With TARDIS team are in deep trouble again - literally.
Wandering underground dark, dank tunnels not only trying to find the way out but also deciding where - and when - they are, stumbling across a dead body (human, possibly Earthling. Well, at least it could be Earth) and being confronted by a phalanx of rifle-wielding soldiers accusing them of the said murder, and, ho, they've landed in 1982 in the middle of nuclear war. In 1982?
So, what could possibly go wrong?
The tunnel network is a part of an underground nuclear survival bunker inhabitant by a truly disparate group; Colonel Bowe commanding a military squad, a local town Mayor, the bunker's designer (Mr. Arthur Harrington), and a local town Councillor (Helen). As the Doctor observes, a strange mix of people and all surprisingly believing that (in 1982) that a nuclear bomb has ravaged Earth. But he knows that it did not happen. Or did it? A parallel Earth?
Naturally, as is the nature DOCTOR WHO storytelling, the trio of Time Travellers are quickly separated, embarking on their journey of threat, disaster and revelation. The Doctor interrogated by the `shoot-now-ask-questions-later-if-there-is-is-a-later' thick-necked (or maybe just `thick'), Colonel Bowe, whilst Amy is set to work as a kitchen skivvy to earn her keep as a kitchen assistant, and Rory is incarcerated with the aged yet dapper designer.
Yet all three discover that the threat does not necessarily come from the human inhabitants within the bunker but from a rasping plague of mutated meter-long cockroaches with a ravenous appetite for the unsuspecting and hapless. Sorry, Rory, it looks like you're on the menu again.
Basically, Steve Lyons' DOCTOR WHO - DAY OF THE COCKROACH is a "base under siege" plot. It's not trying to be anything other than that. No clever body inhabiting monsters, or non-corporeal aliens draining the planet's resources for their own means; it's huge cockroaches with clacking mandibles masticating flesh and storing any leftovers in their `larder'.
However, a mystery remains of how cockroaches, normally about 2cm in length, can evolve into one-metre creatures with a taste for human flesh. Perhaps, there is an alien presence or `mad-scientist' within the bunker?
Returning to AUDIOGO's NEW SERIES exclusive-to-audio tie-in range, Arthur Darvill effortless slips into the role of both narrator and performer, magically orchestrating Lyons' script and bringing the nefarious characters to life with beguiling agility & dexterity and creative charm; a tour de force.
From a soft Scottish lilt to a confidence arrogance of an alien from Gallifrey to a gruff military leader and to a seemingly witless medical nurse from Leadworth, Darvill somersaults and wheels with energy and panache commanding centre stage throughout the single-disc release, supported by a modest incidental music score (probably, `stock music') and, at times, under whelming sound effects. It could have more carefully "post-production".
Nonetheless, DOCTOR WHO - DAY OF THE COCKROACH is an entertaining diversion for a car journey or to listen to just before bedtime (but remember to have the `night-light' switched on. Cockroach doesn't like the light).