The Light at the End-- SPOILER Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Brendan Moody, Oct 24, 2013.

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How would you rate The Light at the End?

  1. Excellent-- five out of five (Doctors)!

    21.4%
  2. Above Average-- great fun, but not quite a classic (Doctor)

    50.0%
  3. Average-- not good, not bad, just there

    28.6%
  4. Below Average-- a real disappointment

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Poor- I'd rather watch Dimensions in Time!

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What did you think of Big Finish's multi-Doctor anniversary special?
     
  2. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I voted average. Between this and The Sirens of Time, it's hard to escape the feeling that Nick Briggs just isn't a stylish enough writer to do a good multi-Doctor story. He does all right on the level of ideas-- the notion of the conceptual bomb is neat, a nice way to bring a well-loved minor element to the center of the story-- but on a line-by-line, scene-by-scene basis, he doesn't have enough flair to make it all fun. One or two of the jokes are really good, but they're all in familiar "the companions are confused"/"the Doctors mock each other" territory, and mostly not well-crafted enough to feel fresh. There's also not much of an event feel to it: for all the Master's maniacal chuckling, most of it just feels like the Doctors mucking about in a standard SF setting. In part that's because the plot takes forever to go anywhere: the whole first disc is different Doctors experiencing the same crisis in pretty much the same way, culminating in a cliffhanger that doesn't feel any more dramatic than half the other scene endings on the disc. Time folding in on itself turns into a cheap excuse to stop writing certain characters at any moment, creating a disjointed feeling that contributes to the lack of narrative momentum.

    Well, that all sounds pretty harsh. It's not that bad: it flows by at a reasonable pace for classic Who, there are some charming individual moments, and of course the actors give it their all. But for me, it's definitely a bit of a letdown.

    Was that a new terrible, bass-heavy version of the theme, or one of BF's established terrible, bass-heavy versions?
     
  3. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It was nice, but nothing Big Finish haven't done before. In fact, I'd probably say I prefer Zagreus.
     
  4. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Its not as good as The Three Doctors, but for me, its definitely better than The Five Doctors, Sirens of Time and The Four Doctors. And its has its share of Time Crash scenes in it - basically, the Fourth-Eighth Doctor meeting is simply wonderful. "Anyone else for cricket?" I loved a lot, too.

    Its not really an earth-shattering story, or one that breaks new ground, like its TV counterpart promises will do, but I for one enjoyed it fully. Every Doctor 4-8 had their moments, and the final track with the TARDIS is a lovely nod to the original theme of DW.

    THAT SAID, I will note my one nitpick, and thats William Russell's First Doctor voice... its just not very good. I didn't even realize I was supposed to be listening to him, and having him near the pretty-good-sounding Third Doctor and the great-sounding Second Doctor, it stuck like a sore thumb. I'm with Christopher - John Guilor all the way!

    So, I'll rate it 4 out of 5, but 5 out of 5 for sheer fun.
     
  5. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I didn't think any of the Doctor doubles were worth breaking BF's no-recasting policy over, especially since they weren't willing to go all the way and integrate them fully into the story. Plus the effect they were using to disguise/reflect the difference made them harder to hear.
     
  6. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    Iloved The Light at the End and it's probably my favorite multi-Doctor story for both the television series and the Big Finish audios. Lots of great humor and fun little moments, like Leela killing robots with a crossbow and Ace thinking the idea of The Doctor having multiple incarnations as wicked. I also loved how Charley called out The Fourth Doctor on failing to tell Leela about regeneration after he mused how The Eighth Doctor failed to tell her. The Fourth and Eighth Doctor pairing was especially inspired and I would love to see the two of them pairing up again sometime in the future.

    While I've found William Russell and Frazer Hines to emulate their respective Doctors brilliantly in the Companion Chronicles and Lost Stories, I found it a little hard to hear The First and Second Doctors this time around. This was probably because of the echoing sound effects used to distort their voices. I'm sure I'll have a better time hearing them in repeated listens. That being said, I thought Tim Treloar did a fair job as The Third Doctor. Honestly, I had a harder time picking out the various companion cameos because of the same distorting audio effect. As for the need to break the no recasting rule, I don't mind it so much in this one particular instance because of the way were utilized.

    I had hoped the "ghosts" The Doctors and companions kept seeing would remain vague enough in "Doctor count" to imagine that The Ninth through Twelve Doctors (and beyond) were somehow present, too. But, alas, the story proved to demonstrate that only the first eight Doctors were involved. I guess one could say that the Time War prevented The Master from pulling them into his scheme.

    The story might have been a little light but it had some neat ideas such as the conceptual bond and the simple solution of defeating The Master's scheme. Considering I'm in the minority in regards to Zagreus (I loved it) and how much I loved this story, perhaps I've lighten up over the years in regards to the silly adventures of multi-Doctor adventures and perhaps I should give The Five Doctors another go, since I've never really enjoyed it.

    A few stray observations:

    I simply loved the creepy image of The Master talking to The Fifth Doctor and Nyssa from the middle of the test card on Bob Dovie's television set.

    Straxus' appearance felt a little superfluous but it worked nonetheless.

    This might have been just me, but the Vess reminded me of a typical Douglas Adams species, especially the one The Eighth Doctor meets early on.

    I loved the closing scene with The Eighth Doctor and Charley absentmindedly visiting a very peeved Bob Dovie. The closing theme with each of The Doctors and their companions was very touching, too.
     
