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Robophobia - And so the drama continues...

This is the hundred and forty ninth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Sylvester McCoy as a companionless Seventh Doctor. There are four episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with cliffhangers and original theme music between each. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes. There are some interviews with cast and crew at the end of the second disc and a few minutes of the soundtrack at the end of disc 1.

This kick starts a trilogy of adventures for a solo Seventh Doctor in brilliant fashion. The story opening is unnerving, plays with expectations and introduces the Seventh Doctor in an effectively elliptical manner. From this the story builds beautifully, playing with a firm fan favourite (Robots of Death) from the classic series in an intelligent fashion. The pressure builds, we are kept on the edge of the seat with tension, wondering just what will happen next nad where this gripping story is going to go until it builds to a final, ever so satisfying conclusion. It's a clever bit of writing and production, and delivers a story with real punch and power. All this is helped by some great performances. McCoy in particular has never been better as the dark, manipulative Doctor.

5 stars for a truly excellent release.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 19 September 2011
The background to this story is from the Tom Baker, Fourth Doctor era - when he and Leela land on a sandminer where much of the work is carried out by robots - but the robots aren't quite as docile as they might seem. (The Robots of Death, 1977).

In this story, the Doctor is aboard a cargo ship which is transporting thousands of robots. The earlier episode aboard the sandminer is not known to the general populace, and has been covered up by the company. But is it as simple as a link to that when one of the crew is murdered - apparently by a robot? And why is the Doctor there?

This is a good story - it did seem that it was all wrapped by episode three of the four episodes but there were a few plot twists saved for the last episode. Sylvester McCoy is alone in this story, and that's not a bad thing - it gives him a chance to flex his `Doctor'ness (mysterious stranger turning up for no apparent reason), and as it is never explained why he is actually there or how he knew to be there, he seems to drift in and drift back out of the other characters' lives in a suitably mysterious manner.

Great story well played by all concerned - highly recommended.
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on 17 August 2017
Great story, great cast. Really enjoyable audio Dr Who story.
One you can listen to more than once.
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A new Doctor who audio featuring Sylvester Mccoy as the Doctor, this is the first in a new trilogy of adventures for him.

It's a good jumping on point for casual listeners because it has no ties in to previous audios.

It does tie into the tv story Doctor Who - The Robots Of Death [1978] [DVD] [1963]. This audio being a sequel of sorts to that. There is enough exposition in this so that those who haven't seen the tv story won't be confused. But if you're a Doctor Who fan then you will doubtless have seen it. So that shouldn't be a problem,

The story runs for four parts, from twenty five minutes to thirty minutes approx in length, and it is spread over two cds.

It takes place on board a spaceship delivering a huge cargo of robots to another planet. There is a rumour doing the rounds amongst the crew that Robots on a sandminer went bad and tried to kill the crew. Nobody really believes that to be possible.

Then a crewperson dies. A mysterious stranger called the Doctor who seems to know far more than he's letting on appears. And the crew find themselves in danger.

But everyone knows Robots can kill humans. Surely?

This one is a little tricky to get into initially because the pre credits sequence in the first episode ends on a cliffhanger of sorts, which then takes a little while afterwards to get explained. It builds tension very nicely as crewmembers investigate and get paranoid.

Then there are moments when all hell appears to be breaking loose, which makes for great drama.

Yet as per usual the Doctor doesn't reveal everything right away. Because there is a little more going on here than meets the eye. Which leads to some surprising twists and turns.

Taking the old Doctor Who story template of a remote outpost under siege allows for gripping and suspensful storytelling and drama. Which this certainly manages to do. Where it also succeeds superbly is in the characterisation. I can't think of many others in this range that have managed to delve so deeply into the feelings of the characters and give them so much depth. The cast do respond superbly to this quality material.

All does become clear come the final part which turns into a gripping race against time. And allows for some powerfully emotional moments, none of which you will forget in a hurry.

This doesn't simply repeat the tv original, it does manage to come up with a new spin on things. And it's a superbly acted and written drama which will tug at the emotions. It's a highly recommended listen.

There are nine and half minutes [approx] of music from the story at the end of disc one.

A trailer for the next release in this range at the end of disc two [which isn't actually the next part in this trilogy. That one is The Doomsday Quatrain (Doctor Who) which is out right afterwards]. And fifteen minutes or so of interviews with cast and crew after that.

Do be sure to listen to all of these because they hint at something rather interesting that you might otherwise have missed. You'll see what I mean.

And right after that, the final track is something rather special that shouldn't be listened to till after you've heard part four. You'll see what I mean about that as well.
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After the frankly disappointing Rat Trap (Doctor Who), this is a definite return to form for the Big Finish monthly Doctor Who series. I have to admit that Sylvester McCoy has become my favourite 'audio Doctor'; the development of his character as a Machiavellian galactic chess player and arch manipulator has continued unabated, and the beginning of this story sees him immediately embroiled in a murder and up to his old tricks; albeit without a companion this time.
With the robots voiced more or less exactly as they were in the 1977 story that this is a sequel to, Doctor Who - The Robots of Death ( The Robots of Death ) ( Doctor Who: The Robots of Death ), and continuity references that link the two stories nicely, this is both a nostalgic treat for long time fans and a vibrant and intriguing Sci-Fi drama for those newer to the series.
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VINE VOICEon 11 August 2011
This Seventh Doctor story features him sans companion and at his most irritatingly superior. Being the first of a trilogy (interrupted by #150) this finds the Doctor on a space transporter in a timeline not long after the Fourth Doctor TV tale 'Robots of Death'.

Although the twists in the tale may be reasonably obvious, this story is elevated by the usual quality production and a superb performance by Nicola Walker as med-tech Liv Chenka (who is featured on the cover - yes the actress from Spooks!).
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