The Guardian of the Solar System (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) Audio CD – Audiobook, 31 Jul 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
If you have not heard the previous two companion stories with Sara Kingdom, you will find it hard to follow the thread of Sara in the house with her companion. You really need to have heard the previous two stories first - Home Truths, and The Drowned World.
I really enjoyed this story, as I have enjoyed all the Companion stories I have listened to. The Sara Kingdom stories are really enjoyable to listen to - Jean Marsh's soft yet commanding voice captures every single nuance of the character's lines - she's brilliant to listen to. And Niall MacGregor plays a complex and well-rounded companion in the house very well, as he has in the earlier stories.
This story starts off in familiar territory as we follow Sara with the First Doctor and Steven in their battle against Mavic Chen. Sara revisits the death of her brother Brett Vyon, and you start to wonder, as the listener, whether the story is just going to cover familiar ground. However, it soon takes a very unexpected turn - and very cleverly. The listener is reminded of the futility of attempting to change the course of time; of interfering with the known course of events. And we feel every part of Sara's pain as she relives those awful times for her, both personally and professionally.
This is a very clever story, interposed into the Daleks' Masterplan story of 1965/66, and fits in very nicely without any evident seamlines appearing in what is a well-established story from so many years ago.Read more ›
They are two part stories complete on one cd.
This one sees Jean Marsh return to the role of Sara Kingdom, whom she played opposite William Hartnell's doctor back in the 1960's. This story follows on from the earlier companion chronicles Home Truths (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) and The Drowned World (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) and it also ties into the continuity from the tv story "Doctor Who", the Daleks' Mater Plan: Dalek's Master Plan.
Those not familiar with those three releases should ideally start with home truths to get the most out of this, although episode one does begin with some exposition designed to fill you in on the story so far. On how Sara somehow lives on in an old house in Ely in a far future England, and on her relationship with a man called Robert who is also now in the house.
The episodes here run for thirty seven and thirty two minutes approx each, and like the earlier two audios they have Sara telling a story of her time with the Doctor whilst the saga of her relationship with Robert also continues.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Overall, the story is good. Although the House's powers almost seem impossible to view as any sort of science no matter how advanced as seen in a key plot twist. The finale is nicely done and in many ways, it brings the story full circle and like the two proceeding stories offers an uncertain and open ending.
I also didn't like the format which tells 3 short and rather boring background stories about Steven, The First Doctor and Sara Kingdom IN THE PAST TENSE. Without giving away any spoilers it's safe to say that this past tense style doesn't work well for Doctor Who - which should be all about excitement and tension and near escapes. However, since you are hearing what happened after the fact, there is no real tension or danger in any of the stories and in the end the Doctor and his companions take a huge back seat to this fireside story telling style. In my opinion, these mini-stories are basically just little vignettes designed solely as filler to what is otherwise a long drawn out 3 CD episode of Sara feeling angst over the death of her brother. Though beautifully read by Jean Marsh, I didn't find this to be hugely "psychological" as another reviewer indicates....I also didn't find that it created much character depth. It simply has Sara stating over and over how sad, regretful and upset she is over her brother's death.....it goes nowhere and becomes repetitive. This is all interwoven with the "mystery" of the house which is slowly dolled out over the 3 audio books. No one CD brings closure and no story on any single CD is worth the price of that CD. If they were going to bring Sara Kingdom back it would have been much better to follow the normal Doctor Who style and do a real-time story filled with all the action and adventure stemming from the places she and the others landed rather than to adopt the "once upon a time" style that was used here. Instead, the format is this: Spooky house mystery is discussed (around the fireplace)...followed by a minor flashback story about The Doctor with very little content...interspersed with Sara showing angst over Bret Vyon's death.....rinse and repeat for 3 CDs. I wanted to like it more. However, I really like Jean's ability as a voice artist and would love to see her voice other characters in other audio books (she would be a good match to read new Sarah Jane Smith/Elisabeth Sladen material).....but really, Sara Kingdom's time has come and gone and this just seems like a long drawn out money grab and it doesn't even do a good job of telling the story of a character it worked so hard to "bring back".