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This is the twenty fifth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Sylvester McCoy as Seven and Sophie Aldred as Ace. There are four episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes.

I have ot say I loved this story. The Doctor and Ace find themselves trapped in Colditz Castle in 1944. The Germans want the TARDIS and the Doctor's technology for the war effort, and just who is Klein and how come she knows so much?

The story is a complicated one with a great time travelling conundrum at its heart, which reveals just how far the Doctor will go in order to protect the established history. Built around this is a classic little tale with, importantly, some really good characterisation and character development. Ace in particular gets quite a few shocks and Sophie Aldred clearly relished the opportunity to portray the teenager starting to grow up. McCoy is in top form as the ominous Doctor, making doom laden pronouncements and trying to get one step ahead of his opponents. Klein is an intriguing character, and the door is left open for her return in subsequent episodes (we had to wait nearly 10 years!). A certain David Tennant pops up as a rather nasty German guard, and though he hams it up to the rafters it is a fitting performance that really strikes a note of fear in the listener's heart. The theme of the story seems to be that actions always have consequences, as all the characters come to confront their own mistakes, it's a neat little moral and not too heavy handedly done.

I especially liked the sound production here, there really was a feeling of being in Colditz. Equally impressive is the incidental music, which seems to be some merging of the Who theme and Ron Goodwin's Where Eagles Dare main theme. It works perfectly to give an impression of a good old fashioned war movie.

5 stars for this cracking story.
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The seventh doctor and ace land in the infamous prisoner of war camp, late on in 1944. And they don't last long before they are captured. How will they escape? And how can they avoid changing history in the process? Does the doctor have one of his usual cunning plans? Is it even more cunning than he realises?

Another story from steve lyons, who never writes great literature, but instead always produces good solid franchise fiction. And that's what this is. Clearly meticulously researched, as ace gets involved with a member of the prominenti - relatives of top allied officials, who really were imprisoned in colditz in real life.

The cast contains the obligatory good german and evil nazi [one played by an actor called david tennant. Wonder whatever happened to him?] And then there's Klein. A cold fraulein of a nazi officer, who has more than a few secrets of her own...

A great story with a lot of twists and turns, and an astonishing cliffhanger to part two. Really good stuff and strongly recommended.
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This is the 25th story in the Main Range series by Big Finish, first released in 2001. Written by Steve Lyons, this story features the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy), travelling with Ace (Sophie Aldred). This is an Ace who is still young and impetuous, always armed with the trusty rucksack with rope ladder, Nitro-9 and everything else she feels she will need while travelling with the Doctor. It’s that impetuosity that gets the Doctor and her in trouble in this story, as when the Tardis lands, she heads outside straight away. The Doctor, following her, finds that they are in a large courtyard, but when the men with the guns start towards them, and the spotlights fall on them, the Doctor is horrified to realise exactly where they are.

This is a story that has two quite distinct threads going on, that are at the same time also linked. The Doctor and Ace are prisoners in Colditz Castle, in 1944. Separated, the first thread follows the Doctor as he discovers that there is an even bigger threat that has arisen; both to himself personally, and indirectly to Ace and the entire world. In the second thread, Ace, believing that she knows she can get out of Colditz, having seen the movies, infiltrates the British prisoners who are planning escape, and tries to resolve the situation for herself. If she can save herself, surely that’s one less thing for the Doctor to have to worry about.

I found the first thread of the story, that following the Doctor and the other person who turns up to present the bigger threat, to be very successful. Played very well by Sylvester McCoy and Tracey Childs, the two protagonists in this thread play their dangerous game; where and how it will end remains a mystery even as the twists and turns in the narrative are followed. Even the Doctor seems surprised as to how things start to unfold, and it’s great to see the interaction going on with these characters.

The second thread of the story, Ace’s experience in Colditz, was not so successful to me. The threat to an imprisoned young woman with no papers, and no identity, in the middle of enemy territory in 1944, bears no thinking about. But that threat, while inferred, never materialises for Ace, as indeed we wouldn’t want it to. Secondly, the idea that this same young woman, turning up out of nowhere, would be immediately taken into the confidence of British POWs who are planning, as is their duty, to escape from Colditz, seemed unrealistic to me. The realism of Colditz and the POW experience was not brought home. It’s difficult to criticise either BF or Steve Lyons for that, as that’s not the type of story we would really want to experience as part of the BF audio range, but it did mean that the experience of the story for me as a listener was somewhat lessened.

I would more than happily listen to this story again, knowing and understanding that overall it is an interesting and entertaining story, and important to the Doctor Who universe for the thread of the story following the Doctor, and for the rather sobering experience of growing up that Ace undergoes through her incarceration in this brutal period of world history.
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on 7 September 2015
Written by Steven Lyons and directed by Gary Russell, Colditz was released in October 2001.

