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Customer Review

VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 December 2012
Latest Doctor Who audio story from Big Finish. This one features Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor. Travelling without any companions.

It's the second in a trilogy that involves the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors in a long story that involves an interstellar Empire and spans years of it's life. The beginning of the trilogy was The Burning Prince (Doctor Who). Despite there being some exposition at points in this one that could bring new listeners up to speed, you are probably far better off hearing that one first.

This story runs for four episodes. And is spread over two cd's. The episodes run from thirty to thirty five minutes in length [approx].

It picks up the story of the Empire decades after the events in the previous story. A new ruler is in charge. The Empire is flourishing.

But now it's at war. They are fighting an alien race called the Wrath. Who are led by a Warlord. Little is known about either.

When the Wrath attack a relatively primitive world where the Empire has an outpost, and where the Doctor has just happened to arrive, he and various people are caught up in the middle of a battle against an individual who will stop at nothing to get vengeance. And who has some horrifying secrets...

The first part is slightly tricky to get into at the start, as it does introduce a lot of characters and various settings rather quickly. The residents of the planet and those from the Empire do contrast very nicely, though. But as this episode develops and the Doctor comes along, it suddenly becomes absolutely gripping. There's a great feel of people being caught up in the middle of a large event. You end part one desperate to know what will happen next.

The next three parts don't quite have the same pace, though. They do feel at times as if they touch on slightly familiar territory. And they could possibly do with being a few minutes shorter. There's also not a lot of action, as what happens next is nearly all dialogue and character interaction.

So whilst this may not be a pacy action drama, it is though an excellent character piece. Thanks to a truly excellent villain. Some excellent voice treatment to make certain voices sound monstrous and different - and these are far more audible than some of those in the past have been - plus a genuinely interesting development in part three that does take things in a whole new direction.

The ending of part four would appear to have brought this story to an end. But stay listening for a scene after the end credits, which sets up the final part of the trilogy very nicely and will leave you eager to find what happens in that.

Said final part is The Shadow Heart (Doctor Who). There is a trailer for it after the end of part four on disc two.

There is just under nine minutes of music from the story on the final track of disc one.

And just under nine minutes of interviews with cast and crew on the final track of disc two.

This isn't quite as memorable a story as the first part of the trilogy on first listen, but it's a rich and powerful drama that you can get a lot out. So it's well worth hearing.
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Product Details

4.7 out of 5 stars