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Reviews for Live 34

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Ripped from the Headlines

By:Doug, Pocono Summit, PA, USA
Date:Friday 1 December 2006
Rating:   5

Moderate spoilers ahead.

Live 34 is not the usual Doctor Who fare. Produced as a series of radio news broadcasts from start to finish, there is no main theme music or closing credits theme, no incidental music and no ordinary dialogue. The entire story takes place within the newscasts. The story is a well-deserved slam on the government of the United States and perhaps also that of the UK, though I'm not familiar enough with events over there to know for sure. The sad situation as it currently exists in the U.S. is taken to the nth degree here in Live 34, "34" being a region on an earth colony planet at some unstated point in the future. The Doctor, Ace and Hex have somehow become quite involved with the situation there, the Doctor and Ace having become rather important, extraordinary figures. They are involved in a power struggle with the covertly oppressive government of 34, which is continually distorting and recasting their actions through public statements to the press and official news releases. The truth begins to leak out, and we begin to see that as in the sad reality of today, in Live 34, problems are dealt with by covering up the truth and clinging to power by whatever means possible. As the solutions to the problems repeatedly fail, those in power are driven to ever more extreme actions as they try to hold onto their power and control.

Though Live 34 is a dramatic criticism of modern Western government, the fact is that the Doctor gets very little airtime, though his final actions are very satisfying (YES!!). This is an interesting production, and I wanted to give it at least a 6, but just really couldn't find any solid reasons to do so.

Entertaining, but not one of the greats, and not really Doctor Who.

Not Really Doctor Who

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Wednesday 3 January 2007
Rating:   7

The previous reviewer stated that Live 34 was not really Doctor Who. I agree completely. This is one of the few stories where its being Doctor Who actually worked against it. If it were a straight radio drama without the Doctor and companions, it would be (with the exception of a rather convenient ending) brilliant. Relaying the story of a corrupt (and yes, very American) society through a series of radio news broadcasts is brilliant. The first 3 episodes are just fabulous in this regard and I was drawn into the whole thing both emotionally and intellectually. However, the idea that the Doctor would run for president of a foreign culture, or that, yet again, Doctor 7 and companions inveigle their way into a society without anybody's noticing distracts from the plot and detracts from the emotional intensity of the situation. Without the Doctor, I would have given this a 9.

I liked this

By:Mark, UK
Date:Tuesday 20 February 2007
Rating:   8

I disgaree: it is Dr Who just a different take; a different perspective. It uses the audio medium well and I found it refreshing...

This is an interesting style...

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Thursday 20 March 2008
Rating:   10

This tale is really different in style and feel. The big finish team and the writers do really convince me that this is a radio broadcast from the endangered colony 34. This play is really raw and intense, with quite a reality ringing from it. This doesnt sound much like an alien planet romp, this soundslike everyday radio to me, what with murders and fuel crises and radical gangs being all over the news and radios every minute of the day. Add the doc and ace and hex to the mix and you do still get the resonating feel of a doctor who epic. This is quite something this play. This is one of the better big finish "quirky" tales i can tell you all!

Not really Doctor Who?

By:Patrick Alexander, Bellevue, United States
Date:Wednesday 22 August 2012
Rating:   9

I thought this was a good story told in a very interesting way. I loved the style. As for it not being Doctor Who, I would compare it to the new series episode "Blink". That was "not really Doctor Who" in the same way this story is and "Blink" is one of the best Doctor Who episodes EVER (in my opinion.)

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