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Tsar Wars by Paul Magrs
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Tom Baker is back, with another series of five Fourth Doctor audios by Paul Magrs: the new Serpent's Crest audios follow the Hornet's Nest and Demon Quest sequences of 2009 and 2010. The first story has some promising elements: rather than narration by one of the main characters with occasional interjections from others, as in the previous audios, we have a proper full cast drama; and Richard Franklin's Mike Yates is dropped from the story in the first scene, leaving us with the much more interesting Susan Jameson as the Doctor's companion, Mrs Wibbsey. The story takes us to a distant cosmic empire where cyborg rulers are struggling to maintain control both of themselves and of their subjects: the Tsar is played by Michael "Valeyard" Jayston, and Tom Baker doubles up as the sinister Father Gregory, forty years after the two of them played Nicholas II and Rasputin respectively in Nicholas and Alexandra. Suzy Aitchison gets a slightly better deal here as the Tsarina than Janet Suzman did in 1971. It's a surprisingly mainstream sfnal tale for all the Whovian trimmings - a little too pleased with itself, but could have been worse. ( )
  nwhyte | Sep 16, 2011 |
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In a distant galaxy, the Tsar and Tsarina rule over the Robotov Empire from the safety to their palace, whilst human workers tend the power plants on satellite moons. When the Doctor arrives with Mrs Wibbsey, his identity is immediately mistaken, and the Tsarina believes that her old ally, Father Gregory, has returned. But when the Palace comes under attack, the Tsar suspects him of treachery - container.… (more)

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