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2.9 out of 5 stars
2.9 out of 5 stars
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An audio adventure for the fifth doctor who, in this case reunited with his tv companion tegan jovanka. actress janet fielding who played the latter has said this is the only audio she'll ever do, so this is a one off experience.

Tegan encounters the fifth doctor again, decades after she left the tardis. but one of her friends is involved with dangerous technology. and they might have met the doctor before. it's going to be a birthday to remember for tegan.

this is a direct sequel to earlier sixth doctor audio the reaping, and whilst it possibly could stand on it's own it may help to hear that one first. there are two episodes each of forty five minutes in duration, but they never feel overlong.

Plot wise this isn't quite as good as the reaping and deals mostly with loose ends from that story, but it's an engaging listen, with a great central pairing and some good supporting characters who are quite well played and written. And it follows on from the reaping in having the theme of choices. choices as in those that the people who get the chance to travel with the doctor have to make, whether it's before they join him, or when they leave.

And this is actually part of a loose trilogy because the one loose end at the end of this story ties in with an earlier seventh doctor story called the harvest. they're all well worth getting
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VINE VOICEon 20 January 2007
Having resisted previous efforts to persuade her to reprise her role on audio Janet Fielding finally gives in and returns as Tegan Jovanka for one story, as the 5th Doctor meets her 20 years after she left the TARDIS. There are some nice character moments between the Doctor and Tegan, but the actual storyline here isn't particularly special. 'The Gathering' is a direct sequel to 6th Doctor and Peri audio 'The Reaping', so doesn't work as a stand-alone adventure, and also ties in to the 3rd part of the trilogy 'The Harvest'. As with those other two stories 'The Gathering' is essentially a Cyberman story, though despite the application of Cyber-technology the actual Cyberman presence in this audio is dissapointingly small. The plot is also far too slight to justify it's running time, with the first disc in particular going nowhere fast, as it replays the same scenes through different characters viewpoints. The one-off return of Tegan may be a special event for the audios, but in the final analysis this is a rather average story.
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on 2 April 2009
The much vaunted return of motormouthed Aussie airline stewardess, Tegan Jovanka, actually turns out to be a bit of a damp squib. This audio is a sequel to The Reaping, but is nowhere near as good. The story takes place in present day Brisbane, where we meet Katherine Chambers, who left the United States and is now a doctor who also owns a pharmaceutical company. The company is of course a front for her secret plan which is to use the discarded cyber technology to try to save her brother Nate (crippled in The Reaping) and plans to create a super-computer capable of curing every illness. She happens to know Tegan who (conveniently) is a patient. Everything is going well until one day the Doctor turns up to find out what is going on...
Sadly, Janet Fielding has stated that this will be her first and last Big Finish outing and consequently the sub-plot to explain her demise is pretty poor and feels tacked on. The Fifth Doctor isn't given much scope to make an impression on the listener and the lack of actual Cybermen makes this a real disappointment.
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on 10 February 2015
Although it was great to have Janet Fielding back as Tegan, I'm afraid she wasn't best served by the script or by the direction. As has been noted in other reviews, you really need to have heard the Colin Baker story that serves as both prequel and sequel to this story. As if that wasn't confusing enough, the direction is awful ('choppy' is the word that springs to mind) getting off to a bad start with an overlong sequence of a radio being tuned, then the same bit of story being told from different perspectives (not for any good reason, by the way, more as padding to a very slight story). Also a lot of the female cast seemed to have very similar voices/accents so it was hard to tell them apart at times.

