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The marvellous mechanical men,
This review is from: The Silver Turk (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
A new Doctor Who audio story, featuring Paul McGann as the Doctor.
When regular listeners to these last heard the eighth Doctor in a story, his travels with Lucie Miller had just come to an end.To the Death (Doctor Who: The New Eighth Doctor Adventures). But this story takes place a long time before that one. In fact it takes place prior to the very first eighth Doctor audio Storm Warning (Doctor Who), which mentioned in passing that he once travelled with Frankenstein writer Mary Shelley.
In the audio The Company of Friends (Doctor Who) there was an episode which described how they met and how she came to travel with him. This story follows right on from that.
You should be able to get into this easily enough if you haven't heard that, though. Casual listeners might be a little puzzled by a passing reference to some other friends of the Doctor's, but beyond that it's completely accessible.
It runs for four episodes and is spread over two cd's. Each episode runs from thirty to thirty four minutes approx.
After a scary and rather sinister opening sequence involving a frightened man trying to escape someone, and a rather sinister - but beautifully sung - lullably - the story then gets going with the Doctor and Mary arriving in Vienna in the 19th century, at the time of the great Viennese exposition.
One of the wonders of this is the Silver Turk, a marvellous machine that can play musical instruments. Among other things. Only the Doctor knows what it really is. A Cyberman.
But there are other and perhaps nastier threats lurking in the city...
The first episode is incredibly absorbing for the most part, making a great effort to characterise Mary. And it does this superbly. Very much a woman of her time and not someone who just takes all the amazing new things she sees quite in her stride because of that, she is nonetheless practical and moral and determined. All of which comes over well in the writing and the performance of the actress playing her.
It then does go a bit slack for a few minutes whilst trying to get the Doctor to meet the Silver turk.
After that though, although the other episodes are longer than the usual twenty five minutes, this a very absorbing story. Rich in period feel and characterisation, with some superb villainy and a few images of monsters afoot that would look amazing on tv, this does have some great twists and turns and manages to do a Cyberman story that's not quite what you might be expecting. The fact that it's the original version of them from their very first story does allow for that.
At the same time the story does let the Doctor Mary relationship develop very well and leaves the two in the right place at the end.
Solid historical drama with memorable monsters and great imagery, plus some excellent supporting characters, this is a great start to this run of stories.
A trailer for the next, The Witch from the Well (Doctor Who) can be found after episode four on disc two.
There are roughly nine minutes of music from the story at the end of disc one.
The usual interviews that come with these are surprisingly short here. Just a couple of minutes of snippets of interviews with cast and crew at the end of disc two. But they're good. If brief.
Do also be aware that there is a short scene after the end of the closing credits to episode four.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Nov 2011 14:56:18 GMT
is this 4 parter or is it a single story
Posted on 30 Oct 2013 21:47:41 GMT
Last edited by the author on 30 Oct 2013 21:47:53 GMT
Another great Cybermen adventure by Marc Platt.
Great structured review.
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