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Horrific, Intense and Complex

By:Doug, Pocono Summit, PA, USA
Date:Friday, March 09, 2007
Rating:   8

Some spoilers ahead.

First, I wish I could revise my rating of the previous episode in this second Gallifrey series. Upon listening a second time, I would rate Spirit more highly, giving it an 8. I think that knowing what was actually going on while listening to it again allowed me to have a better appreciation of the quality of the writing and production.

In this third episode, "Pandora," we return from what at first appeared to be a slight detour in the previous episode, and are thrown fully back into the political machinations being orchestrated on Gallifrey. This episode is easily the most intense Big Finish production I've listened to so far, and I've listened to quite a lot of them. I thought of giving this a 9 for the quality of the writing and overall production, but I feel that the episode is actually *too* intense, so I feel I must lower the rating to an 8.

The story being developed here has to do with political ambitions on multiple fronts, and the Pandora creature feeds on ambition. This episode portrays Pandora as being horrifically powerful and elusive - even though the Time Lords believe they have contained and controlled it, it appears to be able to act as it wills with impunity. But this may be a misperception - the truth may be that it has only been freed again through the carelessness of one who is out of his depth in this situation and is being played. It's difficult to tell for sure.

The big enigmatic hook from the previous episode is, at long last it seems, resolved as the truth is revealed. Not that much time has actually passed, but it seems like a long process has gone on until the events finally all come to their completion and the circle begun in the previous episode is finally, dreadfully closed.

The writing in this episode and the plot that is being weaved are superb and unsurpassed in my experience of other Big Finish stories. The multi-episode story arc feature of this series allows for a very substantial story to be developed, and this feature is being used to the fullest extent so far. This is a fantastic episode - fully engaging - but as I say, it really gets a little *too* intense. This really is amazing - I would not have expected as much from this series, which easily surpasses much of the main line of audios that feature the Doctors themselves.



Disturbing

By:Nicholas Murphie, Newtown, Australia
Date:Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Rating:   8

The second Gallifrey series has already improved on the first. If the seedy, ambitious, backstabbing machinations of Time Lord society is like this then no wonder the Doctor buggered off...
An extended scene in this audio is probably the most disturbing I've heard on a BF audio to date. The prolonged mutilation of one of the Time Lords is nauseating but adds to the tension of what is an excellent audio.
All the principle characters are well fleshed out and the continuing arc is interesting.




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