Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
No sign of the Doctor, but an enjoyable Victorian sci-fi detective pastiche
on 14 May 2013
First things first: despite the prominent use of the Doctor Who logo, the good Doctor is nowhere to be found in this 2-CD audio adventure, which is another excursion into the extended NuWhoniverse. Instead, we're treated to an adventure with the Paternoster Gang, the Silurian Great Detective Madame Vastra, her human maid and girlfriend Jenny and the Sontaran nurse Strax (who first appeared in the series six episode a Good Man Goes to War) involving a corpse found in a snowman by two workhouse children, a sinister industrialist and a deadly smoke. It's a rather enjoyable diversion with some nice touches, much comic mileage from the warlike Strax's desire for bloodshed and a pointless but glorious death and even a cliffhanger at the end of disc one, but it never quite makes the leap from rather good to really good. Justin Richards does a nice job of pastiching Victorian detective literature without getting too lost in past literary styles for a modern audience, though he's clearly having more fun writing for Strax than he is for his nominal heroine. Dan Starkey played Strax in the series and his reprised performance here is a joy to listen to, but his reading is particularly good all round, handling the other characters with considerable skill, even managing to convincingly voice the female characters without slipping into caricature. All in all it's an enjoyable case, but one that doesn't manage to leave you champing at the bit to hear of more of the characters' adventures.