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Reviews for The Lost Stories: The Nightmare Fair

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Takes you back with loosing too much

By:writingbluebear, Jersey
Date:Monday 21 December 2009
Rating:   8

The Colin Baker of today is outstanding but the old one, wasn't given the chance to develop. Nightmare fair takes you back to a doctor half way between the two. A great old foe, unfortunately Peri isn't given too much to do other then follow other about. Shame.



Not a bad start to the season that wasnt

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Tuesday 12 January 2010
Rating:   8

What appeals about this tale is not the reutrn of the Toymaker as such, although David does a great job at bringing this villain back to life, after the retiring of Michael Gough from acting. His laugh is memorable, and his games are pretty well presented, considering this is an audio drama. But it is actually the opening which for me is the best part of the story. A real sense that at last the sixth Doctor and Peri were getting along like house on fire. None of the stupid banter and all that. Some nice and relaxed fun scenes.

A slight pity that after such a strong start the story falls into just basically a lot of talking and not too much action. The ending is a strong concept too though, but the middle is far too long. But then again its not as long as some boring television these days.

The acting is good. The few scares are done well. And the actual explanation of where and what the Toymaker actually is is well handled and well scripted. I think you can tell David likes playing the Toymaker, he does it really very well indeed.

Apart from the slighly boring middle section, this is a nice piece of Doctor Who. It would have been a great start to the season that never was.



finally the Toymaker returns!

By:Josh, Sitka, Alaska
Date:Wednesday 17 March 2010
Rating:   9

Being a big fan of both Colin Baker and the Celestial Toymaker I quickly snapped up the novelization of the Nightmare fair, and I have to admit to being a bit disappointed. There was nothing wrong with the story, or any of the characters, but it was definetly lacking something.
After hearing the audio version, however, I can say for certain that what it was lacking was the performers! The Nightmare fair was written to be seen, or, failing that, be heard. Colin Baker was on top form with his wonderful dialogue with the Toymaker and other bizarre characters throughout the story. I especially enjoyed the sound of his reaction to the roller coaster!
This is a must have for any fan of the sixth Doctor, or any fan of the series, come to that!



A Long Overdue Revival

By:Doug, Pocono Summit, PA, USA
Date:Wednesday 22 September 2010
Rating:   7

Producing these "lost" scripts from the original Season 23 was a great idea, especially to us fans of the sixth Doctor. This audio version of The Nightmare Fair does indeed give us a much more enjoyable realization of it than can be gotten from its print form. Having said that, I must once again contradict Colin Baker's comments in the extras and say that this story really doesn't work all that well on audio. Too much of the action is difficult to decipher, which probably wouldn't have been a problem on video. One example would be that the big scene of the Doctor's videogame challenge is rendered fairly ineffective on audio. Still, the Toymaker is a fascinating villain, and we learn much more about the nature of his existence in this story. And the relationship between the Doctor and Peri is much more fun here than it probably ever was on TV. And thankfully, after a rough start, in episode 2 Colin's voice comes back to full strength, and combined with the way he's playing the Doctor here, one can really imagine that this story was done back in 1985. We also get the added bonus of a script apparently unsoiled by the script destroying, I mean, editing... talents of Eric Saward...



Fun, but Insubstantial

By:Jeremy Matthews, Brisbane, Australia
Date:Sunday 29 January 2012
Rating:   7

Once you get over the thrill of hearing an unmade story, this loses it's overall appeal somewhat. There's lots of amusing scenes, and I love the use of the Toymaker in the story, but the second episode in particular has almost no plot, consisting mostly of long scenes featuring the main characters sitting in a prison cell. However, it's very well-made, and is still a perfectly fun, enjoyable story with a few points to make on the nature of immortality. Good fun.



Definitely Graham Williams

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Tuesday 7 February 2017
Rating:   7

The first of the unproduced episodes from the 1985-6 season of Doctor Who would have had the return of the Celestial Toymaker, probably with Michael Gough reprising his role. This story would have brought the matter up to date with the Toymaker now working on video games, the newest vogue in entertainment of the mid 1980s. When Big Finish decided to produce audio versions of the missing episodes, Michael Gough had already passed away. In his stead, David Baille does a marvelous job of recreating the mixture of menace and bored ennui that Gough brought to create a memorable villain. In this story, the Toymaker has taken up residence in the funfair at Blackpool. He is now working on producing the ultimate video game, a game that would ensnare millions of users.

Big Finish has worked very hard to recreate the 1985 Doctor Who feel. This includes having a much tetchier Doctor 6 than in the regular Big Finish dramas. Also, the background music is set to sound like 1980s analogue synthesizers. I think that the arrangement of music is a little too simple, more 1978 than 1985 if synthesizers were used.

The story itself is entertaining, if a bit disjointed. Scenes switch back and forth, often with returning to a scene skipped ahead a bit in time so that it is difficult to gather what happened there between scenes. Characters appear that seemingly have importance, but turn out to be irrelevant, such as the police detective in the early section of part 1 and Kevin's missing friend at the end of part 2. Other characters appear only because they are needed, and then get simply forgotten once their use is done. Typical of Graham Williams' approach to Doctor Who, menace gets undercut with light satire, so nothing feels quite as urgent as it ought to. In the end, kudos go to Big Finish for a faithful rendition of the story.




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