please note: this is a review of companion chronicles 3.12, the stealers from saiph. for some reason the amazon system is displaying one review of companion chronicles 3.11 on this page.
the stealers from saiph is the twelfth in the latest batch of companion chronicles, a series of talking books featuring an actor who played a companion in doctor who on tv reprising the role to read an all new story.
this one features mary tamm, who played the first romana on tv in 1978 opposite tom baker's doctor. there's a slight break from the usual format of these releases which generally have one other voice actor in them in that it doesn't occur here. mary tamm reads all the parts herself.
the story is complete on one disc. it begins with a short trailer for the next in the range, then two episodes that run twenty eight and thirty five minutes approximately, and ends with a fun and lively interview with cast and crew.
In this story - which is set after the final tv story in which this romana appeared - she and the doctor are holidaying in the antibes in 1929. Other guests at their hotel include an eccentric greek astologer who tries to warn the doctor of impending doom, and a few upper class people from britain. the style of the characters and the setting are like something out of an agatha christie novel. mary tamm brings them to life very well, and some excellent period style music heightens the effect.
most of the first episode, save for an encounter with a monster at the end, is not the fastest paced tale ever, but the atmosphere of the tale is enough that it doesn't really matter. it's a pleasant listen. but things change direction drastically in the last third of the story when the true nature of the threat is revealed. It's really rather scary in a subtle way, and this is helped by creepy music. what follows next is just the kind of thing that the fourth doctor would have been in on screen, with a desperate race of time to destroy monsters before they get powerful.
the second episode of this is stronger than the first, and it's not quite the best in this season of companion chronicles, but an entertaining listen and well worth getting