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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 July 2012
A Doctor Who talking book, which tells a story featuing the Eleventh Doctor - plus Amy and Rory - which has never before been presented in any other format.

It runs for seventy minutes [approx] and is basically one long episode, the only breaks on the cd being the usual cd chapter ones.

Very minimal sleeve notes give copyright details and credits and advertise other bbc Doctor Who product.

The story is read by Raquel Cassidy, who appeared in the recent Doctor Who TV story 'the Rebel Flesh/The Almost People.'

It sees the TARDIS land on the planet of Hope Eternal. A large world with heavy gravity. And soon enough, they find a dead body.

There's a colony here. And the inhabitants are Nu-humans. Their genes have been adapted to fit their environment.

But who is killing them and why? Can the Doctor find out? And can he save the Ponds, who find themselves in terrible danger?

There's a lot to like about this from the off. The nature of the planet is very interesting and also well described. That plus good sound design makes it a very convincingly alien place.

The length of the story is just right as well. It means it unfolds at a decent pace. Never too hurried or too leisurely, but one that allows for a good amount of absorbing detail to be presented. It's a story that's very easy to get into.

Raquel Cassidy has a very good reading voice. Her version of the Doctor's voice does take a little getting used to. And a lot of the supporting characters - because of the way that they are - have very strange voices, but you do get used to these after a while.

Ultimately it's not the most groundbreaking of stories but it's quite original and it really is a very absorbing listen for the most part as a result. One of the best in this range and well worth getting.
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on 27 August 2012
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Raquel Cassidy does a good Amy Pond, and that's my way of starting off with a compliment before going on to bemoan what in my mind is a very sub-standard story. Frustratingly, as I look back on it, it starts off very well with an interesting premise, the promise of peril and a good helping of the humour-filled dialogue we love from the Eleventh Doctor and his companions. About halfway through things change for the worse, as what would anywhere else be the big reveal and confrontation arrives way too early and then descends into a very long, drawn out and frankly uncomfortable shouting match, followed by an ending that could almost have been taken off the least dusty shelf in the cliché library.

I would have loved for this story of genetically engineered humans on a high gravity mining world to have gone through a couple of good plot twists and ended up in one of those off the wall yet humanist solutions straight from the mind of the Doctor, but this plot had as many twists as a lamppost.

I apologise if I sound sarcastic. I just feel a responsibility to get my point across to those who would buy it, knowing as I do that there are far better stories out there. I'll stress again that up until halfway through, I was actually enjoying this story and thinking it was going to go somewhere, only for the second half to completely ruin that enjoyment. I don't know what went so wrong, and hope for the writers' sake that it was only such a letdown because they were running out of time or caught a cold or something.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 9 December 2012
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Since the success of NuWho turned the Doctor's audio adventures from a cottage industry by devotees to a production line run by corporate executives there have been more bad `original' audio adventures than good, with the feeling all too often that the BBC are raking over the coals of rejected story pitches for the TV show rather than anything more interesting. While The Nu-Humans doesn't entirely dispel that suspicion, it is one of the better recent efforts thanks to an ingenious premise, albeit one that isn't always developed in an especially interesting way: it's the perennial Doctor and companions arrive on alien planet, find dead aliens, are suspected of the murder and uncover a conspiracy while trying to prove their innocence model that has been the default mode for many of the less memorable stories since the William Hartnell days. But it does have that interesting setup going for it - a mining colony where humans have been genetically bio-engineered to adapt to the more hostile attributes of the planet. It's an idea that's clearly been given more thought than the plotting, but it's good enough to carry the story though it's a shame it can't think of a better finale that ending with a heavy amount of expositionary dialogue. It's certainly less disposable than many of the recent CD stories, and Raquel Cassidy's reading is fairly successful - she does a great Amy Pond but a less impressive Doctor - but it remains an inessential outing more for the diehard fans who have to have everything.
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VINE VOICEHALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERon 25 July 2012
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a single CD 1 hour and 20 minute reading of a story by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright. It is read by Racgel Cassidy who's acting credit includes Miranda Cleaves in the 2011 TV Episodes of the Rebel Flesh and The Almost People.

