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  #191  
Old 24-05-2011, 12:13 PM
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The Whispering Forest Part 2:
The intrigues of the Takers grows in this episode.
The full extent of hostilities between Mertil and Seska is truly felt here.
A very effective cliffhanger with the Doctor being placed in a situation that he can’t get out of.
The last chapter on the first disc is a music track and it is quite haunting.
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  #192  
Old 25-05-2011, 12:46 PM
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The Whispering Forest Part 3:
We learn about the history of the Takers and the Shades and I found it quite disturbing about the former.
Not bad Tegan on her own without her friends as she meets someone unexpected.
Agree with Tegan sharing Seksa’s assessment of Mertil being mad because she definitely behaves like a mad woman here if that wasn’t obvious before.
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  #193  
Old 26-05-2011, 08:35 AM
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The Reaping:
Note: I first listened to the audio story The Reaping in 2010 long before I knew that one of its guest stars Stuart Milligan would be seen in front of the cameras for the TV series in the season 36 opening story The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon. From the way things turned out I was not able to write these remarks about The Reaping until after I saw Milligan in the said TV story.

The Reaping featured the Sixth Doctor, Peri and as revealed on the CD cover the Cybermen.
Released in September 2006, it was written by Joseph Lidster.
The Reaping was released after the Cybermen were seen in four TV episodes earlier in 2006.
Along with Stuart Milligan, The Reaping also guest starred Babylon 5 alum Claudia Christian. In fact she is the one reason why I wanted to listen to The Reaping.
She is the second B5 alum to appeared in Doctor Who after Peter Jurasik in the Fifth Doctor story Winter for the Adept.
In The Reaping Claudia Christian plays Peri’s mother Janine although in real life Claudia Christian is almost three years junior to Nicola Bryant (Peri).
Like the TV story that Stuart Milligan was in The Reaping takes place in the US as the Doctor takes Peri back to her time in Baltimore 1985.
What prompted Peri wanting to go home was finding out what has happened to Anthony Chambers (Milligan) the father of her old friend Kathy.
Peri’s journey back home is reminiscent to the Seventh Doctor taking Ace back to her hometown in Survival . Survival has been said to be the influence on the “new” series showing the Doctor frequently bringing his companion back home.
The influence of the “new” series in this regard can be clearly seen here in The Reaping in Janine, thanks to an incredible performance from Claudia Christian, being fleshed out for this story.
Interestingly the decision that Peri makes towards the end of the story is similar to one made by Martha in the season 33 finale Last of the Time Lords. In fact Last of the Time Lords was broadcast on June 30 2007 nine months after the release of The Reaping.
In Planet of Fire featured the appearance of Peri’s stepfather Howard. Howard is conspicuously absent in The Reaping, his marriage to Janine having collapsed since Peri began her travels with the Doctor. In real life Howard actor Dallas Adams had died in 1991.
The Cybermen have played their part well in this story that has been well structured.
Quite ingenious the way the Doctor defeats the Cybermen here.
One of those who fell under the influence of the Cybermen was Natalie Hamilton. Natalie Hamilton used her position as a newsreader to help with the agenda of the Cybermen.
Natalie Hamilton’s emotionless delivery of the news reminded me of an unnaturally smiling newsreader in Babylon 5 who had delivered the news with a bias viewpoint for the tyrannical government on Earth. Whether this is a coincidence or deliberate to the fact that Claudia Christian was in Babylon 5 is a matter of speculation.
The music is worthy of high praise including at the pivotal scene at the near end of the story. The end is the end of the story for the Sixth Doctor and Peri but not for Kathy Chambers as her story is concluded in The Gathering.

