Industrial Evolution (Doctor Who) Audio CD – Audiobook, 31 Mar 2011
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Also featuring John Pickard as Thomas Brewster. One time companion of the Fifth Doctor in other audios, and this is the third part in a trilogy of stories featuring him crossing paths with the Sixth Doctor.
It follows on from The Feast of Axos (Doctor Who), but even so the parts of this trilogy are relatively self contained and casual listeners might be able to get into this one without having heard the others.
It runs for four episodes which are twenty five to twenty minutes long approx each, and are spread over two discs.
The story sees Brewster having returned to his home century, the nineteenth, and working a mill in 19th century Lancashire. A time where the industrial revolution is going on, workers fight for their rights, new technology is introduced, and some factory owners care more about their workers than others.
But as Brewster gets caught up in the middle of this, there's trouble coming from a different direction. As there are people with hidden agendas. And something very nasty lurking in the cellar.
The machines are taking over. Literally...
What in many ways is a fairly standard tale of history with alien technology causing problems does have a fair amount going for it. The period setting is highly convincing as are the characters and their various attitudes. The alien technology is a little different from the norm. A few surprise twists do await.
But strongest is the relationship between the Doctor and Brewster. As both still don't entirely get on. But have very believable reasons for that.
The story is strongest in the first two episodes when the threat is still lurking in the background, but parts three and four do have moments that grab.
And the ending of part four does bring closure to the Brewster trilogy. But leave the door open for him to reappear in future if possible. On the basis of this, I rather hope that happens.
Not a classic story, but one that does manage to be slightly above average.
There are eight minutes approx worth of music from the story on the final track on disc one.
And after episode four on disc two you can find a trailer for the next release in the ongoing big finish Doctor Who range, plus roughly fifteen minutes of entertaining interviews with cast and crew.
Judging from the ending there is also every chance Mr Brewster may return, so be warned!
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The regulars turn in good performances and the guest cast also does well. Hugh Ross deserves particular credit as his character could become unbelievable and annoying, but Ross keeps the character feeling more or less realistic. While it has flaws, it's still a very well put together release with a few creepy moments.
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