Saturday, 21 February 2015

Dark Shadows Bloodlust - What the critics said...

For anybody who reads my blog it cannot be any secret that I thought that Dark Shadows Bloodlust has been a resounding success. A 13-part serial that spawned one of the most exciting storylines of any Big Finish endeavour and accessible to newbies to the range or the most seasoned expert on the TV series, bringing together an impressive cast of characters and providing some of the most thrilling moments from the company in about five years. However what has impressed me even more has been the near universal praise for the serial and from of the Doctor Who ranges most staunchest critics (including myself). Because the spin off series struggle in the sales compared to the Doctor Who ones (by their very nature there isn't as much interest), I thought I would compile a piece consisting of what people are saying and why you should give the series a try. I hope the powers that be are listening because this serial was a huge success and deserves a follow up...

'With a gentle start, we are soon drawn in and this Bloodlust storyline has been fashioned to welcome those who are unfamiliar with the show, as well as catering to long term fans. With its myriad cast of characters, some from the original series and others brand new, it is clear that there is plenty to learn; from the ghost politely haunting her husband at the local bar to the Witch who lies entombed, biding her time. Released twice weekly across January and February on download, to mirror the episodic soap opera structure of the original, Dark Shadows: Bloodlust looks set to be an engrossing storyline and a great jumping on point for those new to the show. It will also be available on two CD volumes.' Cultbox Review

'Big Finish really ought to be reading all the Bloodlust reviews. From the few I've read, and the threads on their own forums, I've not seen a single bad word (save for concerning the hospital nurse) written about this new series, which is virtually unheard of given I mainly checked sources run by Doctor Who fans! I don't know what story could be told with a second serial, but I'd trust in the same team that's behind Bloodlust to deliver again. There's some refreshingly untapped talent working on this series, and Big Finish would be mad not to note the positive reaction. This is Joe Lidster's final episode of Bloodlust, and he certainly goes out with a bang. Over the course of his four episodes, I've got the real sense that his strength lies in increasing scale, and throwing things together to see what comes out. It's worked beautifully, and made him an invaluable addition.' Artron Reviews

'But all of that pales by comparison to this surprisingly fully fleshed out, amply casted short run series, whose sheer breadth of interweaving characterization and storylines builds a complicated skein worthy of a Dan Curtis Production. One wonders, in fact, just how closely authors Alan Flanagan, Will Howells and Joseph Lidster studied at the feet of such men as Sam Hall, Gordon Russell and Art Wallace, so closely reminiscent are their efforts here to the original 1966-71 teleseries. Without being overly nostalgic or quaint in any way, there is no question that, at least to judge by the first six episodes contained herein, this is the first time the Dark Shadows audio series really felt like the televised Dark Shadows – not in oft-impressive, individual character backstory-exploring parts, but as a living, breathing, integrated whole.' Third Eye Cinema

13 Reasons You Should Buy Dark Shadows Bloodlust by Dark Shadows Every Day

'Acting-wise, the veteran actors deliver their customary strong performances, with Kathryn Leigh Scott and Lara Parker being especially well-served by the scripts. And special mention must be made of Matthew Waterhouse’s Andrew Cunningham, a misogynistic, opportunistic bastard of a journalist brought to delicious life by the once and future Adric. People who only know his acting from Doctor Who will likely be bowled over by his performance here.Travelling back to its roots – with slight elements of Twin Peaks and Broadchurch blended in to good effect – Bloodlust proves that sometimes you can go back home again… 8/10' SciFi Bulletin

'I don't think I've loved every single aspect of a production as much as I've loved this. What an absolutlely brilliant, brilliant series. Well done and thanks to all concerned.' Planet Klibignaitis, Gallifrey Base -

'Yeah, this was as close to perfection as it's possible to get. Best. Thing. Ever.' DavidXBrunt, Gallifrey Base -

'This really has been a great series. It's pure storytelling. Perfect, exquisitely timed, perfected storytelling. Now, don't rake me over the coals if I say it's an 8/10 for me - That doesn't mean I underestimate in any way how fantastically well realised it is. It's just a personal matter of taste that the stories that really, really engage me are the ones that throw up high-concept ideas that I can think about afterwards, and sometimes a high concept story will thrill me more than another story that's actually better told. I don't think anyone has ever told a story with more skill than Bloodlust, and it's purely a matter of personal taste that I rate it an 8. Listening to it I am utterly immersed, but just on a personal level, it's not the kind of story that tends to stick in my head you see. That and the few criticisms mentioned earlier in the thread (I never was sold on the Collinsport Goonies, I'm afraid). But really, this is still a masterclass in how to tell a tale. The town meeting episode and the penultimate episode in particular are works of art.' Eiphel, Gallifrey Base -

'Episode 12 is quite firmly my pick for top episode, and a triumph from Big Finish as a whole, but an honourable mention must go to Episode 7 for making me audibly gasp an obscenity on a public train, to the incredulity of the passengers squashed around me. Despite my misgivings about the slightly muddled finale, Bloodlust definitely left me with a ton of great memories, and is as a whole a solid addition to the canon.' James Sucellus

'My wallet hurts, but it's all sooooo gooooood....' Zagreus, Gallifrey Base -

'I never watched the series, but love a good scary tale, so was always curious by the Dark Shadows range, but hesitant to jump in after a rather bored reaction to the first series. But after asking for advice, i got Kingdom of the Dead and LOVED it. Bloodlust is even better, i've gorged on the whole series over the last week, and now am all caught up. They've done a fantastic job juggling characters and plot-lines, keeping the soap opera aspects, but also the horror and mystery. I am head over heels, and bought all of the audiobooks (I had actually bought some before, but finished buying all the rest) since I now am hooked!' jjjj, Gallifrey Base

'That. Was. Amazing. Really, just breathtaking. If you needed any more proof of how talented the wonderful Dark Shadows cast is then look no further: those were truly, truly absolute powerhouse performances; I'd put that episode up there with Just War and Scherzo. And the script, I mean, just... wow. If Big Finish produces a better half hour of audio drama this year I will be astonished. And there's still an episode to go!' Bellis, Gallifrey Base

'Big Finish has done such a stunning job on this audio series and I'm glad to hear that it is bubbling up, not only on the nuanced fanbases, but in the more mainstream. Well done all! Hopefully this means more fans of the audios and more support for more audios to come!' Silveredknickle, Big Finish Forum

'I honestly think Bloodlust surpasses any of the excellent work on the series by Big Finish that preceeds it. It's very obvious and very much appreciated how much has gone into the writing and production, and I keep getting the sense that the performers are giving it extra too because they can tell they're part of something very special.' Barnabas Lives, Big Finish Forum

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