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Reviews for Spare Parts

There are 11 reviews so far. To add a review of your own for this item, visit the voting page.


By:Clive Wright, Jersey
Date:Saturday 20 December 2003
Rating:   10

Is everything the doctors fault. This story adds a lot of welcome detail about our old friends and the voice of the cybermen very good.

The feeling to doom hangs throughout the story and although you keeping thinking you know whats going to happen next it twist and turns.

Another winner.

Did I hear a different story?

By:Jamie Hunn, Chipping Sodbury, UK
Date:Sunday 21 March 2004
Rating:   3

To be frank, this one was dire.

Usually, I agree with general fan consensus (Chimes of Midnight, The One Doctor etc)but this was just one long boring trek through the Cybermens' history.

Is suffered, obviously, from the fact that we knew what was going to happen to the people - they would be cybernised. As such, it was totally predictable and lost all shock factor. The remainder of the story plodded along well enough, but I really would have preferred to have spent my £13.00 on something else.

Excellent but Chilling

By:Paul March, London Eng
Date:Tuesday 8 June 2004
Rating:   9

I grew up with the 5th Doc and on something of a nostralgia buzz, have recently discovered Peter Davison's reprisial of his role in the Big Finish Audios. I thought this his performance here was fantastic and the various display of emotions incredibly vivid. The portrayal of Nyssa was also excellent and I thought the cyber voices were pretty cool. All told, this is my favorite audio release so far,with great drama and humour. Totally recommended.

Another great Hit

By:Peteley, England
Date:Thursday 6 January 2005
Rating:   10

Well what cani say that hasnt been said, this for me is the best CD still (now Jan 04). I think the atmosphere of dread is amazing, yes we know the end, but the twists and turns before we get there especially the twist wit the Doctor himself. The family are great especially with the familt reunion very powerfull. And the creater of the Cyberman rather than go down the Davros route was far better. It was all so human no real evil just desperate people dtermind to survive, with is the ethios of the Cybermen so very apt. there is no real evil people just desperate.Peter and Sarah put in shinning performances as do all the cast. I cant reall fault this one excellent from start to finish
very recomended

Chilling, Goosebumps story

By:TED SCHNITZLER, avondale pa usa
Date:Tuesday 11 April 2006
Rating:   10

Yes we know the cyberman saga from the 10th planet on and we know the outcome of various events in history, but getting there is just the fun. I'm a new fan to the doctor and am catching up, this audio kept me riveted start to finish. From the ominous overtones of the "final solution" for Mondas, the doctor's involuntary contribution, that poor family with thier cyberchild, and probably one of the best incidental soundtracks make this the best BF audio. My son and I listened to this traveling and almost every "scene" had us going Wow! Still gives us nightmares and goosebumps thinking about it.

Essential Cyber-story

By:PJ Johnson, Hoddesdon, United Kingdom
Date:Wednesday 7 June 2006
Rating:   9

I have long been a fan of the Cybermen, believing them to be far more frightening and effective than ever the Daleks were, so the prospect of a story set on Mondas chronicling the true beginnings of the legendary cyborgs filled me with anticipation. I was not disappointed.

Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton are on top form, as is Sally Knyvette as the brilliant but misguided mastermind behind the Cybermen, Doctorman Allan. Paul Copley also puts in a decent performance as the patriarch of the Hartley family, clearly a tortured soul willing to go to any lengths to protect his children.

The Cybermen are very well presented, and the idea that they were created for such innocent purposes is intriguing. The original Cyber-voices from The Tenth Planet are used to great effect, and serve to complete the faultless recreation of the original silver giants from the 1966 story. One tiny complaint regarding the sound production is that the voice of the collective commitee is as times too distorted, forcing the listener to struggle to make out the dialogue.

One of the fundamental aspects of the Cybermen, which often seems to have been forgotten over the years, is that they are not evil - they have no interest in conquest or power, only in survival, and it is the ongoing survival of the Cyber-race which drives them to do things which, in the eyes of others, are seen as evil. This concept is reinforced in Spare Parts, as it becomes obvious to the commitee that the people of Mondas have a very clear choice - Cyber-conversion, or death.

While there are ocasional moments of levity and humour, the story is, ultimately a tragedy, and as such very hard-hitting and thought provoking. With excellent perfomances from the cast, gripping dialogue and an interesting twist in the ending, this is undoubtedly one of the strongest of the Big Finish audio adventures. Oh, and a certain moment in part three made this one of the few Doctor Who stories ever to bring a tear to my eye...


By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Monday 7 August 2006
Rating:   8

For sheer doom-laden atmosphere, this is probably the most consistent of the Big Finish productions. It starts gloomy and stays that way right up to its horrifying conclusion. Sally Knyvette is superb as the world-weary Doctorman Allen. All the other performances are first rate. There is excellent dialogue, and nobody is spared from horror. Given all that, I do have a few reservations about the story. First, Mondas is too parallel, down to regional accents. It would have been better to make it earth-like rather than earth equivalent. Second, it becoems obvious that this is Mondas quite quickly, and thus from the beginning any Doctor Who fan will know the outcome. Thus, the whole thing has a gloomy inevitability that it cannot escape. Third, the he's dead now he's alive ending is a cheap way out of a problem. Fourth, we again get a taste of "it's the Doctor's fault" logic that dominates Big Finish dramas. Old idea - get rid of it. Aside from these reservations, this is excellent drama.

only one thing lets this down....

