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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 22, 2010
The audio production is excellent. The story is odd and compelling.
Tom Bakers voice while recognisable, does not sound like the 4th doctor.
this is because he narrates as well as playing the part of the doctor, so
at times his dialogue as the doctor has the monotone of the narrator, instead
of the manic quality of the 4th doctor. Richard Franklin as Yates sounds quite old,
(as he has aged since the 70s)but the charecter is on. But I do highly recommend it
as the story and production are good, and Tom is still the Doctor.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 10, 2010
For those who were willing to wait the Hornet's Nest Boxed Provides the fan with a saving and a nice box to keep the five parts of Tom Baker's Return to the Role of the Doctor.

For those expecting the Full Big Finish style audios al-la The Eight Truths (Doctor Who: The New Eighth Doctor Adventures) they will be a bit disappointed.

It does have the live interaction but it is more of a mixture of the Big finish regular line and the companion chronicles such as Doctor Who Empathy Games Chronicles CD (Dr Who Companion) style.

The First episode creates the frame for the Doctor as he invites Capt. Yates into the house where he is staying with his undead menagerie. The middle three episodes chronicle the Doctor's trips into the past and reduces the retired Captain to a background character as he encounters a plethora of situations where the hive is making their move.

We conclude with the final episode climaxing with the confrontation between the Queen of the Hive against The Doctor, Capt. Yates and the Doctor's Housekeeper Mrs. Wibbsey who he brought back from the 30's and plays excellent counterweight to the heavies.

The stories and the plots seem to improve as they go along although I thought the final resolution was too pat. Baker at first seems tentative but improves and really gets into the role again taking even the knowledge of his future incarnations in stride.

Franklin manages the role well, of course he had practice in The Magician's Oath (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) to bring him back up to speed in the role. The individual actors and characters in the various spots do the trick making each part enjoyable.

The quality doesn't in my opinion match the best of the Big Finish line like The Bride of Peladon (Doctor Who) but it easily matches the majority of the line. If Baker chooses to do this again lets hope he goes whole hog.

What Doctor Who fan can be without it?
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2010
I won't go into too much detail here as I don't want to reveal any plot points. That said, I loved this production. I agree with one of the other reviewers that Baker takes just a bit to warm up, but once he settles back into the roll (somewhere around the middle of disc 2), it feels like it's just been far too long since I've "heard" those wacky facial expressions of his.

And I think the story's great! I mean, I couldn't help thinking whilst listening that this could've probably been done as a serial back in his hey-day. It wouldn't require fancy special effects and just seems eminently doable.

In short, I loved it. You should invest and encourage the old codger to do more!
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When Captain Mike Yates (retired) answers a strange advertisement looking for an retired army captain, "knowledge of giant maggot, super intelligent spiders, and prehistoric monsters a positive boon," he is not surprised to find The Doctor behind it. But strangely enough it his old Doctor (the fourth - Tom Baker) from 1970s. The Doctor is living in a small country house, filled with stuffed animals that periodically try to kill him, and does he have a tale to tell! It seems that a powerful enemy is bent of dominating the Earth, and The Doctor has been battling them for a very long time indeed! The time for the final showdown is drawing close, and Mike and The Doctor will have to rely on pluck and courage...and a healthy dollop of luck!

Believe it or not, this is not an old made-for-television series, but an all-new audio play series created starring Tom Baker and Richard Franklin (reprising his role as Captain Yates). Admittedly Tom Baker does sound a bit older than he did almost 40 years ago, but he sounds close enough that you can easily ignore the differences.

I must say, I found this to be a very fun audiobook. I really liked hearing Tom Baker again as The Doctor, and I enjoyed it even more that it was an all-new story. Yeah, this wasn't a high-energy story, but it was very interesting, and at times quite horrifying. I have no doubts that this audio will please all Tom Baker fans, just like it did me!
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on November 8, 2012
This is a lovely mini-series aired originally on BBC Radio for four weeks leading up to the Christmas season some years back. For fans of the series, it's a cracking listen - a very nicely embroidered patchwork of stories that, while not exactly reminiscent of the Baker era of Dr Who (in writing style and plot), it's sufficiently creepy and chock full of Tom Baker's enthusiastic eye-popping all-teeth-and-curls narration and voice acting to make it WELL worth your while. Baker's age sometimes comes through the speaker (a bit of a thicker throat every now and then), particularly during the narration bits, but when he is acting out the part in the body of the story, it's impossible to not picture him in his hat and coat, galloping about on his long 1974 legs! Even his scarf plays a minor role in two of the episodes!

