The Most Dangerous Game
September 2002I can see why this story was picked to be a re-master from the archive, a most interesting and fresh idea. The Doctor picking up a companion, not for the reasons of "END OF THE UNIVERSE" but just to go fishing, is very sweet. Unfortunately Kevin, to my British ears, sounds like Jeffery Coburn, and I found that very distracting. :)
I am surprised to see K9 in the Tardis, and it makes me wonder what model he is.
The integration of the old and new material was slightly distracting on the first listen, when I was unsure what was happening, on the second listen it I thought it worked quite well.
And the fluff, "it came to me from the clouds", also seems to work in the context of the story, 3 friends joking.
The story of the big game hunter who really hunts people, was introduced very good in the story, the discovery of the "trophy room" by Tasha on her midnight muchies was quite a stunning piece of work and the entire adventure from that point on seems to pass a great speed, not one boring moment (although I have no idea why Tasha said the Doctor was in Hyperspace?) from the Doctor setting a trap, to him being hunted by the dogs, to falling from the suspension bridge (he really should stay away from them) it was all very exciting, good idea as well about what the Villain (name escapes me) actually was and the way he was defeated was interesting. Makes me wish more of these stories were on release. 7/10
May 2005When I discovered the Doctor Who Audio Dramas, The Most Dangerous Game was the oldest available story in the catalogue. As I am one of the most start-at-the-beginning people in the world, well, this story was the one I started with.
There are many fan groups that create Doctor Who audio and video adventures, and more than a few of them do a really good job. I can recognize the talent, the creativity, the job well done, even when the stories they produce aren't necessarily my cup of tea. There are a few talented groups that are almost 180 degrees out of phase with my concept of good Doctor Who, and there are some whose ideas about Doctor Who are reasonably close to mine. But when I heard The Most Dangerous Game, I realized immediately that I had found a group whose concept of Who lined up exactly with mine.
In talking about this story, I've got to start, well, at the beginning, sort of. The Most Dangerous Game is a vintage 1984 story, recorded very early in the history of the DWADs. When the DWAD catalogue went online, TMDG was not available. However, in 1999, a "remastered" version was put into the catalogue. This version was largely re-recorded; however, the original recordings were used in all scenes featuring the Doctor's companion "Princess Tasha". I can't be sure what the reasoning was behind the decision to do this hybrid-remastering, but it was pure genius. Instead of being distracting or confusing, the older scenes gave a glimpse of the heart and soul behind the DWADs. A couple of "fluffs" included in these scenes serve as a window to the fun it must have been, getting a group of friends together and create these audio stories. At the same time, the re-recorded scenes demonstrate the level of quality that the DWAD crew is capable of in the present day. (Well, as of six years ago...their quality has continued to improve, but that subject will surely come up in future reviews.)
The Most Dangerous Game has its faults, I suppose. The plot is simple and straightforward, with an ending that I still don't quite follow all the way through (the Doctor's plan seems to change about five or six times in the space of a less than a minute...not that there's anything out-of-character about that, but I felt a bit dizzy trying to keep up....) There are a couple of hokey moments, and coincidence plays a large role in keeping our heroes alive more than once. But to dwell on these shortcomings is to miss the strengths of this story: the wonderful chemistry of the Doctor and his companions and the pure fun escapism that Doctor Who could be at its best.
The DWAD crew have produced deeper stories, stories with better acting, better directing, better writing....but it's The Most Dangerous Game that I've listened to the most often (I've lost count, but probably getting close to three dozen times); it's The Most Dangerous Game that I pop into my cassette player when I've had a rotten day and need my own "rest day", even for just 38 minutes. Nearly fifty DWADs later, The Most Dangerous Game remains my most favorite Doctor Who Audio Drama.
Having listened to some of the more recent DWAD's, I decided it was finally time to start to listen to some of the audios that got the DWAD ball rolling.
First up for a listen was The Most Dangerous Game, and I can say that overall I was more than impressed. The basis of the story, although fairly simple, was strong enough to keep my attention throughout and more importantly, felt like a Doctor Who story. As far as villains go, Antony Kissak was an adequate foe, a little over the top in his dialogue at times but nontheless an intriguing persona. The idea of a hunter who hunts people instead of animals because they are more of a challenge was an interesting one, and the Doctor makes for an obvious prey.
There are a few problems with the story, the main one being the jarring effect the original audio has opposed to the remastered version, though this doesn't seem so bad after getting used to it. Some of the dialogue is a little cliched at times, and the scenes where the Doctor is being hunted don't always work well because it relies to heavily on the Doctor talking to himself to allow the listener to know what is happening and eventually sounds a little too forced.
Within the storyline, my only gripe is that Kissak seems too easily convinced that the Doctor is dead, surely a hunter of his experience wouldn't have taken it for granted that he had managed to kill the Doctor, although Kissak's tiredness which leads to the revelation that he isn't all that he seems does address this issue to some degree.
The final scenes with the Doctor and Kissak are a little confusing, with too much going on at the same time to fully be able to take it all in, though a further listening could resolve these problems.
What the story does manage to achieve so successfully though is to create a believable Doctor and hints and a strong bond of friendship between him and his companions. Tasha and Kevin although having little to do in the main segments of the story, seem like good foils for the Doctor and the three of them together enjoy a great scene at the beginning of the audio and a quite nice ending to it as well.
All in all though, I'm pleased to have heard the audio at last and look forward to next listening to The Brown Death.
Last updated: Monday, August 1, 2005