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Reviews for The Peterloo Massacre

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Harrowing and yet riveting Historical...

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Friday 9 December 2016
Rating:   10

Paul Magrs is a brilliant writer, I've always known that ever since his Stones of Venice script for Paul McGann all those years ago when Big Finish was in its infancy. But since then he has written the superb Nest Cottage Chronicles which is a must for any Tom Baker and Paul Magrs fan. And now we have this sublime and really decent and sad hard hitting story.
I had never even heard of the Peterloo Massacre before I heard this title. I am so ignorant with many parts of history. But I am always really interested to hear and learn about these unexplored regions of history.

So I came to this story really looking forward to see if it would deliver. And yes, it damn well did. I would even go so far as to say this could seriously attack Arrangements for War as my favourite Big Finish Doctor Who story ever. This story has so many extremely well drawn and acted characters. You really really feel for them as the horrendous events of the Massacre in Manchester slowly unfold. History is sometimes shocking and brutal. And I was disgusted that yes, here is another event that really took place. It must have harrowing for those who had to really go through this.

Sarah Sutton as Nyssa gets the chance to shine again here. Her moral and friendly and charming core are really tested by her becoming friends the servant girl and her fated little baby boy Peter. I had to choke back tears when the poor mite..well, I wont give too much away but to say Sarah has never been better as Nyssa. We get to see her angry and dead set on seeing the wrong doers brought to justice. Sarah is sublime all the time but here she just cranks it up a notch.

And Peter and Janet need no talking about either. They are both brilliant as ever, the Fifth Doctor was always underrated and yet here is a story that proves to me why he is not a bad Doctor at all. No, Peter is a first class actor and a phenomenal Doctor. And its always great to hear Janet back as Tegan. She is the best gobby Australian who ever lived in fiction!!! And well again back to Peter, He has been given a fantastic story here and it is fair to say that this is one of the very strongest historicals that Big Finish has ever done.

I really cant overpraise this story. This is what real drama is all about. Its sad the new series has seemed fit to give up on the pure historicals. This story more than proves that this notion is a serious mistake. A fantastic story indeed.

Excellent Pure Historical for Doctor 5

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Monday 4 April 2022
Rating:   8

Paul Magrs seems to have found what he is good at when writing for Doctor Who, and surprisingly, it's the historical. His "Lady of Mercia" worked quite well in mixing the science fiction with the history. This time around, once the TARDIS crash lands in 1819, it's pure historical along the lines of the 1964 historicals. Doctor 5, Tegan, and Nyssa get caught up in the events of the Peterloo Massacre, when local Manchester authorities overreacted to a labor protest march, essentially treating the protesters as if they were an enemy army. The TARDIS team first get involved with the family of a local factory owner, a self-made man who overcompensates by bullying his workers in the names of money and progress. Magrs splits up the TARDIS team so that the listener can learn about three sides to the event - the rich and powerful side, the workers' side, and the militia's side. By making the story in essence a family drama, Magrs can keep the three perspectives strongly intertwined. Also, with the requirements of a Doctor Who historical, he avoids his usual indulgences in kitsch and whimsy that so mar much of his other writing for Doctor Who. The one problem, if it is a problem, is the grim inevitability of these stories. The Doctor knows, and thus we know, just how horrible the events will be. We also know that there is no way to stop them. And, in a rare moment, we get to hear Doctor 5 become angry and outraged, a turn that Davison handles very well. It's a good listen.

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