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Customer Review

TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 28 September 2011
Latest Doctor Who audio play from Big Finish. Being the 150th release in their regular range it means they've done the same thing did for number one hundred. Break the usual four part story format and instead present four individual stories instead. Each being the length of a regular episode.

They feature Colin Baker as the Doctor and Nicola Bryant as Peri.

And all of them stand on their own and have no tie ins to any other audio, so casual listeners will have no trouble getting into this one.

There are two stories to each of the two discs.

First story 'recorded time' sees the TARDIS arrive at the court of Henry the Eighth. At a time when his marriage to Anne Boleyn is all but over. The King is looking for a new queen. And he sets his sights on Peri. Which is not how history worked out. But sometimes, people can write their own...

A rather long story at thirty seven minutes. The first half has good character scenes as the Doctor and Peri try to stay on the King's good side. And all the time there are hints that they're there for a specific reason. All of which becomes clear in due course. Thanks to a clever bit of plot that gives you some food for thought. The cast members who play Henry and Anne are excellent, the latter portraying a woman who knows her time is short. It's a very good bit of drama all in all.

Second story 'Paradoxicide' runs for thirty one minutes [approx] and sees the Doctor and Peri visit a desolate world. Created by good sound design and the haunting image of them in world war one gasmasks. They run into a very nasty group of lady humanoid aliens who want the weapons that are supposedly in a sealed vault. They will stop at nothing to get inside. But what happened to the inhabitants of the planet? And how did the vault come to be?

A story that does use the concept of time travel very well. Has some really good villains. And has you waiting on tenterhooks for a big payoff. It more than delivers.

Third story: 'A most excellent match' sees Peri in the middle of pride and prejudice. Being courted by a rather sinister sounding Mister Darcy. And another suitor: Doctor John Smith. All this is played in true Jane Austen style.
There's obviously more going on here. And the first twist comes about a third of the way through. It brings in a couple of very good supporting characters. Plus a very good threat. It is a little long at thirty seven minutes but it works fine, allowing for a clever resolution. Lovers of classical literature will find lots to appeal here.

Last story: 'Question marks' sees five people wake up in the middle of what appears to be a spaceship. They have no idea who they are. One of them is a man with question marks on his collar. Can they learn to trust each other and work out what's going on? Because they might not have much time in which to do it?

An interesting mystery and a small case makes for good and intriguing drama. The revelation when it comes is a clever one and it leads to a memorable and emotional ending. This one runs for just under thirty minutes, and that makes it very nicely paced.

Four great stories. In one good collection. A great release and well worth a listen.

There are seven minutes of music [approx] from the episodes at the end of disc one.

A trailer for the next release in the range can be found after the second story on disc two.

And eight minutes [approx] of interviews with cast and crew right after that.
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