Media Tie-Ins

Star Trek: Captain's Glory. Written by William Shanter (with Judith & Garfield - Stevens). $TBA.

This is the third and final book in William Shanter's  Totality series, the pervious two were Captain's Peril, & Captain's Blood. The novel is set after the events of Star Trek Nemesis, and pits Kirk against Picard, when the alien species the Totality spreads itself across the Federation. And who is friend or foe becomes almost impossible to know. Picard sides with his superiors, Kirk not so sure goes it alone to once again save his friends, his family, and the Federation once more.

When reading a William Shanter inspired Star Trek story, especially when in the Next Generation era of Star Trek always take it with a grain of salt. As you get the feeling when Shanter writes Kirk, there is ego involved, and Kirk is the action hero, and Picard is simply the side-kick, who gets it wrong, and Kirk must put Picard right and save the day. This story is no different, and best way to enjoy the story is just go along for the ride. With Judith & Garfield Reeves - Stevens riding shot gun, they help keep Shanter centred (more around Star Trek lore) and will give the reader one very good action / adventure, and one heck of a roller - coaster ride.

I enjoyed this story, as it plays like a Star trek movie, the writers mix it up with characters from the Original, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager series, just how I wanted the next movie to be, and alias something us the fans will never get. So I guess this book is the next best thing. So enjoy.

Doctor Who: Monster's On Earth. BBC Audio (7 x CDs). $TBA.

This is an interesting audio CD release as these stories 2 from the Pertwee years (The Silurians, & the Sea Devils), and 1 from the Peter
Davison (Warriors from the Deep) years are intact both in picture & sound. Though in some ways an excellent choice as all these stories are
epic in scope and the budget they allowed in the day was the stories
let-down, especially the pantomime monster from Warriors from the Deep.
So having these stories on audio with narrative links is a great idea as
your imagination takes over and in your minds eye the budget is whatever
you want it to be.

The Silurians is an excellent story.
Which was the second story of  season seven which was Jon Pertwee's series as the Doctor. Which has the original dominate species wanting to claim the planet Earth back by wiping out all humans, he Doctor looks for a more peaceful solution, while the Brigadier looks at a more dire approach. Thought provoking and a good hard look at the human id. Amazing when you think this story is 30 plus years old, and still very current, and the programme is design with children in mind again amazing. The linking narration is done by Caroline John.

The next story is the Sea Devils which has cousins to the Silurians the Sea Devils wakening to claim back there world. This story was the third story of season nine. In many ways a rehash of  the Silurians. Though it's saving graces, is the whole Master sub-plot, and the well written characters for the Doctor to interact with. The linking narration is done by Katy Manning.

The third and last story comes from Peter Davison's era of Doctor Who. Warriors from the Deep was the first story from Season 21. A very good story, simple in approach but very effective. The Doctor arrives with his companions in Earth's distance future. The world is again at war, and once again the Silurians & Sea Devils try and take back their world. Similar to the pervious two stories but this one is more action / adventure, and a quicker pace, which works well. The linking narration is by Janet Fielding.

At the end of each story are rather good interviews with the linking  narrators of each story. The packaging is rather cool also which is a colourful tin, with the discs well package inside, and this release is a limited edition and each tin box is numbered. Reviewed by Mike B.

Doctor Who: The Price of Paradise (2x CD). Written by Colin Brake (Read by Shaun Dingwall). $TBA

The Doctor & Rose find themselves on the planet Laylora where everything is not as it seems. Where a young human has been raised by the natives, and a space-ship has crash-landed by a crew of explorers, the Doctor smells a mystery, and one to be reviled if  to bring balance back to the planet.

Shaun Dingwell (Pete Tyler in the Doctor Who TV series) does a good job narrating and does pretty good 10th Doctor impersonation.  I believe the story is somewhat predictable, but the story's saving grave is the characters who are well written, and could of come from the pen of Robert Holmes himself. There are some good sequences also, and the inter-play between Rose & the Doctor is well played also.

All in all a nice little time-waster, and I believe worth the purchase if you are a fan of the Doctor Who series. Reviewed by Mike B.

Doctor Who: The Invasion. 3 x CD. $TBA

Just recently this title was released onto DVD with the missing episodes 1 & 3 animated. Which is very excellent, and well worth the set down to watch. Now another way to go is this release which is the original audio track of the 7 episodes spread over 3 audio CDs, with linking narration provided by Frazer Hines (Jamie).

The story centres around the TRADIS crash-landing on Earth, and the Doctor (Patrick Troughton) must go on a hunt for components to repair his ship. The Doctor and his companions Jamie & Zoe soon happen across the megalomaniac Tobias Vaughn who it seems is in league with someone or something quite alien. The Doctor decides to investigate further which soon has him cross paths with the newly formed UNIT.