I hate giving a negative review to a Peter Davison story as he is, by far, my favourite Doctor. Sadly, The Gathering is a bit of a mess and, worse, a lost opportunity.
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on 12 March 2015
I was a teenager when Peter Davison played the Doctor on TV and I just loved him and Tegan. Having recently purchased the dvds I've thoroughly enjoyed watching them again. It's strange, I hadn't seen the episodes since originally televised yet I remembered them so well, it's hard to believe it was so long ago! So, I've now turned my attention to Big Finish which I wasn't even aware of until recently. I have now listened to several Peter Davison and Janet Fielding audios, which were excellent, but have constantly been putting off listening to The Gathering due to its rather depressing storyline. Well, I listened to it tonight. It is depressing and I honestly can't understand why they would want to write it this way. I understand Janet at the time wanted them to kill Tegan off so I suppose we have to be thankful the writers disagreed on that point, leaving the ending open to possibilities. Travelling with the Fifth Doctor was damaging to the companions, both physically and mentally, and I always saw Tegan's departure as an extremely sad one, a person who just couldn't take anymore, a person promised the wonders of the universe only to be shown death and destruction instead. The Gathering has the Doctor meeting Tegan again many years later and instead of the Tegan mentioned in the Sarah Jane Adventures as someone having been inspired to work for the good and the feisty Tegan we remember we are given a lonely and sad Tegan. Most people's lives are small and grey, work, eat, sleep and get through the days until you die, nothing special, nothing extraordinary, ie a normal life as the writer calls it, but I wanted more for Tegan. It made me sad listening to it. Tegan was always strong and I wanted a Tegan who braved it out and arose stronger. The story itself is confusing as it's actually part of a 3 story arc and I have to say ten minutes into the first disc I was wondering if I was listening to the right story, it's a poorly written baffling mess. It doesn't really get any better storywise as it goes on. If anyone can tell me why The Doctor and Michael merely sit in a car and allow Jodi to enter a building to talk to a madman with a gun I'd be most interested! And come on, would the Doctor just up and leave Tegan at the end? Choices? Ridiculous, he wouldn't give her the choice! And finally, are my hopes dashed? As a romantic teen I always saw the relationship between The Doctor and Tegan as a developing love story, a heartbreak wavering beneath the surface. It was never realised during the TV show (Producer Nathan Turner apparently put the kibosh on it) and so here I shall take the view that Tegan lies to the Doctor and I'll keep my romantic view intact! I would highly recommend the other Fifth Doctor and Tegan Big Finish audios but not this one, I give it two stars, one for Peter and one for Janet! (Afterthought - as The Gathering is set in the Fifth Doctor's future could wibbly wobbly time actually make this not even happen - I like that thought, the whole thing just never happens!)
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on 1 April 2008
This story follows the other audio adventure the reaping with Collin Baker but this one has Peter Davidson's doctor in it along with his assistant Teagan (though a older one) For me I feel you definatley have to buy the Reaping before getting the Gathering, there are to many things from the Reaping that are mentioned in the story. It is not as good as the Reaping but is still a very entertaining story and once again Peter Davidson is excellent. It is also good to hear a story with Teagan and because it is set after Teagan left the Doctor you get to see what her life was like without the Doctor. This story lasts for 108 mins and is in two parts. I recommend it but buy the reaping with it.
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on 14 December 2011
An audio adventure of the 5th Doctor and Tegan

The doctor meets up with Tegan long after she has left the Doctor and as usual gets tied up in an adventure.

The story is a sequal to the Reaping, and whilst it does stand alone it looses a lot without having heard the first adventure. This is also a sad tale of how being a companion can ruin a life, where as elsewhere it has generally been a bit of a celebration of what it can do for someone.

A fairly typical story which whilst moving along at a reasonable speed has little to either recommend or dislike about it.
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on 1 August 2006
Wow! When I heard a rumor, slightly over a year ago that Big Finish was negotiating with Janet Fielding for the 5th Doctor play, I was extatic but cautious because a rumor sometimes ends up being just that - a rumor. So of course I was overjoyed when Big Finish recently announced their September release includes this play and that Tegan will once again accompany the Doctor on another great adventure.

What is interesting about this release is that it's somehow linked with the 6th Doctor's play The Reaping which is also due to be released in September but days before this one.

Both plays even share similar introductions and the images on the cover appear symetrical. Another interesting fact is that Tegan shares a common friend with the Sixth Doctor's companion Peri, with the name of Katherine Chambers.

I've rated it with five stars because this is one release that a true Whovian has to have in his collection.

A must buy!
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This is the eighty seventh release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Peter Davison as Five and, in a particularly unwelcome development, Janet Fielding as my second least favourite companion the ever annoying Tegan. There are 2 episodes, roughly 55-60 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. One episode per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes.

Peter Davison was one of the great Doctors, but hi performance on the TV show was always overshadowed by the annoying companions he was shackled with. Adric and Tegan were, respectively, my least favourite and second least favourite companions of the entire show, and really spoiled a lot of Five's stories. Mercifully, neither had made an appearance in the BF range until now, allowing us to see what a great Doctor Five is when accompanied by Nyssa, Turlough or Peri and Erimem. But finally the inevitable has happened and the annoying and rude mouth on legs Tegan is back. Thankfully they have not yet tried to include Adric in a story - that would probably make me think twice about buying a release.

Anyway, ranting about what happened 30 years ago aside, what is this story like? It starts off very promising, as it forms a story arc with the excellent preceding release, the Sixth Doctor story the Reaping. But it just never manages to get close to reaching those heights. It's a particularly dull tale, in which not a lot happens and when it does it's either uninteresting or so full of plot holes that it seems implausible even by Whoniverse standards. And the fractured narrative structure is really annoying. It's the end of the fors episode, almost an hour in, before anything remotely interesting happens. And then there is Tegan. Never a nice person to start with, here she is characterised as being even more irritating. She's become an even harder character to root for. The writing is poor. Very poor. There is some truly dire dialogue, and though the actors, especially Davison, try hard the material is just awful. Even Davison seems to give up in some particularly embarrassing to listen to scenes where he and an ex-lover of Tegan's lock horns. And as for tying up the loose plot strands from the preceding adventure - well, don't hold your breath, they are tied up but in a totally uninteresting and almost offhand manner.

On top of all this is an awful sound production. There is an intrusive and off putting soundtrack (though it does have the benefit of distracting me from Tegan's bitching) and some lousy sound effects. Not Big Finish's finest 2 hours by quite a long way.

Bad script, bad direction, Tegan, overlong, dull. I have nothing good to say about this release, I really advocate giving it a miss. 1 star.

PS - after the initially good news that Tegan was only going to be in it for this one adventure only, it transpires that she is in three later BF/fifth Doc releases. Oh how I am looking forward to hearing those.
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