Another Doctor who audio play in the lost stories range, which takes scripts from the mid 1980's that never got to the screen during Colin Baker's time in the role and brings them audio.
In this one the Doctor and Peri have been on holiday in a small English village where an old friend of the Doctor's lives. But they can't remember exactly what happened. Thinking hard they piece together a tale of strange experiments, sand creatures, and people devoted to a mysterious professor.
What exactly happened in the village?
The story would have featured the Doctor's arch enemy the Master had it been done on tv, but rights issues meant the character couldn't be used here. The character of the main villain of the piece does remain rather hidden throughout. If you spend your time thinking of them as the master, you might get distracted. But think of them as an engima and it works better.
It also features the Tractators, who were previously seen in a fifth doctor story on tv. Although they don't play as a big a role as you might expect.
Unfortunately, despite some quality performances from the cast, this one doesn't quite work.
The extras acknowledge that the first episode was too long to begin with, but even having been edited down slightly it still comes in at almost sixty minutes. And it takes a long time to get going. The flashback structure, with the tardis crew trying to work out what happened, was an addition to make this work on audio, but it does take a little getting used and it slows things down to begin with.
As do the scenes of the Doctor and Peri exploring and nothing much sinister happening. Only at the end of the episode do things really get going. Whilst the cliffhanger is very imaginative, the other big problem comes in here in that it's a very visual script so it doesn't have the impact it could.
Episode two is fifty eight minutes long and gets the story moving along okay, but with visual moments, one key scene happening in reported dialogue, and some time twisting moments you might have to struggle to keep up with, this is again one that might be better visually.
Not a terrible story by any means, but just not the strongest in the range.
There are fifteen minutes worth of interviews with cast and crew at the end of each disc. The ones on disc one are worth listening to for some interesting insights into the writing process for this range. And the ones on disc two for the full story of the villain in this. One point in these will make you say 'oh of course!' as one clever bit of writing is explained.
There's a trailer for Paradise 5 (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories)
at the start of disc. Hopefully it will be a stronger release.