This is an epic story, thrilling, eerie, creepy and a brilliant action adventure, and why this story shines on audio is where the special effects of its time lets the story down in places, on CD you can use your imagination which is of cause endless. I also like the classic Who's in this format because with the linking narration you can listen to it in the car, on way to work or where ever or what ever.

I am very please to have this title on CD as much as I do having this release on DVD.  Revieved  by Mike B.

Doctor Who: The Feast of the Drowned (2 x CD). Written by Stephen Cole (Read by David Tennant). $29.95RRP.

The Feast of the Drowned has the Doctor and Rose visiting a friend of Rose. Who had lost her brother who was lost at sea when the ship he served on sunk with all its crew. The night they visiting and when Doctor is out getting fishing & chip Rose & friend are visited to what appears to the ghost of the friends dead brother. The Doctor soon arrives and smells the makings of good mystery to solve.

I believe the story has good flow, I for one found this story eerie and a bit menacing in places, also what help this story along was the twist and turns it took, and like the classic series before it the story did have that feel of breaks which in turn climaxed on a cliff-hanger. David Tennant is the man, and reads the story with great gutso, and there are times you will believe you are listening to a play not book.

I found this story very good, the story as I mention before had a good amount of twists and turns, which had me having to listen to this audio book in one hit and that is 2 hour and 30 minutes, but well worth it. And with the colder weather coming on what better way to spend a day inside when it is wet and horrible outside, and especially if you are a fan of the Doctor Who TV series. Reviewed by Mike B.

Doctor Who: The Resurrection Casket (2 x CD audio book).Written by Justin Richards (Read by David Tennant). $29.95RRP.

In the genre of science fiction I am a huge sucker for space opera especially when it is neatly wrapped around a good old fashion boy’s adventure, and this is what you get with this Doctor Who adventure, “The Resurrection Casket”.

The Doctor and Rose arrive on the planet of Starfall where technology does not work, and this includes the TARDIS. A world filled with stream powered robots as well as streamed power star-ships, and world filled of legends and one done as great as the dread pirate Hamlek Glint, and his long lost treasure, and the legend around Glint’s greatest treasure the resurrection casket. And there is one thing the tenth Doctor enjoys and that is a good mystery and especially one which involves a treasure hunt.

A very good story which is so much more than Treasure Island meets the Doctor. Good characters, I particularly like the apologetic monster great stuff, some what of a light and whimsical story, that has the occasional shock to keep you interested. David Tennant does another great reading, that has you fall into the story, and everything comes alive in your mind’s eye. The world that Justin Richards has created is brilliant, and I hope he takes us to this world again, as I believe there are more stories to explore in this micro-universe he has created in the much larger Doctor Who universe. Reviewed by Mike B.

Doctor Who: The Smugglers (2 x Audio CD). ISBN 0-563-53504-0. $TBA.

This audio release is of one of the missing Doctor Who adventures. Sadly none of Smuggler episodes survive only its audio track survived. This story is spread over four episodes (2 episodes per disc) with linking narration provided by Anneke Wills.

This was the front story of Doctor Who Season Four, the season in which the Doctor regenerates for the first time. Before then William Hartnell's Doctor goes off on one last historical adventure which is this story the Smugglers. The Doctor (William Hartnell), and companions Ben (Michael Craze), and Polly (Anneke Wills) arrive on a remote and wild stretch of Cornish coast, in the 17th Century. They soon become catch up in a smuggling ring, and the fearsome pirate Samuel Pike with a spike (for a hand).

This story first aired in the UK way back in 1966 on the second, third, fourth, month of September, and first week of October which makes this story 40 years (for a little trivia one the days one of these episodes screened I was born). I think this is a great send off for William Hartnell, firstly with this old fashion boy’s adventure, to the next very good science fiction story The Tenth Planet (the first Cybermen story). Like I said very much a boys adventure, think the Doctor lands in the middle of Treasure Island. The smuggling side of the story is well played and interesting. And the "Well by Thunder..." Samuel Pike is for me delightfully nostalgic, like I said fond memories of the boy’s adventures I watched as a child.

Highly enjoyable, had great fun listening to this one. Still sad the video side of things do not exist of the Smugglers anymore. Reviewed by Mike B.

Doctor Who: The Savages (2 x Audio CD). ISBN 0-563-53502-4. $TBA

This is another lost Doctor Who adventure. The linking narration is done by Peter Purves. This is another story where only the audio remains. Now if I understand correctly the reason why the audio remains (tell me if I am not), is way before the VHS, fans of the series recorded the stories on tape. A little while back the Beep ask for these tapes, cleaned them up brought in a actor who played a companion in that story got them to do the linking narration, and wola you have the likes of this title available to buy on CD (yes I just gave the short short version).

