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Reviews for Castrovalva

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I know so little about telebiogenesis...

By:Huw Davies, Taunton, United Kingdom
Date:Thursday 21 April 2011
Rating:   9

...and let's face it, who doesn't? Above you will find an example of one of the clangers of dialogue prevalant in 'Castrovalva' - and luckily this dodgy dialogue is this release's only problem.
Peter Davison's reading of this novelisation is very good - dramatic, tense, and when reading his own character a brilliant replication. His version of Ainley's Master is surprisingly good also - somehow he seems to have captured the actor's essence, and every now and then a word flitters past that sounds as if Ainley has read it himself - it's brilliant.
The novelisation, bar the aformentioned silly scientific stuff, is a robust one. It doesn't take many liberties with the script, but with a complicated story like 'Castrovalva' that's probably for the best. The way the Portreeve and Shardovan are written (as on TV) so that the former appears to be a kindly old man whereas the latter seems to be the Master in disguise (in the event the reverse is true) is a nice idea, and the 'Master in disguise' element is one that would be reused in 'Time-Flight' and 'The King's Demons'.
Simon Power's sound effects are of course brilliant when we get them, though I would have liked more - though with nearly half the book set in the TARDIS this might have proved difficult. My one quibble is the Cloister Bell sound: personally I think the other-worldy sound of the TV bell is better than the simple church bell Power employs here.
Overall, this is a strong release, and I must say I love the cover artwork; whod've thought Ben Willsher, he of the satirical cartoon printed with DWM's DVD review, was also able to produce something of this beauty?

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