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Customer Review

The Doomsday Quatrain - I have issues with the phrase `can't be done'

This is the hundred and fifty first release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Sylvester McCoy as a companionless Seventh Doctor. There are four episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with cliffhangers and original theme music between each. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes. There are some interviews with cast and crew at the end of the second disc and a few minutes of the soundtrack at the end of disc 1.

This is the second in a trilogy of adventures for the lone Seventh Doctor, and though all three are linked by a small common thread (the question of the colour of the TARDIS) there is very little by way of a continuing story arc and each release can be listened to in isolation. The Doctor arrives in Medieval Florence where he finds Nostradamus making predictions of the future that the Doctor knows never happened. But then Nostradamus' predictions come to pass...

There are some good ideas, moments and performances here. Stand out is David Schofield as Nostradamus, who brilliantly shows how the character evolves as he grows in understanding. There are a couple of good moments, although the story changing cliffhanger about half way through is signposted quite strongly and thus robbed a little of its power. And the basic ideas behind it, just what is reality and an examination of just how involved scientists can be with their subjects (for good and ill) are interesting and reasonably well presented. The two main downsides are (1) a highly irritating and difficult to hear alien voice (an increasingly common and annoying occurrence in recent BF releases) and (2) some pacing problems that makes the whole thing feel s bity slack and flabby at times. All in all a 4 star release. Not one of the out and out classics, but pretty good nonetheless.
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