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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 March 2014
This is the hundred and sixty first release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Peter Davison as Five, with Mark Strickson as Turlough, Sarah Sutton as the older Nyssa and Janet Fielding as Tegan. 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 adventure was a tough ask for Marc Platt. Not only had he to continue the good work done in the previous two parts of this trilogy of adventures, making an effort to give each of the regulars plenty to do and not sidelining any of them while simultaneously writing Tegan as a less disagreeable character, he also had to take on a firm fan favourite from the classic TV series and provide an origins story for Magnus Greel and Mr Sin, two of the shows more memorable villains. I am pleased to report that he has risen to the challenge to deliver a script that does justice to the classic show, does not mess up any continuity and provides lots of excellent scenes and situations for the four regulars. This trilogy has totally altered my opinion of this particular TARDIS crew, they are now working together better than they ever have, both on TV and audio, and providing some really great adventures.

As I said, this is the third of a loose trilogy of adventures, but there is very little story arc between the three and you do not need to have heard the first two (Emerald Tiger adn Jupiter Conjunction) to get into this, though I would recommend them as they are great stories. It would probably help if you have seen the classic adventure ‘The Talons Of Weng Chiang’. In this story the Doctor tries to land the TARDIS in Brisbane, so Tegan can see her native soil and treat the crew to a good old fashioned Aussie BBQ. But on the way a mysterious something snatches Nyssa and Turlough from the TARDIS, and the Doctor and Tegan are forced to make an emergency landing, as usual in the right place but the wrong time. Tegan is shocked to see what ahs become of her homeland in the 51st century. Searching for Nyssa and Turlough, they find news of them in very unexpected places.

True to its origins, this is a deep and dark tale from Platt, giving a solid grounding for Greel, slotting in nicely with what is already known from the Talon’s of Weng Chiang. All of the regulars have interesting story arcs that develop and grow the characters somewhat. And all of the regulars put in superb performances that bring the piece alive. As do the supporting cast, who all made an impression.

In all, another fine effort from Big Finish. 5 stars. And I cannot wait for the next trilogy from this TARDIS crew, not something I would have said following their previous two trilogies.
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on 8 August 2017
Great CD - Love Dr Who
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on 14 April 2013
A long overdue return of Magnus Greel. Peter Davison is great in this story - in fact all the cast are good!
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on 3 March 2013
Thie Talons of Weing Chiang has the same enemy as this story. Only it is set before it.. It is a typical Doctor Who tale, that is that we all love it when the Doctor wins the day and gives his enemy a headache.
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Top Contributor: Doctor WhoTOP 50 REVIEWERon 22 July 2016
This is the 161st story in the Main Range series by Big Finish, first released in 2012. Written by Marc Platt, this story features the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) travelling with one of my favourite Tardis teams, Tegan (Janet Fielding), Turlough (Mark Strickson) and Nyssa (Sarah Sutton).

The Tardis is on its way to Australia, to visit Tegan’s home, where she is very excited to be able to show the others around. On the way, though, the Tardis impacted by some sort of event, and Nyssa and Turlough are separated from the others and taken … where? Finding themselves in some sort of frozen hell, Nyssa and Turlough are horrified to find withered and aged corpses appearing out of nowhere. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Tegan are desperately trying to find where the others have been taken, and to get there to rescue them. Materialising the Tardis, the Doctor finds that they are on Earth in the 51st century - a world on the brink of war, where factions struggle for the ultimate control, and a man called Magnus Greel, the Minister of Justice of the Supreme Alliance of Eastern States plans to take that control, with the scientific help provided by Dr Sa Yy Findecker.

This story stands as a prequel to the classic Robert Holmes-authored Doctor Who tv story, The Talons of Weng-Chiang which featured the Fourth Doctor and Leela, and first aired in Season 14 in 1977. This story became an instant classic, and Big Finish have built further on the world introduced to us in that story, with the wonderful Jago and Litefoot stories, featuring characters who appeared first in Talons.

