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Still all jittery

... because I really enjoyed the audios that much.

Non-spoilerific reviews below.

"Time Reaver"

This one is easily the weakest story of the three. It's a procedural story, all about the Doctor and Donna appearing somewhere, finding out something is wrong, figuring out what's going on, and fixing it, and I think that's what the second story needed to be, a plain and simple adventure in which the Doctor and Donna are bringing us along for the ride. There's nothing deeper than that, and there are some holes in the backstory that the narrative doesn't manage to plug. There's also one thing that happens that really needed to be explored more deeply and actually have consequences, but was brushed off with a few flippant words. However, it's still a fun adventure and is enjoyable if you don't look too deeply and I can see a few fanfic ideas peeking out from it - Calibris is a fascinating world and I'd love to know more about Soren. (Correct spellings are only conjecture at this point.)

"Death and the Queen"

This is easily my favorite of the three. As I've noted before, the first story seemed to be a re-introduction to the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble, and the second story was a "let's go on a trip with them" tale. This left the third story to be the one that cut a bit deep, letting the main conflict expose those bits of the Doctor and Donna's relationship that they've been hiding from each other (and themselves). There are some sparkling scenes where Donna is truly happy, as well as a couple of lines that will make you wince for the characters.

A general vaguely spoilerific comment...

One thing that was nice about both of these stories was that they had twists - you know, people turning out to not be who you think they are, or the source of the problem turning out to be something different from what the Doctor originally thought. This is common in the audios, but not so in the modern TV show - in most modern TV stories, something goes wrong, the Doctor figures out who's behind it, and then puts it right. Maybe it's a problem with the modern 45-minute format, that there isn't enough time to build up a story enough to have a satisfying twist, but obviously these two audios did it. I love the twists and hope that future TDAs follow this pattern.

And a non-spoilerifc comment...

One of the things I love about the audio plays in general is that they have the ability to really take the Doctor places where he can't go due to special and practical effects budgets. At Gallifrey One, in Simon Guerrier's kaffeeklatsch, he talked about how the BBC hires only experienced TV writers, because they're the ones who know how to write within budget - they know how much each thing they're asking for costs and rein in the need for effects. Audios don't have to do this. They can populate a planet with forty different unknown and non-humanoid aliens, or field huge armies of soldiers, or let the Doctor bop back and forth between four completely different planets. All they need to do is describe things well enough to get your imagination going, and there you are, right with the Doctor, looking out over that alien vista. Or more likely, hanging from window with a skeleton trying to choke the life out of you. Wonderful, isn't it?


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 17th, 2016 08:50 pm (UTC)
OHhhh, one day!
May. 18th, 2016 06:07 pm (UTC)
Oh, I hadn't realized they are out already! I need to get them. I have the Torchwood ones on subscription, but these need to be bought as singles, right?
May. 18th, 2016 06:25 pm (UTC)
You can buy them as a collected set, or as singles - they released all three at the same time. I'm sure they can't do subscription because there's no telling when DT will be available to record the next set of them.
May. 18th, 2016 09:00 pm (UTC)

Do you listen to the Torchwood ones as well? Apparently John and Gareth are in Cardiff at the moment, recording a new one. There's pictures and videos all over Twitter and Facebook. They even went down to the shrine.
May. 18th, 2016 10:21 pm (UTC)
I haven't yet. I don't listen to audios as much as I'd like to, so I haven't even sampled more than a tenth of the DW main range (200+ audios already!) and a few others here and there. I do plan to get the TW stuff, but I'll probably get the War Doctor audios first.

I did hear about them being in Cardiff! Though, Big Finish is not in Cardiff, so whatever they're doing in Cardiff, it's not a Big Finish thing. I think the wildly speculative rumor is that they're going to be in the DW Christmas special. :) (Another possibility is that they're doing something with RTD's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which, I understand, is going to be using DW's special effects crew. However, this is just a thought totally invented by me about 30 seconds ago, so don't put any stock in it.)
May. 19th, 2016 05:21 am (UTC)
I listen to my audios while doing housework. It's awesome! Sadly hoovering doesn't work well, but doing the dishes or just general tidying is wonderful.

I haven't even watched all the classic Doctors yet, let alone listened to any of this. I wonder if I ever will catch up. I'm afraid I have veered off into Star Trek fandom now ;) Where I also have to catch up a lot.

Now you have me intrigued though ;) I have no idea where Big Finish is sitting. I just assumed. I heard the Christmas special rumors and I was angry as this is not what John said at all and I did not want a repeat of the rumors for him being in the 50th anniversary special.

I also know that the upcoming Big Finish Jack and Ianto episode has already been recorded a while ago.

However, we clearly saw videos and pictures of them in a recording studio, reading lines from a script in which also Gwen was mentioned. So what else than Big Finish could it be?

There was even a funny video of John entering the studio where someone had put up a shrine for PC Andy on the fence.

My immediate reaction of John being in Cardiff was "Isn't Sherlock filming at the moment?" So here you have a made up thought back ;)
May. 20th, 2016 10:25 pm (UTC)
I try to listen to audios while doing other things, but I find that I can't pay attention well enough, and many times the audios are intricate enough that you really miss so much. It works well when driving to work, though, I've found, and that's probably going to be how I slowly catch up on them all.

I was going to say that John and Gareth could be doing something animated, either DW/TW-related or not, though if the script mentioned Gwen, then it'd have to be DW/TW-related. They could also be doing... uh, I don't know the real term for it, but it's when they re-record the voice acting when the sound from the actual film shoot isn't good enough. (I know they do this occasionally, because I've seen DT mention that he hates doing it.) So, they could have filmed something either recently or a while back and are now re-doing the voices.
May. 20th, 2016 10:31 pm (UTC)
That is true. I tried to listen while drawing or painting, but you really have to concentrate on that so it didn't work.

But I love how I get so immersed into a play and at the end I have a clean bathroom as well without realizing.

Update: Camille was there with John as well! So definitely TW+DW together. Crossover?

That is a good idea you have there, I'm just thinking, if it really was for the X-mas special, they would not communicate it that openly? They would try to keep it quiet?

Ah well, we'll hear about it once they are ready!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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