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King of the Rocket Men,
This review is from: The Rocket Men (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
Latest Doctor Who companion chronicle. These are talking books that see an actor who played a companion to The Doctor on tv return to their role in order to read an all new story for the character.
They usually last for two episodes of roughly half an hour each and are complete on one cd.
And the actor in question will voice all the parts save for one, which is done by a guest actor.
This one sees William Russell return to the role of Ian Chesterton, whom he played on tv opposite William Hartnell's Doctor back in the 1960's.
The story sees the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Vicki visit the giant planet Jobis. A gas giant, which has floating cities high up in it's atmosphere. And giant whale like creatures flying around them.
These cities are a top holiday destination, and the TARDIS crew enjoy their time there. But when a tour boat is attacked by the Rocket Men, a group of interstellar pirates who move through the atmosphere of the planet using rocket packs, an act of defiance leaves them fighing for their lives.
The first few years of the show on tv were very ambitious at times. This recalls in some ways the story Doctor Who - The Web Planet [DVD] which tried to create a very alien world. You can imagine this one being done on tv at the time as well. Mostly via back projection and stock footage and men on wires. But that's all part of the charm.
The narrative structure of the two episodes isn't linear. It jumps back and forth between different moments in the story. This takes a little getting used to. And it does mean that not much actually happens in the first episode. But the quality of the narrative and William Russell's reading is such that you don't really notice, and the episode flies by very nicely.
Come part two, though, this has some absolutely gripping moments as Ian has to do some very daring things. And these scenes ar fantastic to listen to.
It also allows the characters to show more emotion and depth than they ever got a chance to onscreen, and the way it examines the relationship between Ian and Barbara results in some lovely scenes that will stay with you for a while.
This is a great recreation of the style of it's era, and that, coupled with superb reading, makes it a wonderful listen.
There's a trailer for the next story in the range after the end of part two.
And an eight minute long [approx] interview with the writer of the story on the final track.
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Initial post: 26 Sep 2014 12:02:04 BDT
Timelord - 007 says:
Awersome written review Paul, The Rocket Men feature in a Fourth Doctor adventure next year.
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