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Doctor Who: the Space Pirates Audio CD – Audiobook, 3 Feb 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: BBC Physical Audio; Abridged edition (3 Feb. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563535059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563535058
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 1.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 652,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
1969's The Space Pirates has the distinction of being one of the poorest Patrick Troughton serials, but I must admit, although I was not totally looking foward to watching this story, I quite enjoyed it when I sat down one evening and viewed the whole thing in one fell swoop. I can't quite understand why this story is so slated as the acting is to a very high standard and the production values are not that bad for a story that was produced on less than £20,000. I can think of worst Patrick Troughton serials {The Dominators for instance}, so to judge The Space Pirates quite so harshly is beyond me.

Anywho, now that I have cleared that up, I would like to review why I think that this serial is in effect quite entertaining. We have some fantastic quest cast in this story such as: Gordon Gostelow as Milo Clancey, Jack May as General Hermack, Donald Gee as Major Ian Warne, Dudley Foster as the villianous Cavern and Lisa Daniely as Madeleine Issigri. Throw in Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury and what you have is pretty much the perfect cast for this type of serial. As well as the great cast and production values, we have fantastic incidental music by Dudley Simpson. His use of female voices, as in The Ice Warriors, makes for an effective and chilling soundtrack.

Great direction comes from Michael Hart as he uses the maximum amount of space available to him, on top of this we have some truly space age model filming and fantastic camerawork on the surviving episode 2. This is Robert Holmes second storyline that he had submitted to the Doctor Who production team after the success he had on The Krotons. As with The Krotons though, The Space Pirates will never be high up on anyone's greatest stories list but still I think he does a good job here.
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Format: Audio CD
There seem to be a lot of Doctor Who stories that are labelled boring or lacklustre. The Space Pirates has suffered thia reputation. But Im afraid that i really like this story. This has great characters in place of monsters. For six episodes its very enjoyable. Some six parters are laboured, but this story is not one of them.

The Space Pirates is yet another story that rubbishes the theory that the old series never really had any real emotion. Id like to point out the final two episodes when Madeliene finds out that Caven has been keeping her father alive when she thought he has been dead for years, her reaction seems or at least sounds, very realistic indeed.

And to say the least, Pat Troughton is really at his best, with some great one liners amidst this great space opera that actually does work! I like this more than many of the monster oriented who's. Robert Holmes always had a knack of writing brilliant characters and Dom Issigri and Milo Clancey are two great creations.

A story with plenty to offer and an easy to follow yet very vividly directed plot line. This story is actually a real lost "classic"!
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Format: Audio CD
BBC really did a number on this one. Unlike most of the "lost" Second Doctor storylines, there are not even surviving "telesnaps" for "Space Pirates," Patrick Troughton's second-to-last adventure (1969). Only Episode 2 of this 6-episode tale survives, and is available in the (utterly indispensible) "Lost in Time" DVD restoration. So this is Troughton's fully mature portrayal of the Doctor. And what a portrayal it is - brilliant, intense, comical (though the plot calls for less slapstick on Troughton's part than usual), and thoroughly winning. There is little doubt Troughton was the finest actor to play the role, and that includes the great Tom Baker.
So what is this "most missing in action" Doctor Who yarn about? Space pirates have been deconstructing unmanned space beacons to melt them down for their argonite (the "most valuable metal in the universe" and which, in this particular time period, is used for building nearly everything, including spaceships). The pirates have twice eluded the Council's slower ships, and the General (expansively played in basso profundo here) orders the other beacons manned, as the pirates are on their way to take the third beacon apart for salvage. The TARDIS chooses that moment to materialize in one of the compartments of the doomed beacon; the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe (splendidly played as always by this truly great team) are mistaken by the Council forces for pirates, and in fleeing they find themselves many compartments away from the one containing their time machine. Their pursuers are killed, however, by the pirates, who have just arrived, and the beacon is blasted apart, trapping our trio. (End of Episode 1).
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Format: Audio CD
"The Space Pirates", which was one of the first contributions to "Doctor Who" by writer Robert Holmes, is one of those stories that received fan wisdom declares to be rubbish. I'm no follower of received fan wisdom but, after listening to "The Space Pirates" and watching the surviving second episode on DVD in the "Lost in Time" set, I must admit that the story didn't exactly push my buttons.
It doesn't help that, like episodes four and five of "The Reign of Terror", the CD release of "The Space Pirates" suffers from incredibly bad audio quality. The tech-heads at the BBC have done their best to remaster the audio copies of the missing stories with these CD releases, but the end product still depends to some extent on the state of the source material which, by reason of its ancient and off-air nature, is never perfect. The dialogue on the CD isn't often completely unintelligible, but you do have to concentrate quite hard at times to hear what's going on.
The story itself features an unusually hardcore sci-fi scenario involving space chases between renegades and galactic law enforcers. In doing so, the human element of Doctor Who is somewhat lost, and the roles of the principal cast are marginalised (much of the story is seen from the perspective of General Hermack, in a somewhat OTT performance by Jack May, and his V-Ship crew). The other main supporting character is the eccentric prospector Milo Clancey (Gordon Gostelow), who I think is intended to be American. Clancey is amusing during his early, predominantly visual scenes in episode two, but when his accent is combined with the poor audio quality, his lines become particularly difficult to hear, and the scenes between Clancey and the regular cast where Clancey does a lot of the talking get rather waring.
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