Frozen Time (Doctor Who) Audio CD – Audiobook, 1 Sep 2007
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'Frozen Time's main draw is that of it's returning villains, a classic Doctor Who monster used before by Big Finish in a rather dire outing some years ago, though to be honest once they appear the story doesn't really find anything new to do with them, and relies heavily on the creatures debut television story.
The best way to describe this story would be 'workmanlike' - it moves along at a reasonable pace, the performances are all solid enough - it just lacks any really inspired ideas to elevate it above the average. The play's one attempt to throw a curve ball is giving the Doctor temporary amnesia from being frozen for thousands of years, but beyond a few structural tweaks this is your bog-standard traditional Doctor Who monster runaround.
By no means a bad story, 'Frozen Time' is solid but uninspired fare.
An Arctic expedition in 2012, to find the remains of a lost 1929 expedition, some across some very unusual objects buried in the ice from millions of years ago. Very soon we have Seven with no memory running around in a standard base under siege tale that has some big ideas and ambitions, but can't quite live up to them.
The first half of the tale is the best, where the Doctor's amnesia and references to the possible monsters keep us slightly off kilter and wondering. And there are some genuinely good moments of interplay between various characters, especially with Anthony Calf's arrogant Lord Barset (the man with the talking money), and Seven. It's an intriguing first half. But the second half descends into melodrama, and has too much of McCoy bellowing at people rather then the understated and subtle performance of the first half. It quickly descends into a standard run around and loses a lot of the impact.
I did however enjoy the audio production of this one, an impressive music track that knows when to keep quiet and when to underscore the action, and an impressive sound design that really brought the base, the snow storm and the mysterious sounds the Doctor keeps hearing to impressive life.
Three stars for this initially interesting but eventually lacklustre tale.
[SPOILERS] In episode 2 I was well of the opinion that the mysterious creatures the first Lord Barset had met were the Ice Warriors and the new met creatures were, something else, possibly the Silurians. In fact it was the other way round - modern day sees the Ice Warriors and its suggested it was the Silurians in the past (in the extras) which was a bit dissapointing, but also, I really don't think this works with Ice Warriors. Firstly they didn't seem convincing, the hissing sound seemed optional half the time it wasn't there and I dno if the Ice Warriors were right there.
[NO MORE SPOILERS] But all in all it's pretty good, the rest of the cast (excluding the Doctor & the Monsters) was great, some really nice characters. But just lacking that something, perhaps a bit too predictable and expected. Re-listening, it's much more enjoyable and far more interesting!
The story begins with The Doctor being ambushed on an unnamed planet and appearing to drown. Fast-forward several million years and his body is discovered by a group of explorers led by the sneeringly arrogant Lord Barset, who is retracing the steps of one of his ancestors who set out on the journey and never returned. However, when they discover The Doctor's body it is sealed in a tomb of ice...
Maryam D'Abo is a welcome addition to the cast as French scientist Genevieve whilst Anthony Calf and Gregg Newton excel as the shortsighted Barset and his downtrodden minion, Ben.
The story provides a welcome reminder of how good McCoy can be when surrounded by a decent cast and cracks along at a fair pace; The Doctor's opponents are solid and suitably villainous and the entire cast just seem to be enjoying themselves.
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