Continuity note: The Reaping is one of many stories that took place between Revelation of the Daleks & Trial of a Time Lord.
In Revelation of the Daleks, Peri had expectations of going back home. In her segments of The Trial of a Time Lord, Peri makes no such expectations of going home.
Whether it was ever needed The Reaping provides a crucial midway point in Peri’s travels with the Doctor.
The Reaping ultimately provides a complete picture why the Peri of season 23 was remarkably different from the Peri of late season 21 to season 22.
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  #194  
Old 26-05-2011, 10:17 AM
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The Cybermen Collection DVD consists of the four Cybermen episodes in 2006 including Rise of the Cybermen and it includes an introduction by Tenth Doctor David Tennant with clips across the four episodes.
In a scene from Rise of the Cybermen the Cyberman said to the President “You will be deleted” but the subtitles correlated him as saying “You will be dilettante” (?!)
The dictionary definition for dilettante says it means a person who has an amateur interest in the arts.
So did the subtitles had the Cyberman threatened to turn the President into someone who has little knowledge about the arts. How could the subtitle writer make a mistake like this. I mean I am someone who could overlook the odd misspelling of words but confusing the words “deleted” and “dilettante” is way off the base.
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  #195  
Old 26-05-2011, 12:59 PM
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The Whispering Forest Part 4:
Overall an adequate conclusion to The Whispering Forest. With repeated listenings it did not feel as spectacular as it could have been.
The cliffhanger for the next story and the last in the return of Nyssa trilogy, The Cradle of the Snake was much better.
At the end of the second discs are interviews:
Interesting comments includes writer Stephen Cole comparing his writing of The Whispering Forest to the writing of the TV story Terminus. What both stories have in common is that they are both second in a trilogy. In fact these two trilogies takes place consecutively in chronological terms.
Amusing when Peter Davison jokingly blames Janet Fielding for how much time he had in rehearsing this story.
For those who did not know before the interviews reveals that Lennox Greaves (Anulf/Taker) and Sue Wallace (Mertil/Woman) are husband and wife and had worked together before in Doctor Who in the season 28 stories Chimes of Midnight & Seasons of Fear (the latter is not mentioned in the interviews).

The interviews also mentioned that Paul Shelley (Jetsan/Man/Taker) worked with Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding before in the season 19 story Four to Doomsday).
What did not get mentioned in the interviews is that Harry Melling (Hervey/Taker/Demi-Taker) is the grandson of Second Doctor Patrick Troughton and had played Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter movies.
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  #196  
Old 27-05-2011, 08:53 AM
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The BBC Doctor Who website has now confirmed that Executive Producer Piers Wenger is leaving the BBC and therefore Doctor Who.
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  #197  
Old 27-05-2011, 12:29 PM
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The Cradle of the Snake:
The Cradle of the Snake is an audio story that featured the Fifth Doctor, Tegan, Turlough and Nyssa.

Released in September 2010 by Big Finish Productions, it is the last story in a trilogy that saw Nyssa returning to the TARDIS crew.

The Cradle of the Snake is being broadcast on BBC Radio Four Extra on May 26-27, 30-31 but I am listening to this story on the CD release.

The Cradle of the Snake has the distinction of being the third part of two trilogies as this is the Big Finish sequel to the TV stories Kinda & Snakedance featuring the Mara.
The two TV stories were written by Christopher Bailey but for The Cradle of the Snake it was written by fellow TV series writer Marc Platt.

Part 1:
Following on from the cliffhanger of the previous story The Whispering Forest, the Mara returns to haunt Tegan.
Extremely good opening episode, aspects of which includes delving into Tegan’s past more than the TV series ever did and a shocking cliffhanger.
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  #198  
Old 28-05-2011, 11:51 AM
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The Cradle of the Snake Part 2:
Without giving away what happened in the cliffhanger of the previous episode and the beginning of this one, the Mara have proved itself quite menacing in this episode.
The effectiveness of its menacing nature has been shown by it causing panic among the populace of Manussa.
The Mara works very well for the audio medium.

