The Oseidon Adventure (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) Audio CD – Audiobook, 30 Jun 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
At the end of the Trail of the White Worm the Master had called on his allies to come through the wormhole to Earth and the action picks up directly from there. The Master's allies, the Kraal are going to take over Earth, and the Master's stooge on earth Colonel Hugh Simpleton ("it's Spindleton!" "I know what I meant") believes the good old Earth of his memories is about to be revitalised for him. But of course there's a lot more to it than that.
The Trail of the White Worm seemed to hurry along a bit and didn't really seem to go anywhere in a big hurry (see my review for my slight annoyance about two part stories on one cd, and that you HAVE to get The Oseidon Adventure if you want to resolve the cliffhanger at the end of the Trail of the White Worm), but this story more than makes up for that. The action bounds from one place to another, and the Doctor and Leela are in top form. I like the involvement of UNIT, and the `hecilopter', as Leela calls it. There are twists and turns a'plenty, and the wry humour and madcap action of the Fourth Doctor and Leela stories is very well captured here. This is great stuff, and definitely makes up for the slightly slower start to the whole story in the Trail of the White Worm.
The releases in this run have all stood largely on their own and been the kind of thing you could get into without having heard earlier releases. But this is the second of a two part story that began with Trail of the White Worm (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures), and it begins right where the cliffhanger ending to that one left off. With very little catch up for new listeners. So you really do need to hear that one first in order to get into this.
This review thus contains some spoilers so only read on if you have heard the above.
This one runs for two parts of twenty seven minutes each in length [approx] and is complete on one single cd.
And it sees the fate of planet Earth in the balance as the Master's allies arrive. As you'll see from the box cover, it's the Kraals, the rhino like aliens last seen in the tv story 'the android invasion.'
With the Doctor having fallen prisoner to them, can Leela save the day? Luckily she has a rather surprising ally.
But whilst the Kraals have a plan, so does the Master. And this is only the start of it...
After the slightly surprising tone of white worm, this one comes as a nice surprise. Because it moves away from the potential for big battles and explosions that you might usually have in a season finale, and does something rather different. The plot is exceptionally clever and cunning and there are constant twists and surprises that really keep the listener hooked and on their toes.Read more ›
The Kraals suffer in two ways in this audio. Firstly they have a lot of similarities to the Sontarans, and the play could easily have featured them instead of the Kraals. This is exacerbated by the casting of Dan Starkey (who plays Strax and numerous other Sontarans) as Marshal Grinmal. This issue is acknowledged by the cast and production crew in the extra features that accompany the play but there is, perhaps, little that can be done about it with no visual reference. Besides, my three year old self believed ‘The Android Invasion’ featured Sontarans.
The second issue with the Kraals, and this exacerbates the first, is that they aren’t really the main focus of the story and there is little to distinguish them as a species within it. This is because the Master and the Kraals’ androids are focussed on instead.
This all leads to a lot of messing around with doubles/android duplicates. Similar tricks were used to greater effect in ‘The Android Invasion’ and other Doctor Who stories. After a while it becomes a bit repetitive and irritating. Even so it is amusing to see the Master become a victim of himself.
As this is a Fourth Doctor story this is the decayed version of the Master seeking to replenish himself somehow as he does in both ‘The Deadly Assassin’ and ‘The Keeper of Traken’. Leela’s response to him and later interaction is one of the best aspects of the story.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is one of those Doctor Who stories where you can complain about the lack of "real drama" or you sit back and enjoy the absurdity of the whole thing. I opt for the former and there's plenty to enjoy here: The Doctor and the Master face off in a battle of Android duplicates, while the Master's plan is full of trademark manipulation and complexity that leaves you guessing as to what is going on. The Doctor doesn't quite get off as many great one liners as in the previous story but Leela more than makes up for it with her horse riding, as well so many great scenes.
The one negative is that the end is a bit cheap and too neat for a story like this. Still, I think this is easily a 3.5 star story worth rounding up to 4.
I'll refrain from too many spoilers once again, since it's more fun to see how the pieces fit together in terms of the overall continuity, but a large part of the story involves android copies of key characters. It also involves a series of feints and turnabouts, especially in the second half. The net effect is that there is a stretch of the story where it becomes difficult to keep track of who is real and who is a copy. And since the story hinges on keeping the truth close to vest, there are moments where the confusion is intentional.
It also serves as a bit of a sequel to "The Android Invasion". While that serial contains one of the more iconic moments of the Fourth Doctor era, the plot is an absolute mess. So the return of the Kraals is not exactly the most welcome turn of events. The story also involves UNIT, which makes sense given the callback to the previous story, but seems a bit dissonant, since UNIT is more closely associated (at least in my mind) with the Third Doctor. And the narrative gymnastics required to explain the absence of familiar UNIT characters is more sad than amusing.
Because the Fourth Doctor Adventures are set to return to this time period in its third season, arriving on digital shelves in 2014, there's little in the way of closure of any character arcs. Though Leela's "education" is more prominent a focus in these adventures than most of the actual Classic Who serials, it's clear that the Doctor's mission to civilize is ongoing by "Horror of Fang Rock". And thus, it's going to remain something of a pretext for how the Doctor and Leela enter into a situation, rather than a progressive story element. Which, while entertaining enough, does feel like a missed opportunity.