I received a copy via the Amazon Vine Programme. Mainly because I enjoy talking books and like Dr Who.

This story starts well and was a really interesting story.
The fact that in the future Human kind can adapt the human body to withstand or take advantage of a new planet's limitations or features.
I found this concept of Pantropy fascinating but flawed.

I simply could not imagine human beings letting themselves be changed to adapt to a heavy gravity planet with all the drawbacks from appearnces to something not attractive to the human eye - huge figures with extra long arms and covered in thick purple scales- can you?
I mean what would be the point of earning a wage if you were stuck like that?
Where would you spend your money??

But it is a good concept.

The story is fairly predictable.
The Doctor, Rory and Amy land on the planet where the 'Nu-Humans' are starting to dissappear.

Yes guess who gets the blame??
It doesn't take a genius to work out that the there may be problems with the Mark 2 Nu Humans.

But I really enjoyed the story.

There are a few faults.
Rachel Cassidy simply can't do Matt Smith's Voice.

Half way through the story I had David Tennant in my mind she sounds him just like that.
She is brilliant at Amy Pond's though spot on.

The fact that the Nu-Humans have such 'comical' Earth names like Kevin and Gerald
There is nothing wrong with those names - far from it it's just that the names and the gormless accents Cassidy uses detracts from the danger of the situation.
Simply giving them different names and accents that don't sound 'thick and dull' would improve things 100 per cent.
Again Amanda the titular head of the Planet Hope Eternal she boasts her family are rich and respected in the Galaxy- but who could respect a purple skinned long armed gigantic figure? Who would want to go out with her and what the heck could she do with all that money she earns from the planet? Get a face colouring pack for her scales and a set of money bars to exercise with?? I think not.

No the idea of these being human and adapted for profit only doesn't work for me.

Far Far better to have the idea that human kind has run out of space and to take advantage of new planets the humans have adapted themselves and their genes to fit their new environment.

This is a big shame for there was the potential for a good story there but it simply ran out of steam and good ideas for me.
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VINE VOICEon 29 March 2013
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As a casual fan* of the newly visioned DW I was a little disappointed by this episode as I felt it lacked the `pizazz' we've come to expect from Russel T's Doctor
Raquel Cassidy played each part admirably and, I thought, managed to capture Matt Smith's essence well - his face sprang to mind as soon as she altered her characters, and I had no trouble distinguishing the other characters' voices.
However, the concept fell a little flat for me.
Although it is an interesting notion, looking at how far humans would be prepared to go to tackle environmental factors - here, they have genetically adapted to withstand them to combat the issue of expensive and time-consuming terraforming - a process known as pantropy, I felt the narrative was somewhat predictable and in need of a more solid plot. Possibly the time allowed to fit into the 79 minute audiobook was not enough to pad it out satisfactorily.
I also, slightly resented the occasional preaching undertone (don't judge others on their appearance alone!) and maybe this slightly marred my enjoyment of the story.
On the whole - it didn't add to my enjoyment of the New Who Franchise, but I can't honestly say it detracted from it either. It was mildly agreeable but I do hope it's not a side-story that finds its way onto screen as I don't feel it fully worthy of the series.

*casual fan meaning I'll watch all episodes once, won't buy the series but may keep some episodes on my recorder to watch again if I like them enough and will listen to the audiobooks if someone's kind enough to buy them for me!
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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 2 August 2012
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is another original 11th Doctor audio book that could have been a TV series episode, and is pretty much equivalent to one.

The story itself is reminiscent of a Russell T Davies-type script, thinking about what humans become in the future, but with somewhat less imagination applied here (according to RTD, in the distant human future humans spent a million years as downloads...). In a slightly clunky and obvious fashion it tries to challenge perceptions of racism, something which Doctor Who has always had the potential to do very well- and which other stories have managed rather better than this one, unfortunately. There are a few nice comic moments- the interaction with heavy gravity, and the prosaic names of the aliens- but overall it's rather short on originality.

One particular issue I had with the story is that Amy and Rory are uncharacteristically arrogant and careless. This is what kicks off the drama in the first place but if you're familiar with the characters, several times you find yourself thinking, "they wouldn't have done that", which rather undermines the whole situation.

