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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 12 November 2016
This is part of the series of Lost Stories produced as full cast audio dramas by Big Finish. These are stories which, for various reasons, were written, or had story ideas drawn up for various Doctors in the tv series, but were never made. Big Finish have released nearly 30 of these Lost Stories so far, and they’re a brilliant chance to hear stories that we might have seen on tv, had circumstances been different; and a great opportunity to hear stories of their time, written for the Doctor of the time. This one is the sixth release in the second series, and features Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor, and Sophie Aldred as Ace. Like the previous story, this also features Beth Chalmers as Raine Creevy.

On board the space vessel Vancouver, the captain is delivering a shipload of grain from Earth Aid to the planet Safenesthome. But the captain seems a little unsure of herself, and members of the crew wonder about her. And the ship’s medical officer, the Doctor, seems to take on a bit more than you’d expect from his role, as well. When the Vancouver loses contact with the grain ship they are convoying, the Doctor and the Captain lead a mission over to check it out. They find the crew missing, but some others on board who aren’t exactly supposed to be there.

This story was co-written by Andrew Cartmel, who also wrote the previous stories Crime of the Century and Animal. The co-author of this story was Ben Aaronovitch. The story is a very good one, and I like the premise that it sets itself up with. The references to star ship captains, and in particular of course Star Trek are very funny, and I thought they were well written, and exremely well delivered for maximum effect for the audience.

The story rattles along nicely, and ties up a few loose ends along the way, which was nice. But there are at least three very big plot points that are raised in the story which are never resolved, which I thought was a bit odd. Very good, though, and a nice end to the loosely threaded story arc which involves Raine Creevy. The Doctor, Ace and Raine are very well played here, of course. And there is an excellent support cast, with well written characters, and very well performed, in particular I thought by Basher Savage as Yanikov, and Ingrid Oliver as Baraki. John Banks and Alex Mallinson play their respective alien ‘guest’ roles with great verve and touches of wit, as always.
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on 29 September 2011
This superb series showcasing how the TV series cancelled in 1989 might have developed, continues with an Andrew Cartmel/Ben Aaronovitch penned story, featuring the vast grain-carrying space vessel Vancouver and its unusual new captain; known to the ship's mysterious Doctor as Ace...
Featuring the brilliant Patterson Joseph, and re-introducing Beth Chalmers as jewel-thief turned time traveller Raine Creevey, Earth Aid is a reasonably light story with some memorable dialogue and great interplay between the central characters. I have to say that the sluglike Grubs were a little too comedy for comfort, but the overall tone and feel of the audio is well done.
With the now obligatory interviews with cast and crew, and an extended piece of music at the end of the first disk, this is another quality release from Big Finish, and it is to be hoped that this isn't the last time The Seventh Doctor, Ace and Raine get their own strand of stories.
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Back in 1989 when Doctor Who was cancelled, this meant that stories which were being prepared for the next year of the show got abandoned and thus they never reached the tv screen.

Now, thanks to Big Finish audio adaptating them for cd, we can hear what might have been.

This is the fourth and final release in this run. Featuring the Seventh Doctor and Ace. Plus new companion Raine Creevy. A posh girl with a talent for safe cracking.

Some story threads from the previous three releases do run into this one but they're not major and thus casual listeners should be able to get into this relatively easily. Although you may be better off having heard the other three first  Crime of the Century (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories)Animal (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories)] because otherwise one of the cliffhangers might fall flat and you may wonder why some characters are so annoyed with the Doctor.

This story runs for four episodes and is spread over two cds. The first three parts are twenty five minutes long and the last is a little over thirty.

The story opens on the bridge of the spaceship Vancouver. Which is taking a shipment of grain from Earth to another planet. The Captain of the Vancouver seems to be a little out of her depth. And repeats certan phrases that may just have come from tv shows a lot. She also takes a lot of advice from the ship's doctor.

The crew's suspicions about her are forced aside when they discover another vessel in need of aid. And when mysterious aliens attack.

Whilst Ace has to fight off their attackers and keep the crew on her side, the Doctor has to find what's lurking in the grain silos...

The show did try space opera on tv a couple of times and those efforts weren't successful. Because they were slowly paced six part stories. This is much better paced by virtue of being four parts and reasonably long episodes so it moves along very nicely.

The supporting characters could be rather cliched but their interaction with Ace - and vice versa - does make for some good scenes which give Sophie Aldred some good material to work with. The mystery of what's in the grain does take a while to be answered but the result is quite interesting.

Part four does have a lot to cram in and thus does go on for a while but it does offer some interesting surprises. One very funny moment. And whilst there's a message to it it's never preachy and it's really quite original.

The storylines that have run through the season don't come to much of a conclusion. But it does all end with one nice wrap up scene that promises further adventures for this TARDIS crew.

Alas this is the end of this batch of lost stories, though. Which is a pity. Because on the basis of these you would like to hear what the Doctor Ace and Raine do next.

The next lost story is a fifth doctor tale Elite, The (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories) and there is a trailer for that after part four on disc two.

There's also almost thirty minutes of interviews with cast and crew, split between the end of disc one and the end of disc two.
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on 23 November 2014
Good story. Planned for the 1990 season (27). The acting is good and the narrative engaging.
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Released in 2011, this is the sixth release in the second season of Lost Stories from Big Finish. It is the fourth of four full cast audio adventures for the Seventh Doctor and Ace, and finally give us the scripts that were planned for the season following ‘Survival’. The adventure is 4 episodes of half an hour each, on two discs. The end of each disc has some interviews with cast and crew.

On the strength of the episodes that I have listened to, it seems a mercy that the classic series finished on the high that it did, if these stories had been made and transmitted I think that the show’s demise would have inevitable and it would have left on a very sour note.

This is the final story in the season, and frankly it is a disaster. Going where every science fiction series has gone before, it is a Star Trek parody, and not a particularly good one at that. Once again Raine is sidelined (and indeed doesn't even appear until episode 2) in favour of Ace. I totally fail to see the point of introducing a great new character and giving Ace an exit strategy if you then keep Ace hanging around and ignore the new signing. Even worse, the resourceful and useful Ace built up in the TV series is now turned into a complete idiot. As another reviewer (Joe Ford in his Doc OHO blog) asked, what was the point of keeping her on if only to make her look this stupid??

OK, so my usual rant about the sidelining of Raine is over. Now onto the other stuff. The plot holes, terrible monsters, the appearance of some even worse monsters (seriously dude, who thought it was a good idea to bring back the Metatraxi??) the poor attempts at humour (Star Trek parodies are really ten a penny, and I have to say that this one is not one of the top tier of the genre), the idea that Ace should be a star ship captain and an incompetent in the role, just why is the Doctor and Ace there any way, etc, etc, the story just has too much wrong with it. And when some thing interesting comes along (a sentient planet, liked the idea even though it has been done before in Scaredy Cat) it is sidelined along with the most interewsting character (Raine! Remember her Big Finish? She was supposed to be Ace's replacement!)

Performances all over the place, poor script, just generally terrible. 1 star, and I wish that this particular lost story had stayed lost.
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on 10 November 2016
pleased
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