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The Guardian of the Solar System (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) Audio CD – Audiobook, 31 Jul 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Big Finish Productions Ltd (31 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844354830
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844354832
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 1.2 x 16.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 900,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This is the third Big Finish audio story featuring Sara Kingdom, the character first met by the First Doctor when he fought against the Daleks and their time technology, and the ruler of the Solar System, Mavic Chen.

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.
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By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Aug. 2010
Latest Doctor who companion chronicle. These are a range of talking books which sees actors who played a companion to the Doctor in the tv show returning to the role to read an all new story featuring them. They voice their character and all the others save one who is voiced by a guest actor.

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.
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Once again Jean Marsh is ably supported by Niall MacGregor whom are on top form as we make a third visit to the house on the island where Robert talks with ethereal occupant Sara. There is a sense of closure here both with Robert prepared to forfeit his life for his daughter and the jaw dropping unexpected conclusion which will leave you wondering what happens beyond this trilogy. As indicated by the cover illustration and story title Mavic Chen is integral to Sara's story and with suitable incidental music the due reverence to which she holds this theatrical mandarin attired character is marvellously conveyed particularly on their first meeting. Although well conveyed and realised through sound design the interior of the great secret clock into which the Doctor, Steven and Sara arrive had me momentarily finding it similar in tone to the Eighth Doctor, Charlie and Krizz audio title TIME WORKS. Anyway finding themselves here back in time Sara briefly confronts Bret Vorn the loved and admired brother whom in the TV series story she believes was wrong to kill him. A worthy piece of narrative in this audio title to reinforce to the listener this character's connection with her sibling. Out of almost 78 mins total length you can peel away the one min next release trailer and 6 min chat where writer Simon Guerrier amusingly relates that this title was loosely based in part to John Noakes washing Big Ben! By my reckoning this leaves you with the main story occupying 70 mins which whilst lacking a certain sense of dramatic pace certainly maintains the unique two person interplay that typifies these Sara Kingdom titles. A part of a trilogy it is a welcome addition but as a stand alone title casual buyers might consider skipping this title unless of course you are a big fan of Jean Marsh whom is definitely an excellent narrator with measured emotive vocal deliver of the scripted text.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A further adventure for Sara Kingdom. 11 Oct. 2012
By A. West - Published on Amazon.com
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This was the first of the Sarah Kingdom Companion chronicles I have encountered, (There are apparantly four so far.)and it was a lot of fun. I wondered how on earth they were going to get more adventures out of a companion that died at the end of her very short term with the first Doctor. I figured the only way they could go was to have it take place during the Dalek's Masterplan as an "Untelevised adventure" which was partly true. They also found a way for the character to live on after her death. But you'll have to listen to it to find that out! Excellant work from Jean Marsh (Returning to the role after 45 years!)and Niall MacGregor as Robert. See more of Sarah in:The Drowned World (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles, 4.01)Home Truths (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles, 3.5)The Anachronauts (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles, 6.07)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Finale 12 Jun. 2016
By Adam Graham, Superhero and Detective Fiction Author - Published on Amazon.com
The conclusion of the Sara Kingdom trilogy tells of how Sara, Stephen, and the Doctor landed at a powerful clock and where Sara encountered Mavic Chen before the Dalek's Master Plan for him and after it, for her, as she knew how Chen would betray Earth. It's a puzzle and a bit of a destiny trap that plays out.

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.
2.0 out of 5 stars Let me start off by saying that I love Doctor Who 17 Aug. 2016
By BKW - Published on Amazon.com
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Let me start off by saying that I love Doctor Who....I like Sara Kingdom and I felt that Jean Marsh read the story beautifully. My problem is with content and cost. First, for those of you who don't realize, this is just part 3 of a trilogy so if you buy this audio book you must also buy Home Truths and The Drowned World to hear the whole thing. The story is mildly interesting but at $11 to $15 per CD this is NOT a story worth $33-45 dollars!! If this had been done with a more popular and mainstream companion then maybe, just maybe, it would justify the cost.....but unless you are a HUGE Sara Kingdom fan it's simply not worth the overblown price. This is a story that could have been put out in a single set at a much lower price. I felt it was padded to justify putting out 3 separate audio books. Is Big Finish getting greedy?

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".
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