Customer Review

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3.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who's Fantasy Adventures, 25 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Kingmaker (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Doctor Who : The Kingmaker.
Doctor: Fifth Doctor.
Companion(s): Peri, Erimem.
Main enemy: William Shakespeare (Mr Seyton), Richard, Duke of Gloucester / Richard III of England.
Main setting: London, 1597, April to November 1483 and June to 22 August 1485.
Writer: Nev Fountain.
Director: Gary Russell.
Release number: 81.
Format: 4 Episodes on 2 CDs.
Running time 140 minutes.

Cast.
The Doctor - Peter Davison.
Peri - Nicola Bryant.
Erimem - Caroline Morris.
Clarrie - Arthur Smith.
Mr Seyton - Michael Fenton-Stevens.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester (Richard III) - Stephen Beckett.
Henry, Duke of Buckingham - Marcus Hutton.
Earl Rivers / The Doctor - Jon Culshaw.
Sir James Tyrell - Chris Neill.
Susan - Katie Wimpenny.
Judith - Linzi Matthews.

Trivia.
1)Released in 2006, this was the first "appearance" of the Fourth Doctor in a Big Finish audio, in the context of the Fifth Doctor listening to a voice recording made by his previous self. The Fourth Doctor's recorded voice is performed here by Jon Culshaw, Tom Baker would not reprise the role of the Fourth Doctor for Big Finish until 2011.
2)The Doctor's offhand comment that "it was either that or write a novelty cookbook" is a reference to The Doctor Who Cookbook.
3)Peri refers to her encounter with the Master & Kamelion on Sarn in 1984. (Tv: Planet of Fire).
4)As a young boy, Shakespeare met the Eighth Doctor and Charley Pollard in the 2050s and briefly travelled in the TARDIS, an incident which will not happen for many years in the Doctor's personal timeline. (Audio: The Time of the Daleks).
5)In 1483, Clarrie tells Peri and Erimem that the Doctor's letters were delivered to the Kingmaker inn by a "Northern chap with big ears." (TV: Ninth Doctor).

Plot Synopsis.
The Fifth Doctor travels to the 15th century to investigate the mystery of the Princes in the Tower, to fulfil a contract to write a series of children's books, Is there another time traveller on the loose? & just why is there a robot in the Tardis?

So who did murder the princes in the Tower? Perhaps it's best not to ask a question like that...

You might not like the answer...

Timelord Thoughts.
This story by writer Nev Fountain sees the Fifth Doctor Peri & Erimem in 1480s to find out what really happened to the Princes in the Tower, after a heated drunken argument with William Shakespeare, while the script is completely bonkers & a little silly in places it does keep the listener entertained throughout.

The Doctor spends the majority of this adventure on his own separated from his companions by a couple of years thanks to another hiccup with the Tardis, Peter Davison's performance delivery in this play is dry humoured wit & works superbly after several darker adventures recently, Davison gives a more humoured take in The Kingmaker of his Fifth incarnation & has a little fun without descending the adventure into becoming farcical.

Impressionist & self confessed Whovian Jon Culshaw appears in a small role of Earl Rivers, but undoubtedly his uncredited impersonation of the fourth Doctor in an old audio recording that the fifth Doctor is using for his research is a spot on interpretation of actor Tom Baker whom at the time wanted no part in Big Finish recordings, thankfully he has since relented & reprised the role of the Fourth Doctor many times over the last 3 year's.

What makes this play work is the cleverness & nostalgia of Nev Fountains script using great ideas witty dialogue (Peri assuming the Master must be Satan due to the goatee beard is a classic line superbly delivered by actress Nicola Bryant) & grounded character drama plus Fountain adds a nice nod to the new series & the Ninth Doctor & while the story may divide fans.

Overall The Kingmaker is a entertaining fresh adventure that's a little different in tone than the norm but that's why Doctor Who works as a series on either tv, novel or audiobook is it's idea's are continually evolving & changing as a series.

Timelord Rating.
7/10
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Comments

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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Jun 2014 20:18:08 BDT
Keen Reader says:
I was quite worried by this story; it always pains me when history is misused and abused (I think it offends the historian in me, and explains why I can't watch Braveheart). But this was well handled, as indeed all BF historical stories are, that I can think of.
Great review timelord007!

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jun 2014 21:05:55 BDT
Timelord-007 says:
Cheers KR, I get what you mean this had a great story although I prefer the darker gothic Doctor Who storys I did enjoy this audio adventure.
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