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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars


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on 28 June 2015
So far, I personally have not heard a Big Finish audio better than this. From the superb sound design to the performances of the cast, the whole production excels. However, for me the main plaudits have to go to Marc Platt for putting together such a great script, albeit one with a depressing atmosphere of inevitability throughout. This just shows how good Big Finish can be.
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on 16 September 2006
"On a dark frozen planet where no planet should be, in a doomed city with a sky of stone, the last denizens of Earth's long-lost twin will pay any price to survive, even if the laser scalpels cost them their love and hate and humanity.

"And in the mat-infested streets, round about tea-time, the Doctor and Nyssa unearth a black market in second-hand body parts and run the gauntlet of the augmented police and their augmented horses.

"And just between the tramstop and the picturehouse, their worst suspicions are confirmed: the Cybermen have only just begun, and the Doctor will be, just as he always has been, their saviour..."

"Spare Parts", by Marc Platt, is possibly Big Finish Productions' most highly regarded Doctor Who play, and is also supposed to be the inspiration by the new series' "Rise of the Cybermen". As such I had certain level of anticipation leading up to it (always a risk). As I listened to the first episode, I thought I was going to be disappointed: the sound design seemed lesser than usual, and the events altogether domestic in scale.

However, "Spare Parts" really does turn out to be something special. "Spare Parts" is for the Cybermen what "Genesis of the Daleks" is for the infamous pepper-pots: an origin story, in which the chain of events leading up to the dehumanisation of an entire race is understandable and unavoidable. The twist is that the Doctor, who, once he realises that he and Nyssa have landed on Mondas, simply wants to leave, is eventually instrumental in the survival and development of the Cyber race.

Spare Parts is also a direct prequel / sequel to "The Tenth Planet", and I consider myself very lucky to have listened to "The Tenth Planet" for the first time recently, as I believe it enhanced my enjoyment of "Spare Parts" no end. True to form, Big Finish Productions have recreated the voices of the original "Tenth Planet" Cyberman to perfection, and whatever one's views on those early Cyber voices, it gives "Spare Parts" a tremendous feeling of authenticity and canonicity.

"Spare Parts" boasts a high quality script from "Ghost Light" and "Loups-Garoux" writer Marc Platt, with the Hartley family, with whom Nyssa spends a large part of the story, black market organ trader Thomas Dodd (Derren Nesbitt) and scrientist Doctorman Allan (Sally Knyvette) all being well-formed characters. As stated, the Cyber voices are perfect, while the voices of the Committee that runs the underground city recall the more electronic voices from the Cybermen stories of the Patrick Troughton era. The score is understated and effective and the sound design, which as it turns out offers a quite intentional silence in the first episode, is up to Big Finish's usual high standard.

"Spare Parts" is a fascinating origin story for the Cybermen with an explosive ending, and comes highly recommended.
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on 1 July 2017
Pretty corny. Sounded like a northern sci-fi Archers.
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on 2 April 2009
This Cybermen origin story from Big Finish is one of the best original audio dramas of the 117 or so released in the monthly series. In terms of character and mood it serves The Cybermen far better than TV ever could; the title alone immediately giving off vibes of physical and emotional mutilation, and the remorseless, emotionless purpose for which the silver giants from Mondas have become associated.
Peter Davison is on fine form; the youthful and naive appearance of his incarnation of the nomadic Time Lord masking a steely mindset and fierce intelligence, whilst Marc Platt's script crackles and fizzes with energy and panache.

This is a great entry in the monthly Doctor Who audio series, and I heartily recommend it for first-time Big Finish listeners as well as seasoned fans. The price on here is better than if you bought it direct from Big Finish, but their website offers 6 and 12 monthly subscriptions, so if you plan on listening to others in the range it's worth checking their website out before committing to buying this here.
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on 1 November 2008
I've listened to a couple of these audio plays now, and I have to say, out of the ones I have heard so far (Red Dawn, Return of the Daleks and Sirens of Time)this was my favourite and I will definately be listening to it again.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'Lungbarrow', and snapped this up when I saw it was by Marc Platt, not least because he writes excellent literature. I wasn't at all disappointed by the scripting of this story, it is crafted and executed really well by both writer and cast alike.

The story centres around the origin of the Cybermen, in the doctors Fifth Incarnation. Whilst it is true Peter Davison's voice sounds older now, i felt he gave a good performance, I even laughed a couple of times. Really the best thing about this play is the convincing performance of the cast.

The downsides: the cyberman voices really sounded a bit like K-9, and weren't especially chilling, I think. Also there is a really annoying Liverpudlian innit. He's annoying because all he does is Moan, Moan, Moan the whole way thru, although I'm sure that's meant to be like that, and the audience isn't supposed to like him anyway, I feel the role could have been written a bit better.

However, these small factors don't detract from a thoroughly enjoyable play. I think this is worth a 'once over', if nothing else.
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on 2 February 2011
"We will survive!"
A great story showing the birth of the cybermen, with Peter Davison doing great acting and chilling music.With a dictorial "goverment" and 50s style rationing, Mondas is represented excellently.
Buy this CD!
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on 4 May 2007
There back! the horrible cloth faces of a once great race, the cybermen, and the setting could be none other than Mondas.

This was the first audio ive bought, and peter davison being my favirote doctor, i had to get it.

The story is superb, im kinda wishing its made into an actual tv story, but obviously it wont. The cybermen i think are the best enemys the doctor has had to face. unlike most 5th doctor stories, this happens not to have Bidmeads touch of "what the hell is going on?". The story is kept simple, gripping, and of course chilling.
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on 30 May 2012
Not just one of the best Big Finish dramas, not just one of the best Cyberman stories, but quite simply one of the best Dr. Who stories in any medium. Peter Davison gives a tour-de-force performance as The Doctor, whilst Sarah Sutton (criminaly underused in the TV series) gives what is possibly her best performance as Nyssa. And what a guest cast! Darren Nesbitt, Sally Knyvette and Paul Copley all shine in their respective roles.
The story is written by Marc Platt, who wrote "Ghost Light" in the final days of the original series. He gives us an origin for the Cybermen that is both tragic and terrifying.
If you only buy one Big Finish Dr. Who drama, this is the one to get.
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on 2 September 2006
In my opinion for what it is worth is that this is simply the BEST Big Finish adventure ever. It tells the story of the origin of the Cybermen and has echoes of the rise of Nazi Germany.

Peter Davison is at his breathless frantic best and you can feel the tension rising as the story progresses and the twist at the end is unexpected but just right.
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on 22 December 2009
This is a well-written and fairly concise story that is well worth discovering, and which offers one of the earliest glimpses in the history/origins of the Cybermen. Plus it's the Doctor's first visit to Mondas. Which has great charaterisation - the 5th Doctor & Nyssa are as you'd expect them to be, as are the supporting characters, and the parallel of rationing era post-war Britain of the early 1950's.
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