Doctor Who: Castrovalva Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Peter Davison reads the first gripping adventure for the Fifth Doctor.
About the Author
Christopher Hamilton Bidmead was born in 1941. He trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and subsequently played leading roles on the West End stage and television. For several years he was a regular voice on radio as a member of the BBC Drama Repertory Company.
He began scriptwriting while working with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and by the early Seventies was writing television scripts for the Thames TV serials Harriet's Back in Town and Rooms. At the same time a long-standing interest in science drew him towards technical journalism. His articles in the New Scientist prompted BBC producer Robert Banks Stewart to recommend him for the post of script editor on Doctor Who when it was vacated by Douglas Adams at the beginning of the '80s.
After a year in that role he signed off on the job by delivering two stories, Logopolis and Castrovalva, and returned to freelance projects - including a third Doctor Who story, Frontios, and novelisations of all three for the Target range of books.
His stint on Doctor Who introduced him to the use of personal computers, and for the past quarter century he has continued to work as an IT journalist, writing for a range of publications including Wired magazine and The Daily Telegraph. Over the last decade he has been a regular columnist on PCPlus magazine.
(Author biography by David J. Howe, author of The Target Book, the complete illustrated guide to the Target Doctor Who novelisations.)
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
The pacing struggles throughout the novelisation. Despite the dangers and perils faced by the characters the text plods along at the same unfaltering speed failing to create any atmospheric tension.
It seems to take much longer in the novelisation to reach Castrovalva and the build-up (which really can’t be classified as a ‘build-up’) to get there is incredibly slow. And when they do reach Castrovalva it all feels a bit anticlimactic.
To be fair, though, the settlement of Castrovalva loses something in the conversion process to novel. The visual impact of the Escher influence and the conjunction between semi-baroque architecture and parochial village life doesn’t come over as well. Somehow the rather uninspiring descriptions of the place lack the magic of the visual image.
There is little embellishment. What there is probably isn’t necessary. Admittedly, Tegan being able to fly the Tardis isn’t very well explained onscreen. The novelisation overcompensates for this though. Perhaps the author, who also wrote the original script, felt this was a serious flaw and sought to correct it. However, not to spoil/reveal the Master’s schemes too early we are ‘treated’ to two pages of Tegan tediously standing around the console with constant reminders that she doesn’t know what she’s doing. A couple of lines at most would have sufficed.
Having written Logopolis, the last story of the Fourth Doctor, it is appropriate that the same writer led from the `end' at Logopolis to the `beginning' of the Fifth Doctor at Castrovalva.
In this story, the new Fifth Doctor, somewhat befuddled after his regeneration, is taken by Nyssa and Tegan to Castrovalva to help him recover. But where is Adric? And why does Castrovalva not seem to be all that it appears?
This is a quite complex story, and was a good introduction to the Fifth Doctor played on the screen by Peter Davison. Tegan and Nyssa get to play important parts in the story, and Adric also has a role to play. The Doctor finds himself, as well as someone else not so welcome.
Firstly, the plot: the newly regenerated Doctor escapes with his companions back to the TARDIS. Suffering from post-regeneration trauma, he only narrowly manages to save the ship from destruction as it plunges back to Event One, the hydrogen in-rush that preceded the creation of the universe.
He then seeks sanctuary in the peaceful domain of Castrovalva, only to discover it is an illusory, dimensionally paradoxical trap set for him by the Master with the unwilling aid of a kidnapped Adric. The Doctor eventually wins the day by enlisting the help of the Castrovalvan people who, although also part of the Master's creation, are nevertheless able to exercise free-will.
The story is an interesting one and a rare introduction to a Doctor that allows for a stimulating and original story. Of course, there are issues with it. It follows directly on from Logopolis which saw the Master kill the fourth Doctor. Therefore, the Master had no way of knowing the Doctor would survive his fall from the radio telescope at the end of Logopolis, and yet he is already prepared at the beginning of this sequel to kidnap Adric and trap him within a web of power. Using Adric's mathematical skills, he then causes the Doctor's TARDIS to travel back to the very start of the universe, where he fully expects the Doctor to be destroyed. Even as the TARDIS veers away from Event One, Tegan however, discovers yet another trap - a reference to Castrovalva (a fictional construct by the Master) planted in the TARDIS's index file.Read more ›
Castrovalva was written as a replacement for another story, Project Zeta Sigma, which proved unworkable. Perhaps this is why so much of the first two CDs feels like filler. It's only when the Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan arrive on Castrovalva (halfway through the story) that the pace picks up. There are some interesting ideas, but the final result is still lacking in thrills. The 'old enemy' that the Doctor encounters has a convoluted plan and lacks clear motivation, beyond just being evil for the sake of it.
Peter Davison reads the story well. His rendition of Tegan's Australian accent is more successful that Christopher H Bidmead's attempt in "Doctor Who": Logopolis (Classic Novels). This audio version of Castrovalva allows us to go deeper into the Doctor's thoughts, though we don't delve too deeply. The sound effects are sparse but effective. The prose contains some poetic flourishes - such as the climax of Disc 3 - but for the most part is unfussy and functional.
I would recommend Castrovalva if you are already a fan of Peter Davison's portrayal of the Doctor.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This really brught me back to my childhood, hearing classic doctor who... the added advantage is that you can use your mind instead of relying on the terrible special effects from... Read morePublished on 2 Mar. 2013 by chuckles
Castrovalva was the story that introduced Peter Davidson as Doctor Who, replacing Tom Baker. I admit I'm probably biased in favour of this story, as it was Peter Davidson I... Read morePublished on 7 Oct. 2012 by S. Diment
This story in my opinion suffers greatly from the same flaws that Logopolis (the previous audio book) did in which it is slow to start and remains badly paced throughout, in short... Read morePublished on 18 Oct. 2010 by A. White
Peter Davison was 'my doctor' as a child, so i looked forward to him reading the novelisation of the first story. Read morePublished on 19 Aug. 2010 by Mr. J. C. Kent
Like the previous story Logopolis, Castrovalva is a complex, imaginative and thought-provoking story with some very interesting concepts but is probably not the most accessible... Read morePublished on 10 Aug. 2010 by M Evans
I got more enjoyment from listening to this than from the orginal televised episodes on the dvd.
The first disc especially was brilliant, with good sound effects and riveting... Read more
Doctor Who audio CDs are an excellent way of introducing kids to earlier regenerations of The Doctor without subjecting them to grainy video, wobbly scenery and 'special effects'... Read morePublished on 20 Jun. 2010 by Mr. P. HAIGH
There seem little point in reviewing the storyline here as there is a wealth of other reviews which do this very well. Read morePublished on 18 May 2010 by Get Real
Next in the series after Logopolis and the encounter with the Master Peter Davison is now Dr Who.
I find Peter Davison an excellent narrator easy on the ears. Read more