- Audio CD
- Publisher: BBC Physical Audio; Unabridged edition (4 Mar. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1408426978
- ISBN-13: 978-1408426975
- Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 14.2 x 2.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,182,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Doctor Who: Castrovalva Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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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.)
Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
Tom Baker bowed out with Logopolis, another story by Christopher H. Bidmead. Bidmead's stories are always well thought out, with the science fiction rooted in the vaguely likely, rather than the totally outlandish. Castrovalva is slow to get started, as the Doctor is suffering post regeneration fatigue. The first half of the story centres largely on his companions, and provides a rare chance to focus on the interaction and differences between Teagan and Nyssa. It also offers a glimpse into the inner rooms of the Tardis beyond the control room. As a result, the story probably appeals to Doctor Who fans more than it will to the general listener. This was a story that lent itself to the visual medium of television, so for those who have seen the tv version, it may work very well. Bidmead writes clearly, so perhaps even if you haven't seen this episode, the story will come to life. For me, I found that long forgotten memories of this episode came flooding back, adding an extra dimension to the story.
Davidson reads with clarity, and an increasing urgency as the pace picks up. His reading lacks the drama of David Tennant, and whilst his voices for different characters are distinctive enough, they could be better. For me though, it was more important that the story was narrated by the Doctor that starred in it, and it was a pleasure to listen to, so it had to be five stars. I appreciate it might not score so highly with unbiased listeners!
The fifth Doctor himself, Peter Davison, reads this story and does an exellent job of it. His voice is quite similar to Bidmead's, which makes this fit well with the previous audio of Logopolis which was read by Bidmead. Davison does the various characters well, especially the Master and although his voice now sounds a little older than when he was the Doctor he still has the character to a tee.
In short, Castrocvalva, along with Logopolis are, for my money, the two best Doctor Who novelizations ever written and these audios are also probably the best in the range so far. An essential purchase.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Personally I’ve always enjoyed the original televised version of ‘Castrovalva’. However, I can’t say the same for the novelisation which is quite a dull rendition of that seen... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Alaran
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
Note this is a review of the novelisation by Christopher H Bidmead.
Having written Logopolis, the last story of the Fourth Doctor, it is appropriate that the same writer... Read more
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
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