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Published on August 10th, 2006 | by Brian A Terranova

Audio Review: Time Works

The Doctor, Charley and C’rizz arrive on a planet where time is at a stand still, a land stuck between the “tick” and the “tock”, but it isn’t long before the Doctor can find trouble, even in a world standing still.

“Time Works” is a very enthralling story, so much so that I listened to it 3 times back to back. I just couldn’t get enough and every time I listened to it I found something new to enjoy.

As usual the TARDIS team are in top form, beautifully playing off of each other as if they had done so all their lives, but this time round they are joined by a one of the best casts to date. Every single character is memorable and, in their own way, enjoyable. But one truly stands out among the rest, Ronald Pickup as Kestorian.

In the Audio world you, obviously, have no faces to remember a character by, all you get are character descriptions and voices. Those voices can be so similar to another actor that you may find it hard to tell them apart, or you get a voice that is so interesting that you don’t want to stop hearing it.

In this case, when I heard the character Kestorian speak, I got a feeling of familiarity. It was as if a long lost friend was speaking to me and it wasn’t long before I brought up an association to this voice. To me it sounded very much like that of Aslan the lion from the BBC version of “The Chronicles of Narnia”. I was so convinced that I had to look him up and sure enough I was right. With a voice like Mr. Pickup’s the audio world would be a perfect home.

Your listening pleasure doesn’t stop there; the music and sound effects in this story help it to stand out as a classic. I honestly would suggest that Big Finish never use this score again, because doing so would be like sticking the Daleks in some other Sci Fi show and calling them Cylons. It would just take away from them impact and brilliance they had previously left you with.

Back to the story for a bit…

The crew are separated for a bit, but it isn’t long before Charley and C’rzz find the Doctor frozen in time about to lose his head, but they don’t seem to be the only ones able to move about freely in this stand still world, as they soon come face to non-face with the Clockwork Men. These faceless… well, clockwork men, are there to make sure that no one wastes time and if you do, you will be removed from it.

Hear, again, is the sound design I was mentioning before, the Clockwork Men are just eerie in their physical description as well as to your ear. The sounds make it easy to picture the cogs and parts moving towards you as they remove you from existence. And if they do not remove you from time, they make sure that you do as they instruct you to, or to be more precise, as they will you to. These bundles of cogs and sprockets are under the control of “The Figurehead” played to perfection by Tracey Childs, who can be heard in some great scenes with both the Doctor and C’rizz.

I would have to say that I am a big fan of the stories where the Doctor and companions get caught in a troublesome situation just by being there in the first place. No intervention, no being blamed for a murder, no preplanned mission, just the wrong place and the wrong time track. Even thought I am a fan of such stories I am hard pressed to find a suitable example after William Hartnell’s The Space Museum, but then maybe that is what makes this a captivating story.

It has been a while since the last time I couldn’t stop playing a story Big Finish has produced, don’t get me wrong I have enjoyed each and everyone for the most part, but there are a few gems that just make you wish they had the ability to make stories for TV, and “Time Works is one of them”.

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About the Author

Doctor Who and me go way back. I first discovered it on my local PBS Station WHYY in the suburbs outside Philadelphia when I was a young kid; though I am uncertain of the exact age.




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