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Reviews for The Lost Stories: The Fourth Doctor Box Set

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The return of last!

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Sunday 25 March 2012
Rating:   10

If The Foe From The Future would have made it to the screen all those years ago, I bet it would have been frowned upon for its nasty content. But it wouldnt have been by me. And one is just so glad to hear a genuine action horror fest on audio, and I have to say this story is one of the finest big finish plays so far, of any of the series. Tom Baker returns triumphantly, definitely sounding his age but still delivering that knockout Doctor performance of his! And alongside the brill Louise Jameson returning as Leela, its just a great veritable feast for this class Who freak! The acting by all involved is flawless and the pace , despite six episodes of length, is frentic and goes along like no mans business! The Pantofagen are a brilliant monster, and maybe wouldnt have been justice on the screen all those years ago in the seventies, but boy, now on audio!!!! A quality story brilliantly written by John Dorney, this bloke is great.

The Valley of Death also should have been done. But the budget would never have stretched to meet this Lost World style thriller sci fi fest. The aliens are interesting and the pace again flows along very nicely indeed. Tom and lOuise again truly impress, and Im looking forward to getting the forst series of Doctor Who fourth doctor tales from Bfp in the very near future. If they are anything like these two stories, then the future of the fourth doctor is secured!

Quite Classic

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Tuesday 24 September 2013
Rating:   8

The two lost stories combined here provide an interesting glimpse into the Doctor Who that might have been. "The Foe from the Future" was originally supposed to be the series ender in 1977, but proved unworkable given television standards at the time, so "Talons of Weng-Chiang" was quickly substituted. "Foe" begins in the Gothic style of the time, with ghosts, a lonely English village, a haunted mansion, and a crumbling church. By the second half, however, it has become more straightforward science fiction than much of what had been produced in the Hinchcliffe era. Baker and Jameson work well together. The script, even at 6 parts, is fast-paced and manages to avoid endless capture-rescue-capture plotting that slowed down some of the longer stories. There are a few too many confrontations between the Doctor and Jalnik, all of which happen in pretty much the same way. The jokes are not too egregious. Baker's delivery is a bit slower than would have been in the 1970s, but that's age for you.

"Valley of Death" starts as a kind of Lost World story for the first two parts, then becomes something a bit like the early parts of "Shada" in the next two parts. Baker has picked up speed a bit in this story and seems more comfortable returning to the Doctor role. Whereas "Foe" was produced as a pastiche of Hinchcliffe era, "Valley" is produced as a pastiche of Williams era Doctor Who, when the original storyline had been submitted. Thus, there is much more off-the-cuff joking and less attention to plot logic than in "Foe." The story itself is, as the extras commentary says, "bonkers." In particular, the magical properties of the Lurian sun just make no sense whatsoever.

The set comes with an extra disc of about an hour of interviews with the cast. This is mostly in the typical "everything is wonderful" making-of style that one expects from these things, and not much is here to edify.

In sum: The stories are well produced to recreate the feel of this period in Doctor Who history. In this respect, the writers got things absolutely right. "Foe" is in general the better story because even though longer it is more tightly plotted and more careful about its dialogue.

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