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4.0 out of 5 stars
The Architects of History (Doctor Who)
Format: Audio CD|Change
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This is the one hundred and thirty second release from Big Finish in their range of audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. This one stars Sylvester McCoy as Seven and Tracey Childs as Klein. The release has four episodes, two episodes per disc on two discs. Each episode is 25-30 minutes long and has cliffhanger endings and original theme music between each episode. There are some interviews with cast and crew at the end of disc one, and the end of disc two features a few minutes of incidental music from the production.

Following the events of `Survival of the Fittest', Klein is busy rewriting history her way. Not just trying to restore her timeline, but improving on it. Or improving on it in her mind at least. But things just keep going wrong and she is forever having to tinker with history to get things to go right. On the new Nazi outpost on the moon she is suddenly faced with a threat that should not exist in the form of an invasion force of Selachians, fearsome marine predators in environment suits that allow them to walk on land. She has a mysterious little man with a question mark umbrella prisoner in a dungeon, and she is ssure this is one of his schemes, but he denies all knowledge, or indeed any knowledge of this timeline.

What follows is a halfway decent tale as the Seventh Doctor, transplanted from the original timeline and replacing the physical form of the Doctor of the new timeline tries to work out what his other self had planned and plays along with it. An especially neat idea is that of the Doctor's assistants, of whom he has no knowledge because he has no knowledge of this time line. It's a bit of a weird timey-wimey tale at times, but has some great moments and most of it hangs together with most of the important plot points being covered. It falls a bit flat for me though as no explanation for the central premise, which sets up most of the interesting situations, is satisfactorily explained - just why was the Doctor from the original timeline transported into the new timeline all of a sudden? Why did he not just vanish along with the rest of the timeline? So what would have been a solid 4 star story drops to a three for me as I just didn't really `get' an important aspect of it.

Apart from that this is a well produced and well acted story, especially by McCoy who obviously relishes this opportunity to play the darkest version of the Dark Doctor yet. And Tracy Childs as Klein is superb, driven, ambitious but now paranoid and starting to tire of the constant effort.

All in all a solid 3 star effort from the BF team, and an almost satisfying wrap up to the Klein trilogy.
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Top Contributor: Doctor WhoTOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 28 April 2010
A new audio Doctor Who story featuring Sylvester Mccoy as the Doctor. Following on from the end of the previous story in this range Survival of the Fittest (Doctor Who) which saw the TARDIS in the hands of Elizabeth Klein, nazi from a timeline that no longer exists and who is determined to restore it.

There's enough information in this one to bring new listeners up to speed but you would be better off with having heard that previous story first.

This story runs for four episodes each of roughly thirty minutes in duration. It takes place in a moonbase that is part of the galactic reich. Klein has used the TARDIS to reshape history to her liking. Or what she thinks she wants it to be. But when nasty aliens the Selachians attack on a misson of genocide she has to turn to the Doctor for help.

In the meantime a pair of workers on the base are caught up in the middle of things. And one knows far more about the Doctor than she might admit.

The cost of creating the perfect timeline can be very high....

Each episode may be longer than the standard twenty five minutes but that doesn't matter at all as there's so much great stuff in them that they fly by. There are more of the excellent discussions of morality that Klein and the Doctor have had throughout their travels. The Selachians are very effective on audio because they have a very distinctive voice. There's some very clever and interesting looks at the consequences of altering history. And the whole thing considers the effect that the Doctor has on the lives of those he meets, and how they will never be the same again afterwards. All of which results in some rather moving moments.

Backed up with an excellent score this is an unforgettable epic and an excellent conclusion to a fine trilogy of tales. It does bring an end to Klein's story. But it will also make you wish that wasn't the case.

For more of the excellent music go to the end of disc one where you can hear just over nine minutes worth of the score without any dialogue to interrupt it.

At the end of disc two there are seventeen minutes approx of interviews with cast and crew.

And at the start of disc one a trailer for the next doctor who audio Dr Who City of Spires CD (Dr Who Big Finish) (Doctor Who). The start of a new trilogy of adventures for the sixth doctor. I look forward to it.

If you like the Selachians, then you can read about them here Doctor Who: The Murder Game and here Doctor Who: The Final Sanction
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VINE VOICEon 11 April 2010
I loved Klein's character and Childs portrayal of her back in Colditz and have been delighted with her return in this trilogy. This is very much a portrayal of the New Adventures 7th Doctor, one rarely seen in the Big Finish range. This trilogy just wouldn't work with any other Doctor.

I adored Leonara Crichlow as Rachel Cooper, especially that heartbreaking final scene with her. However I'd like to just keep the character and the performance in this bubble. Despite being only in one story she's already one of my favourite companions.

McCoy has never been better than in this, plus obviously the superlative Childs as Klein. The music was stirring, extremely pleased to note that it got its own track. A clever final scene too which I wont spoil as it deserves to come as a shock for full effect.
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on 22 March 2010
Sylvester McCoy gives the kind of performance Doctor Who fans dream of in the last of this trilogy, showing that the seventh face of the Doctor has lost none of his cunning, or his ability to create his own problems. Tracey Childs continues to be superb as Klein. After hearing the first two tales, both very strong stories, it seems here that the Klein era could have done with being a little longer. From the start this is a story that can only be a final ending for Klein, with so many possible stories that emerge from her morality and background never developed or used. That said, this is a strong story with superbly voiced monsters, and very well written and performed characters. This is one that needs to be listened to with great care, as it can be a little confusing, I found I needed to hear the last episode twice to be sure I had fully appreciated all of the plot threads and their resolution. If you enjoy the Doctor as played by Sylvester McCoy at his dark and manipulative best, then sit back and enjoy.
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