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5.0 out of 5 stars Four mini-adventures with the Doctor and Nyssa!, 8 Aug 2011
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This review is from: The Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
I love the Big Finish audio adventures with the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa starring Sarah Sutton and Peter Davison! With 'Circular Time' being my favourite Doctor and Nyssa audio, I was so pleased to hear that a brand new CD with four one-part adventures was going to be released at the end of 2010. And I wasn't disappointed!

'THE DEMONS OF RED LODGE'

The first and titular story 'The Demons of Red Lodge' really terrified me when I first heard it. I don't why but it reminded me of an 'Avengers' episode I watched. I was really frightened for Nyssa when she became frightened during the story.

The creepiness of 'Red Lodge' made me wonder how the Doctor and Nyssa got in that woodshed in the first place, what would happen when they reached Red Lodge itself and what would happen when they found out that they'd been ensnared by 'demons' who can model themselves on any person and take on the form and appearances of...well, need I say 'guess who'?

Peter and Sarah certainly enjoy playing their evil doubles in this story, and I do get terrified when the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa sometimes get to become the bad guys as they do in The Eternal Summer and The Cradle of the Snake (or 'Snakecradle' as I think it should be called).

I was really surprised by how they were able to outwit their evil counterparts as well as the other 'demons' when Nyssa points out that they've focusing on the human paradigm and not taking into account that Nyssa was Trakenite and the Doctor was a Time Lord. In the end it's all down to statistics and figures with the 'demons' of Red Lodge.

I really like the links to Nyssa's past in this story as well as in the following one. There is a sense of peace when Nyssa and the Doctor watch the sunrise at the end of the story. It reassured me how good these Doctor and Nyssa adventures are and it makes you feel that everything's okay as they reflect on recent events.

'THE ENTROPY COMPOSITION'

The second story, 'The Entropy Composition' certainly impressed me and I cherished lots of Doctor and Nyssa moments in that story too. I found the 'cheese in the ears' moments really funny. Peter and Sarah really shine as they do so much with their characters. The story being set in two time zones: one on Earth 1968 and the other set in the future on Concordom (a planet described by the Doctor as 'an MP3 player on a planetary scale'), really makes the episode worthwhile in terms of story and action. And the concept of an alien known as 'entropy sirens' that can eradiate matter in the universe with the 'sound of music' certainly is intelligent.

And this was thought-up by a new writer who submitted a pitch for a 'writing opportunity' by Big Finish, to which I was totally unaware of due to my focus on my exams and my final year at Uni.

'DOING TIME'

The third story 'Doing Time' is like a 'Porridge' episode. Even though I've hardly seen many 'Porridge' episodes, it's got the feel of a comedy set in a prison (or in this case a prison planet known as 'Folly'). But that doesn't mean the story isn't impressive. The Doctor has to spend a year in a prison because he tried to warn the people of Folly that an explosion was going to occur on the 10th of May and they thought he was threatening them.

Nyssa's getting to do so much in this story as well, as she's working at the prison as a security guard and works at a `hospital' learning about 'telebiogenesis'. I really like the references to a certain 'Michael' that she met, as there could have been a potential love story in that, but sadly there wasn't. As Nyssa put it 'the wedding was very elaborate, they seemed very happy together'. Poor Nyssa. Love her.

'SPECIAL FEATURES'

Remember the TV episode 'Blink' where the Doctor talks to Sally Sparrow via the use of a DVD Easter Egg to communicate a warning about the Weeping Angels. Well...the last story of this CD 'Special Features' was certainly inspirational and certainly has a Steven Moffat `feel' to it.

The Doctor takes part in a DVD commentary, moderated by director Martin Ashcroft (The Vicar of Dibley's James Fleet), on a 1970s horror anthology movie, where the final product is more than it seems. The story cleverly mocks the format of a DVD commentary.

Peter's Doctor really impresses me, as for the first half of the commentary he's not taking part and let the other commentators talk on with their 'riveting' stuff. Then by the second half he realises something's wrong and the Doctor begins to panic and insistent that his fellow commentators listen to him, so that he can defeat a mind-numbing parasite that intends to spread its infection, like 'dandelions' as the Doctor puts it, to potential DVD purchasers. The revelation of one of the commentators (I won't say who it is) being the 'one' who killed 'the producer' took me by surprise. I laughed when I discovered 'they would have to do it all over again!'

Nyssa's very good in this story too as she actually gets to take part in the film playing the role of 'Felicity'. I'd like to turn off the commentary track and listen to the actual 'Doctor Demonic's Tales of Terror' itself since I'm interested in the acting part Nyssa played. Hopefully I won't get taken over by a 'rash nurse maid' or something.

I enjoyed listening to the CD Extras. I found the incidental music very relaxing and invigorating, and can now remember the tunes that come up when hearing the track. I also enjoyed learning about the making of all four stories on the second disc. I felt sorry for Alan Barnes (Script Editor) receiving 1,200 emails for pitches during the writing opportunity, though glad I didn't submit a story pitch of my own since I would have been disappointed. It was interesting to hear from Peter Davison how he compares the commentary episode with the DVD commentaries he does for Doctor Who, though I'm not sure about the remark he made about Janet Fielding being an 'alien'.

Of course the thing that stood out for me in this CD, was my favourite Doctor Who companion Nyssa of Traken, played by the lovely Sarah Sutton. She works well as the Doctor's companion both on audio and TV. I've had my CD cover for this audio signed recently by Sarah, and she agrees with me that the four stories are really good. She found the first story 'The Demons of Red Lodge' frightening and really enjoyed recording the DVD audio commentary episode. I'm sure Sarah relished doing the 'loads of things' Nyssa did in all four stories, particular with 'The Entropy Compositon'.

I'd like how the CD extras began with Sarah introducing the interviews and making of these stories, and how it ended with her mentioning her two favourite audios she's listened to recently, of which I highly recommend - Spare Parts and Castle of Fear.

The next story with the Doctor and Nyssa is '1001 Nights'.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Dec 2013 01:08:34 GMT
Timelord007 says:
Usually I'm not a fan of these One parters but this is exceptional good audio that delivers, Demons of Red Lodge & Dvd extras the standout storys for me.

A great in depth review Tim i always enjoy your synopsis on these products.
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