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Ghost in the Machine (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) Audio CD – Audiobook, 31 Oct 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Big Finish Productions Ltd (31 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781780862
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781780862
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 1 x 12.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 766,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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'Ghost in the Machine', is an odd little story. It's good, but for me it gets off to a shaky start. The Doctor is out cold and has left the Tardis log with a note that just says, "Use me." This means Jo spends the first ten minutes, or thereabouts, talking to herself. Once we get past all this and there is a proper reason for Jo doing this the story begins to pick up speed. I couldn't help thinking of 'Whispers of Terror' while I was listening to this, but thankfully this isn't just a rehash, and if you can forgive the first ten minutes this you will be paid back with a very enjoyable tale.

One of the good things about this is the acting. It's just Damian Lynch, who puts in a very good turn, and Katy Manning who plays a duel role and who gives the best performance I have heard from her. I was surprised to note that Louise Jameson directed this, but something about this trio worked, and did so really well. Another enjoyable aspect was the soundtrack. No real music but filled with constant creaking and breathing in the background, it helped create a claustrophobic and eerie presence.

Looking back on it, I think having Jo start this tale on her own was probably a wise move, rather than having the Doctor chat with her and pass out early on because it helped establish Jo as an isolated figure who was forced to go outside of the Tardis. I am not sure I will listen to it again in a hurry as it relies on surprise, and once you know what's going to unfold and how then I imagine it takes the shine off somewhat, but as I said, well-acted with a fresh, creative story which was a joy to listen to.
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Featuring: The 3rd Doctor and Jo Grant, performed by Katy Manning and Damian Lynch as Benjamin Chikoto
Stand alone? : Yes

The TARDIS has landed in a very dark destination. The Doctor is gone and Jo Grant exits the TARDIS only to find him in some sort of coma. As she wonders around she soon realizes that there may be something lurking in the darkness, the reality of which is so much more sinister than it first appears.
Jonathan Morris has created an eerie and atmospheric two part companion chronicle, which quickly becomes skin crawling creepy. It’s a full cast drama rather than a narrated one, however with the Doctor temporarily out of the picture it pretty much consists of Jo Grant talking to herself about her surroundings at first. Therefore the idea of having Jo record the events on the TARDIS log was a very good idea. Old research bases with experiments gone terribly wrong always make for a good ghost story and the concepts in this one are some of the best I’ve heard on big finish.

I’ve never listened to Katy Manning on audio before but it became clear to me as I did just how talented at voice acting she is. The way she delivers the lines and changes her voice is spot on.
Jo Grant may not be the brightest crayon in the pack but my god is she one of the bravest.
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By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 Nov. 2013
Latest Doctor Who companion chronicle. These are a range of talking books that see an actor who played a companion to the Doctor on TV return to the role, to read an all new adventure for their character.

They do all the voices save one, which is performed by a guest actor.

The stories are usually complete in two parts, of twenty five to thirty minutes each, and come on a single cd.

This one sees Katy Manning return again to the role of Jo Grant, whom she played opposite Jon Pertwee's Doctor back in the 1970's.

The two episodes both run for just over thirty one minutes [approx].

The story sees Jo come into the TARDIS console room. Only to find no sign of the Doctor. Outside the doors, she fins herself in a place where something terrible has clearly happened. And a log recorder, with the words 'Use me' on it.

As she records her investigation into the place, and her hunt for the Doctor, onto the recorder, she slowly becomes aware of something very dangerous lurking in the shadows. And of something that isn't quite right...

It takes a moment or two at the beginning to get used to Jo talking to herself, but it does feel in character. And when she has the recorder, it then works perfectly.

This grips from the beginning, though, because you are as much in the dark as Jo is as to what is going on. Her investigations and the gradual unfolding of the truth are involving because of that.

The episode is a long one simply because the nature of the threat is gradually revealed, via a few moments that might make you go 'oh! hang on a minute!'. All this is subtly done and unsettlingly scary because of that. Once you do realise the full horror of the situation, it does make for a very effective cliffhanger.
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This companion chronicles release is slightly different from the others because it had no narration and is happening present tense. This is one of the best audios I have ever listened to simply because it is very tense and frightening.

Katy Manning's portrayal of Jo Grant is played really well as well as her impersonation of Pertwee. In this story we deal with an enemy we can kind of all relate to, but you must listen to it to find out. Once again, a brilliant story and enjoyable listen to.
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