On the plus side, Raquel Cassidy does an excellent, five-star job. She's a lively narrator, really racing through the story at a good pace as if she herself can't wait to find out what happens next, yet maintaining clarity. Her attempt at the various accents is pretty good- her Rory is excellent, her Doctor pretty good as well, with the right inflections, and her Amy pretty good even though it does wander around the different regions of Scotland somewhat. Unfortunately the supporting cast aren't quite so good, with the male nu-humans portrayed as unnecessarily dumb and the nu-humans' leader sounding like some over-the-top Disney wicked witch, but mostly it's a really enjoyable reading.

In the opening scenes (the 'pre-titles sequence' of sorts) the background ambient noise is extremely loud, much more so than in other Who audiobooks I've heard. Thankfully after the dramatic opening scenes it settles down a bit and is much more finely balanced, to add extra suspense. The background music, which some people wouldn't call music but I would, is exceptionally sinister, and the hawk-like sounds of the skyraptors particularly chilling, so once it's settled down a bit, this becomes a plus point.

Overall, a very nice performance and production of a slightly disappointing story.
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VINE VOICEon 16 August 2012
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a welcome new Dr Who story, this time from the pens of Cavan Scott and Mark Wright. It has been specially written for audio.

Accompanied by Amy and Rory, the Doctor lands on a planet settled by Nu-Humans. The planet is not totally hospitable environmentally to earth residents so it was decided to adapt the race genetically so that they could settle in this environment. Fortunately, for the listeners they still speak English and have endearing names like Kevin!

Anyway, someone appears to be killing them and the Doctor and his companions find themselves accused of this crime, of which they clearly are not guilty. Through various twists of the plot, all is revealed and ends reasonably happily.

I found Raquel Cassidy's reading engaging and she is well able to adapt to playing the Doctor's part as well as all the other characters. The plot, although a little predictable at times was engaging and I felt that it was an interesting and entertaining story for a car journey.

I think Dr. Who fans will enjoy it tremendously.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 January 2013
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If I were a collector of Dr Who CDs I suppose I would have to buy this one to make up a set, but if you are only an occasional Dr Who CD buyer, then I think you should look elsewhere.
The basic idea behind this story is pretty good - even if the concepts involved are a little long in the tooth these days - so I was looking forward to a "cracking" story.
Sadly, I was disappointed. It is a very average quality CD of a very average quality story. The acting isn't going to win any awards, and my own reaction was to reach for any number of far better Dr Who CDs in my ever growing collection, and listen to one of them to remind me of how good these stories can really be.
Sorry to sound negative - I love the whole Dr Who thing, and have done since episode 1, which I saw as a small and goggle eyed child!
I'm sure the next one will be better....
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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 7 August 2012
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A full Dr Who adventure set on a strange planet with super-heavy gravity. The story is very straightforward but with the usual number of perils. This is a one hour-plus, single CD story.

Read by seductively smooth-voiced Raquel Cassidy, who does a good job with the different characters and accents. Rachel Cassidy is also to be found reading the story Doctor Who: The Art of Death, also available on CD.

I liked the idea of humans adapting themselves to live in hostile environments. However, I assumed the back story was that for the workers it would be a short term stint, after which the consciousness or personality of the worker would then be transferred to a more 'normal' environment, where they enjoy the profits of their labours. Otherwise, as another reviewer mentioned, what would be the attraction of living out your life under such dire conditions.

I would say this Dr Who release is more for a younger teen audience. Contains more mild tongue in cheek humour than dangerous situations.
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VINE VOICEon 31 July 2012
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Exciting, emotive, pacey and in keeping with all you expect from a good Matt Smith story. Modified humans on an alien planet, lots of gravity jokes and a constant rapid momentum to its inevitable conclusion.
That ubiquitous sonic screwdriver saves the day, the Ponds play their part and of course everyone gets very close to a frightening death.
The voice of the reader is excellent - she gives an amazing performance, and the sound effects support her voice to the point at which this ceases to be a simple audiobook but becomes a genuine play.
After some dissapointing outings, this is a great adventure you won't want to miss.
One really good hour of audio for your commute or just to make a quiet night more exciting.
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