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3.7 out of 5 stars
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First released in 2009, this is the sixth episode of the third season of standalone releases for Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor outside of the monthly range of Big Finish releases. This is a one disc release, with two 25 minute episodes. There are some interviews with cast and crew at the end of the disc.

This season hit the ground running with the superb ‘Orbis’, and has kept up the quality throughout with a set of startlingly different scripts, locations, characters and styles that have made every adventure seem fresh and original. And this is no exception.

The TARDIS lands the Doctor and Lucie on that most traditional of Who settings, a deserted space station. But the station is not as deserted as it seems, they soon find a community of service robots who in various ways have exceeded their original programming.

There follows a good run around, with lots of good moments for both the Doctor and Lucie as they try to resolve the situation in which they find themselves. There’s a lot of energy and humour to the piece, along with a dark undercurrent (the cannibalists) that frms a nice contrast. But the star of the show is Phil Jupitus, whose poetry composing mechanoid grounds the tale with a quiet dignity. I loved his character, he brought areal poignancy to the drama.

It’s another outstanding release in what has been a great third season. 5 stars.

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on 7 October 2009
I nearly always enjoy these Big Finish productions, but this one was a let-down,
Silly, annoying, shouty voices that were meant to be the cannibalist robots, but just sounded like raucous humans with, well... silly shouty loud voices, shouting every time they spoke. Intensely irritating to listen to, and made part one into an endurance test.
Part two was marginally better, because at least by then, some kind of story had started to form. Unfortunately though, all the robots still sounded too human. If they'd sounded more mechanical and, well, robotic, the story would have been greatly improved and been far more interesting to listen to. - And certainly easier on the ears!

I wasn't too keen on another story in this series either, - The Scapegoat. I usually enjoy the 8th Doctor's stories, but not these two. I'm not keen on Lucie Miller, the companion, either, I find her altogether too mouthy and irritating to listen to. Her voice can get really annoying and grating. I much prefer Charlie (Charotte) Pollard, and one can only hope that as she finishes her term with the 6th Doctor, we may get her back with the 8th. They made a great team. (But then she does with the 6th Doctor also).

So, a major let-down for the first part of this story, only just saved by the 2nd part, which just prevented the whole thing being written off as a dismal failure. Sorry. Such a shame, I had been looking forward to hearing The Cannibalists after reading good reviews for it, but it's not to my taste at all. It's hard to imagine how anyone could enjoy settling down to listen to loud, angry, bellowing, rough, raucous voices, but there you go, it takes all sorts I guess! - And quite why it was decided that the cannibalist robots' awful shouty voices all had to have Cockney accents is anyone's guess.....
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sixth release in the third season of doctor who audio plays featuring paul mcgann as the doctor and sheridan smith as his companion lucie miller.

As usual it's a complete in two episodes running each a few minutes over twenty five, and contains them and ten minutes worth of interviews with cast and crew, all on one disc. and you can listen to this without needing to have heard any of the earlier releases in the season first.

the story involves the tardis arriving on haven, a vast space station where the robots who run it have been waiting a very long time for humans to come and live there as planned. in the meantime things have decayed and the robots who are in charge of the place are in fear of the cannibalists, a group of robots who have overriden their programming and who upgrade themselves by taking parts from other robots, destroying them in the process.

And then there's poor old servo, a robot who just wants to write poetry.

Haven also has legends of it's own, and one other type of robot lurking in the dark....

the robots all have voices that could be silly if this was played the wrong way, but the tone of things is just right. excellent sound design really creates the atmosphere of deserted and run down corridors very well. And what seems like it might be a fun but inconsequential story at first soon becomes anything of the kind as the secrets of haven come to light in the second part. this leads to a plot that does manage to keep the surprises coming very nicely. right to the final and rather clever solution to things.

lucie does get to be proactive but for a lot of the second episode she only acts a sounding board to the doctor. but she's such a lively and entertaining character that this really doesn't matter. added to which the doctor gets a few moral speeches that you might just find yourself concurring with, so well written are they.

Clever, original, and very entertaining. It's an excellent litle story and well worth a listen.
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VINE VOICEon 6 September 2009
This episode hits all the buttons for me - it has a decent cast (as usual) thought Phil Jupitus is not easily recognised under the voice processing; good production (as ever, though this really feels set on a space station (much as Wirrn Dawn sounded 'right')), good story and nice angles.

The story concerns a space station which has never been inhabited, and over time the robots degenerate into tribes ranging from the Assemblers (old intellectual robots) to the Cannibalists (the rogues that go round scavenging other robots for spare parts). Naturally the Doctor and Lucie fall into the 'hands' of the latter and eventually have to face up to some revelations as to the history of the station, and sacrifice their one ally for the greater good.

This and the fact that the Cannibalists are straight out of Dickens!

What's more we have robot poetry as well!

A tour de force!
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on 9 March 2010
It's a traditional stand by of the DW universe.
But the reason this is a recurring theme is because it works.
these type of stories don't over tax your brain, are a bit silly, and leave you thinking "that was fun".
A lot of the robots went to the "Douglas Adams" theatre school. ;-)
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on 19 October 2010
Bang, crash, shout, bang, shout, crash! Enough! Enough already!

What on earth went wrong in the planning for The New Eighth Doctor Adventures? From a series that has provided such slabs of genius as 'Brave New Town', 'Grand Theft Cosmos', 'The Beast of Orlok' or 'Scapegoat', why are we then expected to tolerate this moronic non-comedy?

Most of the cast merely have to make a lot of noise and whoever thought to cast Phil Jupitus as the friendly robot Servo really wasn't thinking. He is dreadfully out of his depth. Are we really back to the JNT celebrity casting couch after all this time? What's more, Minerva is a deus-ex-machina cop-out of staggering proportions.

But by far the biggest flaw is the ear-shredding unpleasantness of the sound of it all - more than once I had to rip off my headphones for the sake of my hearing - and for something that's meant to be funny, 'The Cannibalists' really isn't. Nor is the salutory ending anything more than naff cliche.

Jonathan Morris has given us some really special Doctor Who novels and audios over the years but 'The Cannibalists' isn't one of them.
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