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Cobwebs (Doctor Who) Audio CD
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In search of a cure for a sickness that's so far claimed six billion lives, scientist Nyssa arrives at an abandoned gene-tech facility on Helheim, she soon runs into the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough. But who, or what, has engineered this strange reunion?
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This reunion creates quite a different dynamic with the Tardis crew, as Tegan doesn’t trust Turlough, Turlough still feels he has to justify the Doctor’s trust, Nyssa has matured and created a very different life for herself, and the Doctor now has to juggle a whole new set of problems, and people. The gene-tech facility on Helheim is deserted, apart from a computer intelligence, and the maintenance spiders have been doing their best to keep up the station. But when the Doctor, Tegan, Turlough and Nyssa try to find out what happened there, they discover that time has a way of catching up with them.
This is a great story. It is one that requires the listener’s attention, as there are a lot of threads that need to be pulled together to make sense of the narrative as it unfolds, and it’s not until the last credits have rolled (as it were) that the whole story really comes round to being complete. I always enjoy the Tardis crew of the Fifth Doctor, with Tegan, Turlough and Nyssa, and it is interesting now to have Nyssa back so far in her own future life. The supporting cast in this story are tremendous; very much actors who portray their characters through their voices, and for the listener it is an opportunity to hear very different personalities coming through in a purely audio medium. This is a story that feels very ‘viewable’ for the listener, and you can imagine what is happening very clearly. Raymond Coulthard, Helen Griffin, Adrian Lukis and Charlotte Lucas do a great job as their various characters, and if at times I felt Edgar was channelling Marvin from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, that certainly didn’t detract from the tension of the narrative, and the overall enjoyable experience of this story.
Mark Strickson, the devious Turlough, appeared in the first Big Finish audio Phantasmagoria (Doctor Who) with Peter Davison, but has not returned until now. Janet Fielding as the spiky Australian air hostess Tegan Jovanka has also appeared in one BF audio play, Doctor Who - The Gathering (Big Finish), whilst Sarah Sutton as the aloof genius Nyssa has appeared regularly alongside Davison's Fifth Doctor.
The four travellers make for a crowded TARDIS, and Tegan's enmity towards Turlough for trying to kill herself and The Doctor whilst under the malign influence of the Black Guardian means that tensions run pretty high a lot of the time. Turlough insists he is now free of the evil influence but Tegan's natural ebullience and fierce loyalty towards The Doctor will not let her be fully convinced. This aside, the quartet have to battle against marauding monsters and homicidal humans on the seemingly abandoned gene-tech facility of the planet Helheim. Nyssa has come here separately and is reunited with her old friends - but who has engineered this meeting and what part do the deadly Cractids play in the strange events that seem to be unfolding..?
Overall this is a hugely enjoyable and fascinatingly intricate story from Doctor Who script veteran Jonathan Morris, and as it's the first in a new trilogy there's plenty more to look forward to...
With Janet Fielding as Tegan.
Mark Strickson as Turlough.
And Sarah Sutton as Nyssa.
The 1983 line up are back and it's like they've never been away.
Although they do sound a bit older at times but you'll quickly get used to them and the story and you won't even notice that after a little while.
In a four part story, two episodes to each cd in the box, each episode running for roughly twenty nine minutes, it's immediately after the end of the tv story enlightement, and it immediately recreates one key element of the era. The Doctor and Tegan arguing. Loose ends from the end of enlightement are dealt with and then - another staple of the old series - the TARDIS is pulled by a mysterious force into a deserted research base. Where they meet Nyssa again. Decades having passed for her.
The mystery of what happened on the base occupies the Doctor and companions. And a first episode cliffhanger shows there's deadly danger awaiting them. That they may not be able to escape....
A research base with corridors and staff with their own agendas. Lots of running around and being captured. Doctor and companion squabbles. The era is so perfectly recreated. But at the same time it's something more, thanks to a very clever script that does a lot with the notion of time travel.
You have to concentrate hard on the story post episode one because all the time travel stuff is very involved, but it's all worth the effort thanks to a very clever script and a great main cast who make the most of their time back together. Some of the resolutions at the end of part four are really not what you might have expected and that makes for clever writing.
This one is a bit much to take in at times because of the complexity of the script but that means future listenings will be a rewarding experience. And it makes you want to listen to it again.
The story is self contained but for further audio adventures of this line up listen to the next story The Whispering Forest (Doctor Who) a trailer for which can be found at the start of disc one.
There's nine minutes or so of the music from the story on it's own on the last track of disc one.
And roughly fifteen minutes worth of interviews with cast and crew at the end of disc two. Which are an entertaining listen and absolutely fly by.
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Peter Davison: The Doctor
Janet Fielding: Tegan
Mark Strickson: Turlough
Sarah Sutton: Nyssa
The old team back together...Read more