This story has the Doctor (William Hartnell), and companions Steven (Peter Purves), and Dodo (Jackie Lane), land on an apparently tranquil world and the inhabitants there known as the Elders welcome the travellers with open arms. The Doctor soon discovers a dark secret, and decides he must put a stop to it.

The Savages first screen in the UK half way through 1966 and was the second to last story of Season Three. This is the last story the companion Steven appears in. Not a bad send off, and it seems some thought went into how they would do this. The supporting characters in this story are good especially Jano (Frederick Jaeger). The story itself its not bad, not the most memorable of stories. However it is not bad either, I am pleased I now have this one to go to time and again. Reviewed by Mike B.

Doctor Who: The Enemy of the World (2 x Audio CDs). ISBN 0-563-53503-2. $TBA

The Enemy of the World is another Lost Doctor Who television adventure (Though episode 3 does remain). This title was released a little while ago but is still available to buy here in New Zealand. This six part adventure was first screened in the UK at the end of 1967, and the start of 1968. The Linking narration is provided by Frazer Hines. This story was the fourth story of the fifth season of Doctor Who.

This story has the Doctor (Patrick Troughton), Jamie (Frazer Hines), and Victoria (Deborah Watling), arrive on Earth in the not far distant future, where they soon find themselves in the way of a madman wanting to take over the world, the twist is he looks identical to the Doctor. Very good story in my opinion I possibly like this one because I am a James Bond fan, and there are similarities between this story and a James Bond adventure. For one the globe trotting sides of things, and Salamander (Patrick Troughton) could have come straight from an Ian Fleming novel. I also believe what makes this story worth the listen to is the budget of this story is as big as what your own imagination is.

Perhaps a little padded in places, and maybe as a 5 part story the story on the whole would be tighter, however, I myself enjoyed this one. And remember you don’t have to listen to the story all in one go. Reviewed by Mike B.

Doctor Who: The Space Pirates (2 x Audio CDs). ISBN 0-563-53505-9. $TBA.

This Lost adventure plays over 6 episodes. Episode 2 is the only remaining episode of this Who adventure. This was the sixth story of the Sixth Season of Doctor Who. Season Six was in addition Patrick Troughton’s last season as the Doctor. The linking narration is provided by Frazer Hines.

This story centres around the Doctor (Patrick Troughton), and companions Jamie (Frazer Hines), and Zoe (Wendy Padbury) arriving on a space beacon, which blows up in pieces, the Doctor and his companions find themselves trapped on a piece of the beacon separated from the TARDIS. They soon find themselves rescued by the eccentric Milo Clancey (Gordon Gostelow). The Doctor soon sees a mystery to unravel which is around a band of pirates that strike out at anything of worth, then mysteriously disappear. Then there is the other matter will he ever be reunited with the TARDIS again.

An interesting story in that it is slightly different than some of the other stories before it. What I like about this story is it is a Western in Space, and what is very cool is this story was decades before Joss Whedon’s Firefly. Anyhow in my opinion a well spaced story, with some nice twists and turns, and some equalily predictable ones. The soundtrack is very good, and eerie. Turn the lights out for this one and let it was over you.

A very good piece of science fiction / space opera with soon very good ideas, and surprise surprise it just happens to be a Robert Holmes story. Reviewed by Mike B.

Doctor Who: Fury From the Deep (2xAudio CDs). ISBN0563524103. $TBA.

This is the classic 6 - part 'lost' television adventure, which features the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton), and his companions Victoria (Deborah Watling), and Jamie (Frazer Hines). This was Victoria's farewell story, and was the second to last story for Doctor Who's Fifth Season. The only surviving footage of this story are various censored clips, so having this story on audio, for me is very much a good thing. Linking narration is by Frazer Hines.

The story is set around strange happenings in the north east of England at a gas refinery. It seems the people at the refinery are being taken over by an alien force, and it is up to Doctor to put the stop to this. Possibly one of the more frightening Dr. Who stories, especially concerning the characters Quill & Oak. As 6-part Doctor Who stories go, yes there is a bit of padding here and there, and remembering these early stories were not suppose to be watched, or in the instead listen to all in one hit so to speak. So as a story over six weeks, you need that odd recapping here and there so as not to loose the viewer, so with saying all that. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this story. Patrick Troughton, is just great as the Doctor, and this story proves just how good he was in the role. As I said earlier, a bit scary in places, so perhaps not one to listen in the dark, with it's menacing sounds, and equally creepy soundtrack.

All in all a good solid Doctor Who adventure. And one that show cased the talents of Patrick Troughton. Oh and for a little trivia this is where the Doctor's trusty sonic screwdriver makes its first appearance. Reviewed by Mike B.

Doctor Who: Marco Polo (3 x Audio CDs). ISBN 0563535083. $TBA.

