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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great character-piece with an almost mythic feel, 9 May 2006
This review is from: Loups-Garoux (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
"Germany, 1589: the townspeople of Cologne pronounce a sentence of death on a mass-murderer who has stalked the countryside in the guise of a ferocious wolf.

"Russia, 1812: retreating from Napoleon's invading forces, a merchant's daughter is rescued from bandits by a handsome partisan with a ravenous appetite.

"Brazil, 2080: the Doctor and Turlough arrive for the Rio de Janeiro carnival.

"Is wealthy heiress Ileana de Santos all that she seems? What sinister ailment afflicts her invalid son, tended by the mysterious Dr Hayashi? And who exactly is Rosa, engaged on a secret quest to fulfil the destiny of her extinct tribe?

"Time is running out for Rosa, Ileana and the Doctor, as the fearsome shadow of an ancient werewolf moves ever closer..."

So... Loups-Garoux, from the pen of Ghost Light author Marc Platt, is my first five out of five given to a Big Finish story. Why? I'm not exactly sure, but there's something about the story that just hangs together perfectly and feels right. Maybe it's the intelligent script and the slightly mythic feel of the whole thing, maybe it's the performances of the cast, or maybe it's the humanity attributed to both the Doctor and Turlough. I'm not sure.

Episode one opens with what sounds at first to be an answerphone message. Set to gentle guitar music, a desparate but quietly resolved American girl leaves what sounds like a final farewell message to her grandpa. Something is coming for her, and she can't escape it. So is set the tone of the story, but it isn't until episode three that we really find out who this mysterious girl is and what role she will play in the chain of events.

In the Loups-Garoux, meanwhile, Platt creates a vicious but somehow noble race of wolf people whose society revolves around the glory and rush of the kill. At first they are on the run, led by the quietly dignified Ileana, from the mysterious Grey One - but over the course of the story, we observe Ileana's plans unravel and she becomes increasingly desparate as the wolves begin to turn on her and almost giving in to her inner beast on more than one occasion.

Alongside the well developed supporting characters and events, we find the Doctor and Turlough, in over their heads but muddling through as usual. Peter Davison's Doctor acts with quiet courage true to his television incarnation, whilst Turlough is bang on character, wanting to help but constantly on the run from his own personal demons. The hints at near-romance for both characters add depth to the story and increase our sympathy for all involved.

All in all, Loups-Garoux is both an intriguing character piece and a good dose of intelligent sci-fi / fantasy. Well worth a listen.
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Location: Bristol, England

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