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The Silver Turk (Doctor Who) Audio CD – Audiobook, 31 Oct 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Audiobook, 31 Oct 2011
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Big Finish Productions Ltd (31 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844356019
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844356010
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 1 x 14.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 167,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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It is no giveaway that this story features Early Cyberman as it is on the audio cover. In nearly all stories, teasers aside, we know the Daleks or Cybermen are going to be in it because of the name or the product cover. It would otherwise have been an even greater revelation if we did not know that the Silver Turk was going to be a Cyberman.

Paul McGann only had one small screen "episode" of Doctor Who, for which we can say that the television movie was ok but the Doctor was fabulous. Big Finish in early 2001 produced a season of four McGann stories, following up with six the following year, such that we have four proper seasons of McGann and many more stories besides including a bespoke range of Eighth Doctor adventures which ran for four series. For anyone who listens to the range, the eighth Doctor has had many fantastic adventures courtesy of Big Finish and The Silver Turk is no exception. The Doctor is joined by newish companion (one small story beforehand) Mary Shelley prior to her writing of novels. It always seems a shame when Doctor Who companions change, but both on television and with Big Finish audios, the next companion brings a whole new dynamic to the TARDIS crew, and Shelley is an inspired choice. This is not so much a change as a different companion as Big Finish have the opportunity, where canonicity allows to thread in additional adventures almost anywhere.

The great thing about the McGann "seasons" of Big Finish audios is that they are the only Doctor Who stories using past Doctors where they can experiment with the theme tune. They always come as a bit of a surprise because they are fresh and triumphant. Naturally they are shorter for audio but that does not detract.

The use of Cybermen in this story is clever.
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I admit to being a bit puzzled - the first episode of this story, we are treated to tantalising glimpses of the "Silver Turk" - the marvellous automaton which can apparently play chess, and play the piano. And when the Doctor finally reveals what it actually is ... it's not much of a surprise because it's drawn on the cover of the cd!!!! And quite clearly advertises Nicholas Briggs playing the Cybermen. Why would you do that? Rather defeats the purpose really of building up the suspense for the listener. However, that's a small quibble, as the Cyberman, while certainly integral to the story, are by no means all that waits in the darkness!

This story slides rapidly in gothic horror; visitations by coaches that have strange horses making their appearance right at the beginning of the story, along with strange nursery rhymes, strange exhibits at a local "Exposition"; and mysterious murders, and even more mysterious strangers in the Vienna nights. The Cyberman's purpose and mission on Earth becomes slowly clearer, and the story winds up to a macabre ending with all sorts of unforeseen matters unfolding to the listener.

The character of Mary Shelley - I'm not sure I can really get a feel for her as a companion to the Doctor - she has some trouble with being in her `future' and with the Doctor showing no compassion to the Cyberman - I haven't heard any other stories with her in, so it may be that I need to hear more of her character to understand the relationship. Clearly the Doctor is intrigued by her as the author of her novels which are known to us now; so that would explain his interest in sharing the universe with her further.

All up, while the (gasp!
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By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Nov. 2011
A new Doctor Who audio story, featuring Paul McGann as the Doctor.

When regular listeners to these last heard the eighth Doctor in a story, his travels with Lucie Miller had just come to an end.To the Death (Doctor Who: The New Eighth Doctor Adventures). But this story takes place a long time before that one. In fact it takes place prior to the very first eighth Doctor audio Storm Warning (Doctor Who), which mentioned in passing that he once travelled with Frankenstein writer Mary Shelley.

In the audio The Company of Friends (Doctor Who) there was an episode which described how they met and how she came to travel with him. This story follows right on from that.

You should be able to get into this easily enough if you haven't heard that, though. Casual listeners might be a little puzzled by a passing reference to some other friends of the Doctor's, but beyond that it's completely accessible.

It runs for four episodes and is spread over two cd's. Each episode runs from thirty to thirty four minutes approx.

After a scary and rather sinister opening sequence involving a frightened man trying to escape someone, and a rather sinister - but beautifully sung - lullably - the story then gets going with the Doctor and Mary arriving in Vienna in the 19th century, at the time of the great Viennese exposition.

One of the wonders of this is the Silver Turk, a marvellous machine that can play musical instruments. Among other things.
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