Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Worried Blues Shop now Fitbit

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 16 July 2013
This CD fits in well to the Tom Baker timeline. It would have made a brilliant TV script. The pace keeps up!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 December 2010
Like its predecessor, Hornets' Nest, the Demon Quest sequence (Relice of Time, 3/5; Demon of Paris, 3/5; Shard of Ice, 5/5; Starfall, 3/5; Sepulchre, 3/5) is a rummy old thing: beautifully packaged, with stunning cover artwork; gorgeous, immersive sound design; and a trump card in the return of Sir Tom Baker as the fourth Doctor (a feat even the estimable Big Finish hasn't yet wangled). Even the price - some used models were hovering around the three-guinea mark at the time of writing - is right. So what's not to like?

Well, it's like this... the plot, narrative, story-arc, call it what you will, is slender to the point of non-existence, and it makes the six-hour journey (12 if you pop Hornet's Nest on the mp3-player) somewhat unsatisfactory upon arrival at your ultimate destination.

Now, that's not to say it isn't fun getting there, because it is: Baker is in larky mode, the fourth Doctor no longer the implacable, alien odd-bod of old but an avuncular (lustier?) force of nature, a character mapped somewhat on to the actor's current public persona (they have, finally, become each other), and there is fine support from Susan Jameson as Mrs Wibbsey (a figure seemingly plucked from Baker's relentless imagination by author Paul Magrs) and Richard Franklin as Mike Yates (no, we don't know what Yates is doing here, either, but Franklin provides sterling support all the same).

Pleasingly, it's almost impossible to place within standard Who lore, and seems to exist in a little fun bubble of its own, where, perhaps, the fourth Doctor didn't fall to his doom from the Pharos Project radio telescope, but instead discovered the `attractions' of women (let's put it like that; cf, City of Death) and a spot of sherry, and bought a nice little cottage in Sussex where it's nearly-always Christmas. That world is wonderfully realised, and is a pleasure to visit, Magrs recasting Who as a freewheeling, time-travelling romp somewhere between the comic-strip adventures of the Seventies and Eighties and the Douglas Adams era, though without the insistent nudge-nudge `humour' of the latter. The author here has a reputation for good-natured shakings up of the show's established order (see "Verdigris", and anything featuring Iris Wildthyme), but he never quite goes over the top.

No, there's no problem with the set-up here, and the tone is perfect and consistent; it's just that too little happens... or rather, plenty happens, in many colourful times and places, but it doesn't amount to much. The quest structure supplies a sort of imperative, but crises seem to get resolved perhaps a bit too conveniently, even for a goose-chase of this sort. This might be missing the point, of course: it's in the journey, not the conclusion, that the real adventure lies (the Doctor would surely agree), and the medium is the message, or something. After all, we do get to revel for hours in Magrs' ripe language, and no one enjoys it more than the lead; Baker even makes the end credits sound fun. Audio imbibers won't lack for sheer sensation, distraction and delight on the commute; that has something of the show's original ambition about it, and on its own terms is refreshing.

It's perhaps for these reasons that episode three, Shard of Ice - a story about the telling of stories - is the most satisfactory entry, thrilling to the narrator's last utterance. And these tales do stand alone (sort of), so if you're plumping for one, plump there; you won't, of course: the packaging, if nothing else, makes all five irresistibly collectible, even in these straitened times.
Doctor Who: Demon Quest: Demon of Paris v. 2: The Demon of ParisDoctor Who: Demon Quest: Relics of Time v. 1Doctor Who: Demon Quest: Starfall v. 4Doctor Who: Demon Quest: Sepulchre v. 5"Doctor Who": Hornets' Nest: Stuff of Nightmares v. 1 (BBC Audio)Doctor Who: Hornets' Nest: The Complete SeriesDoctor Who - City of Death [1979] [DVD] [2005]"Doctor Who": Logopolis (Classic Novels)
Yarns, then, knitted up into a long, multi-coloured and eccentric trail... remind you of anyone? Grab your scarf and hat then, and come along; just don't say you weren't told ....
Doctor Who: Verdigris
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 50 REVIEWERon 21 September 2011
This is the third in the Demon Quest audio cd series, which utilises the wondrous Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor. Tom is, as usual, in fine form, declaiming his script with great gusto. The puns are terrible, but they make you laugh.

