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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

TOP 100 REVIEWERon 12 August 2015
This is the 68th release in the Main Range by Big Finish, and was released in April 2005.

The Sixth Doctor and Mel are trying to decide where to go next; the Doctor pulls out an invitation sent to Mel by her uncle John to attend a dedication at the National Foundation for Scientific Research where he works. A nice evening out, and a catch-up with her family appeals to Mel, so they head for England in 2003.

As it turns out, Uncle John is researching their family tree, and Mel is interested to read his research. What she doesn’t expect is to be caught up in that history as it happens, and to run the risk of becoming a victim of time travel.

This is a really lovely story. I think it highlights well the very warm and personal friendship that Mel and the Sixth Doctor have. When they are separated, the Doctor moves heaven and earth to find Mel and to get her back. While there is no real element of danger from a villain or a monster in the story, there is a great tension as Mel and the Doctor both realise that time travel contains some real dangers to those who choose to cross times and places, and that sometimes there are consequences beyond imagining. That, together with the awfully constricted social environment in which Mel finds herself, really brought home to me the terrors of being trapped in a time and a place that there is simply no way out of by yourself.

Bonnie Langford and Colin Baker are really spot-on in this story. The supporting cast are very well placed and play their parts perfectly, with Derek Benfield as John Hallam, Keith Drinkel as Henry Hallam, Michael “Chance as Dr Wallace and Jillie Meers as Mrs McGregor in particular being well-rounded and well-developed characters, very well portrayed by the actors. A wonderful gem of a story.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 6 February 2013
This is the sixty eighth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Colin Baker as Six and Bonnie Langford as Mel. 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.

Six and Mel are on a trip to visit Mel's uncle, who is a researcher in an institute based in the old family home. After a temporal accident Mel finds herself researching the family history in 1782 rather more closely than she might like. Can Six get her back, or does temporal paradox mean she has to become a part of her own history?

An interestingly structured story, with a belated bit of back story for Mel and two very good performances from Colin Baker and Bonnie Langford make this a cracking little adventure. OK, so the old avoiding a paradox has been done a few times before, but this is still quite an interesting piece. Langford in particular shines as Mel, giving the kind of performance she was never given the opportunity to give in the TV series, and shows what an interesting a great character Mel could have been. I never rated Mel in the TV series, but hearing this and the other Big Finish stories to feature her I have totally revised my opinion. Baker is also on good form as Six, full of ego, brashness, righteous indignation and compassion. He has been consistently good in the audio adventures, always striking just the right note to give a much more rounded character than he was allowed on screen, and making him a more sympathetic character.

All in all 5 stars for this interesting little tale that allows the characters to shine but still provides an adventure with lots of tension and thrills.
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on 5 April 2013
The sixth doctor and mel go to vist mel's uncle john at the national foundation of scientific rescerah whice is clebarting it 100 year anniversy however an accident traps mel back in time so the doctor and john go to save her this is not the greatest story in the world and it does have it's problems for exempal i did see the twist coming a mile of and the sci-fi element and the presnt day segments kind of feel tacked on where a bit of alterated wiriting could have ment it could have been set solely in 1782 and mel gets over what happens to her pretty quickly and no i dont just mean the trapped in the past stuff howevre this audio is pretty good with some good charcterisation for six and mel and i like mels uncle john and the charcters from the past as well but i have one question near the end of the audio the doctor mentions that the presnet day stuff takes place in 2003 but mel present day is 1989 so why does uncle john not wonder where his niece has been for nerly 15 years has she been droping in on her parents in pease pottage i gusse that is not inpossible as in the novel bussinus unusaul she says she will find a way to keep in touch but i just wonder why he dosn't wonder why his nicec has'nt seemed to have aged much but i am nitpicking all in all this is a good historical charcter drama and enjoyable story for six and mel one of my faveirout TARDIS teams
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on 27 August 2007
"When the Doctor and Mel visit the National Foundation for Scientific Research as it celebrates its centenary, Mel expects only to be able to catch up with her uncle. She doesn't expect to meet her own ancestors...
"What is buried in the grounds of the foundation?
"What secret has Henry Hallam kept from his descendants for three hundred years>
"Can Mel escape her own past?
"Visiting your relatives can sometimes be trying, but surely it should never be this difficult?"

