When I first heard the Macra Terror, I loved it, and that was a battered old 2 cassette release from the early 90's. The audio quality was poor but I still very much enjoyed it. Colin Baker's linking narration is great and a real help if you are listening to the action rather than watching it via the reconstructions widely available online. If I could sum up the whole serial in one word, it would have to be atmosphere, this story screams atmosphere, the incidental music by Dudley Simpson is electric, it really adds to the production and is fantastic. There should be a BBC CD release for Dudley's work on Doctor Who for us to enjoy, but currently no such release has emerged. Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines, Michael Craze and Anneke Wills are the centre of attention here, each with their own part in the story to play. As ever, Pat is on top form here and you get the sense that he is loving every minute of working on the series he has helped to continue. The other quest cast are all very intriquing, the Pilot, Ola and more importantly the Controller are fascinating.
Synopsis: The Doctor and his 3 companions of Jamie, Ben and Polly arrive on a distant world in the distant future, the planet has by now been colonised by humans. The colony is run by the Pilot under command from the Controller, who although has the visual appearance of a human, is in fact the Macra, a group alien insects who have infiltrated the colony and are brain-washing the humans in to mining vital gas for the creatures survival. The Doctor eventually finds all this out and gradually persuades the colonists that the colony is in the grip of these horrible monsters. In the end, the Macra are defeated by the Doctor and his companions. All is well until they touch down on an active runway in 1960's London.
The Macra Terror is completely lost barring a few brief clips, it is a shame that the Beeb junked these classics but lets be grateful that fans of the series recorded these episodes for us to enjoy today. The story suits audio, the Macra suit audio, the Doctor suits audio. This production is much better realised through the audio medium than if the visuals survived. The Macra in visual form were never going to be impressive, and as a person who has seen the Macra Terror in visual form, I can tell you that listeners are not missing out. I prefer the audio soundtrack to the visuals as the audio with narration really adds atmosphere and enjoyment.
As for the BBC CD release, its been lovingly remastered and not rush-released like it was in the 90's. The cover is very attractive and the narration from Colin Baker is clear and easy on the ears, there is not too much talking from Colin here and he never interups or talks over the actor speaking. All these factors make the Macra Terror a great addition to the Doctor Who missing adventures range on BBC audio.
Many thanks for your time,