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on 27 April 2017
On the bottom of the deepest trench in the Pacific ocean is a blue police box, there is a deep submersible that finds it and pulls it to the surface, not to mention an Alien presence messing around with the local octopus population, all this adds up to an encounter worthy of Jacque Cousteau on steroids. It's a case of water water everywhere with deeply committed characters trying to do their job. Needless to say it all works out in the end and all parties go their separate ways, just in time for the next story.
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on 13 April 2017
It was awesome
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on 13 June 2017
Very good.
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Fifth release in the series of Doctor Who audio adventures that feature Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor, and Mary Tamm as his companion Romana. This one also features John Leeson voicing K9.

The story runs for two parts of thirty minutes each [approx]. It's complete on a single cd. And it stands pretty much entirely on it's own, thus casual listeners should be able to get into it without having heard any of the previous ones in this run.

Set in the near future, it sees a deep sea exploration vehicle heading into the Mariana Trench. At the very bottom of an ocean, it's one of the most inhospitable places on Earth.

Thus the crew don't expect to see a Police Box down there.

The Doctor and his friends join the crew on their journey. They receive a strange warning. And find terror awaits at the foot of the ocean...

The first part is an excellent lesson in pacing. The first ten minutes introduce us to the three people on the expedition. Then there's a typically entertaining TARDIS scene. Before both sets of characters come together.

The next ten minutes take them along on their trip. With strange events starting to happen.

Suddenly there's a moment that will make you gasp. And from then on the story is atmospheric, creepy, and totally involving. You really won't see the first cliffhanger coming, either.

Although the second part does have some familiar themes it never lets up, and remains a gripping listen throughout.

A high quality, well written and produced product, with many memorable moments and some excellent sound design, this is well worth a listen.

There's a trailer for the next release in this run on the track after the end of part two.

And just over fifteen minutes of interviews with cast and crew on the three tracks after that.
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on 12 March 2015
It is a strange state of affairs that out of all time and space the Randomiser frequently takes the Tardis to Earth. We are often told that the Earth is the Doctor’s favourite planet but surely the Black Guardian would realise this. Hence it is easy to see why Romana, with no predilection for Earth, would be irritated with this odd behaviour from the Randomiser. The Doctor, who as usual appears quite blasé about the Black Guardian catching up with him, only concession to his companion’s frustration is to take them to the Mariana Trench; somewhere, he perceives, could possibly be the safest place on Earth. How wrong he is.

Setting the adventure on a submarine in the Mariana Trench is a fairly original idea. It loses some of its impact because ‘Cold War’ was shown at around the time that this audio was released; an unfortunate coincidence. Of course, in both stories the submarine setting soon lends itself to the less original ‘base under siege’ type storyline. Using the remote undersea locale is also, inevitably, a bit like setting a story in deep space; so the setting doesn’t feel that different.

Often the play feels more like a ghost story than anything. There is quite a lot of stuff thrown in; goblins, phantoms, ghosts, telepathy, possession. There is also an attack by a giant jellyfish that is somewhat reminiscent of Verne’s ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea’. Sometimes there is, perhaps, a bit too much involved and things seem a little muddled.

The use of intelligent squids is a nice touch which ties in with recent evolutionary ideas that suggest squids are one of the most intelligent species on the planet.

Repaired from his encounter with the Laan, K-9 receives a reasonably large role after hardly appearing at all in the rest of the series so far. It seems odd that he should receive his first substantial role of the series in a water based story. There are echoes of possession by the Shadow in ‘The Armageddon Factor’ but John Leeson plays it more malevolently this time. It is quite disturbing to hear such tones from the mechanical companion.

For such a small cast in a claustrophobic setting the story doesn’t really showcase any of the supporting actors. The characters aren’t really that defined or memorable. You might expect Alice Krige to be the role of a wonderful villain but even she is playing a fairly bland character. Nothing like the Borg Queen unfortunately.

One of the strongest elements of the release is the sound and audio effects. They help to make everything quite atmospheric and add to the sense of confinement and claustrophobia.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 5 October 2014
I had great hopes for this story, but I felt the end result never quite lived up to its full potential. In this story, the Fourth Doctor and Romana (as ever, wonderfully played by the late lamented Mary Tamm) are in the Tardis at the bottom of the Ocean – Romana is disappointed to find that, once again they are on Earth, even though the Randomiser is supposed to be active to fool the Black Guardian (as they are searching for the elements of the Key to Time in this series). But if she’s surprised as to where they are, that’s nothing to the surprise the three person crew of a deep sea exploratory vessel are feeling considering they’re several kilometres below the sea and they’ve just seen a blue box on the edge of the Mariana Trench with the words ‘ Police Box’ on it. Taken on board, Tardis and all, the Doctor and Romana with K-9 find themselves part of an expedition fated to find more than they could ever have anticipated.

The guest cast in this drama are excellent – as always, the wonderful Alice Krige instils every word she says with worlds of meaning and inference. If you’re not familiar with Alice Krige, she played the spine-chilling Borg Queen in ST:Voyager, and in a couple of Star Trek movies. It’s nice to see K-9 get a bit to do in this story, and he is played well by John Leeson. The Doctor is played with his typical exuberance by Tom Baker, with the moderating and rational influence of Mary Tamm as Romana I. One thing I noticed in this story is the wonderfully atmospheric ‘1970’s’ style music which would not have been out of place in a televised story of the time.

While it was a wonderfully new experience to have a story set at the bottom of the ocean, I don’t think the story itself ever really took advantage of the setting or the opportunities. There was not a real sense of danger or suspense, although several near misses throughout the story, which seemed to me to be resolved altogether too easily. The ‘alien’ in the story is never given a chance to establish themselves, and is dismissed very readily by the end of the story. A pity; it could have been much more, but never really wound itself up quite enough.
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on 20 August 2013
Mary Tamm as 'Romana' is excellent and Tom Baker's as brilliant as always. Could they have done this on TV back then? I don't think so!
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on 6 July 2013
Excellent as always from big finish with tom baker and Mary tamm at there best.
Big finish just keep getting better.
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on 19 February 2015
excellent self contained story, genuinely scary.
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on 17 April 2016
great cd,fast service
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