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Reviews for Unregenerate!

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Long-winded crud

By:Philip Ince, Highbury, London
Date:Sunday 3 July 2005
Rating:   3


Another of Gary Russell's inexplicable switches of script from one Doctor to another. As with The Game earlier this year, the story was originally conceived as a 6th Doctor adventure (which it makes sense as). It was then switched to be a 7th Doctor whom it fits as snuggly as did Baker's coat on Sylvester McCoy in Time and the Rani.

The performance of the primary villain - Rigan played by Gail Clayton - is truly awful but the lines that the poor woman is given and the relentless stupidity of her character make an alternate portrayal hard to conceive.

Rigan is a Time Lord, a CIA operative, a Co-ordinator. Now that Russell's creation - Co-ordinator Vansell - has been killed off, the Big Finish world clearly needs another unutterably stupid Time Lord and David McIntee has delivered this in spades.

Rigan is a shrill, stupid, senseless, purposelessly cruel (another Russell tradition), in short, an irrational tit. Being the protagonist, this poses an insurmountable problem; Unregenerate! just plays so dumb.

Bonnie Langford - God love her - is still shit; not specifically as Mel but as an actress in a companion role.

McCoy - who has done a sublime turn on Shadow of the Scourge as a babbling madman - can't quite keep it up here. Insane from the opening of part one until the final episode, dear Sylvester's talents are largely wasted as usual.

Unregenerate! would be dull whoever the cast was because the characters aren't characters, they're mere personalities and their actions, reasoning, responses, rationale and intentions are those of stupid fictional children not masters of the universe.

A very poor entry in Big Finish's interminably stale Doctor Who series.

Needs A Very Strong Rewrite

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Saturday 17 June 2006
Rating:   4

The 2005-6 Big Finish audios have been very poor indeed. This is pretty low among them. The focus here is mostly on Mel, particularly in Parts 1 & 2. I must say that the writing for Mel has been much better in these audios than it ever was in the TV series. Additionally, Bonnie Langford has genuinely progressed as an actor, and continues to put in marvelous performances for the series. That said, it is too bad that she is given such weak material to work with.

The main problems are as follows. The Doctor through most of parts 1-3 is a raving loony. While this allows Sylvester McCoy to go far over the top and get away with it, ultimately it detracts from the effect of the story. Listeners want a Doctor Who story, with companion, not a Mel story, with companion. That gets me to the cabbie, Mel's companion. He is principally there to supply muscle so as to give Mel room to operate. Nice enough bloke for an ex-bouncer and bookie enforcer, but that is about all.

On the other hand, with the Doctor effectively out of the story, gibbering for most of the time he is on, one is left with not much to listen for.

Finally, there is the problem of the first 10 minutes or so, which switches around from scene to scene with no explanation so often and so confusingly, that it is very difficult to have patience for any part of it to make sense.

In the end, a thorough revision was in order. The premise of the story and some of the ideas are quite good, but they needed to be arranged more effectively. Characters needed to be strengthened. Roles needed to be better assigned.


By:Doug, Pocono Summit, PA, USA
Date:Sunday 26 November 2006
Rating:   7

Okay. As is often the case, my view of this production is a bit different from the views of the other two reviewers here.

I admit that I had my doubts as I was listening to the early parts of this story, but Unregenerate! came together by the end, and actually surprised me. There were several clues that I noticed while listening, but I failed to figure out just what was going on. I like that. I enjoy a story that keeps me guessing - one that I just follow along with and discover as the truth is gradually revealed, and that does this rather cleverly as well.

Sylvester McCoy is fantastic here in the Doctor's dementia, even if for three of the four episodes he is very unlike the Doctor we knew. One reviewer said that this script was originally intended for Colin Baker. I'm a sixth Doctor fan, and I say that this would've been dreadful if Colin Baker had done it. As for Mel, she is written fairly well here. As for the cabbie, for most of the duration of the story I didn't really get how he was able to fit into everything, but at the end I realized that he just adds a rather whimsical quality to the story, not unlike the rest of what we saw in the McCoy era of the t.v. series.

The story itself, once we're finally told what's really going on, is also brilliant, and the sound design was quite good. Overall, Unregenerate! is a suspenseful story that may surprise you by the end, and is just about as good a story as you can get when the Doctor is essentially missing for three quarters of it. Well done.

An excellent bit of difference....

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Tuesday 26 October 2010
Rating:   10

One could never accuse the televised period of Sylv as being predictable. That was always one of the best things about his time on the show, there wasnt a weak show in his run as the Doctor. Because they all had so many different and new elements pumped into the scripts to make them all at once brilliant and beefy and suitably original. And both his companions were two of the best of the series. Sylv in audio too has been given some of the best audio stories ever too. And here is another one.

Unregenerate has it all, except the monsters. This is more of a character study in the vein of Arrangements for War and Catch 1782. And like these two tales, this story delivers big time. Sylvester for a start is brilliant as the disturbed Doctor. And the fact that this a time lord tale is surprising too. The ending to part three was totally unexpected and welcome. The story is well paced too, and its nice to hear Jennie Linden again after so long.

Actually all the episode endings here are believable and very well done indeed. This should have been thought of a lot sooner and should have been on the screen. David A Mcintee always has been a very good Doctor Who writer. Sad that this has been his only foray into Big Finish's main Who range so far. You should come back David, youre stories are classy!

I like it that Bonnie is again well portrayed and gets more to do, and she actually does something with a computer too along the way, which is good as she is a computer programmer after all. She was always a brilliant companion on screen, and she is again here. Carry on Bonnie!

Big Finish overall are so much more consistent and brilliant than the BBC with the new series of Doctor Who. They still stay true to the feel of the old series, whilst bringing original elemnts all the time along the way. I would like to see far more stories like this please. These kinds of stories just remind me of why Who is such a strong series. Its always surprising me, which is pleasing.

Unregenerate is brilliant!!

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