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Return of the Rocket Men (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) Audio CD – Audiobook, 30 Nov 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Big Finish Productions Ltd (30 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844359506
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844359509
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1 x 16.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 778,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 20 July 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"When do you know?"

This is another in the Companion Chronicle series of Doctor Who stories, stories told generally by a companion of one of the previous Doctors, and narrated by them. In this story, Steven Taylor (as played by Peter Purves) tells of a story when he was travelling with the First Doctor and Dodo - a story that changed his outlook on life for ever.

In the 2011 Companion Chronicle The Rocket Men, Ian Chesterton told of a time he, Barbara and Vicki were travelling with the First Doctor and met the Rocket Men, notorious space travelling pirates who used rocket propulsion units to pounce on unsuspecting victims, robbing and killing indiscriminately. In this story, Steven tells of a time before he met the Doctor when he first met the Rocket Men. And then the narration moves to a time when he, Dodo and the Doctor meet the Rocket Men again - landing on a small planet that has just been colonised, the Tardis crew are shocked to find the colonists living in fear of constant attacks - by the Rocket Men! What can they do to help? And what is it that Steven must do to save his own life?

I thought this story was fantastic; the early part of the narrative with Steven telling of his early days as a young pilot was shocking and really immediate in its action. The listener is left for some time wondering how all this can relate to a story with the Doctor's involvement, and the revelation, when it becomes clear is all the more shocking for its intensity of emotional clarity - for the listener, and for Steven. Peter Purves does a great job revising his character of the young space pilot, and does a fair job reminding the listener of William Hartnell's iconic First Doctor - the tones, the snappy dialect, all is extremely well done.
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By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Dec. 2012
Format: Audio CD
Latest Doctor Who companion chronicle. These are a range of talking books which feature an actor who played a companion to the Doctor on tv returning to the role to read an all new story for their character.

They usually do all the voices as well, save for one which will be played by a guest actor.

They normally run for two part of roughly thirty minutes each, and are complete on a single cd.

This one sees Peter Purves return to the role of Steven Taylor, whom he played opposite William Hartnell's Doctor back in the nineteen sixties.

This story is a two parter, the epeisodes running for thirty five and thirty two minutes each [approx].

It sees the return of the Rocket Men, vicious space pirates who first featured in an earlier companion chronicle The Rocket Men (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles). There are some references to events in that story in this one, but this story does stand largely on it's own and you can hear it without having heard that.

There are also a few references to another story that featured Steven The First Wave (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) but you don't need to have that one either to understand this story.

This one begins with Steven recounting his first meeting with the rocket men. Well before he met the Doctor, when he was a spaceship pilot. The use of present tense in this scene takes a short while to get used to, but you swiftly do because it does become rather gripping.
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Format: Audio CD
‘Return of the Rocket Men’ is a sequel to the original story, but the narrative is completely separate to the events of the first, and is set sometime after ‘The Gunfighters’. It was written by Matt Fitton; like the first it features the directing and music of Lisa Bowerman and Howard Carter respectively. Peter Purves takes up narrative duties alongside Tim Treloar who plays Van Cleef.

Howard Carter’s music is much more of an active participant in this one. The sounds are more varied. I can hear snare drum rolls, violins and more bass than the original. This score is more dynamic and in my opinion superior to its predecessor, also a Carter composition. This sequel is also not weighed down by the clumsy framing device of the John Dorney’s original work, meaning it flows much more easily. The acting is hard to fault, both stars perform admirably.

The narration opens with Steven asking a, “How do you know?”, question, linking back to the opening narration of the first story. The action is more pronounced than the original Rocket Men story. In the opening scene ‘Van Cleef’ shoots Steven in both legs before he tries to kill him. Yet ‘Van Cleef’ is merely ‘Ashmen’ in all but name. This story is about revenge, as well as saving Dodo and the other prisoners. These events transpired before Steven joined the Tardis crew but through the wonders of time travel Steven gets to relive them later on.

This doesn’t have the emotional impact of ‘The Rocket Men’, and I can’t help feeling it suffers because of it, but it just isn’t that kind of story. There are twists but the story isn’t so reliant on them to makes this a listen once affair, there is plenty to come back for. The action is also genuinely thrilling.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars I Think It's Going to be A Long, Long Time 8 April 2015
By Adam Graham, Superhero and Detective Fiction Author - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Return of the Rocket Men is a sequel both to the original Rocket Men story as well as to Steven Taylor's prior Companion Chronicles. However, neither are required listening to enjoy this.

Return of the Rocket Men is a marvelously narrated action story with Peter Purves providing some superb voice acting and one of the most vivid and rich audio soundscapes that really made the story come alive.

Steven is a wonderful hero and Purves creates one of the best First Doctor voices of all the companions.

Compared to the previous Rocket Men story, this is at the same level. The linear storytelling in this one made for a more interesting ending. I did find Ian's emotional journey in the prior story a tad more compelling and tangible (although Stephen's wasn't bad and may be preferred by those who have followed his prior Companion Chronicles.) I also didn't like that the hero is saved by a slightly modified version of a cliche.

Still, this is a fantastic adventure with time travel, paradoxes, heroes and battles with men with rocket packs. A very fun story.
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