaining 2 stories are standalone. They are all `companion chronicles' which feature one or more of the Doctor's companions at some time narrating a story.

The first story starts off on cd1 with Polly Wright contacting Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, after having seen an article written by Jo Jones (nee Jo Grant, now married to Professor Jones - Third Doctor era). Having established contact, Polly and the Brigadier start sharing stories about the Doctor. This is all very nice, and for a Doctor Who fan of long standing, it was nice to have that little bit of reminiscing and tying together companions and eras. Then it's on to the story proper. This takes the form of Polly narrating a story from her days travelling with the Doctor, Jamie and Ben, when they land on a strange planet which appears to be nearing its end. But who is Gerry Lenz and what is he doing there?

The Brigadier picks up the narration in the second cd and tells his own story, which has rather disturbingly familiar traits to some aspects of Polly's story. He tells of travelling with the Doctor to what appears to be Victorian London, but someone else is also there. In the third cd, the person who has been `listening in' on Polly and the Brigadier reveals his story, as Thomas Brewster tells a tale which links all three stories, and to the current crisis being faced on Earth. These three stories are all okay, but I didn't rate them terribly highly as a whole. I found that the narration did not paint a picture for me, I didn't get a `visual' of the narrative as I would want from an audio experience. So while terribly clever, they each get 4 stars.

The fourth and fifth cds are standalone companion chronicles. The first is a tale told by Jo Grant (as played by Katy Manning) from when she travelled with the third Doctor (as played by Jon Pertwee). In the third Doctor era, this tale comes after the Carnival of Monsters, so the Doctor has only just retained some control of the Tardis and it's not always very reliable in its arrival place or time. Jo and the Doctor have landed somewhere, they know not where, but are found by a member of the archaeological team on the planet and directed to their camp. There, they meet the remaining members of the team, all the others of whom have disappeared in their time there. And their mayday signal is not being responded to by anyone. But the Doctor and Jo have had a ghostly experience of their own out among the ruins, and this planet has a few secrets still left to tell. The plot of the story is very well thought out and very well narrated - I thoroughly enjoyed this whole story. Five stars for this one.

And the fifth cd is narrated by Turlough (as played by Mark Strickson). Just after the story told in Enlightenment, Turlough is feeling rather put upon by Tegan and the Doctor and when the Tardis lands in Arizona in 1905, he walks through the desert into a small town, Buzzard Creek just as the travelling show of Thaddeus P Winklemeyer arrives. But there's more to the show than the residents of the small town realise. This was again a great companion chronicle, and Mark Strickson does a great job as Turlough. Five stars for this one.

Overall, I'm not sure why these five cds are packed and sold as one set. The first three are linked, yes, but the last two are definitely not. Seems a strange marketing idea. However, four and a half stars all up from me for the whole set.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Jan 2014 20:15:25 GMT
Timelord-007 says:
Great review this.

Ilike this specials set especially The Brigader, Pity Thomas Brewster turns up but never mind it's still a great audio.

Your review very informative & great synopsis.

If Brewster won the lottery he could remake the Richard Pryor movie Brewsters Millions lol.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jan 2014 20:26:55 GMT
Keen Reader says:
Thanks timelord007 - I found the first three stories rather odd and disjointed, and Thomas Brewster is a smug g*t really isn't he?
You're so fuuuunnnnyyy :-)

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jan 2014 16:23:40 GMT
Last edited by the author on 23 Jan 2014 16:28:12 GMT
Timelord-007 says:
Yes eccentric comedy I may just invented that.

Everyone thinks I've got a serious look like my picture but I'm got great sense of humour I just do like Steven Seagal looks at times looking really annoyed usually when my big finish audios are late arriving lol.

Antidote To Oblivion was better on the second listen but I prefer King of Sontar.

Tom comes out with some great lines yet at the end is very sombre & upset to say anymore would be spoilers.
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