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on 19 May 2007
"On the morning of 12 October 2021 Hex woke up. He was expecting to go to work at St Gart's in London as normal and, that evening, have a great time in the bar of the White Rabbit, celebrating his 23rd birthday.

"But after his ex-flatmate is wheeled into A&E following a bike accident, and the strange young woman from Human Resources tries to chat him up AND an eight-foot tall guy in a Merc tries to run him down, Hex realises things are not going quite as he expected.

"Then in a Shoreditch car park he meets the enigmatic Doctor, who explains that he's an extra-terrestrial investigator and something very strange is going on up on the thirty-first floor of St Gart's.

"Therefore, aided and abetted by the Doctor, and his other new friend, 'Just McShane', Hex decides to investigate. Trouble is, everything that goes on at the hospital is being observed and noted by the occupants of the thirty-first floor; occupants who are none too pleased that people are poking their noses into business that doesn't concern them; occupants who will go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that no one discovers the truth..."

In "The Harvest", writer Dan Abnett has the privilege of introducing the Doctor and Ace's new travelling companion, Thomas "Hex" Schofield (Philip Olivier). He also provides many of the classic ingredients for a successful story: a hospital setting, a misguided scientist who is carrying out unpleasant experiments at the behest of a persuasive villain, and the return of a classic monster, the identity of which I won't spoil for you in this review (although it is common knowledge to many by now).

The story plays out primarily from the perspective of new boy Hex, a young northern medical student who turns out to be a very likeable character, in over his head but determined to find out what has happened to his late ex-housemate. It is through his concern for his ex-housemate that he becomes involved in the unpleasant goings-on at St Garts and attracts the ire of the secretive villains of the piece, before falling in with the Doctor and Ace ("Just McShane"), who are the only people in St Gart's who can protect him and who seem to know what's going on.

Aside from a slightly intrusive, fast-paced musical score, The Harvest is a well put-together production featuring good performances from the regulars (including the often variable Sophie Aldred) and with a strong guest cast (Richard Derrington is convincing as the misguided Doctor Stephen Farrer, Paul Lacoux suitably cowardly as the hapless Doctor Mark Mathias, and David Warwick arrogantly officious as the villainous Garnier). The story's near future London setting gives it a gritty edge and helps us to identify with the characters and the threat that the Harvest represents. Hex makes a promising start as a companion and the development of his relationship with the well-established crew of the Doctor and Ace will be interesting to follow in future plays.
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This is the fifty eighth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Sylvester McCoy as Seven and Sophie Aldred as Ace (sorry, McShane). It also introduces new companion Thomas Hector Schofield (Hex to his friends) played by Philip Olivier. There are 4 episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes.

Seven, as usual, is interfering. There are some strange goings on in a hospital, he fears something particularly nasty for mankind about to be unleashed through mankind's curiosity and blindness. He and Ace investigate and are soon on the run from some familiar old foes. But just what else is going on in the hospital? Can the Cybermen have really changed?

It's a rip-roaring straight adventure, in the best traditions of Who. There's plenty of action, and a suitably knotty problem for the Doctor. There is a bit of a double twist towards the end that kept me somewhat off balance.

There is some great writing here, especially for Ace and Hex, who have a good rapport. Hex's inclusion into the TARDIS crew adds an interesting new dynamic, and this looks like being one of the classic crews in the future. The three leads make the most of it, especially McCoy who relishes his dark final scene with his old enemy.

A cracking adventure, well produced and thoroughly entertaining. 5 stars, no problem.
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Coming down to earth again, the range gives us a new companion for the seventh doctor in the shape of thomas hector schofield - hex to his friends - young liverpudlian staff nurse at a london hospital where there are strange goings on. Hex gets involved after a strange death in casualty, and a young lady from personnel is also rather interested....

Benefiting from the almost contemporary setting and seeing most of the story through hex's eyes, the doctor is slowly introduced. This leads to a great cliffhanger at the end of part one. More thrills follow as the situation is investigated. The end of part two may be obvious to many but it's still a great cliffhanger, and there are a few more twists to come, as these foes are cleverer than you might think.

The fact that things are resolved far too easily in part four is a let down, but that's a minor blemish on a great story that gives us a great and very well acted new companion. Be advised that his catch phrase, irritating as it may be now, is something he will grow out of in time
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on 29 December 2014
The Harvest introduces the new Big Finish companion Hex played by Philip Olivier and brings back the Cybermen. This audio isn't the best that has been created by Big Finish but it certainly isn't the worst and is an enjoyable audio adventure that introduces one of the best audio companions.
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on 14 April 2008
I have about 15 of these Doctor Who audo adventures and most are extremely enjoyable and well written. The harvest is, so far one of my favourites. This story features the seventh doctor, Sylvester McCoy and his companion Ace and it also introduces a new character Hex. It is set in the quite near future and it follows the doctor and his companions investigating a London hospital where strange occurences are happening. This play also features one of the classic enemies, but I wont spoil it and tell you who. This play is also the third part of a loose trilogy but seeing as this was written before the other two The Reaping and the Gathering then you can easily listen to this without listening to the other two. As I have said I really enjoyed this but I have not given it five stars because it suffers from what most of these new audio adventures suffer from, a slow first episode. However,the rest of the other three episodes really pick up. All in all it is a good play and it runs for 110 mins and is well worth a look.
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on 16 March 2006
This is a very good Big Finish audio. It introduces a new companion to the show: Hex. This is what it needs, a fresh face. This audio could have been better though. Episode one was very slow, slightly unnecessary. The other three episodes are the usual excellant sort, thought. Another good thing abput this serial is that it includes one of the greatest enemies of Doctor Who: The Cybermen.
Trust me, by no means is this a bad audio... it's good. But with a bit more work, it could have been great. Once again: It is a good audio that I do not regret buying!
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VINE VOICEon 9 October 2004
Thanks to being the incumbent TARDIS crew at the time of the TV series cancellation, the 7th Doctor and Ace had already been the basis for masses of spin-off comics strips/novels/fan-produced audios long before Big Finish started using them for their audio releases. With the relationship between Ace and the Doctor feeling rather tired The Harvest serves primarily as a vehicle to introduce new companion Hex - a very ordinary person whose most interesting feature is his nickname, but who seems to add a new dynamic to the mix.
As for actual story, it revolves around dodgy experiments being conducted in the hospital where Hex works, and relies heavily on the shock reveal of one of the series most famous villains midway through. Unfortunately the identity of the returning baddies is blatantly obvious 10 minutes in, but you have to wait through an interminable episode 2 before they are finally revealed and the play can get on with the action. There's a nice idea at the heart of the story, with the villains normal modus operandi turned head on its heels, but ultimately nothing much is done with it. Some nice ideas, but with the construction aimed solely at shock tactics the result is a fairly mediocre adventure.
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