The last two chapters of the first disc are music tracks, very haunting but also very good.
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  #199  
Old 29-05-2011, 12:36 PM
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36 x 5 - The Rebel Flesh:
First of all some comments on the casting for this episode:
Sarah Smart (Jennifer) played one of Fifth Doctor Peter Davison’s daughters in At Home With The Braithwaites. Another of Peter Davison’s daughters, real life or fictional to appear in Doctor Who.
Marshall Lancaster (Buzzer) was a regular in Life On Mars and its spin-off Ashes to Ashes. His casting in The Rebel Flesh may have something to do with the fact The Rebel Flesh writer Matthew Graham had co-created Life On Mars & Ashes to Ashes.
Like Sarah Smart, Raquel Cassidy (Cleaves) had worked with Peter Davison, in her case the Big Finish Doctor Who audio drama The Judgment of Isskar. Raquel Cassidy had also previously worked with Matt Smith when she played his boss in Party Animals.
Raquel Cassidy is also the latest teacher from Teachers to appear in Doctor Who. Perhaps coincidentally is the fact that Matthew Graham’s previous Doctor Who episode had guest starred Raquel Cassidy’s Teachers co-star Nina Sosanya. Like Raquel Cassidy with Matt Smith, Nina Sosanya had worked with the Doctor in Fear Her, David Tennant prior to their appearance together in Doctor Who.

The term Gangers has been used as the shortened form of doppelgangers. Never thought that doppelganger could be shortened that way.
Nice to hear the Dusty Springfield song here.
Taken aback seeing the long neck of Ganger Jennifer.
The Eye Patch Lady makes a brief appearance here and this minor detail was more interesting than the main plot of the episode.
Creepy when Ganger Cleaves turn her head right to the back.
Stunned upon hearing and then seeing the Ganger Doctor for the cliffhanger.
Quality-wise I found The Rebel Flesh to be in the middle of pretty bad and potentially good.
Began viewing this episode with an underwhelming feeling but then it looks like the episode could be good but doesn’t seem to quite get there.
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  #200  
Old 29-05-2011, 02:23 PM
Matt See Matt See is offline
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The Macros:
The Macros is the finale of the first season of Big Finish’s Lost Stories range featuring the Sixth Doctor and Peri.
Written by Ingrid Pitt and Tony Rudlin and released in June 2010.
Ingrid Pitt was also an actor and had guest starred in Doctor Who in the season 9 closer The Time Monster (1972) and the season 21 opener Warriors of the Deep (1984). It was while working on the latter story that she and Tony Rudlin were asked to write the story that became The Macros but ultimately did not make it to television.
Sadly Ingrid Pitt passed away six months ago on November 23 2010, the 47th anniversary of Doctor Who, which is a mere five months after the release of The Macros for its Big Finish audio release.
A quite intriguing story which focuses on the Philadelphia Experiment. Due to what the Philadelphia Experiment was about I guess it was inevitable it would make its way into Doctor Who.
The Macros features a very good villain in Osloo played by Linda Marlowe. Since Ingrid Pitt was an actor I am speculating that perhaps she was picturing Osloo as herself when the story was originally submitted for the TV series. Whether she had any expectation of playing Osloo herself is something I do not know as this was not mentioned in the interviews for this release.
According to producer David Richardson in the interviews Ingrid Pitt and Tony Rudlin had to rewrite the story by memory as the original script got lost. Without knowing what was in the original script it is quite commendable what their memory has produced for this release.
The Macros featured the Zero Room. The Zero Room had made one appearance in the TV series in Peter Davison’s debut story Castrovalva. No doubt the Zero Room would have made its TV return had The Macros made it to television.
As this adventure began the Doctor was trying to get Peri home to Baltimore. The Doctor eventually returns Peri home to Baltimore in The Reaping. Although The Reaping takes place after The Macros, The Reaping was released in September 2006, almost four years before The Macros’ release.
One thing that caught my attention in the interviews is Colin Baker never hearing about the Philadelphia Experiment prior to working on The Macros. I found this surprising as I thought that the Philadelphia Experiment was one of those things that people would have heard about in passing but not actually knowing what it was about.
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