|Running Time||145 mins|
With Sylvester McCoy as The Professor
Sophie Aldred as Ace / Chief Shareholder, Peter Miles as Projoy,
Adam Bampton-Smith as Milo / Subdirector
Alistair Lock as Bastien, Clare Macmillan as Calida / Gomera
Polly Pritchett as Antoinette, Dan Riley as Stephen
Tim Saward as Gabriel
Sound Engineer: Ray Turner.
Post-production, editing and music by Alistair Lock.
Directed by Bill Baggs and Tim Saward.
Written by Tim Saward. Produced by Bill Baggs.
|Synopsis: Millanno: a holiday planet of extreme wealth and extreme leisure ... on one side. The other side of the planet teems with politicians, administrators, and also criminals. When the Professor and Ace decide to take a holiday, they are unwillingly pitched into a battle for supremacy on the planet.|
A Review by Stuart Gutteridge 31/10/98
The third Audio Adventure sees The Professor and Ace on holiday on the planet Milanno. They are soon seperated and a figure from the past who is seeking Dictatorship of the planet stands in their way.
Prosperity Island, by new writer Tim Saward,is a multi-layered and demanding tale that requires a lot of attention from the listener. The Professor and Ace storyline is really nothing more than a subplot, playing second fiddle to the machinations of the planets ruler Projoy and the antics of his genetically "grown" and telepathically gifted son Milo .For the most part this is an interesting storyline, as it concentrates more on the emotional dynamics of the characters. This, however, all falls apart in the second half of the story, as the emphasis is placed on political intrigue, political back stabbing, and a lengthy and at times almost farcical courtroom scene.
Throughout, the acting is of a relatively high standard. Peter Miles makes a great villain and the relationship between Ace and Stephen (a passenger on board the craft heading for Milanno) is nicely underplayed. Prosperity Island isn`t the best of the audios, largely due to its` length; however, it has a lot going for it.
A Review by Reuben Herfindahl 22/11/98
The disk starts off well. The Doctor (opps, I mean Professor) and Ace are stowaways on a space ship headed for the planet Millanno. A vacation planet people literally give their right arm to visit. The ship they are on is drawn of course by a mysterious power and crashes into the sea. Ace, The Doctor, The Director of the Planet and a guard are the only survivors. They discover they are on Prosperity Island. A prison island.
The first disk is wonderful and carries along with it classic dialogue that is very 7th Doctorish.
Professor: "They don't show films when they're landing. In any case, I never
liked the funny stuff they serve in cinemas."
Professor: "No. Sentiment."
Ace: "This is a waste of time. Why didn't we go to the cinema?"
Professor: "They don't show films when they're landing. In any case, I never liked the funny stuff they serve in cinemas."
Professor: "No. Sentiment."
The story is also very interesting. It seems an odd cross between Clarke's Childhood's End, The Dominators and Card's Alvin Maker series.
However it falls down a bit in disk two with the a charecter named Calida, who is supposed to be a woman, but sounds like a man. The sound effects they applied to her voice make her difficult to understand and confuse part of the story. Fortunately the author, Tim Saward, has put the script on the net so one can go back and figure out just was she was supposed to be saying.
Syl and Sophie (as usual) are brilliant, and their performances make me yearn for new Doctor Who starring those two. It'd be nice to see a video done with this same setup.
Prosperity Island: worth the bucks, but not as good as the first two.
A Review by Richard Radcliffe 1/8/02
After acquiring BBVs Professor and Ace Audio CDs a few months ago all in 1 batch, I had to choose which to listen to first. There didn't appear to be any ongoing narrative attached to them (there's actually bits and pieces) so listening out of order of release wasn't relevant. I chose Republica and Guests for the Night first. Both were pretty good, so I went for Punchline and Island of Lost Souls next. They also were good, BBV it seemed did very good audio dramas - and they were well worth listening to.
There's been a bit of gap, time-wise, between when I finished those first 4 and now. Picking the next one was a little more difficult - so I went for release order. The only double CD was this one and this was to be the first, and to be honest, that daunted me. Negative reviews had put me off, saying twice as much is twice as bad, and not very complimentary statements like that. I would make up my own mind though and Prosperity Island - the epic of BBV (in length at least) - seemed a good place to restart my exploration of these spin-off dramas.
I never think it's a good idea to listen to the whole story in one go anyway, so I split it up into 3 segments. My attention span isn't that great, and 30 to 45 minutes tops is good enough. The first part - listening to it like this, was terrific. We board a spaceship on route to Millano, a planet divided between tourism on one side and administration on the other. We get to know a few people from the spaceship who we just know are going to be involved planet-side - an unscrupulous Director named Antoinette and a sort of Cabin Boy Stephen. Ace and the Professor are on board too, as stowaways, even taking time out just before the ship is supposed to land to enjoy a game of golf, which the Professor plays with his Umbrella and homing Golf Ball! The banter between Aldred and McCoy is usually great, and they are on fine form again. We also meet a few people from the planet - Projoy and Milo - who are destined for involvement later on too.
When the spacecraft does come down, it's in a rather unconventional, but typically DW-ish way. It crashes, and the few survivors are swept ashore onto the titular Prosperity Island. It's a Prison Colony - it's where Projoy and Milo live as prisoners. Splitting the Professor and Ace up, both inevitably survive the crash, it is interesting to see them apart and with others. The Professor teams up with the Director, Ace with Stephen. Both are different companionships than the norm, and this actually provides a nice change. It's a terrific start, and I really was intrigued about this planet Millanno, and this pairing of Projoy and Milo situated on Prosperity Island.
In the 2nd part that I listened to things began to get explained. What was Prosperity Island? How did the Director get to her exalted position as leader of Millanno? What sordid background led to the Great Disaster that befell the planet? The story enters the explanation phase, and there is plenty to expound upon. I preferred the opening action and fun scenes with McCoy and Aldred. The Professor gets kind of lost amongst all this exposition, and is really just there to ask questions. I can see why though that this story had to be 2 CDs long - there is a vast amount of material in there, and 1 CD would just not have been enough.
We are also inundated with characters galore, each of which has an unusual History. Whether this kind of in depth character study and political machinations is what you like, will largely determine whether Prosperity Island is for you. Ultimately I thought there was too many boardroom squabbles. The material with Antoinette, Milo and Projoy was great - but the politics got in the way of a good story. The extra length too does not make for more material for the Professor and Ace - and let's face it they are the stars of these dramas. The extra length is there to flesh out the politics of Millanno, and the interpersonal relationships of Projoys family. Peter Miles as Projoy, incidentally, is excellent throughout. Of the rest only Milo and Antoinettes character are very interesting - and the Actors are pretty good too.
Thankfully the middle section exposition, complete with drab courtroom drama, fades away as the conclusion is reached. Once again we go outside, to the beaches as a boat is sent to rescue the Professor, Ace, Milo, Stephen, Projoy and specifically Director Antoinette. There's some wonderfully atmospheric scenes too as they are on the boat - the rain lashing down and a storm brewing in the distance. It is this kind of "outside audio" that I found to be the best aspect of Prosperity Island.
Ultimately Prosperity Island is a lengthy listen from BBV. It's a good drama though and only really gets lost in the explanations and politics. This material is lacking and at odds with the Island seclusion setting that should be the story's strength. It is still a good drama overall with some fascinating concepts, and wonderful locale - but you must listen to it in separate sittings, and not all at once - it is just too long and involved for one long listen. 6/10