  7. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    Forgot to mention: The one thing I didn't like at all was the theme. Too much of a mix of the TV Movie's theme and the worst elements of the theme for the last few years from the series. I would have much preferred they used the eerie theme from the first trailer.
     
  8. Snick27

    Snick27 Captain Captain

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    This was the first time I've ever listened to an audio book so clearly first time doing this for a doctor who story.

    But since Moffat is turning the 50th into the 8th Anniversary but only having a made up doctor along with 10th an 11th, I really wanted to have a story with all the classic doctors.

    So after having some trouble buying the darn download I finally got to listen to it and impressed.

    Though its hard to just listen when my mind is screaming out, where is the video/pictures.

    But I really enjoyed the story for what it was and though sometimes I was hard to figure out what doctor is talking etc, still this was better than anything Moffat is doing.


    Questions: These audios, is there any continuity between the stores they do on Big Finnish or are these like separated stories that are one offs?



    Why don't someone takes these and make cartoons of them and resell them. I would love to actually watch this Light at the End.
     
  9. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    They very definitely do. And they make serious effort for their stories to fit with established TV continuity, too - even when they might sorta revamp things and stuff. Charley, the 8th Doctor's companion that you listened in this, was his companion for his early years.

    That would take a long, long time. There's ton of stuff they did that take precedence, I think.

    That said, I would certainly not be opposed to an animated version of TLATE. Would be awesome to have 4-8 in one room talking. :)

    If you wish, you can check out their other multi-Doctor stories - Sirens in Time and The Four Doctors.
     
  10. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Here's what I didn't understand.

    Why didn't the Master ask Nyssa for help?

    "Help me girl, and I will never have killed your father, and Traken would never have been destroyed. You can reclaim a lost empire of trillions, and all I want in return is 8 heads stuffed into 8 hat boxes... Is that so much to ask?"
     
  11. Pindar

    Pindar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Has anyone listened to the 5:1 mix?
     
  12. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    Not only that but there's also the matter of cost. Animation isn't cheap (as shown with the animated lost episodes) and Big Finish is much more focused on creating just the audio plays. It should also be noted that radio plays have a long history and many actors enjoy performing them like they enjoy theater. For example, in the "This is Big Finish" disc in the Limited Edition of this play, Geoffery Beevers talks about his extensive radio play career that had at the time he did The Keeper of Traken.

    That being said, Big Finish's remake of Shada with The Eighth Doctor, Romana and K-9 was made into flash animated webcast. There have been a few other flash animated webcasts (Death Comes to Time, Scream of the Shalka, Real Time) but only Shada and Real Time were Big Finish productions and Real Time was only created as a webcast (with questionable continuity issues with The Sixth Doctor's Big Finish run).
     
  13. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I did. It's pretty nice-- not the most varied or wide-ranging 5.1 you'll ever hear, but a fun, immersive way to experience the story.
     
  14. Iamnotspock

    Iamnotspock Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    We don't know what Moffat is doing to honour the whole 50 years, and won't until the 23rd November, but I find it hard to believe there won't be any "classic" elements at all in TDotD. All that's been announced/leaked about the episode is what's been filmed outside (which includes a decidedly "classic" element of the show that hasn't been widely reported).
     
  15. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Well, in any case, its nice to at least hear the surviving Old Doctors (and Eight, :p) in a story together for the 50th anniversary.

    That being said, I honestly think Tom Baker made it special. His scenes with Eight were the highlight (and Five's confrontation with Master was good, too).

    I don't think he knew anything about his future. This being the Master around the time of The Deadly Assasin (I'd argue after).

    What I don't understand, though, is this: Why doesn't the Master bring forth any of his other incarnations in these stories? OK, obviously Delgado is out of the question, but I am talking about his previous 11 or 12 lives. Surely that would've been an interesting story - multi-Master story facing off the Doctor.
     
  16. Pindar

    Pindar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    :bolian:

    I have my copy I'm trying to decide which version to listen to first.

    The read me file seemed to suggest they are piloting 5:1 for future releases, which could be nice.
     
  17. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No, he does know at least a little about his future; he specifically alludes to the fact that he'll eventually steal the body of Nyssa's father.
     
  18. Pindar

    Pindar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The story itself was a little weak, but I found it highly enjoyable.

    I love the interaction between Charlie and 8 so much that for me it was worth getting it just to hear the two them together again.

    The 3rd doctor was not very convincing, I could only identify one or two lines as being him.

    Really it was another 5 doctors story and it highlights how difficult it is to serve everyone fairly, I think 5 and 6 had the best material and stood out above the other doctors.

    I did expect it to be a bit longer as it was a 5 disc set. I haven't listened to the Revenants yet.
     
  19. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Nyssa Mentions meeting the master on Logopolis, and a minute later the Master who had been eavesdropping says something like "From what I have just heard, we will meet in your future."

    The Master had a sixty second lead time to use the foreknowledge that Nyssa had known a version of him for years, but it amounted to nothing.
     
  20. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A lot of the more generous reviews are suggesting that doing justice to five Doctors and five companions is some Herculean task that no one could manage, which I think is a bit much. Nick Briggs evidently couldn't manage it, even with the get-out-of-jail-free card of time folding in on itself, but it's not like no writer in history has handled a ten-character ensemble in a two-hour story. There are almost as many in "The Five Doctors," which is only 75% the length of The Light at the End, and I don't think anyone would argue that script shows Terrance Dicks to be the world's greatest master of narrative structure. He was simply up to the task before him, and Briggs wasn't.
     

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