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Audio: ETERNAL SUMMER (SPOILERS!)


Chase - Posted on 24 November 2009

ETERNAL SUMMER is a 4/5 audio, continuing the good quality started by CASTLE OF FEAR. Again, I'm not a big Nyssa alone with Doctor 5 fan. For many reasons I won't go into. Here, Jonathan Morris, not my fav writer of DW spinoff stuff, for reasons I won't go into, excells here. Part one is his greatest writing and it keeps a sense of fun, mystery, and has a solid emotional core. While his characters and plot tend to go toward the depressing Joe Lidster death and finality with no hope of afterlife, he never pores it on so thick that one is left with a dark despair that some DW spinoffs (TW included) try to pass off on us and make us think that's adult rather than some morbid outlook on misery and life as if they're synonimous. There's a great deal of time paradoxes in part one that are well done and in some way it all fits together and makes sense. 

It takes some time getting used to Mr Weasley from HARRY POTTER being Max Edison (and for that matter Harry's aunt from HARRY POTTER plays a kindly old scientist lady, I think). Max was from the Stockbridge comics in DW Magazine. For my taste, in this rendition, which is scripted perfectly, the voice just isn't him. I really like the character and he sounds too deeply male for me. I guess I imagined his voice a bit softer or less deep. In any event, that doesn't matter, ALL of lines are geniunely Max Edison and some of them are just very very funny. I have to confess I never saw GROUNDHOG DAY and I always meant to (and the idea has been done to death in sci fic and I suspect not as good as in GROUNDHOG DAY although XENA WARRIOR PRINCESS did an absolutely hilarious version) but there's a real; sinister side to it here.  There's also a bit of something else but I forgot what. Ahh, yes BRIGADOON, that town that never can be found or seen but exists timeless. TWILIGHT ZONE and other anthologies have probably done something like this. Nevertheless, here, it all seems an interesting take on things.   

Part Two doesn't really gell as much as part one. Still, it's not bad. There are some great lines. Throughout there are some great 5th Doctor traditions ("That's the trouble with..." and "You'll forgive me if I don't..." and more). And some new ones such as when Max tries to say something like cellophane might patch a balloon just like they need to patch a hole in the time bubble and the Doctor says, "Cellophane?"  Max explains he's doing that thing where a stupid person will say something really stupid so that the really smart person will then think of an idea that will work. The Doctor says he watches to much TV and then yells, "Cellophane, wait a minute!"  Max asks what and the Doctor says, "Nothing. See it doesn't work!"  Nyssa reprimands with just a "Doctor..." and a tone. Brilliant dialog. All the way through.

Things are really ...gross and disgusting in parts. I don't really buy that the Lord and Lady are the Doctor and Nyssa. Davison and Sutton, for once, do a great job with an alternate personality, so tha'ts not the trouble. I just can't imagine them ever becoming the evil people they do here and the gross thing is...we hear Lady Nyssa, old and dusty, EATING or absorbing people in gross sound effect detail. It sounds like death rattles or throwing up or both. I could have done without that.

The ending is nice and there are still funny parts (Max's near love, PIG and other acryonms) but it's not quite a perfect audio but then again what is? The ending is okay and we get another cliffhanger. I don't like Max's ending though, it's  a bit sad for him but he doesn't seem to mind. A good audio.      

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