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This Big Finish box set contains two stories, both of which feature the Fourth Doctor and Leela.

In The Foe from the Future, they go to Devon, where a haunted estate called The Grange is creating apparitions and people are dying. But forget ghosts: the real horror is the owner of the estate, the titular foe. He has a time-warping plan that may end the universe as we know it. This was a Gothic horror that felt close to the spirit of the Hinchcliffe era of Who (e.g., The Talons of Weng-Chiang).

In Valley of Death, the Doctor and Leela end up joining an expedition to retrace the steps of Cornelius Perkins, a Victorian explorer who disappeared in the jungles of South America. The expedition, led by Cornelius’s great-grandson Edward, encounter what appears to be a giant spaceship. And then there are giant creatures lurking in the valley. This story was a bit more melodramatic and had some colonial trappings; it was of a piece with Doyle’s The Lost World, if Doyle had written about aliens.

Both stories were structured a lot like the actual TV show, being broken up into four or six smaller parts instead of being a single hour-long drama. The action was breathless, the lines occasionally cheesy, the technobabble babbly, and Leela fierce and brilliant as she usually is. There was also a LOT of screaming.

These were a little bit too silly for me to give them a full four stars, but Doctor Who is usually a reasonable use of my time. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Apr 23, 2021 |
Well, after thirty-five years, the magic has come back. The first run of Leela stories from The Face of Evil to Horror of Fang Rock is in some ways the peak of the Tom Baker era, possibly of the whole of Who, and I have been a bit disappointed that neither the spinoff novels set in this period nor the Big Finish Companion Chronicles featuring a dying Leela reminiscing about untold adventures have quite captured the Zeitgeist. But Big Finish have now pretty much pulled it off. The Fourth Doctor Lost Stories box set includes a six-parter by Robert Banks Stewart, adapted by John Dorney, and a four-parter by none other than Philip Hinchcliffe, adapted by Jonathan Morris - this is already a super package, with ten episodes and a CD of extra interviews with writers and cast.

Nothing is perfect, of course; The Foe From The Future has quite a complex time-travelling plot, with some of the questions raised in early episodes not really answered by the end, and some really rather gory and visceral moments; and like a lot of six-parters from the original show, it could perhaps have been trimmed a bit. The Valley of Death is much more satisfactory plot-wise - indeed, as a story, it is very well constructed - though it would clearly have been preferable as a Fourth Doctor / Sarah story (alas, no longer possible) and has some dodgy stereotyping of South American tribesmen.

Whatever the flaws, both of them are carried by the soaring performances of Tom Baker and Louise Jameson; several of the guest cast comment on just how infectious their energy was for the rest of the team during the recording process, and it shows. Baker is still occasionally silly, but nowhere near as portentous as he has been in the Paul Magrs BBC audios, and also able to effortlessly switch from clown to genius to alien wizard as required. Jameson has finally been given Who material that treats her as an equal rather than as a mere sidekick, and is utterly convincing. And the chemistry between them is clearly several magnitudes better than it was when they were on TV; both stories feature moments when the Doctor thinks Leela is dead or dying, and Baker rises convincingly to the occasion. (The guest cast are all good too, but really it's the stars who I was listening for.) ( )
  nwhyte | Jul 21, 2012 |
The third season of Doctor Who: The Lost Stories takes a breather for The Fourth Doctor Box Set, which contains two unmade Tom Baker adventures: Robert Banks Stewart’s The Foe from the Future, completed by John Dorney, and Philip Hinchcliffe’s The Valley of Death, completed by Jonathan Morris. With a six-parter and a four-parter, that’s a whopping ten episodes across six discs! (There is, of course, the traditional egregious disc of extras.)

Like The Seeds of Doom, The Foe from the Future’s first two parts are very different from its last four. The first two episodes see the Doctor and Leela running around an English country village at night, talking to a reclusive lord and his obsequious butler, facing grotesque murder attempts, strange statues, single-minded policemen, and shifts in time and memory. It’s surreal, spooky stuff. Less than halfway through, though, The Foe from the Future shifts focus, and it’s never quite as successful as it was in the beginning. At that point, it’s not too difficult to put everything together, and we go from off-kilter suspense to an awful lot of corridors. It’s never not entertaining, though, especially the travails of Charlotte From The Village, and there’s some good comedy with a training camp.

Less successful is The Valley of Death, which former producer Philip Hinchcliffe apparently submitted to the production team during the Romana years, though in the extras, it’s indicated that Hinchcliffe considered it for Season 15, if he’d stayed on board. They point out that it feels like something from the Graham Williams years, and while it’s not quite Season 17, they do have a point. The story opens with the Doctor and Leela joining an expedition to investigate a lost Victorian explorer, a hundred years later. It’s all over the place, and before you know it, they’re in the South American jungle, and then space. It wants to zip along, but it crawls, and none of it ever really hangs together. There are some interesting ideas at the beginning, but they’re discarded pretty quickly in favour of ideas that anyone who ever watched any Jon Pertwee story ought to be familiar with.

You can read a longer version of this review at Unreality SF.
  Stevil2001 | May 3, 2012 |
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Robert Banks Stewartprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Dorney, Johnhovedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Hinchcliffe, Philiphovedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Morris, Jonathanhovedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Baker, TomFortællermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
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Jameson, LouiseFortællermedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
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