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Four Adventures with the Doctor, Ace and Hex – Celebrating 45 Years of ‘Doctor Who’
This is a Sylvester McCoy ‘Doctor Who’ treat!
‘Forty-Five’ is a 2-disc CD comprising of four one-part stories in the similar vein of ‘Circular Time’. It stars Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor with Sophie Aldred as Ace and Phillip Olivier as Hex. This is a very significant Big Finish audio release, since it celebrates 45 years of ‘Doctor Who’ in 2008!
Each of the four stories in this audio CD release has the number 45 in them. I’ve had my CD cover of ‘Forty-Five’ signed by Sylvester McCoy; Sophie Aldred and Philip Olivier at ‘Doctor Who’ conventions! This is a CD release worth having, since its four exciting adventures in time and space!
You won’t regret listening to this one!
The first story, ‘False Gods’ by Mark Morris, is set in Thebes, Egypt, 1902. The Doctor, Ace and Hex meet the archaeologist Howard Carter and his team who discover a lost tomb and something deadly.
I liked the opening scene with the TARDIS trio in the TARDIS and this was the first time I heard Hex in an audio drama. I liked his scenes with the Doctor and Ace in this and how he questions the Doctor.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Philip Olivier at ‘Dimensions 2013’ in Newcastle, October 2013. He’s a great guy and I enjoyed chatting to him and Phillip thanked me for supporting for him as Hex.
Benedict Cumberbatch guest stars as Howard Carter. It was great to hear him in this Big Finish ‘Doctor Who’ audio drama, before he became famous and well known for ‘Sherlock’ and many films.
‘False Gods’ rating – 5/5
‘ORDER OF SIMPLICITY’
The second story, ‘Order of Simplicity’ by Nick Scovell, is set on the alien island Mendolovinia. The TARDIS trio meet Dr. Verryman, who conducts deadly mind control experiments on the human race.
I love the opening where the Doctor, Ace and Hex try to get into Verryman’s house out of the rain. Mrs. Crisp shuts the door in the Doctor’s face and it’s funny when he peaks through the letter box.
I’ve met Sylvester McCoy at conventions. I’ve enjoy his panels and him being funny and entertaining. I’ve chatted to him about these Big Finish audios and working with Sir Ian McKellen on ‘The Hobbit’.
I wouldn’t say this episode is the best out of the four, but it’s pretty enjoyable and I liked the atmosphere of it raining on an island. It’s so spooky and creepy inside Verryman’s gothic-like house.
‘Order of Simplicity’ rating – 3/5
‘CASUALTIES OF WAR’
The third story, ‘Casualties of War’ by Mark Michalowski, is a historical story set in the year 1945. The Doctor, Ace and Hex arrive in London on VE day, where a cockney spiv steals this alien truth device.
I liked how this episode touches on Ace and Hex. Ace’s meets her mother as a little girl and there are references to ‘The Curse of Fenric’. Hex discovers something his mother in connection to the Forge.
I’ve also met Sophie Aldred at conventions. Sophie is lovely and friendly and I enjoy chatting to her during signings. She puts so much into Ace and she’s very pleased I like her in these Big Finish audios.
I liked the last scene where Ace says goodbye to her mother Audrey as a girl in bed and gives her a kiss on the cheek. It’s a nice way to end this character-driven episode with the Doctor, Ace and Hex.
‘Casualties of War’ rating – 5/5
‘THE WORD LORD”
The fourth and final story, ‘The Word Lord’ by Steven Hall, is gripping and scary. The TARDIS team visit a secret bunker in Antarctica, 2045, as Nobody No-One, the Word Lord is about to wreak havoc.
Paul Reynolds as Nobody No-One is an impossible foe who exists in words. Nobody is a nasty piece of work. If you say ‘nobody goes through that door’, it’s literally means he’s going through that door.
I really like the TARDIS regulars’ performances in this. I like that first scene where the Doctor, Ace and Hex try to explain they’re not spies and the Doctor’s disturbed when he hears of the Word Lord.
There’s a moment of shock when somebody says ‘nobody to move’ and Nobody escapes. There’s an extra scene added after the end credits of this tale, as the Doctor, Ace and Hex return to the TARDIS.
‘The Word Lord’ rating – 4/5
The CD extras are as follows. On Disc 1, there’s a trailer for ‘The Raincloud Man’ with Colin Baker and India Fisher. At the end of Discs 1 and 2, there are behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew, including Sylvester McCoy; Sophie Aldred; Philip Olivier; Benedict Cumberbatch; etc.
I enjoyed ‘Forty-Five’ very much. I listened to this CD again for the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’ to celebrate the Seventh Doctor era. ‘Doctor Who’ has lasted for so long now, because there are so many stories to tell and I’ve enjoyed this special audio CD release with the Doctor; Ace and Hex in it!
Just to say, the Doctor has changed the desktop theme of his TARDIS into the Jules Verne gothic-type TARDIS from ‘The TV Movie’. It’s so brilliant to hear those three TARDIS regulars in the TV movie TARDIS set with its sound effects in the background and seeing them in the CD sleeve notes as well.
‘Forty-Five’ rating – 9/10
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