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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars

on 27 April 2017
Leela of the tribe of the severteem is on a learning curve as the Doctor shows her around the universe, in 60 odd AD the Tardis lands in Norfolk and they run into Queen Boodica of the Icini, she and her daughters have been wronged in the extreme by the Romans, returning to her tribe beaten but unbowed she teams up with Trinivantes of Suffolk and marches on the nearest Roman town, modern Colchester. Enter Leela who wants to have a bash at the Queen's enemy and teach them a lesson or two. Boodica is not interested in teaching anybody anything except how to die at the end of a sword. Ancient Britons were warriors who lived by the code of the sword, mercy was not a quality they wanted to hear about, the Romans were brutal people themselves, so when the brutal and the merciless clash no one gets out alive. Harsh lessons indeed but Boodica is driven by rage and revenge, that never stops until both parties are under the soil. Leela sees herself differently after this encounter and one wonders what might have been had they done this on screen, suffice to say the battle scenes sound gory, one place I would steer clear of in any case. good piece of drama well played out.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 7 September 2012
The Doctor and Leela land the Tardis; they're not sure where or when, but the Doctor sees it as an opportunity to continue Leela's education. Unfortunately, when he finds out where and when they are, it might have been better not to be there at all - for they are in the path of the Iceni, led by Boudicca, bent on revenge against the Romans who took her dead husband's kingdom, flogged her and ruined her daughters. The Doctor, knowing all too well what will happen after Boudicca and her allies reach Camulodunum, and aware that he cannot become involved in changing what is historical fact, tries to get Leela to leave with him. But Leela's warrior instincts are roused, and she sees the noble role for herself as assisting Boudicca against the invaders - after all, isn't that what the Doctor always tries to do?

So in this story we have the rather unusual situation of the Doctor and his `companion' acting against each other - both for very good reasons, but both cannot be satisfied by the outcome. And for those of us who know what happened to Boudicca, even before the Doctor brought it up, I for one would not have wanted to be present when Camulodunum was attacked.

It's a pity that this is another of the stories that is only two episodes, and one cd long - I think the four episode, two cd stories, as a norm, allow for the full blossoming and development of the story, and the characters. An entertaining story, with Louise Jameson and Tom Baker in top form; it's interesting to hear Boudicca's story as she might have told it, and this is a great addition to the Fourth Doctor stories - highly recommended.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 23 April 2012
Latest Doctor who audio play to feature Tom Baker as the Doctor and Louise Jameson as his companion Leela. This is the third in a series of them, but it pretty much stands on it's own. Thus casual listeners should be able to get into it easily without having heard the preceding ones.

It's a complete story and it runs for two episodes of roughly thirty minutes each, and these are on a single cd.

This does continue the loose ongoing theme of this run, in that the Doctor is trying to educate Leela. And on this occasion, he's brought her to ancient Britain.

Only to find that they've landed in the middle of Boudica's rebellion against the Romans.

The Doctor knows how history turns out. Leela doesn't. And when falls under the sway of Boudica, the Doctor has some difficult decisios to make...

This is one of those select breed of stories that the show did in it's early days. A pure historical. The TARDIS is the only science fictional element in it. The mandate of those old stories was to educate and entertain. And it certainly manages the former, with some excellent research being put to very good use. You may well learn a few things about this legendary period of history as a result.

It offers the listener moral food for thought as well, making you consider whether certain actions from certain characters are justified or not.

This has a small cast and the bulk of the first part has virtually no action, just people standing around talking to each other. But this is good solid drama. With the occasional excellent funny line from the Doctor to lighten the mood. Which manages to get darker when required as well. Tom Baker handles all this with aplomb.

It's also an excellent story for Leela, as her relationship with Boudica has a few twists and turns.

And the way the Doctor does resolve things is really rather clever.

All this leads to a nice final scene. And a hugely memorable final speech that should stay with you for a while.

This is a quality piece of drama and well worth a listen.

There is a trailer for the next in this series on the cd track after the end of episode two.

And roughly fifteen minutes of interviews with cast and crew on the tracks after that.
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on 21 September 2015
‘The Wrath of the Iceni’ by John Dorney is the first pure historical story in performed Doctor Who to feature the Fourth Doctor and was directed by Ken Bentley. This audio drama was recorded on 13 September 2011 and was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra's Seventh Dimension, presented by Toby Hadoke, on 30th May 2015. Pacquolas played by Daniel Hawksford mentions watching fights in the Colosseum. In reality, however, its construction did not begin until 70 AD, ten years after the events of this story take place.

The Doctor and Leela are in Britain in the year 60 AD and after Leela saves the life of Boudica the time travelling pair are taken back to Boudica’s camp where the Doctor tell Leela about Boudica and her struggle against the Roman invaders. Leela feels that Boudica is a kindred spirit and against the Doctor’s protestations not to get involved ends up going against his wishes.

