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Reviews for The Lost Stories: Paradise 5

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This is very good on all levels...

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Saturday 24 April 2010
Rating:   10

The Lost Stories series has been one of so much diversity and Paradise 5 is one of the very best of them so far.

Although I cant see all that much similarity between this and Terror of the Vervoids which replaced this story as the third segment of the Trial of the Time Lord epic. And this story if its possible, to me is even better than that excellent fragment of Trial!

Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant are as assured and brilliant in there roles as ever.

And there are plenty of good ideas rolling around in this little space adventure. The cherubs are a tragic part of the story, but well utilised and thought out.

And the elohim could have been a great new monster for the Doctor to fight. This story has all the atmosphere of a horror tale, woven aboard a futuristic so called paradise space station. And as in every paradise there is a rather vile serpent.

Good speech from the Doctor in the final scene. Makes the sixth Doctor a little more likeable than some of his rather overtly violent outings in previous tv outtings. An interdimensional creature seeking armies to fight. Good idea. You just cant get away from wars can you?

And the acting support is excellent. Memorable and good characters. All the ingredients of great Doctor Who are there once again. This tale really is a one of the best stories Ive heard in a long time...

Very Interesting Fusion

By:Doug, Pocono Summit, PA, USA
Date:Friday 15 October 2010
Rating:   10

Some Spoilers Ahead

Paradise 5, when one looks at it in depth, really is very twisted indeed. In spite of this, I still find it brilliant. (Hmmm... what does that say about me?)

First things first. Paradise 5 was eventually replaced by Terror of the Vervoids in the official Season 23, which really is a shame, because Paradise 5 offers such greater depth and interest, and a truly sinister situation. Mel's line about "feeling evil in this place" would have been much more appropriate in Paradise 5. For this story, the role of Mel was recast, with Peri taking her place.

This story was originally written by P.J. Hammond, writer of most of the old Sapphire & Steel TV episodes. Here, the story is much more understandable than most of those TV episodes were. Writer Andy Lane picked things up for the adaptation, adding an additional episode at the beginning of the story, and further developing the latter parts of it. The resulting audio play is a very interesting fusion of these different elements - it all works together seamlessly, and maintains a very 80s-ish feel to it, partly due to the incidental music soundtrack, and partly due to nods to 80s fashion and culture. I would very much rather have seen this on TV instead of Terror of the Vervoids, but this production really was made for audio, and would not have been done the way it was, had it been done for TV in the 80s.

Now onto the twisted bit. Firstly, the "Cherubs" featured in the story, which are sort of menial laborers on the luxury vacation space station of Paradise 5, which is being run by "Gabriel" and "Michael," are very eerie creatures, and it's not without reason that the listener may feel this way, as we eventually come to find out... but I will leave that part for you to discover on your own. The purpose of the "Paradise Machine" is kept a very suspenseful secret for much of the duration of the story, and when we are told what it's for, it's quite a far-out idea... very interesting - a recruitment device for a higher-dimensional war. The sinister "Elohim" are from a higher dimension. But the bit that may not be widely known is where the name "Elohim" comes from. In the biblical book of Genesis, the first instances, in the earliest parts of the book, where the word translated as "God" in English are found, are places you actually find the Hebrew word that transliterates as "Elohim," which is plural, by the way. To put it more simply, in the early parts of the book of Genesis, "God" is actually "Elohim," and it would be more properly translated as "gods" or "the gods." So in effect, this story turns the ancient Semitic God(s) into an evil collective that is conscripting humans as warriors in a higher dimension. None of the details about where the name "Elohim" comes from are included in the story, of course. It is apparently left to the educated listener to catch the literary jab.

Gabriel and Michael (also from Judeo-Christian biblical myth - they are archangels therein), are brilliantly and twistedly played by Alex Macqueen and James D'Arcy respectively. The script flows really well, and Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant give delightful performances. In addition, there are shades of Season 25 here... think along the lines of The Greatest Show in the Galaxy and The Happiness Patrol, but perhaps with somewhat better production values, if this had been done right on TV.

Thieves, Piece and Aliens

By:Clive T Wright, St Lawrence, United Kingdom
Date:Thursday 30 June 2011
Rating:   9

Paradise 5, isn't original in many ways; inside something normal hides alien horrors, sprinkle with some entertaining con men making a buck or too, add a dash of wonder, the result a classic plot.

Paradise manages to do all this with style, bringing everything together in a classic and enjoyable piece of work. It has great aliens, twists, turns and some bad guys with a cool sence of humour.


By:Jeremy Matthews, Brisbane, Australia
Date:Sunday 29 January 2012
Rating:   10

This Lost Story isn't quite as it would have appeared, as part of the 'Trial of a Time Lord', but that's perhaps to the story's advantage, as it is able to develop on it's own merits, rather than being piggy-backed onto the Trial. It's perfectly paced, and has beautiful atmosphere, which allows the listener to just settle back and enjoy the imagery that the story conjures up. However, it's also got some great moral dilemmas in it; the truth about the Cherubs is horrible, and forces even my beloved morbid Sixth Doctor to get a bit squeamish and upset. The gay couple who serve as the story's villains are also deliciously pompous characters, particularly Gabriel, who is perfectly pitched as a character.

It's interesting to note that this even would have fitted in with the Trial's overall criticism of capitalism, following on very well from 'Mindwarp' in that respect. I really wish that it had been made, as it would have made a far better story than 'Terror of the Vervoids', and also would have made a great introduction story for Mel. My only complaint about this story is the disgusting music, which is utterly tuneless and evil. Despite what fans tend to think, Doctor Who's incidental music in the 80s was often quite subtle and beautiful ('Enlightenment', 'The Two Doctors', 'The Keeper of Traken') so I don't know why the composer bashed out this horrific racket. Other than that, though, this is a really good story. Go out there and get it now!


By:Matt Saunders, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Date:Thursday 27 September 2012
Rating:   10

This is definitely the jewel of the Big Finish Lost Stories first season, and is really excellent. Andy Lane has clearly adapted this very well and also added his own take on things - including the whole of episode one. It also feels very much part of the Sixth Doctor's era, as it's so 80's!! And brilliant with it - with lots of charm and colour in great quantities. Well done to Big Finish and everyone involved, this truly was and is a classic - what a shame this was not used in the Trial of a Time Lord with the other stories (yes, it would have been a 18 episode season, but who cares?)....

Entertaining but Flawed

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Sunday 5 March 2017
Rating:   7

Paradise 5 is another of those should be a satire but isn't quite one stories. The Doctor and Peri go to visit an old friend of the Doctor's, but he's disappeared. The Doctor then springs into action, volunteering Peri on an investigation of the luxury holiday space station Paradise 5. Peri makes her way on as an employee, while the Doctor works behind the scenes. Something is definitely wrong here as tourists go in, but never come out. The script is both interesting and infuriating. The story has many holes in it. The elaborate plot to steal people's essence as fodder in a war in the "higher dimensions" does not make much sense. On the other hand, the performances are excellent. Particular standouts are Alex Macqueen as Gabriel and James D'Arcy as Michael, one of the best double acts in all Big Finish productions.

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