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VINE VOICEon 7 October 2012
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This was the first audio story in a series of five by Paul Magrs. Sadly, it didn't inspire me to listen to the others. At only an hour long, it doesn't really have time to get anywhere. There were multiple actors reading the various characters (including Tom Baker as the Doctor), but this seemed a bit of a waste, as many of the parts are so minor. Perhaps the fact that I only ever saw a handful of the Tom Baker episodes of Doctor Who on television didn't help, but to me, the plot seemed unrealistic, and Mrs Wibbsey very strange.

The idea that Mrs Wibbsey exchanged a vital component of the Tardis for some old documents entirely by accident seemed to stretch the listeners credulity, and the story that followed didn't entirely make sense. There were a lot of loose ends, presumably answered in the remaining four episodes (perhaps if this audio CD had shipped with all five episodes sold as a package, it would have worked better). On it's own, this story felt more like chapter one than a completed story in its own right, and I didn't really get interested enough to be inspired to purchase the other parts.
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VINE VOICEon 15 October 2010
This audio book differed from the majority of Doctor Who audio books in that for the most part its narrated by the Doctor as well as including the other characters. But don't let that put you off.
At first I was not sure about the style of this narration, but my worries soon went away. Tom Baker does a superb story of narrating whilst keeping the essence of the doctor present. I think he has a great voice and does a superb job of narrating this story, in fact I'd go as far as to say he is almost as good to listen to as Stephen Fry doing the Harry Potter stories!

As for the story, that is pretty good too and races along at a fair old pace. As the story is only an hour long there is not much time available but the story has been well written and goes at a good pace whilst not seeming to be too rushed.

Overall I'd say if you are a Doctor Who fan give this is a go, and if like me your era was the Tom Baker years then definitely try it.
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on 5 December 2010
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Thoroughly enjoyed listening to this absorbing story, and really looking forward to the remaining four stories to come out. Tom Baker is superb in this, and not a hint of Little Britain. The story is good too. If you're thinking of listening to Doctor Who audiobooks, then this is an ideal place to start. Really enjoyable.
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VINE VOICEon 29 May 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
In an age where Russell T Davies, David Tennant, Steve Moffat and Matt Smith have radically reinvented Doctor Who and taken the world by storm, it's most pleasing indeed that the BBC hasn't forgotten the show's original roots. To the point where they keep its legacy alive in the form of brand new audiobooks featuring none other than the Fourth Doctor himself, Tom Baker.

Fresh off the success of the Hornets' Nest audio series, Tom reprises the role (along with his hat and scarf) once again for another five-part audio series called Demon Quest. In tow is Susan Jameson reprising her role as Mrs Wibbsey (the Doctor's Housekeeper!) as the Time Lord's companion from Hornets' Nest, and the whole arc is written by the same man, Paul Magrs.

Set one year after the conclusion of Hornets' Nest, the Doctor returns to Nest Cottage to see how Mrs Wibbsey is adapting to her new life. Unfortunately, whilst the Fourth Doctor is rebuilding the TARDIS, Mrs Wibbsey accidentally sells a key component at the jumble sale! But upon investigation, its revealed that the purchaser traded the TARDIS part for a bag containing four mysterious items, which leads the Doctor and his companion on a travel to Ancient Britain, shortly before Emperor Claudius' invasion, and find themselves caught in-between a war of opposing tribes.

The Relics of Time is an enjoyable audio play. Tom Baker, a natural voiceover, settles in comfortably to the role once again. He narrates the events with great charm and sophistication, bringing life to the character of HIS Doctor, which remains the stuff of legend. You can visualise this chapter of Demon Quest as though you were watching an original episode of the old series. It certainly captures the style and heart of old Who, thanks to Tom, Ron Grainer's vintage theme tune, the great sound-effects and background music, and Paul Magrs' script.

Magrs has been loyal to everything that made the original series so special, writing a tale that faithfully captures the essence of Doctor Who's early days. Story-wise, it has the typical silliness, drama, shocks and intrigue that any fan can expect. The Relics of Time, though, isn't all that special, and the events don't really leave you hungering for more. Rather, merely curious to discover how the loose-ends and unresolved sub-plots will be continued across the whole arc.

But The Relics of Time is certainly worth checking out, down to Tom Baker's terrific narrative, and Mrs Wibbsey, who proves to be an inspiring companion for the Fourth Doctor. Susan Jameson definitely relishes in performing such a strong character, and with Nigel Anthony providing merriment as the mysterious `Wizard' and Richard Franklin making a welcome cameo return as Captain Mike Yates, there's a lot of charm to be found here.

Kudos must also go to the BBC's graphics department for producing a delightful cover for the CD. Aside from having a great mosaic portrait of the Fourth Doctor, the inside sleeve is laid out with `cut-outs' of information, done in the style of the Radio Times from long ago, which is a nice touch, as is the excerpt from the history book that plays relevance in the story.

