Trail of the White Worm (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) Audio CD – Audiobook, 31 May 2012
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Top customer reviews
It succeeds perfectly in the audio medium because it is rich with character voices, has dialogue every bit as good, if not better than the era(s) it is based on, and a great plot. It brings in/"back" the post-"The Deadly Assassin" Master and he is absolutely superb thanks to good writing and a great performance by The Master himself at the time, Geoffrey Beevers. A very comical snooty-major role is played brilliantly by Michael Cochrane almost in John Cleese style.
I was happy to relisten to some segments as they were genuinely funny. Leela too, is well written and performed.
In many respects, the Doctor, Leela and the Master are better than they were at the time, because the writing has a more mature feel about it than the comedic season 15 style we had at the time.
For me a first rate audio, that is simple to listen to, fun, with one or two thought provoking ideas for the sci-fi ethos that I had not previously considered.
It ends on a cliff-hanger, which un-like the later story 2.2 The Sands of Life, is very welcome as I genuinely want this story to continue.
Finally, as intriguing as the story is, I am just happy to listen to the characters. So for me, this is a win-win story and one of the best single-disc releases for a long time. On a relisten I will skip some of the previous and later fourth Doctor Adventures, but this will be one of the key re-listens along with 2.1 The Auntie Matter and 2.4 The Justice of Jalxar.
There are several characters loosely based around those to be found in ‘The Lair of the White Worm’. Demesne is clearly supposed to be the Lady Arabella equivalent whereas the role of Oolanga is usurped by the character Mwalimu. Even without any knowledge of Swahili is quite obvious that this means ‘master’, especially if like me you can’t help but spend the first ten minutes of the play waiting for the word ‘master’ to pop up in another language or in an anagram form. The Doctor and Leela don’t seem to correspond particularly to Stoker’s characters. However, they do sort of fulfil the same purpose/role as the two main protagonists in the film version of ‘The Lair of the White Worm’, one of whom, interesting enough, was played by Peter Capaldi.
The plot works effectively well within the context of loosely basing it around ‘The Lair of the White Worm’. The separation of Leela from the Doctor allows for a more amusing side to the adventure. It leaves the Doctor to amusingly verbally spar with the aristocratic Demesne whilst Leela debates with the imperialistic, right wing Colonel Spindleton, and his tank. Unfortunately the plot suffers a little in lacking some originality when it comes to the Master. Like many Third Doctor serials he is doing his usual, assuming a false name and attempting a dubious alliance with some alien faction.
There is plenty of action and humour throughout, some good sound effects and an imaginative science fiction use of the White Worm. The play also ends on what is perhaps the best cliff hanger of this series. This release and the next, ‘The Oseidon Adventure’, are really the same four part story. So this play doesn’t have an ending as such, which de-values it a little. It might have been better to sell/market it as a four episode serial rather than two separate stories that can’t really work independently of each other.
In this story they find themselves on Earth, caught up in the doings of a small village where some are looking for a girl who appears to have gone missing. There is great fear of a `you know what' but the Doctor assures them they have more to fear from `something or other' instead. It doesn't take them long to work out what that `something or other' might be.
There is a mad Colonel with a tank, and mysterious goings on in the quiet village, which is great to pit against the Doctor's madcap but deadly serious behaviour and Leela as the woman of action. The only quibble I have with this story is that it is, again a two part story on one cd. And that it finishes on a cliffhanger so you are compelled, if you want to know what happens next to get The Oseidon Adventure which is another two parter on one cd. Would be better if the two cds were marketed as one story of four parts, surely, like almost all the other Big Finish adventures!?
A brilliant story, which features the return of the master, as played by Geoffrey beavers. He is great in the story, but he is only used minimal throughout the story, which is how I think the master is best played.
Tom baked and louise Jameson are brilliant in this story, it is really like being back in 1977 all over again.
I would recommended this to all doctor who fans. To fans of the classic series and also fans of the new series. Buy this audio and enjoy a great story
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