Customer Review

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "...unlistenable...saved by excellent sound effects...", 21 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Gunfighters (Audio CD)
On the printed page, Donald Cotton's self-penned 1966 four-parter, DOCTOR WHO - THE GUNFIGHTERS is a novel that veritably uncontrollably gallops like a posse hunting down an escape convict across the dust-blistered Western Plains; it extrudes historical footprints in the sand, tonally accurate and suitably humorous without being a "Carry on..." movie pastiche.

Regrettably, AUDIOGO's novelisation is one of the most misguided releases that I have reviewed (with over 200 audiobook reviews completed to date for various media outlets). Certainly, the premise of employing one of the original actors from the television broadcast (Shane Rimmer played Seth Harper) to read the novel must have been acceptable at the Commissioning meeting on that Monday morning. However, it would seem that the actor's Contract must have been signed-and-sealed before AUDIOGO had heard him reading an `auditional text'. Sadly, the aged actor splutters and slurs throughout the recording with uncomfortable ease that grates on the ear and, at times, annunciation lacks clarity that forces you to rewind and attempt to listen again.

Yes, the concept of having a North American (Canadian) reader reading this `Wild West' set story is commendable but on the first day of recording someone must have thought that he was `unsuitable' for the task. Even Elsie the Tea-lady pushing her trolley from studio-to-studio would have noticed it too. Perhaps, Peter Purves could have been engaged for the project.

However, the post-production is as eloquent as ever by MEON SOUNDS, deploying an armoury of sound effects and incidental music that give credence to the historical context of 1887.

Atmospheric, it conjures a dust-covered landscape that has been baked under the relentless sun, whilst errant bullets ricochet aurally across your ears that will have throwing yourself off the sofa to lie flat on the floor. MEON SOUNDS outstanding contribution that attempted to lift Rimmer's reading above poor.

Overall, sadly, DOCTOR WHO - THE GUNFIGHTERS is unlistenable, and I would have preferred to have been trussed-up naked, thrown over the saddle and ridden out of town under the midday sun resulting in dehydration and a sun-blistered backside.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Mar 2013 20:22:22 GMT
RichRoast says:
I think you are being rather harsh on Shane Rimmer. For me this is one of the most enjoyable readings in the AudioGo Target novel range. OK it's not your standard Target reading but neither was the book. I think Shane Rimmer sets the perfect tone for the story, sounding like a well worn, gin soaked, old timer from the West. He brings out the humour in the book, delivering every cliche you remember from old Black and White Westerns with great panache.

I've been listening to the story in the car and haven't had any problems with the clarity of the recording or Shane Rimmer's delivery. I appreciate this release won't be to every one's taste (I really struggled with the reading of another Donald Cotton novelisation -The Myth Makers) but this one hit the mark with me.

Posted on 24 Oct 2013 21:39:22 BDT
D. Mason says:
What an unfunny, ungenerous review of a first class product! I have just listened to this 'unlistenable' reading of The Gunfighters and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Donald Cotton's three Target novels were always stand out titles in the range, and the two so far produced as audio books are something special too.
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