Doctor Who: Demon Quest looks set to being a worthwhile audio saga. While The Relics of Time is hardly a promising start (and is left far behind by the likes of The Forever Trap and Prisoner of the Daleks), it's nevertheless a fine audio book, and for Tom Baker fans - and fans of the old days of Doctor Who - it's a worthy addition to your collection, and you feel safe with the knowledge that this is early days, and the best is surely yet to follow.
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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm very biased about Tom Baker, I grew up with his Doctor and nobody ever quite lived up to his take on the role, in my opinion. So I was excited about a new fourth Doctor story, with an intriguing companion in the irascible Mrs Wibbsey, a refreshing change from the current trend of romantic entanglements. The setting, Celtic Britain of the verge of Roman invasion, is fresh and vividly brought to life (a little too vividly for me at one point, the detail of a visceral goat sacrifice made the rest of the story harder for this squeamish vegetarian to enjoy...!) and the tension builds steadily, leaving plenty of questions hanging in readiness for the next instalment. Tom Baker still IS the Doctor and reprises the role with sparkling enthusiasm. I also hope we see a lot more of Mrs Wibbsey in future releases.
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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
"I am an almost perpetual traveller. I wander through the vast starfields of the universe. I cross the bridges between dimensions. I traipse the towpaths of time. The galaxies are mine to range across for ever and a day..."

With these atmospheric opening lines, Tom Baker kicks off his second series of five linked audio adventures reprising his most famous role, and a rather more successful job it is than its predecessor Hornet's Nest. It's still not a fully dramatised story, though there are supporting players when called for, but gone is the awkward narrative device of the Doctor telling Mike Yates the story in favour of simply addressing the listener direct, which is much more effective and allows for some rather more convincing purple prose. The trigger for the series isn't altogether convincing, with the Doctor's housekeeper inadvertently including a vital component of the TARDIS to a church jumble sale, effectively exiling him to Earth but still able to travel in time, which comes in handy when he finds he's the subject of a mysterious and atypical Celtic mural dating back to the second Roman invasion of Britain - a period he'd never actually visited. Well, not with this face and body...

The story may not be as good as Baker's glory days, but it's certainly no worse than a couple of his latter ones and, even if there is an element of a nostalgia trip to it (it's telling the Doctor's companion is middle-aged as per those who were children when they saw the Baker stories), it mostly works rather well. Unlike Hornet's Nest opener Stuff of Nightmares, it doesn't feel quite so obviously like it's simply a setup for the next four stories, but it does have the problem of leaving you not so much with a cliffhanger as a sense of "Is that the best end they could come up with?" with no clear resolution and no real threat to its Meddling Monk-style story. Baker's voice may have aged a little, but he revels in the vocabulary and delivers it with relish as if he'd only popped out for a minute or two rather than left the TARDIS three decades ago, but while the writing's much improved this time round the story itself still isn't quite good enough to stand on its own or live up to its star turn.
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Following on from last years series of audios Doctor Who: Hornets' Nest: The Complete Series which saw Tom Baker return to the role of Doctor Who, here's the first of five more audio adventures for the Fourth Doctor.

Whilst these return to the setting of Hornet's nest - a little cottage that the Doctor stays at from time to time, tended by housekeeper Mrs. Wibbsey who used to live in an earlier time - you don't need to have heard Hornet's nest to get into this as it does pretty much stand on it's own.

This opening story sees the Doctor having problems with the TARDIS, thanks to Mrs. Wibbsey, which leaves it only able to travel in time rather than space. Someone is in possession of the components the Doctor needs to fix things, but this mystery person has left behind some strange artefacts that lead the Doctor and Mrs. Wibbsey back to ancient britain.

In the face of warring tribes, an elephant, and a certain person who shouldn't actually be there, there's a mystery for the Doctor to solve.

This runs for fifty seven minutes and is one long episode, the only break on the cd being cd chapters. It's narrated by Tom Baker in character and he seems to be enjoying himself very much. There were times in hornet's nest when it felt more like it was him reading narration rather than playing the doctor, but that's never a problem here. And by having the bulk of it done as dialogue it also avoids the problem of earlier parts of hornets nest which had too much narration. The fourth doctor and slightly dotty old ladies have always been a good combination and the character and Mrs Wibbsey spark off each other quite nicely. In not a great manner. But a very good one.

Although this release doesn't entirely stand on it's own. There's a minimal historical adventure which is easily resolved but the central villainy and mystery remain to be looked into in greater detail in subsequent parts. Things do end on an intriguing note though that will make you want to know what will happen next.

