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VINE VOICEon 16 May 2013
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Destiny Of The Doctor cd series is part of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who celebrations. Shadow Of Death is the second in the series and features the second Doctor Patrick Troughton and is performed by Frazer Hines who played Jaime in the series. Frazer does and excellent job which makes the cd very enjoyable. I look forward to the next in the series.
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VINE VOICEon 26 April 2013
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A classic Dr Who story read by Frasier Hines (Jamie) I remember when Jamie was travelling with the Doctor and it was lovely to hear his voice again. He still sounds like a young Highlander after all these years. A stirling production, a solid story, what more could you ask for for a 50th birthday treat!
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VINE VOICEon 20 June 2013
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As the title indicates, This was a first rate reading where all the characters were true to the original and the storyline well up to standard. Highly recommended
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VINE VOICEon 28 February 2013
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The idea of a short story for each of the Doctors, each released a month apart, is a promising one.
The first, Doctor Who: Hunters of Earth (Destiny of the Doctor 1) , was a good if not outstanding start but things don't fare so well with the second episode.

The Doctor & his companions, Highlander Jamie & 60's 'modern' girl Zoe, are stuck on a planet being studied by Scientists which is inhabited by something intent on finishing everyone off, ( well this is Doctor Who, anything less would be disappointing).

The story itself refuses to settle into any coherent sort of style that can be easily followed. There's definitely too much 'in depth' babble which is just out of place in this early incarnation.
The faltering story telling is exacerbated by the way in which Frazer Hines narrates. He lurches from one character to another and far too often the story & narration change up several gears in one go so that all surprise or shock is cancelled out as everything is signalled by loud effects and Hines raising his voice to near shouting.
Hines does a creditable job of Troughton's Doctor & of course his own character. Elsewhere there are moments best forgotten, including some terrible 'Russian' accents.

It is great to have so many sound effects but they are mixed too far forward and too loudly so that they drown out narration & conversation quite often. There just seems to be an over eager attempt to keep the excitement notched up to 10 via music, effects and shouting as often as possible. The eventual outcome is that this soon becomes tiring to listen to & even a little dull. There really ought to be some subtlety allowed here.

I still look forward to the next in the series, Doctor Who: Vengeance of the Stones (Destiny of the Doctor 3) but feel this was a missed opportunity for one of the most fondly remembered Doctors.

I think it is also worth pointing out that if you are just a casual browser who likes Doctor Who but who isn't interested in purchasing every single release, ( an expensive hobby for sure), that there are far better releases worthy of both a listen & your money. Doctor Who and the Talons of Weng-Chiang (Classic Novels) is a new release that is both very well written & narrated & is well worth a try.
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VINE VOICEon 12 February 2014
One thing about this Destiny of the Doctor series that I’m really thankful for, has been its ability to not only pay homage to all the wonderful history of Doctor Who, but also introduce newer fans to all the choicest eras from those 50 Years of the Time Lord’s illustrious history.

Having become an official fan during the days of David Tennant & Catherine Tate, I began exploring previous eras of Old Who, and I must say I’ve really enjoyed learning more & more of the roots of Doctor Who, particularly the interpretations of the character through all his various incarnations, and all those bright, shining companions that came along with him.

So after a strong start with the First Doctor’s Hunters of Earth, this second Destiny chapter focuses on (naturally) the Second Doctor himself, the late, great Patrick Troughton in the aptly-named Shadow of Death.

Here, the Doctor travels with (arguably) his best-loved companions, Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines) & Zoe Heriot (Wendy Padbury). Forced into an emergency-landing, the TARDIS arrives on a remote world orbiting a pulsar, powerful enough to warp time itself. As the Time Lord & his friends investigate the science expedition, they all come under attack by a dark, silent & malevolent force…that kills merely by TOUCH.

Shadow of Death is written by Simon Guerrier, who has written a suitably tense and taut story. Like other tales in this Destiny series, Shadow of Death works brilliantly, both on its own and as part of the overall arc. In contrast to say Hunters of Earth, this is a nice change of environment and reflects the versatility & malleability of the Doctor’s many eras. Here, the Time Lord is in space, writing wrongs, and showing humans the time of their lives. It’s a different style of story too, much more action-filled than perhaps you’d expect in a Who story.

The plot is as basic as anything. There’s a mysterious menace to solve…and nothing else to it, really. The ‘Shadow’ offers a good amount of intrigue, but there’s no real juicy twists (apart from ONE really good surprise!) aside from that. But what gives Shadow of Death the advantage over Hunters of Earth is Guerrier’s writing. He describes the events with tremendous pace & diction, with the menace of the ‘Shadow’, the various time warps and dangers of the space station all deliciously stressed & underlined. This coupled with the typical quality of great music & sound-effects, make Shadow of Death a terrific, nerve-wracking adventure that will have you on the edge of your seat. The resolution is satisfying, too.