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

And the thing that lets it down is that the character of Yvonne is basically only in one episode of this drama. Really sad, that. i love the character to bits, so well performed.

But yes this story is excellent. Marc Platt deliver again in this cyberman story and a half. An emotional rollercoaster of an adventure which leaves you gasping for breath.

Doctor Who's best the cybermen are back in very strong form indeed, and the big finish team get those most chilling original cyber voices right on the nail. They freak me out i can tell you all.

And Sarah Sutton proves again why Nyssa is such a likeable and cool companion. And we get a mention of poor old Adric too, aaahh...

Sally Knyvette really does deliver as Doctorman Allen. And what the hell is the creepy cyber planner eh? Flaming scary or what?! This story is really fast paced.

The scenes with poor Yvonne and the family really steal this show though. Real tear jerking stuff when a partially cyberniseed Yvonne comes home cold and almost dead, horrible and realistic drama to the full. This is yet another excellent play from Big finish. Really, what the hell was Rise Of The Cybermen compared to this?! Not any comparison really...

Disturbing, Thought Provoking, A Classic

By:Matthew Kresal, United States
Date:Tuesday 2 September 2008
Rating:   10

Since their first appearance in The Tenth Planet back in 1966, fans have been debating the origins of the Cybermen, the half human half machine race from Earth’s long lost win planet Mondas. So it seems natural that Big Finish would eventually take the Doctor and companion to Mondas at the point of the Cybermen’s birth. What doesn’t seem to be natural is what writer Marc Platt did with the story. Spare Parts isn’t just another Doctor Who adventure by any means. It’s a compelling blend of science fiction and drama in a story that asks one of the most basic questions of human nature: how far would we go to survive?

The performances from the regulars are nothing short of astonishing. Peter Davison what I consider his single best performance as the fifth Doctor, going from reluctant innocent abroad to the man trying to change history for the better. Late in the story there’s a plot twist that shocks the Doctor and Cybermen battle to its core and Davison plays it incredibly well. Spurring him on is companion Nyssa, played to perfection by Sarah Sutton who also gives her single best performance in the role. In fact it is Nyssa’s friendship with the Hartley family that makes her force the Doctor to make that change. The performances of these two give the story much of its emotional depth and make it even more compelling.

The supporting cast is just as phenomenal. The Hartley family as played by Paul Copley (as the Dad), Kathryn Guck (as the optimistic and sickly Yvonne), and Jim Hartley (as the impatient Frank) serve as a microcosm of the people of Mondas, trying to remain hopeful in a world fast running out of hope. On the other side of the spectrum is Darren Nesbit as the spare (body) parts dealer Thomas Dodd, the shady businessman thriving on the pain and suffering. Yet he’s the sane one when compared to Doctorman Allan (Sally Knyvette) and Sisterman Constance (Pamela Binns), just two of many scientists and doctors slowly converting the population into Cybermen for work on the surface…or so it starts out. Then there’s the voice of the Cybermen, Nicholas Briggs. Briggs provides the voice not just for the various Cybermen but for the Central Committee who runs the city and there’s something about the voices (the Cybermen’s based on their voices in The Tenth Planet and the Central Committee’s on the Cyber-Controller’s voice in Tomb of the Cybermen) that sends chills down the spine and makes one listen.

If the performances weren’t enough, Marc Platt’s script is enough reason to consider this story amongst the best for the show in any medium. Platt made the smart choice not to do a Cybermen version of the classic TV story Genesis of the Daleks (not that’s a bad idea: see the new series two parter Rise of the Cybermen / Age of Steel) but to do a story entirely different. At its heart Spare Parts is the story as old as history of a civilization on the verge of collapse desperate to survive by any means possible. The means in this case is the use of saws and laser scalpels to remove emotions and insert cold logic, in essence the death of humanity and the birth of machines with human bodies.

In fact, the most chilling sequence of the story comes when a member of the Hartley family finds themselves in the assembly line for that process. To hear those saws and lasers coupled with screams, tears, and cries for help makes for a moment where even the most hardened listener stops to feel the shiver going up one’s spine. Platt plays the horror of that and when coupled with how closely Mondas is like our own world in the mid-1950’s (a fascination with television and even a form of Christmas) there’s only one description for it: chilling. The dilemma faced by the people of Mondas is only slightly different from the questions we face regarding genetics and other scientific advances that give us reason for pause.

The fundamental question of Spare Parts is how far must we go to survive and what must we sacrifice to do so? Marc Platt’s script asks that question and gives us a horrifying answer. That script, when coupled with the excellent performances, makes for one of the best Doctor Who stories ever. Science Fiction works best when its not just adventure but a question of moral importance. There are few examples as great as Spare Parts. Perfect for old fans and those new to Doctor Who (I once had two friends sitting around a CD player for the full length), Spare Parts may well be Big Finish’s best Doctor Who story. If not, it’s defiantly the most disturbing.


By:jason Oakley, Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Date:Friday 22 July 2011
Rating:   10

I have listen to this more than any other, there are lots of great stories but to me this remains the best of all Big Finish audios, superb

Not bad.

By:Patrick Alexander, Bellevue, United States
Date:Wednesday 25 January 2012
Rating:   7

Not bad.

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