I think this would make a great car-trip listen for the whole family; there's plenty of chills, plenty of humorous asides from The Doc, the sound effects are outstanding, and the story entertains. Who else would you expect to describe two century-old disembodied feet as a pair of withered old cutlets?

This is a set of discs I'll listen to over and over throughout the coming years.
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on September 6, 2010
Although it is wonderful to hear Tom Baker once again take on the role of the Doctor, this audio adventure did not make me feel I was even hearing a Doctor Who adventure. It didn't feel like Doctor Who, sorry, but it didn't. The storyline was actually pretty stupid and some of the story elements were questionable if not out and out offensive. The storyline line of microscopic insects invading the earth by possessing people was dumb enough, but the bizarre, preposterous and offensive element of making a pig the mother superior of a Catholic convent in the 1000's was just reprehensible. The pig was labelled "divine" by the nuns and later the "doctor" refered to the nuns as "savage." What? Also, the TARDIS suddenly contains swamps and waterfalls and rooms of laughter! This is just stupid and weird. I like Tom Baker, he was my favorite actor to play the Doctor, but, this adventure doesn't live up to the original Doctor Who series and I can't recommend it.
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It's very hard to grade Paul Magrs writing down. The vivid descriptions of this 19th Century circus really bring the story to life as the Doctor and the Hornets continue to chase each other in opposite directions through time. The story is creepy and atmospheric. Unfortunately, that's really as far as it goes. The Doctor remains mostly inactive in the Hornets evil scheme until the final twenty minutes or so and I still don't know what he was supposed to have done or how the Hornets were supposed to be defeated. It's a vivid story but not much of a Doctor Who story.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2012
It is the early 1980s and your crazy, protohipster uncle recommends that you watch this far out sci-fi show on PBS called Doctor Who. As it is made by the BBC, it is both naturally intellectual and humorous, though, he warns, you will have to use your imagination to overlook the dodgy special effects. This is no fancy Gil Gerard production.
You wisely follow the advice of your uncle and tune into The Ark in Space. What happens next is a blur, something akin to Dave Bowman falling into the Monolith, and when you come out of your sci-fi trance, you find yourself wearing a 14 foot long, multicolored scarf - and proudly.
Then, far too soon, it's all over. Tom Baker is gone from the show.
Now, I know you are a fan, you wouldn't have read this far without being one. You know what happens to the show next. We'll argue about that later. (If you, somehow, are not a fan, keep reading!)
But then it finally happens. Tom Baker returns to Doctor Who in The Hornets' Nest by Paul Magrs.
Here is the Monolith again, I'm ready to dive in.
These stories, I am happy to report, are frenetically imaginative, unobtrusively intellectual and conspicuously funny. There are macabre elements as well, as is befitting a Fourth Doctor adventure, and definitely some well placed homages and call backs to the TV show.
Doctor Who nerd advisory: official cannon continuity is extreme, you will be pleased.
As said elsewhere, don't expect a Big Finish style production. Expect Tom Baker to come into your living room to tell you, personally, about the further astonishing adventures of the Fourth Doctor.
Also, Richard Franklin as Captain Yates was an fantastic choice for a companion. As one of the most broken, psychically tortured people from the original series, the character driven dilemma facing Yates at the conclusion of this story was truly suspenseful.
Hornets' Nest is a marvelous TARDIS ride back to the past for fans and has enough TARDIS sized imagination to entertain (and possibly addict) even the uninitiated.
Don't wait for the translation*, buy it now.

*warning: English style English. You must hear Tom Baker say, "capillary." :)
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2010
This should have been a major event for old school Doctor Who fans. Tom Baker finally back in the saddle after so many years away? What's not to like?

Frankly, everything. The story is not only idiotic but at times profoundly insensitive, even misogynistic. The dialogue is enough to make you shriek in agony and the attempts at humour are just that: attempts. Of all the marvellous writers currently at work in Doctor Who in all its formats, why on Earth choose Paul Magrs, with not one single book or audio to his name that has crawled its way above the depressingly mediocre? The choice of Mike Yates as 'companion' is likewise as unrewarding as it is baffling. (A minor character dredged up from the Jon Pertwee era? Why did anyone think that was a good idea?) The partially narrated format doesn't work either, constantly dragging you in and out of what little dramatic flow there is.

There are enough Tom Baker fans out there for this to sell by the bucket load (sufficient to encourage the BBC to lay on a sequel for heaven's sake) but this pitiful pile of unpleasant wackiness is just an embarassing postscript to a once great legacy.

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