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The Land of the Dead (Doctor Who) Audio CD – Audiobook, 30 Jan 2000
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Top customer reviews
"Millionaire Shaun Brett is utilising chunks of the local area to construct a shrine to his dead father. But when deadly creatures start roaming outside, and a terrifying discovery is made inside the house, the Doctor realises that Brett has unleashed an unimaginably ancient force."
The Land of the Dead is an imaginative, if rather odd, concept. Most peculiar is the house, with its themed rooms of stone, earth, timber, sea, ice and bone - if only we could see this strange creation on the screen! However, visuals are really unimportant in this story, as it's the characters inhabiting the house that matter.
They include the bitter and twisted Shaun Brett (Christopher Scott), the ageing Eskimo Gaborik (Andrew Fettes), the half-American Tulung (Neil Roberts) and the artist Monica Lewis (as opposed to Lewinsky), in an engaging turn by Lucy Campbell.
Unlike some of the Big Finish Audio series, there is no problem identifying who is who in this particular tale. Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton are in good and recogniseable form as the Doctor and Nyssa, and the remaining characters are all well-drawn and have distinctive voices. Whilst the monsters have a role to play, the crux of the story is really the personal struggle between Brett and Tulung, with the unfortunate Nyssa caught in the crossfire. In the absence of Nyssa's company, Monica Lewis makes a good companion to the Doctor during the last episode as she runs the gamut of stress from tense to wittering to sarcastic in what becomes something of a running joke.
Like many of the Big Finish stories, The Land of the Dead has good sound design and a decent script, this time written by Stephen Cole, which lets itself down only by including too much obvious descriptive exposition. I look forward to hearing more of the series.
The Doctor and Nyssa arrive in 1960s Alaska, the TARDIS on the trail of a mysterious energy source. They suddenly jump forward thirty years and on setting out to investigate they find themselves trapped in a house with the usual bunch of Dr. Who supporting characters and some very odd fossils.
This story does what classic Who did so well, and blends the superstitions of the Alaskan peoples with the science fiction elements beautifully to create a story that is tense and intelligent. The script writers have realised that the monsters are so much better in audio, and are not limited by dodgy screen effects. By letting the imagination work with the descriptions given by the characters you can conjure up some quite frightening images. It's really well done and makes the most of the new medium.
This is set in the period between Arc of Infinity and Timeflight, when Five and Nyssa were travelling alone without Tegan. This addresses a missed opportunity in the TV series to show the Dr and Nyssa travelling alone, as she was too often overshadowed by the annoying Adric and Tegan. Davison and Sutton step right back into the roles as though they had never been away, and it all works rather well. 4 stars.
The Tardis materialises somewhere above a snowscape; admiring the icy landscape stretching for miles, the Doctor almost misses a small plane heading towards them. Rapidly, the Tardis dematerialises. Rematerialising some thirty years later, the Doctor and Nyssa venture out into the snow and ice; and soon find themselves trying to avoid something that appears to be hunting them. They seek shelter; their host, Shaun Brett, is building a most unusual house, incorporating parts of the Alaskan land and culture into the structure itself. But the Doctor soon discovers there’s more to Alaska than he might have first thought; and could the past be catching up with the future?
This is a great story; I really liked the way the Alaskan environment, history, culture and isolation has been incorporated into this very aural story; we can really ‘see’ and ‘hear’ the barrenness and the dangerous wilderness, and can really visualise every element of the story as it unfolds. A very claustrophobic story, ironically set in a vast landscape, the characters and the story are really enthralling. The Doctor and Nyssa are written and performed extremely well, and the support cast are also well drawn, and really well played. I liked the way the character of Monica Lewis (played by Lucy Campbell) rather wittily broadcast her own reactions to the stress and danger the characters found themselves in, and Tulung (Neil Roberts), Gaborik (Andrew Fettes) and Brett (Christopher Scott) were all very rounded characters, who were well portrayed throughout. Really good stuff; and a story I’d happily listen to again.