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William Hartnell: The Lost Stories - THE MYTH MAKERS

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Author Topic: William Hartnell: The Lost Stories - THE MYTH MAKERS  (Read 645 times)
Vampyros Adric
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« on: January 03, 2011, 07:26:20 pm »

First the good news; this is the last of the 'Lost Episodes' box set. Unfortunately for you, dear friends, there is another box set with some more missing stories for me to review Smiley I do so love my audio adventures and feel an almost missionary zeal to spread the word about these little gems. I hope my last few reviews have given you a little taste of these and with Amazon knocking out the Lost Episodes box set for an indecent 33 (normally it retails for anything up to 70) it is an ideal chance to get acquainted with some vintage Doctor Who from a different time, but clearly with the same DNA as the very latest Matt Smith stories.



THE MYTH MAKERS

Its blurb time....

The Doctor has adopted many guises in his time, but to be hailed as the great god Zeus is a bit of a shock. Yet this is exactly what happens when the TARDIS lands on the plains of Asia Minor, not far from the city of Troy. Taken to the Greek camp by Achilles, the Doctor is introduced to Agamemnon and Odysseus and forced to admit his less-than-godlike status. He is then given just 2 days to come up with a strategy for defeating the Trojans.

Meanwhile, Steven and Vicki have been taken prisoner by the other side. The Trojans are convinced that Vicki is a spy - and to prove her loyalty she must concoct a plan to defeat the Greeks! Like the Doctor, she has just two days to do it.

Luckily for the Doctor, a certain someone has already devised a scheme for beating the Trojans. Even if the wooden horse was invented for a piece of fiction written in the eighth century, it still works. As the opposing forces come face to face in a climactic battle, there are dangers aplenty for both Steven and Vicki. By the time the TARDIS moves away again, it will have both lost and gained a crew member..


Let us make no bones about it, this story is an absolute cracker! I am a little one-eyed about this story so an objective review is almost impossible for me to produce. What I will instead try to do is give a list of reasons as to why I have enjoyed this story so much...

At the heart of the story (and every good story that this franchise has ever produced) is a crackling performance by the Doctor. Hartnell shines in this story showing a comic touch which betrays his early acting roots. He clearly is more comfortable with this style of story as opposed to those with a more scientific basis. The supporting cast is excellent with Max Adrian's charismatic performance as King Priam particularly impressing.

However, a workman is only as good as his tools, and all of the cast should be thankful for a beautifully written and well crafted script. Donald Cotten has produced a witty, fast paced and highly literate script. Admittedly there are a few liberties taken with the history of the time but these are eminently forgivable when balanced against the needs of story-telling. The final episode is a joy to behold with comedy, tragedy, pathos and melancholy playing against each other and beautifully realised by the performers. The departure of one of the TARDIS regulars and the serious injury to another is almost brutal in the way it is portrayed and this just adds to the general feeling that this story is something special. Occasionally the script tends to be a bit wordy in places and it can be a little difficult to keep ones concentration but actually, this tends to assist the aural experience rather than hinder it. As always, Peter Purves provides an excellent linking narrative and Mark Ayres and the restoration team do a first class job in cleaning up the original source material.

And that, normally, would be that. A first class story which is rollocking good fun yet with a brutal sting in the tail. However, I cannot leave the review without also recommending the Audiobook of the Target Novel which is available now on Amazon for about 5.



This novel, written by Donald Cotten and read by Stephen 'Omega' Thorne is a wonderful counterpoint to the audio soundtrack and is an excellent example of the type of writing which helped us slightly older fans to access the stories in the days before DVDs and VHS.

I really hope you have enjoyed my reviews of the first tranche of missing stories. I will start on the second box set shortly...beginning with a genuinely thrilling audio soundtrack involving Daleks, Mavic Chen and the death of two companions....

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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2011, 07:47:50 pm »

You know, I ain't a massive follower of the audio's and I am little bit more lax with the classics that I should be, but there is something about this story that has made me always want to watch/hear it. I think its mainly due to my obsession with all things Ancient Greece. I also, through reading about the story, absolutely love how Vicki's story concludes. Such a brilliant way to leave. Also, the introduction of Katarina excites me as I would love to see how she reacts to her new surroundings (though I know that's in the next story rather than this one).

You may just have persuaded me to purchase Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2011, 10:01:21 pm »

I absolutely adore this story. It was one of the first I actively sought out. Like Roranicus, it was the type of story that I knew I would love based on the setting alone and I wasnt dissapointed. Its a rich offering with great scenes and superb acting from all involved and I also love how it all concludes at the end. This review is spot on (as is usual for Mr. Adric's reviews:) ) and I would definately reccomend it to anyone who is a fan of historicals and great DW stories in general
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2011, 06:20:02 pm »

We obviously have great tastes Tongue

I am definately going to get this and listen to it. You never know, I may even dip my toe in the water and give it my own review Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2011, 07:03:09 pm »

We obviously have great tastes Tongue

I am definately going to get this and listen to it. You never know, I may even dip my toe in the water and give it my own review Smiley

Would love to hear your thoughts on it. I think it is quite unique in the early years as being a story that could almost drop in to Nu-Who without any really tinkering. Both the Soundtrack and the Audiobook Novel are very much worth it and actually give you a slightly different take on the story
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2011, 07:24:42 pm »

Yes, you should definately give a review. We are on a mission to convert everyone to audio by the time series 6 starts Smiley

I havent said already, but this really is a brilliant story and it translated so well to audio that you can just get lost in it. Such a shame that nothing really survives of it for the screen but everyone should listen to the audio at least once.
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2011, 06:19:58 pm »

This story is absurdly brilliant which makes its loss all the more of a shame. It is probably the story I have listened to more than all the others and it never gets old. Your review of this, and in fact all of the missing stories, have been spot on and a brilliant read Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2015, 06:47:13 pm »

I think the story is intriguing and the script is witty but, aside from a few decent performances, the acting is not too good. The mix between violence and comedy works well but tell me, please: How long could Vicki keep up her Cressida act? 2 years 1 year, 6 months, 2 months?

Fun Fact: The actor who plays Agamemnon, Francis de Wolff, was also the Vasor, the lechorous trapper in The Keys of Marinus.
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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2016, 12:24:29 pm »

I think the story is intriguing and the script is witty but, aside from a few decent performances, the acting is not too good. The mix between violence and comedy works well but tell me, please: How long could Vicki keep up her Cressida act? 2 years 1 year, 6 months, 2 months?

Fun Fact: The actor who plays Agamemnon, Francis de Wolff, was also the Vasor, the lechorous trapper in The Keys of Marinus.

I think it's acted really well throughout, personally, and it's one of my favourite lost story audios. As for how long she could keep up the act, I don't think it really matters. Doctor Who had a great way back then of tossing a character out and then forgetting they ever existed. I don't think we're meant to think on it too much.
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