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The Rocket Men (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) Audio CD – Audiobook, 31 Aug 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Big Finish Productions Ltd (31 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844355810
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844355815
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1 x 14.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 742,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 24 April 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is another in the companion chronicles; in this instance Ian Chesterton tells a tale of when he, Barbara and Vicki, travelling with the First Doctor, are caught up in circumstances they could never have dreamed of. What should have been a pleasant and unexpected holiday on the planet Jobis becomes a nightmare when they are caught up in terrorism and piracy. And what can they, or the Doctor, do to save themselves or the planet?

This is one of the stand-out companion chronicles; the writing itself is so compelling that, together with the narrative supplied by William Russell as Ian (and voicing some of the other characters), you find yourself drawn completely into the story. The audio story is so beautifully crafted that you never find yourself missing any visuals that would have been available in a tv story.

The narrative changes from the present to the past (with shorter distances between the two, as the past becomes the present) smoothly; always there is a phrase or word that is used to link between the two narratives. Ian's character is perfectly crafted; slightly tetchy with the Doctor, protective and loving towards Vicki and Barbara; and terribly concerned to ensure the safety of his friends and companions. The other characters are also perfectly captured in this story, which seems to fit so well into the First Doctor era. This is one of those stories you find yourself playing through twice; not to understand it, but to enjoy once again the story and the marvellous telling of it.
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Format: Audio CD
I had noticed the ‘The Rocket Men’ and its sequels, and was curious as the reoccurrence of the titular antagonists seemed to suggest that these were titles worth paying attention to. John Dorney and Lisa Bowerman take up writing and directing duties respectively. These names are ones that I try and lookout for as they have been consistently good in other productions I have heard.

William Russell emits an authoritative tone even in narration and manages to capture Hartnell’s inflections well. This makes William narrating as Ian more engaging, and some of my favourite narration in the Companion Chronicles range. Gus Brown has a steely tone to his voice and plays the antagonist Ashmen with the calculating callousness you might expect. John Dorney does a wonderful job of painting the setting of Platform 5, the floating city on the planet Jobis, lots of rich; vivid imagery. The Doctor’s companions Ian, Barbara and Vicki, find themselves in a hostage situation and are presented with many hard choices. There is action, emotion and moral dilemma in this tale. The combination of the acting and writing make this an engaging and stimulating production.

On the other hand, the story jumps back and forth so much between recent past and present more than is really necessary, this is hardly helpful. The flash back framing device becomes tiresome early on, and punctures a lot of the tension. The Companion Chronicles are often understated, but I think more could have been made of the action, eventually the past and present events catch up with each other. The scene where Ian and Barbara first witness the Rocket Men would probably have had more impact at the beginning rather than 25 minutes in.
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By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 18 Oct. 2015
Format: Audio CD
This is another in the companion chronicles; in this instance Ian Chesterton tells a tale of when he, Barbara and Vicki, travelling with the First Doctor, are caught up in circumstances they could never have dreamed of. What should have been a pleasant and unexpected holiday on the planet Jobis becomes a nightmare when they are caught up in terrorism and piracy. And what can they, or the Doctor, do to save themselves or the planet?

This is one of the stand-out companion chronicles; the writing itself is so compelling that, together with the narrative supplied by William Russell as Ian (and voicing some of the other characters), you find yourself drawn completely into the story. The audio story is so beautifully crafted that you never find yourself missing any visuals that would have been available in a tv story.

The narrative changes from the present to the past (with shorter distances between the two, as the past becomes the present) smoothly; always there is a phrase or word that is used to link between the two narratives. Ian's character is perfectly crafted; slightly tetchy with the Doctor, protective and loving towards Vicki and Barbara; and terribly concerned to ensure the safety of his friends and companions. The other characters are also perfectly captured in this story, which seems to fit so well into the First Doctor era. This is one of those stories you find yourself playing through twice; not to understand it, but to enjoy once again the story and the marvellous telling of it.
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By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Sept. 2011
Format: Audio CD
Latest Doctor Who companion chronicle. These are talking books that see an actor who played a companion to The Doctor on tv return to their role in order to read an all new story for the character.

They usually last for two episodes of roughly half an hour each and are complete on one cd.

And the actor in question will voice all the parts save for one, which is done by a guest actor.

This one sees William Russell return to the role of Ian Chesterton, whom he played on tv opposite William Hartnell's Doctor back in the 1960's.

The story sees the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Vicki visit the giant planet Jobis. A gas giant, which has floating cities high up in it's atmosphere. And giant whale like creatures flying around them.

These cities are a top holiday destination, and the TARDIS crew enjoy their time there. But when a tour boat is attacked by the Rocket Men, a group of interstellar pirates who move through the atmosphere of the planet using rocket packs, an act of defiance leaves them fighing for their lives.

The first few years of the show on tv were very ambitious at times. This recalls in some ways the story Doctor Who - The Web Planet [DVD] which tried to create a very alien world. You can imagine this one being done on tv at the time as well. Mostly via back projection and stock footage and men on wires. But that's all part of the charm.

The narrative structure of the two episodes isn't linear. It jumps back and forth between different moments in the story. This takes a little getting used to. And it does mean that not much actually happens in the first episode.
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