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Doctor Who: Caerdroia Audio CD – Audiobook, 8 Jun 2004
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The bulk of Caerdroia consists of a battle of wills between the Doctor and the Kro'ka in the sort of fantasy dreamscape that has been used dozens of times before in Doctor Who (most recently The Axis of Insanity), with the characters running around in circles as they encounter various threats. Curiously these threats are all very visual in nature, so rather than playing to audios strengths Lloyd Rose ends up highlighting it's weaknesses, and gags about being chased by monsters that no-one can be bothered to describe for the listener just do not work.
The one real highlight of this otherwise pedestrian release is Paul McGann, as thanks to his Doctor being split into three he gives three entirely separate performances, as joining the 'normal' 8th Doctor we also have a hopelessly optimistic 'Tigger' version and a more moody alien version. As with the Three Doctors they bicker constantly, which is great fun.
Caerdroia is a very lightweight romp, and quite fun in a mindless way - but as part of the ongoing adventures of the 8th Doctor in the Divergent Universe this is a major disappointment.
After a series of adventures being passed from zone to zone by the Kro'ka, the Doctor is finally starting to get a handle on what is going on, and begins his fight back. This results in him, Charie and C'rizz being transported to the Caerdrioa zone, where things start to get very weird. An interesting series of adventures follows, as the Doctor works his way through the oddness to find what lies at the heart of the zone. It's one of the better adventures in the divergent saga, with some interesting ideas, a good sense of humour and a good use of the audio medium to present us with monsters that simply could not be realised on the screen. There is also some great acting, especially from McGann who is called upon to do some very tricky work showing three aspects of the Doctor at the same time and doing it superbly - it's just his voice, but you can hear three separate characters.
An excellent production all round, 5 stars.
This play only has the three main characters of The doc charley and c'rizz along with the great Stephen Perring as the Kroka and many would probably think this would turn out to be a dreary and dull piece of no interest at all. But theyd be wrong.
Some of my favourite audios ever ive realised have been written by gals, and heres a new great story from a gal, this time Lloyd Rose. Seems to me that shes a smart writer, making a four person play sound so cool and entertaining. Minotaur and maze bits are obviously taken from myths, but done in a new and fresh way. And Paul gets a chance to do more than usual on this audio too, which is nice. Hes brill.
So, yet another great play. What more can i say?
The basic premise of the story is highly ingenious (and the spur for a lot of superb dialogue) though what really stands out is the performance of Paul McGann in the lead, set a real acting challenge to which he rises magnificently. As a whole, it's not quite perfect: disc two includes a few minutes rather obvious padding and the first half of disc one is merely an extended build up to the first cliffhanger. But what a cliffhanger! (Trust me: if you haven't already been told what happens, you will be agog to see how things develop.)
In spite of minor flaws, 'Caerdroia' is essential listening for any Doctor Who fan for the simple reason that it takes exploration of The Doctor's character into completely new and unexpected territory. It's also great fun. What more reasons do you need?
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