Mike Yates is travelling with the Doctor in this story, as they try to discover who is manipulating the Doctor by stealing part of his Tardis console and then leaving strange clues for him to follow. In this instance, Mike and the Doctor have appeared in illustrations of a story book written by Albert Tiermann, who they meet up with as he travels across the Murgin Pass in a blizzard to attend the King. Albert is a driven soul, who must tell stories to the `mad' King on pain of death for failure, and he is a nervous wreck as he feels his inspiration leaving him. But does he have a mysterious ally? And how is he, and his life, linked to the Doctor and Mike, and the book of stories that he writes in his own future? How far will Albert go to save his own life?

This story does not add a whole lot to the Doctor's understanding of what's going on or why he's being manipulated in this manner; but it does set us up well for the remaining stories. The ending leaves the remainder of the story wide open, and we are anticipating that the Tardis crew will end up in New York in the next episode. What will they find there? Great stuff.
22 Comments| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 18 November 2011
After listening to The Demon of Paris, I became eager and hungry for the next chapter of Doctor Who: Demon Quest. The dark machinations of the mysterious "Demon" became really enticing, Paul Magrs' improved writing from The Relics of Time, and the change of direction of the arc meant I couldn't wait for part 3.

A Shard Of Ice continues the Fourth Doctor's search for missing components of his TARDIS, and uncover the truth behind his likeness found on mysterious, historic artefacts. This time, the Time Lord's quest takes him and Captain Mike Yates (reprised again by Richard Franklin) to 1847, in a fierce arctic storm in Germany, where they encounter Albert Tiermann, storyteller to the king. Tiermann's fear over being late for the king soon turns to obsession over the storybook that the Doctor has. A storybook that Tiermann himself has YET TO WRITE, with page 407 featuring an illustration of the Doctor and Mike battling a horned monster!

Again, Magrs deserves props for a change of mood and of writing. The variety of Demon Quest is what has helped make this audio arc so appealing. And the script, music and sound effects all paint such a vivid and frightening picture for the listener. The cold, chilling ambience of the snowstorm in Germany, the cosiness of the warm inn, the encounter with the beast in the cave etc; all presented with delicious warmth and realism.

Unfortunately though, I didn't enjoy A Shard Of Ice anywhere near as much as The Demon of Paris, or even The Relics of Time. It felt like a huge step down. This third chapter of Demon Quest does little to advance the overall plot, and feels too similar to the events of before i.e. tormented historical figure, shadowy villain with great big TARDIS-esque chamber, mythical creatures explained scientifically, it's starting to get a bit samey.

While it's great to see Richard Franklin have such a strong role as Michael Yates, it doesn't feel as important as it should, like Susan Jameson was given as Mrs Wibbsey in Parts 1 and 2. And although Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor continues to be the stuff of absolute legend, his performance is squandered by the stalled pace of this chapter.

Where A Shard Of Ice does succeed though...is Samuel West as Albert Tiermann, who's given the helm at narrating the story. West delivers true passion and enthusiasm as the emotional wreck of an author. Tiermann is a character whose truly at his lowest ebb at the beginning of this tale, but you don't feel that much sympathy towards him as he's a spineless, selfish coward who thinks only of himself. It's a strange premise, because Samuel just reels you in with his performance, narrating the events and his mindset simultaneously in superb fashion.

The explanation behind his cold-heart turns out to be a disturbing revelation, as does the resolution and the end to the tale that Tiermann tells is highly clever. It's a shame that the rest of the story doesn't quite match such a brilliant character spotlight, as Paul Magrs writes this flawlessly.

Obviously, you'll have to check out A Shard of Ice in order to complete Demon Quest, even though it's not as essential as it should be. The cover sleeve is beautiful to behold with the old Radio Times layout, the excerpt of the fairy tale book and illustration, and the production values are still so excellent. And the sound of Starfall (part 4) again entices me. I just hope for an improvement, because while Doctor Who: A Shard of Ice remains good listening, it's the weakest Demon Quest outing thus far. And after the mind-blowing Demon of Paris, that's disappointing indeed.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
First released in 2010, this is the third part of a five part adventure for the Fourth Doctor released on audio. It is a single hour long episode on a single disc, with some well realised artwork on the inlay. Following the events of the opening episode (Relics of Time) the Doctor and Mike Yates are on a quest across time, following clues left by their mysterious adversary as they try to track down some missing parts from the TARDIS.

