Live 34 (Doctor Who) Audio CD – Audiobook, 1 Sep 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
Live 34 is an excellent experimental release that really works well. Structured as four half hour live broadcasts from Live 34, a radio station broadcasting live news to Earth Colony 34, and telling the story in real time over these broadcasts, it is an inspired idea. It tells a somewhat standard story of the Doctor and his friends trying to overthrow a corrupt political regime, but tells it purely from the point of view of the journalists reporting on various incidents. It is the imagination of the story telling tat saves this from being run of the mill and elevates it.
All the actors put in good performances, and you really do feel you are listening to live news reporting. It's an excellent production, 5 stars for this one. I would that all BF's experiments were so successful!
This is both a benefit and a curse: the main problem with the story is that it still SOUNDS too Earth-centric and therefore loses some of its impact. On the much more positive side this allows the characters to shine without any jarring bumps into the plot. The fun of the whole enterprise is trying to work out how the main characters will get onto the radio broadcast.
As with all Big Finish audios this script needed at least a couple more refinements and a truly decent script editor would have tightened up both the dialogue and the mystery of the planet/country itself but, overall, this has proved to be the most enjoyable audio for over a year from the sadly variable Big Finish.
The concept is a brave one and generally works well, particularly as the cast are on rattling good form and the adventure moves along at a fast pace.
However, if you are quite happy to forgive its lack of Whoness (and i am still trying to) then it succeeds. The story is well told, cleverly paced and formed. But again, its just a simple government revolution story with not much to throw it above any other political drama.
The cast are good fun to listen to (Sylvester in particular), and i think the newsreader nails newsreaderness, (i only just read it is by a real newsreader).
So in conclusion; its alright for a listen, but avoid if you're a doctor who fan looking for some top Who action. No cliffhangers either.
The newsreader at the centre of this story never really convinces as a character - and he's apparently played by a real newsreader, so that's odd - characters behave because the plot requires them to do things that way, and the situation gets close to the point of absurdity as the story develops. Hopefully it's not an attempt at modern political satire as it would come over as very paranoid and hysterical if it was.
But for something a little different, it's worth one go.