The Butcher of Brisbane, then, picks up the story of Magnus Greel, in his past, but the Doctor’s future. The Doctor knows what the future must hold for Magnus Greel, and has to not interfere with that destiny. But he also knows the reputation that Greel holds in the 51st century and after, and he must try to limit the damage that can occur, while saving his friends. The story is laced throughout with references that will be familiar to those who know the story of Talons – the 51st century, Time Agents, zygma energy, the time cabinet, Mr Sin. But I do think if you don’t know the story of Talons, you would still be able to thoroughly enjoy this story as a stand-alone, understanding clearly that the Doctor knows something of Greel, and that he knows he cannot disrupt the timeline.

The character of Findecker has appeared before, but only in a short story published in the Doctor Who Magazine issue 174, Under Reykjavik. A listener to this story is not disadvantaged by not having read that earlier story.

This is a brilliant story. Marc Platt has taken all the elements that were picked out in Talons, and woven them into a coherent prequel, with great care and attention. The setting in the 51st century is totally drawn for us, and the characters are all fully created. The fine acting, particularly that of Angus Wright as Magnus Greel, and Rupert Frazer as Findecker deserves special mention. The Tardis crew are all given great parts in this story, and it’s fantastic to hear Tegan and Turlough, in particular, shine in their roles. Superb.
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Top Contributor: Doctor WhoTOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 21 August 2012
Latest Doctor Who audio story, and third in the latest trilogy of them to feature the Fifth Doctor along with his companions Tegan, Nyssa, and Turlough.

These stories are all relatively self contained though, save for an ongoing story arc involving Nyssa. But that gets no attention at all in this one, so casual listeners will be able to get into it quite easily.

The story runs for four episodes of thirty minutes each [approx] and is complete on two cd's.

It's a prequel to the Fourth Doctor story Doctor Who - The Talons Of Weng Chiang [1977] [DVD] [1963]. Which saw the Fourth Doctor meet 51st century war criminal Magnus Greel and the nasty homunculus Mr. Sin in Victorian London, the two having escaped to there via time travel from their home period.

Here, when a trip to Tegan's hometown goes wrong the Doctor and her are separated from Turlough and Nyssa who find themselves stranded in the 51st century. Where Earth is on the brink of war between two great alliances.

When looking for his lost companions the Doctor finds the two of them in a surprising situation. And he also meets Greel's associate, the very nasty alien Dr. Findecker and some mutant creatures he has created.

The Doctor is determined to make sure history works out how it should. But can everyone survive in the meantime?

This starts off feeling like a story from the Fifth Doctor's era on tv but it is more involved and deeper than anything that was done at the time. There's a good use of the possibilities of time travel [the overused phrase 'timey wimey' may come to mind] and some excellent villainy from two very three dimensional characters.

It's a good story for Turlough because although he doesn't seemingly get much to do what he does do fits his character well. Although Nyssa does get put through another traumatic situation and, given that she's been through a lot of these in this run, that does need to be addressed in due course.

It is though an excellent story for the Fifth Doctor as it allows him to be quietly determined and forceful, but also briiliantly mysterious. Which leads to a superb final scene. There are plenty of continuity references along the way that will please fans. It does feel as if it gets Greel to the point where the story needs him to be rather quickly, but the character development and actions are all believable and logical and all drive the plot.

Not quite a classic but a clever and well written and acted piece, and well worth a listen.

There's ten minutes of music from the story on the final track of disc one.

A trailer for the next story in this range on the track after the end of part two on disc two.

And fifteen minutes of interviews with cast and crew on the tracks after that. These include a very good deleted scene, and are well worth a listen.
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on 7 September 2014
A great story, set before Talons of Weng-Chiang this release explains everything that is brought up in Talons. Each Tardis member is given plenty to do which is great as they are my favourite Doctor and Companions! Great Story!
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