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Reviews for Tales from New Earth

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Great, just needed to be more confident

By:Jared Star, Portsmouth, United States
Date:Wednesday 27 October 2021
Rating:   7

Great set, just needed more confidence in itself

This set did a really great job at expanding the world of New Earth. Both inside New New York and beyond. It really takes a great approach to expand upon the different religions and species that were introduced in episodes like “New Earth” and “Gridlock.” It has more of a Companion Chronicles approach to its production (partly narrative, partly acted). Being a fan of that series, it was easy to slip into that format. Plus, having a series set in a Doctor Who location, but without the Doctor, himself is a cool idea. Until the Doctor actually popped in, that is.

I was invested in seeing the inexperienced Devon grow over the four-hour box set and really come into his own, but unfortunately, the Doctor won’t let him. When the Doctor comes in, he completely takes center stage and Devon is stuck in the role of secondary companion (as the second main character of the episode usually does more than him). I even forgot Devon was there at some points when Tennant’s incarnation took over. You can tell 10 was just thrown in because Big Finish was worried the box set wouldn’t sell. But honestly, it doesn’t need him there for any of the episodes, much less two of them.

My favorite from the box set is the last story, “The Cats of New Cairo.” It really invested me in the world-building and the hierarchy of cats. Plus, it felt like a properly epic conclusion. It was exciting hearing the main villain shout to all the underlings, and even though you can’t see anything, you get a very clear picture of how screwed the world is going to be! There are some places of patchwork in the episode and the denouement is rushed, but that doesn’t detract from the episode much. The rest of the audio definitely makes up for it.

Now, I will give a few notices. If you are sensitive to PC stuff, you’ll be fine with this set. The main character is gay, but he’s an actual character and not used as a political concept. He’s written very maturely.
For those that swing the other way, I will put out a trigger warning. This set deals in the “bury your gays” trope. It’s not just there to be there, it does have a narrative purpose as fuel for Devon’s character, but it is still there and something the entire box set is kinda reliant on. This one might be worth a skip if that bothers you.

All in all, this is not a “blow your socks off” story, but it is a lot better and deeper than what people who haven’t listened to it give it credit for. The characters are fun, the stories are consistent, and it’s easy to re-listen to. I recommend trying this one if you see it on a sale sometime.

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