The music is sparse but there are some great sound effects which help create a natural atmosphere. The directing is clear and focused with a story that is told well. Tom seems to be in his element with this but Louise attracts most of the attention here with a nuanced performance from a usually unsubtle character. There is a diminutive cast featuring Nia Roberts as Bragnar and Ella Kenion as Boudica. Great performances across the board.

This is quite simply a great historical. There is a layered atmosphere, a textured plot, rich characterisation with great humour and wonderful dialogue. Tom is on form and the contrast of the warrior maidens Leela and Boudica is superb. Leela defies the Doctor giving rise to a conflict of loyalties and real drama.
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on 22 January 2015
After a less than successful visit to a museum in the previous story in an effort to further Leela’s education, The Doctor decides that his companion needs to experience history as it really is. This premise results in a story more in keeping with some of those characteristic of the First Doctor in that it is purely historical, featuring historical personages and no aliens/monsters. The story needs no other elements though. It is set during a vital time in British history and the story is gripping, gritty and tense.

It is a wonderful idea to have Leela meet Boudicca and it is primarily the relationship between the two of them that is the focus of the play. Virtually nothing is known of who Boudicca was as an individual that doesn’t come from Roman historians and her reputation as a freedom fighter symbol is a retrospective and probably over-glamourized one. There is, therefore, plenty of scope for versatility in characterising the famed historical figure. John Dorney presents an impressive and multi-layered character and Ella Kenion gives a strong and convincing performance that brings the character to life. This Boudicca is not the demonised foe of the Romans nor someone seen in an overly heroic light. There is even a possible comparison with Davros in that all she wants from the Doctor is practically what Davros wanted in ‘Genesis of the Daleks’.

Initially Leela is somewhat naïve and easily impressed by Boudicca; even to the point of taking her side over the Doctor. But to Leela’s more ‘black and white’ thinking Boudicca’s outlook makes sense. The complexity of human nature is the nature she learns from this adventure.

The concentration upon Leela and Boudicca does have the negative effect that the Doctor is somewhat pushed to one side. He still has plenty to do but a large proportion of this involves hanging around with de-facto companion Bragnar and trying to stay out of the affairs of history.

This leads to one of the major elements of the play; the question of interfering in history. Here the Doctor takes the stance of refraining from altering ‘fixed points in time’ much like he states in ‘The Fires of Pompeii’, which also of course featured Romans. Ironically it is in ‘The Romans’ that the Doctor drastically effects history. Inevitably this leads to a division from Leela who sees things in a much more simple way: the Romans are oppressors and must be stopped. However, much like in ‘The Fires of Pompeii’ the Doctor allows himself to attempt to save at least someone.

Essentially this is a Leela story. Her interaction and dialogue with Boudicca is superb and the two actresses concerned do a sterling job. Possibly the best audio of this particular Fourth Doctor series; but you can’t really go wrong with Leela and Boudicca fighting Romans, nor with a play that suggests Morris Dancing is as evil as the Daleks or Cybermen.
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on 21 April 2012
I think this is Tom Baker's first truly historical Doctor Who, and hope it won't be his last. It's a big improvement on the previous story Renaisance Man, and also the first story in the new range not to be constrained by the two episode format. My only criticism is the frequency with which the Doctor refers to Leela as 'Savage'! Now for the much awaited Energy of the Daleks...
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on 3 April 2012
This, the third in the series of 2012 releases with the fourth Doctor and Leela,takes them back to an England under Roman occupation, and to the Iceni, a tribe who rebel against the occupation. The story explores a series of genuine historical events as well as any Hartnell story did all those years ago. As soon as the Doctor and Leela arrive the story that emerges makes super use of Leela as the best possible companion for the concept, indeed she is at the centre of events, in many ways this is really a Leela story, and Louise Jameson takes full advantage of this, giving an excellent performance, perhaps her best in any Big Finish release. The plot handles some difficult ideas with subtlety, confronts and accepts the complications and moral dilemmas of the times involved, and never once stops treating its audience as intelligent adults. The cast all give strong performances and the sound effects and music are as good as ever. An excellent release.
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Hot on the heels of Tom Baker's initial renaissance in this series of Fourth Doctor and Leela full-cast audio dramas comes this wild tale concerning the 'first battle for Britain', between the occupying Roman legions and the eponymous Celtic tribe attempting to resist them. The latter are of course led by the flame-haired mother of all independent women: Boadicea, and when she and the equally headstrong Leela meet it goes without saying that sparks will fly - unfortunately The Doctor manages to get himself caught in the crossfire, with fascinating results.
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on 25 April 2014
Worth it for the joke about Morris Dancing alone. The Bouddicca story is well known so it is skillfully weaved witht he involvemnt of the Dr and Leela. The production and script are better than many of the TV episodes of this time. To be honest Big Finish are brilliant and deserve you buying direct from them. Dr Who coudl ahve been made for radio/audio as they say - the pictures are so much better.
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on 1 May 2016
Happy with CD.
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