A Doctor Who audio play. Which features Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor and Sophie Aldred as his companion Ace.
This follows on from the end of earlier story Gods and Monsters (Doctor Who). That story was the culmination of plot strands that ran throughout the Seventh Doctor audios for years. And you needed to have heard quite a few other ones in order to get into it.
Since this deals with what happened at the end of that, it's thus not really a story for the casual listener.
But if you have been following these plot strands and have heard Gods and Monsters, read on.
Afterlife is a four parter. Spread over two cd's. With episodes running from twenty eight to thirty three minutes in length [approx.].
The first episode is almost entirely a two hander. In the TARDIS. As Ace and the Doctor deal with what happened to Hex. The Timelord really is sorry. But how can he convey that to a so very human ace, who is undergoing a very human reaction?
There's some very strong character material here, which allows for some really powerful drama. And the two leads really give it their all.
A flashback device allows for Hex to feature. It's fascinating for regular listeners because it shows how far his character came from his early days.
The story then heads to Liverpool. Where we meet Hex's gran, played by veteran Liverpudlian actress Jean Boht.
Then both Ace and the Doctor find they still have things to deal with. But they're things they really didn't expect.
This is a hard one to review without spoilers. Suffice it to say that there's more great character drama to come in parts two to four, particularly the scenes between Hex's gran and the Doctor. It also then gets in another strand which is more plot based. One early twist in this is one you will not see coming.
As the story flips between superb character drama and this plotline as it goes on, the former remains great but you can wonder where the latter is heading. It doesn't initially appear as if it's going to be the total change to the status quo you might have expected this story to be from the off.
But then the last few minutes of part three all come together and make it all clear. And you have to admire some very clever writing.
Part four brings things to a resolution. With some more strong character moments, one in particular will stick in the mind for a while. Plus some great material for Sylvester McCoy whose Doctor really gets to let loose in scenes you won't forget in a hurry.
The end isn't what you might have expected at the start. But it will leave you wanting to know what will happen next.
A strong character drama with some great plotting, this is a very good continuation of the storyline and an excellent listen.
There's just under nine minutes of music from the story on the last two tracks of disc one.
A trailer for the next release in this range [A new run of three for the Sixth Doctor] on the track after the end of part four on disc two.
And twelve minutes of interviews with cast and crew on the tracks after that.