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Reviews for Hornets' Nest: The Complete Series

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A very very welcome comeback...

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Monday 11 January 2010
Rating:   9

Welcome back Tom. The BBC have finally persuaded good old Tom back for a set of five linked audio stories, but the overall question is...was it worth it? In my view I can answer that with a resounding YES.

These stories have to be good. Theyre all written by Paul Magrs for a start. One writer who is never ever predictable. He always creates good strong characters and odd situations.

Where these adventures succeed most is in fact the way it captures Tom's original period of Doctor Who so well. It has all the atmsophere and threats, whilst at the same time not being stupidly overcomplicated like some of the more modern Doctor Who stories.

And a great idea is in bringing back old Richard Franklin. Mike Yates was always an interesting character.

There is so much going for this series. It has a great central enemy, with the first four tales brilliantly written. Stuffed animals, wierd shoes, dead lion's mouths, pigs and nuns. Especially a Sting in the tale manages to capture a side of Tom rarely seen on TV, a more vulnerable Doctor perhaps, or at least one more prone to make mistakes.

If there are any flaws then it has to be the last part. Hive Of Horror is not at all bad in itself at all. There are many good moents in this concluding part, its just that after the eerie build up of an enemy supposedly very powerful, it all ends rather normally with a "typical" ending. But with a guy who claims to love simplicity, maybe i shouldnt be so harsh. What to recommend the last part? Mike being given more to do after a run of barely a few minutes per story. Rula Lenska giving a great performance as the Queen of the hive.
And great leading from Tom, who seems to have never even stopped being the fourth doctor.

Overall, a highly entertaining series, good acting and good set pieces. A good piece of relief from over done stories of the modern era. Carry on Tom!!!

Good voice acting/weak plot

By:R.Gary Land, Grand Rapids, United States
Date:Wednesday 15 June 2011
Rating:   5


The Hornets have to be the most incompetent villains to grace the Who-niverse. After being able to drift from planet to planet on the solar winds, and having supposedly wrecked previous planets, these former world beaters find themselves trapped in a pig, and captured by whiskeified nuns. The nuns, no great shakes themselves are, despite being in a stone fortress, none the less, unable to fend off wild possessed dogs and the hornets escape. The Doctor, sightseeing during this catastrophe brings the now hound encased swarm forward 500 or so years to Venice, but only after they possess him. However, once in Venice they abandon the Time Lord and Tardis and possess a young disfigured midget. Good strategy that! The midget will grow up to be the evil carnival leader in Circus of Doom. After taking hold of him, the would be world conquerors waste the next hundred and change years managing a demented circus and killing the odd local in their games. When confronted in the mid 1800s by the Doctor, the events culminate in them suiciding their new host for reasons that are hard to grasp and going dark for another 70s years, turning up in a pair of mummified feet in a seaside tourist trap in the 1930s. The hornets, who can control minds and change their size and the size of others have contented themselves to hiding in a Curio palace, and somehow take control of a dancer through a pair of shoes previously seen in the Circus episode. After bumbling through the adventure the Doctor saves the dancer and the bugs keep their world beating plans on hold again for unexplained reasons. Finally, as told in the first and last CDs the bugs take over a taxidermist and engage in random mayhem, ending up imprisoned in Nest Cottage with the Doctor as warden. The Doctor finally figures out which stuffed animal houses the Queen and uses one of the ballet slippers to shrink down and trick the queen...the end..Its nice to hear Baker and Franklin, but the villains were overly powerful and weak at the same time. One wonders why the Doctor didn't simply have the house fumigated and solve the problem. Its a mush and a muddle. Hope the Demon series is better done. This series is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Magrs and Sense Just Do Not Mix

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Sunday 25 January 2015
Rating:   4

We have to be thankful that this series brought Tom Baker back to playing the Doctor. It is a testament to how well he fits the role that there seems to be no break from 1981. That is all very good. After that first thrill, though, we have the thing itself to deal with. And the thing itself suffers mostly from its writer. Paul Magrs simply sees no reason to craft a plot that makes sense. This one seems to work by crafting what amounts to three short inside a frame tale comprising part 1 and part 5. We get a silly villain, many throw-away bits that are just there because Magrs thought it was clever or funny, and a very 19th-century feel to the whole thing even though it supposedly takes place in the 2000s. The cast is great; the vehicle disappointing.

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