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Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars

on 11 April 2006
"October, 1930. His Majesty's Airship, the R101, sets off on her maiden voyage to the farthest-flung reaches of the British Empire, carrying the brightest lights of the Imperial fleet. Carrying the hopes and dreams of a breathless nation.
"Not to mention a ruthless spy with a top-secret mission, a mysterious passenger who appears nowhere on the crew list, a would-be adventuress destined for the Singapore Hilton... and a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey.
"There's a storm coming. There's something unspeakable, something with wings, crawling across the stern. Thousands of feet high in the blackening sky, the crew of the R101 brace themselves. When the storm breaks, their lives won't be all that's at stake...
"The future of the galaxy will be hanging by a thread."
Alan Barnes' Storm Warning is the first of the Big Finish Audio series to feature the Eighth Doctor, played impeccably by Paul McGann. The story begins with a brief teaser scene, during which the lone Time Lord finds himself in a situation of some peril, before catapulting into the main story with an energetic new version of the Doctor Who theme tune.
The airship of Storm Warning is populated by a variety of characters including companion-to-be Charley Pollard, played by India Fisher, and the very British Lord Tamworth, played with a Colin Baker-esque inonation by Gareth Thomas. Also on board is the British intelligence agent Rathbone, played with a very peculiar accent by Barnaby Edwards, and his mysterious passenger voiced by Helen Goldwyn. As ever with the Big Finish series, the voice performances are good, particularly the excellent Paul McGann. Helen Goldwyn's voice is distorted in a variety of ways over the course of the story to represent different facets of the Triskele; this is less successful, and becomes somewhat irritating after a while.
The setting of the story, however, is intriguing, with the ensemble cast confined to the interior of the Edwardian airship, which incidentally has very good sound design. Unfortunately, the plot changes direction during episode three, and the script and the story in general sag very badly around that point. The story redeemed itself somewhat in the highly enjoyable fourth episode, which incorporates enough twists and turns to keep the story involving (even including a fight scene, surely a challenge given the audio medium), but one is left with the slightly bitter feeling caused by the weak third episode and an excess of exposition. The final minutes of the story leave the series open for an ongoing story arc, and it remains to be seen how well this will be followed up.
Overall, an intriguing first entry into the Eighth Doctor series of Big Finish Audio adventures, even if I'm not without my criticisms, and I look forward to hearing more.
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on 5 March 2004
Storm Warning marks the first Big Finish original full cast audio production to feature the until now underused eighth Doctor, played by 'Withnail and I' star Paul McGann. The play's plot revolves around the Doctor's accidental arrival on the ill-fated flight on the airship R-101 in October 1930 and of course wherever the Doctor arrives, extraterrestrial trouble is bound to follow. Scriptwriter Alan Barnes refrains from featuring any of the actual crew or passangers of the airship, instead presenting a highly fictionalized but very entertaining mystery, featuring Gareth Thomas, star of the cult 1980's television series 'Blake's 7' as Lord Tamworth; an operative of the British government on a secret mission.
The adventure begins well, bedazzling the listener with the mystery of the passenger in the locked Cabin 43, but as the story reachs its third episode (Big Finish adventures usually present two twenty-five to thirty minute episodes per CD) it begins to peter out and a few plot wholes emerge here and there, particularly in an instance where a brutal alien race appears more frightened by a bit of roaring from the Doctor than a troop of very heavily armed men. However the story's real strength is the eighth Doctor himself and Paul McGann shows why many Doctor Who fans hold him as a favourite to return to the role in the new BBC television series.
All in all this release represents the Big Finish productions very well and is a recommendation for fans of McGann's Dr. Who, who want to see (or hear to be more precise)more his adventures.
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on 5 September 2007
The setting of the r101 should have made this a great play. But to be honest, only the last episode is any good on this story. Just a silly and simple alien encounter with magic thrown in, quite boring. Only in the last five minutes when the ships burning does the play get really strong and connecting. But overall this first story for Paul is a real let down, dull ditchwater. Thankfully this is one of only about five audios that really dont whet my appetite....
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