Marco Polo which many deem one of the best William Hartnell Doctor Who stories, is available on audio CD. All the 7 episodes of Marco Polo (The Roof of the World, The Singing Sands, Five Hundred Eyes, The Wall of Lies, Rider From Shang-Tu, Mighty Kublai Khan, and Assassin at Peking) were destroyed by the BBC in the 1970s. Now why has the audio remained, please tell me if I am wrong before the video recorder, people would record them on audio tape. BBC requested these tapes had them cleaned up, brought in a companion from that era to get them to narrate the the story where needed in this case William Russell (Ian) provides the narrative. "Hey presto", the missing stories are available on audio CD.

Marco Polo centres on the First Doctor (William Hartnell), Barbara (Jacqueline Hill), Ian (William Russell), and Susan (Carole Ann Ford) arriving in Central Asia in 1289. The TARDIS develops a fault and the Doctor and companions soon find themselves involved with the legendary Marco Polo (Mark Eden) whom they must journey with until the TARDIS is repaired.

I enjoyed this story. Epic in scope, a well written a story full of great twists and turns, and with some unexpected amusing moments example being the moment where the Doctor and Kublai Khan (Martin Miller) first meet. The sound quality is good. This release comes with a booklet about the story and a map detailing the journey the crew of the TARDIS take with Marco Polo. All up a very good story indeed. Reviewed by Mike B.

Doctor Who: The Underwater Menace (2 x Audio CDs). ISBN 0563535067. $TBA.

This four part adventure was part of the Fourth season of Doctor Who, and the first season with Patrick Troughton as the Doctor. Only episode 3 of this 1967 adventure remains in its entirety. This story has the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton), Polly (Anneke Wills), Ben (Michael Craze), and Jamie (Frazer Hines) arriving on the lost Kingdom of Atlantis. Where they soon become involved in plot that could see a mad scientist destroying the world.

An interesting story in where the villains ham it up to the max. So expect a lot of unexpected laughs. The plot is not the most complex, and centres around the Doctor and companions trying to make the population of Atlantis believe they are in terrible danger.

This release comes with the standard booklet. Linking narration is done by Anneke Wills. There is also a interview included on this disc with Anneke Wills about her time on Doctor Who. The sound quality is good, remembering the age of it. In the end an OK story but worth the listen to to hear Joseph Furst ham it as the mad scientist Professor Zaroff. Reviewed by Mike B.

Doctor Who: Evil of the Daleks (3 x Audio CDs). ISBN 0563525975. $TBA

This 7 part adventure first screen on UK television in 1967 and in New Zealand late 1970. Only episode 2 of this story remains in its entirety. The story starts directly on from The Faceless Ones where the Doctor (Patrick Troughton) and Jamie (Frazer Hines) have just said goodbye to Ben and Polly. They soon discover the TARDIS being taken away on the back of a truck. Once they find those reasonable for taking the TARDIS. They discover  the Daleks are involved and they are out to take over the galaxy once more. To do this they must have the human element. The Doctor sees this as his chance to defeat the Daleks once and for all. The Evil of the Daleks also introduces Victoria (Deborah Watling) as a companion for the Doctor and Jamie.

A good story to end Season Four with. This was the story that was to see the destruction of the Daleks. With that the Daleks would not appear until Season 9 with Jon Pertwee as the Doctor in the story The Day of the Daleks. I enjoyed Evil of the Daleks. A little surreal in places. What I mean by surreal a good example is when the Daleks with the human element start playing games.

The Sound quality is good, and the narration is done by Frazer Hines. I have been looking forward in listening to this release for quite a while, and have to say I was not disappointed when I finally did. Excellent stuff I can see why this is a favourite with Dr. Who fans, and I am looking forward in going back and listening to this story again. Reviewed by Mike B.

Doctor Who: The Wheel in Space (2 x Audio CDs). ISBN 0563535075. $TBA

The Wheel in Space first screen in the UK in 1968, and here in New Zealand in 1971. This 6 part story was the story that ended Season 5 of  Doctor Who. This was also the story that introduced Zoe played by Wendy Pabury as the fifth and final companion for Patrick Troughton's Doctor.

The Doctor (Patrick Troughton), and Jamie (Frazer Hines) journey to the far future where they find themselves on a Space Station. The station soon find itself under attack by the Cybermen and their Cybermats. The Doctor must put a stop to this and soon finds help in a brilliant yet young mathematician called Zoe.

Not a favourite with the fans as some see it as overlong and a little boring. Strange thing was I didn't. I liked it, for its thriller like quality. It may not be good as the classic Tomb of the Cybermen but I believe it comes very close, and far better than the latter Cybermen stories like Revenge, and the Silver Nemesis.

Only episode 3 & 6 of this story remains in its entirety. The sound quality I believe is good. The Linking narration is by Wendy Pabury. All up a underrated story that is well worth the listen to. Reviewed by Mike B.