Crossover Adventures: A Cause For Carolling

by Peter Zunitch




The Doctor and his companions become engulfed in a reality that is not their own, but is indeed quite festive, and quite dangerous.


DR WHO: THE CROSSOVER ADVENTURES: A CAUSE FOR CAROLLING (Four Parts) – Good

Part parody, and part serious drama, this story would easily fit in with any Doctor Who fan’s vision of the series. The Doctor and his companions become engulfed in a reality that is not their own, but is indeed quite festive, and quite dangerous. Consisting of well-defined characters, all portrayed by great acting, this piece is not afraid to push both the genre and fandom to the edge. It aptly portrays a very serious vision of the Doctor Who universe, and yet is not afraid to make fun of it, or itself at any given moment…and usually does so when the listener least expects it. The plot is very detailed, the locations are easily envisioned and the story is easy to follow. Yet for the most part it is impossible to figure out. At one point you will think you know what is going on, but rest assured, there’s more to it than you know, and the sheer joy in the solution lies in ones loyalty as a Doctor Who fan. You know, that part of you that is at the same time proud, and slightly embarrassed at some of the show’s hokiness. The writing never shoves exposition down your throat, and indeed leaves much up to the listener’s imagination. My one major fault in this piece comes in the post-production. There are moments of distortion, and all too often the music or sound effects drown out the dialog…often at crucial moments. Stereo sound is used well, but some levels are just too loud. When one has to listen to a dramatic scene 4 times just to hear anything that was said, it’s a problem. That aside, this is easily one of the best fan-made audio dramas I’ve heard in ANY genre, and a must for any Dr Who fan.

Listen to the trailer for “A Cause For Carolling” here:

 

PART I [15 minutes]

Summary:

The Doctor gets a distress call from a woman who claims she needs his help to save…the Doctor.

What’s good:

Combining original Dr. Who with clips from the series. Brilliant & nicely done! Good acting.  Good satirical rips on the series. Great companion(s). Great production quality (aside from the mix). Nice characterizations. Comedy, excitement, a touch of thriller, and philosophy, all in 15 minutes!

What’s bad:

The audio mix. Music and voice effects often drown out the dialog.

Plot points:

Where is the Doctor? Who is the girl sending the distress call? What does any of that have to do with the teaser?

Bottom line:

A great introduction to the story. The listener is immediately drawn into a chaotic whirlwind of excitement. I knew nothing about it when it started, and was immediately attached to the story and characters. While there were some ideas that were re-hashed from the series, there were also some moments you would never see in the series (well, at least never the original one).  I wish the mix were a little better at times though. I often had to replay some parts more than twice just to get a hint of what was said. Some of the effects (Davros especially) could have been toned down a bit in favor of presenting understandable dialog.

 

PART II [16 minutes]

Summary:

The Doctor sets off on a desperate quest to find his future self, who is trapped in a fictional London.

What’s good:

The banter between the Doctor and Frobisher. The banter between the Doctor and Jenny. The doctor sings! The cliffhanger.

What’s bad:

The Doctor sings! More audio mix problems.

Plot points:

Audio can be almost inaudible, especially during the telepathic link and audio montage. It’s sad because there are so many good moments in it. The Doctor uses his Tardis to find himself by means of a humorous homage to the oldest sci-fi cliché in the book.

Bottom line:

The musical is funny, but lasts too long, and is distorted in more than one place. The contrast between the two parallel stories and the two Doctors works flawlessly.

PART III [17 minutes]

Summary:

The Doctor(s) is drawn ever closer to his inevitable doom, as he meets companions he didn’t know he had, and mythical beings he didn’t know existed.

What’s good:

A very unexpected rim shot. Davros the Kaled. Destinas infatuation with Frobisher. The portrayal of the unexpected visitor.

What’s bad:

Even more audio mix. I couldn’t understand the whole first scene. I tried, I really tried.

Plot points:

The Doctor tells Jenny to “listen to the words” of the song (Too bad the listener can’t join in). The Doctor asked the Timelords to intervene with Davros. What’s causing people to appear and disappear? The visitor calls the Doctor by some alternate names, and gives some insight into his soul. Destina wants to travel like the Doctor… sort of.

Bottom line:

The production may have sounded good in hi-fidelity but is horrible compressed through earbuds. Still, if one is going to distribute in MP3, one should [re]mix for MP3. Multiple references to [I believe] one of their earlier productions. I can somewhat see where this is going, and it’s slightly cliché for the setting. Still, I’m fully intrigued as to the explanation and the outcome.

 

PART IV [23 minutes]

Summary:

At last finally coming face to face with their foe, will the combined forces of the Doctor(s) and their companions be enough to defeat a plan that threatens to bring utter chaos to the universe.

What’s good:

Jenny rises to Davros’s challenge. Even what’s obvious pays off in a nice way. Hilarious!

What’s bad:

Audi…..do I really have to mention it?

Plot points:

References to C.S. Lewis. The Christmas what??!!!  The angry mob is never explained. Neither is the explosion in the lab. Jenny never asks what happened when the two Doctors get back to the Tardis. It is never clarified what the new race looks like, or why the early Doctor could not materialize where the later Doctor was. Though both are perfectly self-explanatory if you think about it in the slightest.

Bottom line:

This is the least tension-laden of all the episodes, but still, it is a very satisfying ending to the story. Davros’s plan is truly one only conceivable by a madman. I would have liked a slightly shorter departure of the Doctor, as it is all stuff we’ve heard before. I also would have liked a slightly better resolution for Frobisher and Destina, but only because they were such good characters. There are a few loose ends, but I’m not entirely sure most of them need to be addressed. It just would have been nice.

This article was written by

Peter Zunitch

Father, husband, video editor, writer. I want to experience and create stories of all kinds in all mediums and genres. I want to teach and learn something new.

This article was written by

Peter Zunitch

Father, husband, video editor, writer. I want to experience and create stories of all kinds in all mediums and genres. I want to teach and learn something new.

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