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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fairground of fear, 28 April 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Smoke and Mirrors (Destiny of the Doctor 5) (Audio CD)
Fifth release in the 'Destiny of the Doctor' series. These are a range of Doctor Who talking books that are being released at the rate of one a month, and which feature a different Doctor in each story.

Although the stories stand alone there is a linking theme to them which should all come to a head in the eleventh and final release.

You don't need to hear that or any of the previous releases in order to get into this one, though, as it does work fine on it's own.

This story features the Fifth Doctor. Along with companions Nyssa, Tegan, and Adric. The latter wasn't the most popular companion ever, but he rarely gets featured in original Doctor Who fiction of any kind, so it is rather nice to see him pop up here.

As with all this range, it's read by someone who played a companion to the Doctor during the particular era in which this is set. They narrate in the third person, and do all the voices save one which is performed by a guest actor.

This being a fifth Doctor story, it sees Janet Fielding - better known as Tegan - as the reader.

The story runs for an hour. It is basically one long episode, the only breaks being the usual cd chapter ones.

Minimal sleeve notes give copyright details, some info about the era of the show when the story is set, and advertise other bbc Doctor Who audio products.

The story sees the Fifth Doctor and friends visit a fairground in the 1920's. Where the Doctor meets an old friend. The legendary escape artist Harry Houdini. Houdini [just in case you don't know] also made it his business to investigate mediums and debunk fraudulent ones. As a result of a promise made to his mother before she died. That they would speak again. Trying to contact her was a passion of his. But he was constantly disappointed by those who promised him results, and turned out to be frauds.

Houdini knows a lot about Tegan. All things he has deduced. Or so he claims. He needs the Doctor's help to investigate a fortune teller who seems to be using alien technology. But when the Doctor and friends visit the fairground at night, they find terror awaits...

Janet Fielding narrates very well. She doesn't do too much with the voices of the characters who aren't Tegan, but you do get used to her style. This thought ties with the Third Doctor story for being the best in the range so far, because of several excellent factors.

It makes it clear that the Doctor and Houdini have met before. You do get a great sense of the friendship and relations between the two.

It fits it's era superbly well. You could easily imagine that the tv show of the time could have made this one without much difficulty.

There are a couple of very good surprises.

The plot has a few good twists and this keeps it moving right to the end.

It's very spooky at points.

And it really does capture the character of the Fifth Doctor superbly. The seemingly harmless young man wanting to be taken seriously, who is also a wise and ancient alien and very clever with it.

The linking theme - that regular listeners to this range will be getting used to - crops up once again, and once again avoids being repetitive by being quite good fun.

The final scene is really great also.

A superb recreation of it's era and a good story with it. Well worth a listen.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Oct 2013 10:15:48 BDT
Very good DOTD release this is.
Paul reviews really do engage the reader ive read many of his so far & even if i dislike the product i have credit his review structure & presentation as it's of the highest quality.
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Paul Tapner
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Location: poole dorset england

Top Reviewer Ranking: 339