Told through the narrating voice of an Austrian story teller who encountered the Doctor in the Mountians, this is where the series started to fall flat for me. There are not enough of Tom Baker’s orotund tones! It’s a relatively pedestrian tale that did little for me, especially the end where the Doctor escapes a trap all too easily and the TARDIS component is recovered as an afterthought. The main attraction of these tales, Baker, is largely absent, and when he does appear he is not in his usual ebullient form, his voice sometimes loses its deep richness and cracks a little as though he had a bit of a sore throat. There is a feeling of a slap dash quality, as though first takes were used with a ‘that will do’ attitude and no-one could be bothered to do a second take to see if things could be improved.

I don’t have much time for this story. It’s a non-essential link in the Demon Quest saga, it makes no sense if you haven’t listened to the previous two releases and can be missed without spoiling your enjoyment of the series as a whole. 2 stars.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 January 2011
A Shard of Ice third in the five piece Demon Quest story plot, We are treated to an adventure as told thru the book/story teller who has trouble creating more tales for his country's king, so along comes our timelord hero admist an icy wind swept realm who incidentally has a copy of the writer's tales from a future aspect which the writer is cajoled by his ice queen mistrees to access it to beciome the man he wishes, but all is not what it seeems.....

This is by far my favourite of all the second series of adventures for Tom Baker and co star Richard Franklin (of the Unit days on tv, Cpt Mike Yates)its full with chilly atmospheric background sounds to enhance the tale and the evil force represented here is one of the most thrilling female vocals i've ever heard.

Neatly plotted and i would rate this 10/10
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 November 2010
With a not inconsiderable nod to Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale 'The Snow Queen', Paul Magrs' latest Fourth Doctor audio adventure is another cracking story that just left me wanting more. With Richard Franklin's urbane Mike Yates aboard the TARDIS in place of the redoubtable Mrs Wibbsey, the travellers arrive in the snowy wastes of the Murgin Pass and take shelter in a lodge nearby. Meeting Albert Tiermann, the King's storyteller, they are soon embroiled in murder, mystery and supernatural forces.
Baker and Franklin spark off one another nicely here, although this is really Tiermann's story and renowned thesp Samuel West is excellent as the troubled storyteller in the thrall of a sinister power. With excellent support from the likes of Susan Jameson and Jan francis, this is a hugely atmospheric and pleasingly Christmassey tale, continuing Magrs and Baker's terrific run.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 December 2010
Great use of the narrating device with the famouse Fairy Tale scribe hauntingly weaving the atsmopheric script into an even more elaborate fairy tale. Tom Baker is still on top eccentric form. I like Mike Yates but I,m gald Mrs Wibbsey will be back to her complaining self next time. This series has improved upon the last with the linking enemy more mysterious and fun than buzzing hornets!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 August 2016
Great value and a speedy service thanks
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Demon Quest is a series of five talking books that see Tom Baker reprise the role of Doctor Who. This is the third of them. Whilst they mostly stand alone there is a strong story arc running through them thus whilst casual listners could get into this one easily - it has a brief 'story so far' at the start - it's probably better to hear them in order.

This one runs for just over one hour and six minutes and is complete on one cd. It's one long episode and the only breaks in it are the usual cd chapters.

The sleeve notes give cast and crew details, a bit about the writer, and a reproduction of a few pages from a storybook. A book that forms the heart of this particular episode.

This is narrated by a character called Albert Tiermann. A teller of stories. In an unspecified time long ago. On a journey to tell his king his latest tale he meets the Doctor and Mike Yates, and they are all stranded in a remote hotel in the middle of a snowy landscape.

Tiermann, we slowly find, is a rather weak man who is desperate to get his hands on a book that the Doctor has [one of a selection of artefacts that in part one were left behind by a mysterious enemy and that the Doctor has been investigating since] because it offers the means to his salvation. Because he struck a bargain long ago. And there's always a price to be paid for that.

Strong narration and judicious use of sound and music create a superb atmosphere that makes the listener feel they are in the middle of a frozen landscape. This one being a strong character based drama also means that, unlike the previous part, there's a bit more to keep you hooked once you get used to that and the story has to take precedence. Having the whole thing narrated by a supporting character means we get some excellent scenes which show the Doctor from another perspective, and just how alien the Time Lord can seem.

This is a chapter in a bigger story and thus it's not a perfect standalone but it's the best of this series so far and it's a very good listen.

The story continues in part four Doctor Who: Demon Quest: Starfall v. 4
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Need customer service? Click here