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|Cell Phones, Cyberpunk & Giant Termites|
|By:||Doug, Pocono Summit, PA, USA|
|Date:||Sunday 30 September 2007|
|Rating: || 4|
Valhalla starts out, seemingly, with a companionless, mellow Seventh Doctor whose life is winding down (with a fully-transitioned McGann TARDIS interior, incidentally), arriving on a world whose civilization has wound down. Valhalla is the capitol of Jupiter's moon, Callisto, and the Doctor appears to be putting himself up for sale to abandon his time travelling days and work for an employer. Riiight.
Though the Doctor has genuinely seemed to be a tired, lost soul, in the second half of the story, he suddenly reveals that he found a sales catalogue of Valhalla from 200 years in the future. It has a listing of people for sale which features all of the details of their lives, including "confidential" records of criminal offenses (or "lies" as one guy says in reaction to hearing the info listed about him). And he had apparently learned that they were being trafficked as slaves, and couldn't resist dropping by to stop it. So which is it? Lost soul at the end of his life, or just another manipulative intervention? To make matters more confusing, at the close of the story, he seems to return to the initial slant of being tired of saving the universe.
The traffickers are the giant termites, it turns out, who have recently gone from nicking the sugar bowl to carrying away entire city buildings after some assisted evolution, apparently in an effort to heal the "wound" left as human civilzation has moved across the galaxy.
The trouble is that firstly, the story is rather boring, and secondly, none of it is very well-realized on audio here, though I think it would be even more dreadful on video. This must be the worst story ever vomited out of the pen of Marc Platt. Maybe all the magic mushrooms are finally taking their toll... Of course, I'm holding Platt to a high standard here, because I know he's capable of so much better.
The sound effects, production, and mixing are done rather well here, but unfortunately, this is just somewhat brilliantly-produced crap. I'd pretty much say that all 4 out of 10 points are for the technical excellence. And the best humor here is to be found in the behind the scenes interviews in the "cd extras."
|Nothing original but good|
Yet again nothing new in terms of plot, a society living on top of another, you just know whats coming. Developing the Doctors emotions of coming to the end of something being alone was well done and helped keep this typical plot interesting.
|By:||Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom|
|Date:||Friday 21 March 2008|
|Rating: || 9|
I wrote earlier on a different site that this story was a little short of the mark for a Marc Platt tale, but ive listenened to it more and more recently and that means there must be polenty of cool stuff floating around in this great little tale. Maybe i had a headache when listening to it before.
For a start theres the great performance of Sylvester Mccoy being the lonely companionless doctor and all that. Well acted part yet again from my favourite audio.
Then theres the great appearance from Susannah York in all, a first class actress in my opinion. And i just love six legged spice, that did make me crack up.
But the coolest thing in this story is still the great performance of Michelle Gomez as Jeavan. Yet another in a long line of should have been a companion greats. Realistic and totally laid back. Adds to the tension and the overall feel of this well produced and directed play.
There is one minor little thing, i dont like the voices of the termites. So lame and unimpressive, but really apart from that this has a lot going for it i can tell you. Far far more impressive and litenable than the Voyage of the Damned was for watching!
|By:||David Layton, Los Angeles, United States|
|Date:||Tuesday 30 April 2019|
|Rating: || 6|
Valhalla is typical Marc Platt - needlessly confusing. We find Doctor 7 without companion trying to retire sort of by interviewing for menial jobs at space colony Valhalla. This colony is in decline, run by petty criminals and outcasts, facing cutbacks, with protest safely contained through scheduled and controlled rioting. However, something is eating away at the works from the bottom out. We find an example of a regular theme for Doctors 7 & 8 in Big Finish: the Doctor wants out. He wants to give up being The Doctor. He's fed up and wants no more involvement. However, he can't help himself. Involved he gets. Problems for me with Valhalla are that none of the characters is all that interesting or likeable. Especially annoying is Gerium, who is one long running series of suspicious and self-serving complaints. The cast is fairly impressive, though.