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Interesting, But Too Long

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Monday 17 July 2006
Rating:   7

With Doctor Who out of action on TV, fans within the BBC decided to resurrect an old idea - do it on radio. They reassembled an old team - Doctor 3, Sarah, and the Brigadier, got Pertwee-era producer Barry Letts to write the script, and then hoped for the magic of yesteryear to emerge. The result both does and does not meet expectation. On the one hand, the story idea itself is quite interesting. The idea of the rather obviously named rapine is another good one. Both key in on the anti-capitalist, pro-environment flavor of the Pertwee years. The radio format allows for Letts to go big and not worry about budget and appearance. The regulars are all excellent, returning to their roles as if they had never left them. Of the "guest" cast, Peter Miles is the standout, with smooth, convincing delivery. Radio is the idea format for his extraordinary voice. The character of Jeremy FitzOliver, on the other hand, just does not fit in. Perhaps he is there to lighten the load on what is a somewhat grim story, but I tend more toward the Doctor's annoyance with him than finding anything comic in his behavior. The bits that do not work so well involve Onya and the natives, and the whole Skyland segment. All are there mostly to deliver awkward and preachy speeches of a quasi-zen philosophy. On the whole, though, this was quite entertaining. Final reason to listen: The Brigadier has the hots for Onya.

If only BBC had made more than 2

By:John Saltzburg, Philadelphia, PA USA
Date:Thursday 14 January 2010
Rating:   10

Created in the dead time of 1993-1996 when the classic series was off the air BBC radio used three old regulars to create this wonderful drama. Each episode runs for a traditional tv lenght and replicates the standard Pertwee longer story. the beauty of radio is that you can see Nick Courtney as he was in 75 no 93. the story is well paced the villians are excellent too. I wish they had done many more expecially since Jon was a veteran of radio and we never got to hear a BF with him.

A great comeback in two tales overall!

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Friday 10 December 2010
Rating:   9

Good on yer mate!

This is what I say to Jon Pertwee for having the sense to realise that Doctor Who could work just as well on radio as it did for all those years with the classic series run. Jon Pertwee too gave one of the finest and most assured of performances as the errant Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterberous. He always seemed to command attention as soon as he appeared on the screen. And his moral focus and centre was very strong and very appealing and pleasing to me then and now. Liz Sladen and Nick Courtney too just slide so effortlessly back into the roles that made them both household names. Sarah and the Brigadier were always two of the best companions in the classic series. Its good to hear Peter Miles again too, again playing a sadistic nutter, here perhaps even more of a git than in Genesis of the Daleks. And what is also nice is to hear Maurice Denham again too, always a very fine and respectable actor.

The pace of this tale is a little better than the Ghosts of N-Space, with a lot less padding on the whole. I cracked up with the totally human scene of the Doctor and Jeremy lambasting a car driver! What a brilliant little nugget in what is overall a very strong return for the third Doctor and the UNIT crew.

"Dont let them both be eaten, a corpse might be good publicity" strikes the note of how sick and disturbed Barry Letts makes the Parakon people appear and sound within this story. A new brand of psycho in the vein of the Master and Shockeye and all those brilliant villains of the past.

The later episodes still do seem to stretch on a bit too long though, with less action than the first two episodes. But all along the way there are some rather interesting points, and good use is made of the central premise of the story. The characters all are well rounded and well voiced.

Thanks Barry for making such a welcome comeback for the third Doctor, thanks for getting it nearly right! (Sad, now even Barry has gone) And thanks to the BBC for producing this very good story overall. Gratitude in abundance!

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