More plus points come with the choice of the narrator. Frazer Hines narrates Simon’s story with absolute excellence, and settles comfortably right back into his old role of Jamie. As someone who knew little of the character beforehand, I took an immediate like to Jamie; a Highlander of the 18th Century that’s brave, fierce, loyal, as well as friendly and outgoing that’s capable of understanding technology/situations which should be beyond him. The Scottish flavour of the character is another positive boon, and his practical nature/common sense is a nice contrast/mix with both the Second Doctor and the intelligent, logical & shielded Zoe. Knowing their inevitable fate/departure in 1969’s The War Games only makes my fondness for Jamie & Zoe grow all the more.

The Second Doctor himself is an incarnation that proved that the ‘regeneration’ aspect of the character would establish the longevity/malleability of the show. And true to the nature of these Destiny audiobooks, the essence of Patrick Troughton’s Doctor has been beautifully captured and presented for new fans. The man comes across as a bit of a bumbling, scruffy-looking fool, yet his more secretive nature (& ability to manipulate) shines through, as does the kind nature of the Time Lord that we’re familiar with. Frazier’s impersonation of Patrick Troughton is first-class! His mannerisms, his vocals…Frazier’s interpretation is spot-on, and Evie Dawnay’s Russian performance as Sophie only makes the audio mix even richer.

Shadow of Death is a delight, all-in-all. The only thing it’s lacking is a plot deep enough to match the production values and the narrative itself. As it stands, it’s only a step down from being truly perfect. And the major surprise near the end entices me to check out the next chapter. Even if you don’t check out the rest of this promising Destiny of the Doctor (which I recommend you DO stay with through to the end!), Shadow of Death also stands as an excellent stand-alone tale for the Second Doctor. Brilliant stuff!
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VINE VOICEon 17 April 2013
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
In this original 50th anniversary adventure we find the 2nd Doctor and his companions Jamie and Zoe having to do an emergency landing on an unknown world.

They find a deserted ruined alien city and a group of earth scientists studying the ruins.

But it seems there is something else on this strange world and with a little help from his future self the Doctor saves the day.

This adventure of the 2nd Doctor is read by Frazer Hines who played the character of Jamie opposite Patrick Troughton's Doctor and he gives a great reading of the story.

These special adventures are a great way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this historic series and having it read by an original cast member gives it a an extra special touch.
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VINE VOICEon 23 February 2013
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A very good addition to the Dr Who storybook. A new story for the Patrick Troughton the 2nd doctor and read by Frazer Hines, who played Jamie with the 2nd doctor. I can't believe that there is no change whatsoever in Mr Hines voice, he sounds exactly the same as those 30 years ago, or is it 40 years? A really good story written by Simon Guerrier. Perhaps some of these writers for BBC Audio ought to write some of the new Doctor's scripts - they certainly are providing more exciting storylines for these audio discs. The back of the sleeve says the story is 1hr 25minutes but it is actually only just over 50 minutes. That is not a complaint just information.
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VINE VOICEon 27 February 2013
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A fun, solid if short tale featuring the 2nd Doctor, Shadow Of Death sees the Tardis land on a base in the far future which is under attack from sinister aliens. It all feels like it could have been a lost Patrick Troughton story with Frazer Hines doing an excellent job narrating and doing a superb Troughton impression. In fact at times it's so good it's almost like somehow they managed to bring Troughton back through time. It's a typical base under siege tale from the Troughton era, tense with hints to The Doctor's own future. The 2nd in a series of stories from each Doctor celebrating 50 years of Doctor Who.
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VINE VOICEon 15 April 2013
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
All of the Big Finish tales penned by Simon Guerrier are excellent and this is no exception. He is able to capture the era perfectly and bring to mind the great days of Patrick Troughton playing the good Doctor. Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon) also stands to the part and does a perfect take on Troughton; one could easily believe that it was himself. the story is gripping and exciting and it is good to see such high quality stories celebrating the 50th anniversary.
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VINE VOICEon 9 March 2013
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
`Destiny of the Doctor' is the second in a story arc that progresses through the Doctors. Brand new adventures, there are tantalising links to Matt Smith's Doctor, who seems, unless I have got this completely wrong, to be guiding his predecessors to some end that one presumes will be revealed in the last instalment.

It's a fast paced tale written by Simon Guerrier, at 1 hour and 25 minutes, which speeds by in a straightforward who by numbers story involving a mysterious planet, a scientific expedition, and a mysterious creature that is picking off these scientists one by one. There is running down corridors, misunderstood aliens, all the things that tick the boxes in Who's well loved tales. To say it is Who by numbers is not to write it off as unoriginal. There are good twists, chiefly in the way time is used as a weapon by the monster and distorted by the scientists. The monster is a shadow creature that can distort and shatter metal and age people to death with a touch, through the use of time. The scientists distort time with a temporal field on their base as time slows to a crawl outside the base through the excessive gravitational effects of the pulsar start the planet orbits (I think). Shadow creatures of course are not new to Who but this adventure is not looking to score points with originality. Instead we have a claustrophobic, contained, fleet footed yarn that classic who fans will appreciate. There's a hint of the over complexity of new Who's story arcs with the brief cameo of the latest Doctor, but this does not intrude over much, the tale itself takes precedence.
It is well performed by both Frazer Hines who takes on his old role of Jamie and also, superbly, Patrick Troughton's Doctor, as well as the linking narration and other male characters, and Evie Dawnay does Zoe and the chief female scientist.
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