The Game (Doctor Who) Audio CD – Audiobook, 1 Mar 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
The Doctor visits the planet Cray to witness one of his heroes, Lord Carlisle, negotiate his last peace treaty in the conclusion of Cray's civil war. But there are some problems - there appears to be no civil war, just a sport that has got out of hand, and Lord Carlisle claims the Doctor is his best friend, even though the Doc has never met him.
This starts out as an excellent play, with two really good ideas at its heart - the idea of war and sport being substituted is interesting, and the notion of the Doctor as a time traveller meeting people out of sequence is fascinating. For the first disc these are used to good effect and the story structure works quite well to provide a sense of mystery and edge of the seat excitement as the Doctor and Nyssa are plunged headlong into the `sport' of Naxy. It all falls apart a little with the twist at the start of disc 2 and the introduction of Morian. This leads to a less than satisfying ending and the introduction of a pantomime villain that really doesn't fit with the tenor of the start of the story.
It is largely saved by the dignity William Russell brings to the role of Lord Carlisle, as he realises the juncture that fate has brought him to.Read more ›
But the story is still very very good, and the characters are believable and yet much more serious due to the nature of the storyline. Peter Davison again gives a realistic performance as the Doctor. What would one do if forced to enter into a game that butchers thousands? Even an alien would be sick to the pit of their stomach, and Peter conveys this very well. Sarah Sutton of course is brilliant as Nyssa, who despite of many other views, is a good companion! Shes compassionate and caring, and thats the kind of person i like most.
And hearing William Russell too is a joy. He was excellent as Ian in 1963 and he's brilliant in this too in 2005! Cant wait for the next story with Morian, i want to see what happens to the bad guy. He cant get away forever surely?.....
"The Gora and the Lineen are set to face off it the grudge match to end all grudge matches. The players are limbering up, the commentators are preparing, the fans are daubing themselves in their own team's colours.
"The arena is set, and the kick-off is approaching.
"When the Doctor and Nyssa arrive, however, they find that naxy is a sport that anyone can play... whether they want to or not. Cray's entire future depends on the match's outcome, but the time travellers soon realise that it is anything but just a game..."
"The Game", by Darin Henry, is a brave attempt by Big Finish Productions at a six-part story for Peter Davison's fifth Doctor. Thankfully, the story's six episodes each run at a trim twenty minutes, meaning that the story doesn't have time to sag around the middle like many of the televised six-part stories of the 1960s and 1970s tended to do.
Aside from its six-part format, "The Game" is most notable for the guest appearance of William Russell, who played Ian Chesterton opposite William Hartnell's first Doctor, as Lord Carlisle, a famed negotiator who is credited with the peaceful resolution of numerous bloody wars, but who seems strangely ill-at-ease with the negotiation he is about to undertake on Cray, and who claims that the Doctor is his best friend when the Doctor is certain that he and Lord Carlisle have never met.
The Doctor / Lord Carlisle storyline, which comes to a rather affecting and very well-played conclusion in the sixth episode, is, however, rather more of a subplot to the alpha story, which revolves around the game of naxy, a bloody sport that is costing the lives of thousands of Cray's people in something very akin to a civil war.Read more ›
An attempt at doing a six part story that just about succeeds, by virtue of a few short episodes, this is a pretty decent audio. Nyssa gets a romance. The doctor gets some moments of moral indignation. And the story is kept going by new elements appearing as we go along, the same way they used to do it in tv six parters. This never feels like padding.
And the guest cast includes william russell - once ian chesterton in the tv days of william hartnell's doctor - as the diplomat. It is a pleasure to hear him again, and he turns in a superb performance. I'd almost recommend this on those grounds alone, but everything else about the story is good enough to make it a definite 4/5
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The premise that the Doctor is trying to end a war a la The Dark Husband (Doctor Who). It turns out that his planet fights its wars in the sports arena with teams and leagues that fight to the death complete with coaches, play by play and color commentary. The Doctor finds himself on a team and his actions on the field are a source of plenty of excitement.
As in Winter for the Adept (Doctor Who) Nyssa is given a more substantial part. Her relationship with Lord Carlisle (played by William Russell aka Ian Chesterton from the original cast of the show.) is very well done and I found the resolution striking. Then again Sarah Sutton as Nyssa regularly provides good performances to Big Finish, the only bad episode I can think of involving her was The Boy That Time Forgot (Doctor Who) and even then she and the cast provide good performances over an awful plot.
Anyway this one is very much worth your time and money. I highly recommend spending both on it.