And the final scene is quite fun with it. The story continues in Doctor Who: Demon Quest: Demon of Paris v. 2: The Demon of Paris. And I'm rather looking forward to it.
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Following the wonderful Hornet's Nest series of audio adventures read by Tom Baker, reprising his role as the Fourth Doctor, this is the first of a new series, Demon Quest. This single cd story, The Relics of Time, begins the story as the Doctor returns to Nest Cottage, with his cantankerous housekeeper Mrs Wibbsey in residence. It's nearly Christmas time again, and the Doctor is keen for a bit of time to work on aspects of the Tardis console over the holiday period. However, his maintenance, and Mrs Wibbsey's Church sale collecting causes a bit of strife when a vital piece of the Tardis appears to go missing. But is it? Who is the mysterious stranger who traded several odd objects in a bag for the console part? And why does it seem to lead the Doctor and Mrs Wibbsey on a trail hunt back to Roman Britain?

Captured by a British tribe, and forced into the role of slayer of the mysterious wizard in the next village, the Doctor and Mrs Wibbsey meet up with a lot more than than they bargained for. And are left with more questions than answers as they continue to follow the mysterious object trail.

Tom Baker is, as always, brilliant in his role as the Fourth Doctor. Funny, absent-minded, sometimes a bit grumpy, he is on top form again. As is Susan Jameson as Mrs Wibbsey - and it appears that Captain Mike Yates may be joining them for Christmas again as well - ah, but we need to wait for the next episode to find out what happens next.

Totally brilliant stuff! Highly recommended.
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We waited nearly 30 years for another adventure for the 4th Doctor featuring Tom Baker. Last year our patience was rewarded with the five part adventure `Hornet's Nest'. Even after the waves of nostalgia had subsided this turned out to be an entertaining adventure and worth the wait. I had hoped that it would not be a one off, and my prayers have been answered.

This is the first part of another 5 CD release. The Doctor has returned to Nest Cottage and his redoubtable housekeeper Mrs. Wibbsey for Christmas and a much needed overhaul of the TARDIS. Things soon go wrong, and some of the components of the TARDIS that he has removed for repair get lost and he is sent off on a trail through time as he tries to track them down.

Written again by Paul Magrs, this is an entertaining tale that recalls the 4th Doctor's TV era nicely. Baker's voice is a joy to listen to. He slips straight back into the role with no trouble. His is a voice well suited for audio work, he has an excellent range of expression, and wonderful rolling tones that wrap themselves around each syllable and draw you into the story. Louise Jameson as Mrs. Wibbsey makes a perfect companion for the 4th Doc, prickly, strong and able to stand up to Four's enthusiasms and flights of fancy. I think they make a good double act. Full of the whimsy, humour, sci-fi and horror that made the TV series such a success, this is a cracking story.

This follows a little from `Hornet's Nest', but it is not necessary to have heard that adventure to understand this. This is another excellent audio release, and hopefully the other 4 will be as good.
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VINE VOICEon 12 October 2010
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a single CD audio adventure, which runs for about an hour. It is part one of a new five part series, centred around the fourth Doctor (played on television by Tom Baker).

The CD is nicely packaged; the cover has a small symbol to mark that it is part of the `Demon Quest' series, as well as a numbered title, presumably so that you can keep the series together and in the right order. The CD insert contains a cast list, a bit of information about the author, and a faux-article about the discovery of a mysterious mosaic. The latter is nicely produced, written by the author of the audio story, and proved an entertaining piece of additional background. Hopefully this quality of additional material will carry throughout the series.

The story contains a varied cast, all of whom perform reasonably well. Tom Baker fills his role wonderfully, as ever, giving the listener a quirky, impetuous Doctor, whose mellifluous tones are a pleasure to listen to. Susan Jameson provides an amusingly acerbic turn as Mrs. Wibbsey, the Doctor's housekeeper, and Nigel Anthony's `Wizard' is suitably murky, with echoes of Oz. Overall, the cast are competent to above-average, if not outstanding.

The plot is a fairly straightforward romp across Roman Britain, as the Doctor struggles to retrieve a piece of the TARDIS and discover the cause of some mysterious historical discrepancies at the same time. The pacing is good, and the plot moves along sharply, but it never really gripped me - the Doctor investigates things, and makes listening easy enough, but there isn't really any sense of peril to keep things exciting. I think that as a standalone, the content is a bit thin on the ground, but it does set up matters for the next `episode' nicely.

On a related note, this series is apparently a follow up to a previous `series' release, The Hornet's Nest. I haven't heard that series, and didn't really suffer for it, but imagine that having done so might have provided a bit of the missing background on how the Doctor came to own a holiday cottage and acquire a housekeeper.

Overall, this is a nicely produced piece, which suffers from being the lead in to a larger series. As a single piece, it is a little mediocre, but as the setup for a longer running series, it works well - approach with that in mind.
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