The Doctor and Ace hit a temporal anomaly in the TARDIS and land in Germany 1944 on the grounds of Colditz castle. They need to wait for the TARDIS to recharge so venture outside and get themselves captured by the guards who think that they are British spies. The Doctor is shot in the shoulder in the process. Ace rebels against the authority of the guards and finds herself at odds with the sadistic Kurtz. The Doctor meanwhile is being coerced by the mysterious Elizabeth Klein who is very familiar with his TARDIS.

This audio drama was recorded on 26 and 27 May 2001 and music sounds dated and the arrangement is unsophisticated and erratic which undermines any atmosphere rather than underpins it. It has a habit of bursting in and suddenly dropping out, while the style bounced around rather unnaturally. Mainly it was composed of snare drums but there were occasionally flutes, triangles and various synths. And often smothered the quieter spoken lines. It was some of the oddest music I have heard in the Big Finish range. The echo effects for the cells sounded unnatural which had a knock on effect with footsteps and other sounds.

McCoy’s performance was generally good but his delivery of righteous indignation was way off at times, which is a shame because it was one of the things he did best during his last two seasons. Tracey Childs as Klein was probably the highlight in terms of performances, David Tennant as Kurtz and came close. The characters were generally shallow and trite but functional.

The tone of this audio drama was a bit unsteady to begin with as at the beginning the Doctor was shot, and Ace was asked to strip by the guards suggesting we were in store for something gritty, but the bullet worked its way out of the Doctor’s shoulder overnight and healed rapidly to the bemusement of the prison doctor plus we were later told Ace refused the humiliation of having to strip. So the prison guards let you just opt out of stuff? anyway none of it really mattered as there were no real consequences to either. When Ace was eventually slapped by Kurtz the music instantly started up with the snare drums and quickly ended with a withering trombone sound once again sabotaging the tone of the piece.
The prisoners want to escape, Klein want to escape back to her reality and the Doctor and Ace want to escape back to the Tardis. This is rather dialogue heavy. The plot revolved around a temporal anomaly resolving itself so it would be tricky to explain and I would end up spoiling it but needless to say it was well written and clever, although initially confusing to keep track off. Good plotting but not the most polished example of Big Finish writing you are likely to hear but enjoyable none the less.
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on 28 July 2008
I'm writing this because I don't think there are enough reviews of this title. If you don't already own it and are a fan of McCoy then buy it now and don't waste any more time reading reviews - you won't regret it.

If you're harder to convince than that, this is why it's good:

Sylvester MCoy and Sophie Aldred are on top form, brilliantly evoking the characters from their tv days (the doctor's unfortunate brief relapse into playing the spoons aside!)

It is well researched and well scripted.

It is engaging and evokes the setting well: I lost myself in it and enjoyed every word, something which is relatively rare for me with audio plays.

(It also features David Tennant although you might not recognise him playing a german.)

May I also direct you to the excellent 'Fires of Vulcan', 'Master' and 'Red'. When Sylvester is on form he is easily my favourite of the audio Doctors.
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This Big Finish production was first recorded in 2000, but it still sounds fresh. No performance lets this audio drama down, neither the two regulars, nor the guest cast, including David Tennant (I wonder what happened to him?) or Tracey Childs as the intrieging Klein.

The central plot sees the usually scheming and in-control 7th Doctor and Ace making an emergency landing in Colditz, the infamous Nazi prison camp, in 1944. They end up in circumstances beyond their control, with the possibility of history being changed in a big way. With consequences that will make the imagination reel.

The only let-downs are the incidental music, which tries to be 1940's but shows up its synthesised shortcomings. Also the echoey castle sound design is occasionally too much. However, these elements didn't spoil my overall enjoyment of this drama.
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on 31 October 2011
An audio adventure of the 7th Doctor and Ace.

Doctor Who and Ace end up by mistake (as usual) at Colditz castle during the war. This is a timey-wimey episode rather than a straight war story with the Doctor worrying about changing the passage of history.

The story is well paced and has the expected sterotypical german guards and upper class british pilots. Especially worthwhile getting for an early appearance in the who universe by David Tenant playing a rather brutual german.

Later followed up in the Klein trilogy, this is a strand alone adventure and a good introduction to audio Doctor Who.
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VINE VOICEon 17 September 2014
The 7th Doctor and Ace land in Colditz castle at the end of World War 2 and are immediately captured by the Nazis. At first they are assumed to be British spies but then the Nazis start to take an interest in the Tardis with one Nazi in particular believing it can help Germany win the war. Coming across like an old fashioned historical adventure from the Hartnell era apart from the time travel, this is a thrilling, tense adventure featuring an early appearance from David Tennant as a Nazi years before he would get cast as the 10th Doctor, the first of several roles he would play as different characters for Big Finish. Almost unrecognizable with a strong German accent, he plays a nasty piece of work called Kurtz who menaces The Doctor and Ace and other prisoners of war in the camp and is a complete sadist, he makes for a very good villain. The audio also introduces Tracy Childs as Klien, an evil Nazi scientist with an interest in the Tardis who will become an unlikely travelling companion for The Doctor later. One of the best 7th Doctor audios.
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