The sixth doctor and peri team up on audio again. For only the third time in eighty six stories [if you don't count the two special releases that they did]. After so many stories featuring the sixth doctor and evelyn, it's quite strange to hear him with another companion, as their dynamic is so different.
Prompted by discovering that an old friend of hers died in mysterious circumstances a few months after she left earth, peri and the doctor head to boston in 1984 - the sound effects and the music create the setting very well - and whilst peri gets an uneasy reunion with her mother, played by claudia christian from the babylon 5 tv show, the doctor looks into the death. And discovers that the cybermen are involved. This is not a spoiler, as they're on the cover of the box.
A long story, clocking it at just over two hours, and there are only two episodes, thus each is longer than an hour. You might think this would cause it to drag, but they are gripping enough to hold your attention. ALthough the first is more like this than the second, which could possibly have done with being split down the middle.
I am not going to say too much about the plot of this one because it's very cleverly written and there are lots of twists and turns on the way, some of which will leave you open mouthed in shock. Those cybermen are very cunning! Perhaps even more so than the doctor realises.
The supporting cast are great, and the two leads are typically superb. You will not forget the end of this story for as long as you live. And I won't spoil that for you either [so please don't give this review an unhelpful vote because of that! You'll thank me for it!]
Be aware that there are some loose ends left. They will be tied up in the next release. Doctor who: the gathering. But that's another story. And hopefully it will explain the relevance of a pair of numbers that some of the characters keep quoting....
This is the eighty sixth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Colin Baker as Six and Nicola Bryant as Peri. There are 2 episodes, roughly 70 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.
After a run of uninspiring releases from Big Finish, this is unexpectedly a belter of a story. Unexpectedly because it sees Six once again paired with Peri (for only the third time in the Big Finish adventures), a combination that I found a little uninspiring in the TV series. However, developments in this story allows the relationship between them to grow, and become a lot more believable. For the first time Peri is really explored and developed as a character, and it is a very welcome development.
The Doctor and Peri are travelling in the future when Peri comes across an old news article describing the death of a friend back in 1984. Travelling back to attend the funeral and to do a little investigating, Peri discovers the ramifications for her family of her sudden departure, and the Doctor discovers some disturbing alien technology.
What follows is a corkingly good story as they try to resolve personal issues and save the world from alien invasion. At 70 minutes an episode it sounds long, but the time just flies by in this involving story that delivers on excitement and emotional involvement.
Baker and Bryant put in sterling performances, especially Baker who gets to show the less egotistical and more compassionate side of Six. The final scenes are actually quite moving, due to the talent of the two actors.
There is also an excellent soundscape on offer here, and this really makes the story stand out. There seems to be always something going on in the background, from birds singing to other characters conversing. It has a feeling of reality about it. And there is an excellent score that really sets the mood and era of the piece.
Not all of the plot strands are tied up, the following release, the Gathering, is a sequel that will explain everything. The Reaping and The Gathering from a trilogy along with seventh Doctor adventure The Harvest.
In all 5 stars for this cracking adventure.
on 2 October 2006
Really was exiceted when i heard about this, as a fan of the new Doctor Who was slightly dissapointed that the Cybermen were from a parallel world not the ones from Mondas as we know from the classic series and I was happy they had returned in this the Reaping. I was gripped from the beginning and there was some great Colin Baker humour in the story at the beginning. Alot of emotional stuff for Nicola Bryant which i felt she brought of brilliantly! The story ends with not everything being tied up which is what I have heard Big Finish next audio play will do 'The Gathering' with Peter Davison's Fifth Doctor. As soon as The Reaping had finished I found myself wanting the Gathering!!!!! Shame its not in stock yet. GRRRRRRRR
on 15 April 2009
Not being a big fan of any of the Sixth Doctor's companions (on TV or audio) I approached this with fairly low expectations. Thankfully, it was better than I'd anticipated; probably due to Colin Baker's sterling performance; his interpretation of the Timelord has mellowed since his TV days and is well-suited to audio. The story is fairly contrived (as a fellow reviewer has perhaps rather harshly stated) but it is emminently listenable, and Peri's obnoxious transatlantic whine aside, a pretty solid entry in the Big Finish series.
on 27 May 2007
This story is one of the best to feature the cybermen, which is surprising as there are actually only two cybermen in the whole story. But as per usual, Joe Lidster has done it again. Written a play with all the right qualities: good strong characters, good dialogue and good twists and turns. I really was surprised by the shock ending of Peri's Mum dying. Quite a sad and well performed ending. Love how the Doctor tricks the cyberleader...ha ha! So overall, yet another classy and cool addition to the big finish range.
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