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Reviews for The Lost Stories: The Song of Megaptera

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This series really has been excellent...

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Thursday 15 July 2010
Rating:   9

One might ompare this to the Best Below episode with Matt Smith. Is it as good as that episode though?

Well, for a start there is more of the whale although it is only to hear. But one can easily imagine a beautiful mile long whale in the depths of space.

All the different elements of this story are highly enjoyable and exciting. The Peri delirium section made me laugh more than i have for a while in Doctor Who. Nicola's acting in these scenes is spot on. Comic genius.

And yet the more nasty aspects of the show are all thought provoking too, and add into that mix the addition of the two dunderheaddy guards and you get a brilliant story oozing with brilliance that should have been done on the TV. Budget must have kept this brilliant tale from matierialising for so long.

And the TARDIS landing in the belly of the whale like cool old Jonah (no legend at all) is a good addition to the plot too, with so many beings caught inside it for thousands of years. This has a good dose of humour, a good dose of action, a good dose of all that makes Doctor Who the classic and audio series far better overall than the new series. This is a brilliant audio story.

(but just cut out evolution comments please. thats just me because of what i believe in)



Not The Beast Below

By:Doug, Pocono Summit, PA, USA
Date:Thursday 11 November 2010
Rating:   6

Here and elsewhere, reviewers have noted the similarity this story bears to the recent Matt Smith episode, The Beast Below. Other than the two both featuring huge space whales, there isn't much that's actually that similar. The Song of Megaptera has much more of an ecological activist face to it, and throws in some veiled (or not so veiled) references to Moby Dick and the story of Jonah.

The Song of Megaptera is good, but not great. Parts meriting special mention would include Peri's hilarious delirium, which is really kind of like a really well-delivered, long stream of drunken puns and non sequiturs, the ship's computer, which is a bit like a psychotic version of "Eddy" from the Hitchhiker's Guide after the Doctor messes with it, and the humorously creepy members of the "framily" living inside the whale.

I found it quite interesting to learn that this story had originally been worked on for Tom Baker, then again for Peter Davison, and finally for Colin Baker before being totally abandoned. Why it ever got that far is difficult to understand, for the simple reason of the virtual impossibility of realizing any kind of half-decent version of an enormous space whale on TV with the technology and budget available in the late 70s to mid-80s.

6.5, if I may be more precise.



Simplistic Fun

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

This one's received a lot of praise, and I don't entirely understand why. While it has some good ideas, and is nicely paced, it's characters are almost entirely shallow ciphers, who really needed to be developed more deeply to truly engage me in the story. The Captain, for example, is too simplistically 'evil' for me to truly sympathise with him when his (actually quite convincing) backstory is revealed. That said, the whole atmosphere of the story, switching between the factory ship and the belly of the Ghaleen, is truly great, and makes this one an enjoyable, if a touch simplistic, listen.



Really 7 1/2

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Thursday 30 March 2017
Rating:   7

The Song of Megaptera is tough to review because it gets so much right and so much wrong at the same time. The story itself is an ecological parable about saving space whales from rapacious corporate whalers. The Doctor and Peri are both rightfully upset by the proceedings and seek to disrupt the taking of one whale. This, of course, gets them on the wrong side of the ship's captain, a has-been on his last mission and out to prove that the company is making a mistake by retiring him. His "damn the rules" attitude is only barely held in check by a wimpy corporate monitor, eager that the captain does not get the corporation into trouble. There are some witty scenes with the Doctor pretending to be the representative for a non-existent environmental lobby. At this level, the story works reasonably well. However, it would not make 90 minutes of material at that, so there are some complications added that drag down the main story - an alien "native" on board the ship that uses the whales for "religious" purposes, which amount to the same thing as the corporation's mercenary purposes. There is also a freaky hippie commune living inside the great whale. The writers try working these elements into a tight plot, but it still comes off as padding. The program also has a hilarious bit with a delirious Peri. So, pluses and minuses add up to an entertaining if not fully satisfactory story.




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