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Doctor Who and the Masque of Mandragora Audio Download – Unabridged

3.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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3.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
While it's true that this isn't the most scintillating novelization of the range it is well done overall with descriptive passages and flows along quite nicely. It's the reading of Tim Piggot-Smith that makes this a worthwhile buy. He does an excellent job of bringing the characters alive. His Doctor is quite interesting. Completely unlike Tom Baker but interesting nonetheless.
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Format: Audio CD
For what it's worth, I really recommend this. There have been some peerless releases in this excellent series recently (The Abominable Snowmen and, er ...And The Cybermen are probably the best yet), but this `lesser' effort has bags of charm, too. And much as I love Tom Baker's readings of fourth Doctor adventures (Brain of Morbius and Pyramids of Mars particularly), Tim Piggott-Smith's take on the cosmic Bohemian is a weird delight, too. The actor is a warm, assured reader overall, but `his' Doctor fascinates - as another reviewer noted, he isn't like Tom Baker at all... and yet there is a bit of him in there... Your listener almost ended up picturing another Doctor altogether, albeit one with a tart dash of Hartnell. A lot of the interest here lies in this being a less well-known fourth Doctor adventure, too, and while some of the plotting is yer perfunctory capture/escape/capture business, it's set in a colourful space and time, and nods back and fo(u)rth to all sorts of Who Greatest Hits. With warm spring sun in your face and your packed lunch at your back there are worse ways to spend your walk to work, you know...
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Format: Paperback
The Doctor and Sarah Jane visit Renaissance Italy but the Tardis brings a third visitor whose intentions are not so benign, the Mandragora Helix.

This is the second of two consecutive novelisations by Philip Hinchcliffe, who was running the show when this serial aired. It is somewhat better than his novelisation of 'The Seeds of Doom'. Because this story isn't quote so fast and full of action it allows him a little more time to concentrate on developing character and surroundings. Creating the right atmosphere for Renaissance Italy is quite vital to the story and the author does it well.

He also manages very successfully to portray the three way power struggle that takes place between Heironymous/the Mandragora Helix, The Doctor/Guiliano and Count Fredirico/Rossini.

The characterisation of the major roles is of a high standard. Interestingly Hinchcliffe has opted to concentrate on the relationship between Sarah and Guiliano. This was very subtle in the actual programme but Hinchcliffe has made it much more of a budding romance, on both parts. It raises the question, considering that Elizabeth Sladen leaves in the next televised story, whether Hinchcliffe may have had ideas about Sarah Jane leaving the Tardis for Renaissance Italy instead.
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