I had been looking forward to listening to "Catch-1782", by Alison Lawson, for some time, for two principal reasons: because the Sixth Doctor stories are among the best audios that Big Finish have produced, and because of the very atmospheric cover art.
Sadly, the story didn't really live up to expectations. The plot involves Mel (Bonnie Langford) being whisked back to the 18th Century in a time travel accident and forced to live there for six months, confused and doped up on laudanum by one of her ancestors, Henry Hallam (Keith Drinkel), who has recently lost his wife and has started to fall in love with Mel, and believes he is helping her to heal. The Doctor (Colin Baker), accompanied by Mel's uncle John Hallam (Derek Benfield), sets off to rescue her and must try not to disrupt Mel's family history in doing so.
It's an interesting, character-centric concept, but "Catch-1782" is a rather poorly structured play, with the first episode serving solely to set up some rather obvious foreshadowing in the present day whilst also delivering a history lesson that is necessary for the listener to fully understand the rest of the story. It's only in episode two that the historical aspect of the story gathers any momentum, and it's only in the closing moments of episode three that the Catch-22 implied by the title, which should actually be driving the whole story, is appreciated by the principal characters, meaning that the seemingly unsolveable conundrum has only one episode in which to be resolved and, unfortunately, the story cops out.
Colin Baker and Bonnie Langford put in great performances, as do Keith Drinkel as Henry Hallam and Michael Chance as his friend Dr Wallace. I was less convinced by Derek Benfield as John Hallam, who had a persistently nervous and bewildered air that didn't allow for a great emotional range. None the less, it's the performances, sound design and music that hold the listener's attention through this slightly unfocused tale, and all in all "Catch-1782" isn't that bad. Big Finish, however, have, in what is now their very considerable history, done better.
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on 27 September 2016
Excellent adventure, nice twists and turns to the plot but without the over complex hard to follow stuff that can bedevil some stories.
Bonnie Langford gets a chance to shine, Colin Baker as good as always and a strong supporting cast.
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on 6 June 2017
4 episodes around 20 mins each. It's amazing. Colin baker as the doctor was amazing in this and so was Mel. Not going to spoil it but it's worth the listen.
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on 28 April 2007
I am another person who thinks Bonnie Langford didnt really get a chance to shine as a companion in the original series, so its nice to find her getting a strong part in this delightful little story.

The fact that it is only a metal cannister to blame for the whole story is a cool twist. And there are no really bad people in this. Just a few people struggling to understand why Mel's memory has been so scrambled. So time is the enemy! She spends six months with people she doesnt even know, and off course is annoyed when the Doctor finally does reach her. And Bonnie is a great actress, and its nice not to hear her just screaming and running around for change!

This is a good totally unique story, and another very strong audio from Big Finish. Are they ever gonna do a really bad one?!
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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 24 August 2006
A time travel experiment sends mel into the 18th century. lost and stranded there, a modern woman out of her time, how will she survive?

the sixth doctor goes to rescue her, but if the problem of the man who thinks mel is his wife and won't let her go wasn't bad enough, he's also up against the one enemy that he more trouble with than the daleks. The web of time...

An odd, gentle feel to this play, despite the fact that mel really is in a pickle, although this is well portrayed. The threat of the madman is well conveyed, but as a whole the story doesn't have excitement or urgency. This is not to say it's bad, it's just a gentle piece and it is quite involving, and well played by a decent cast.

A long way from being the best big finish story ever, but a perfectly decent release nonetheless and worth getting
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