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The Enchanted Maze,
This review is from: Doctor Who: Caerdroia (Audio CD)
2004 was a pretty bad year for Big Finish Productions. The looming presence of new Who on TV cast a shadow over whatever they seemed to come up with and one could quite easily have thought that their Doctor Who range (once such a beacon in dark times) had run out of steam. Happlily, the last four stories were a real return to form; of those four, the quirkiest is Lloyd Rose's 'Caerdroia'. For anyone familiar with her excellent trio of BBC Doctor Who novels, the quality of writing should come as no surprise at all but even those who steadfastly only watch the TV stories should be charmed and fascinated.
The basic premise of the story is highly ingenious (and the spur for a lot of superb dialogue) though what really stands out is the performance of Paul McGann in the lead, set a real acting challenge to which he rises magnificently. As a whole, it's not quite perfect: disc two includes a few minutes rather obvious padding and the first half of disc one is merely an extended build up to the first cliffhanger. But what a cliffhanger! (Trust me: if you haven't already been told what happens, you will be agog to see how things develop.)
In spite of minor flaws, 'Caerdroia' is essential listening for any Doctor Who fan for the simple reason that it takes exploration of The Doctor's character into completely new and unexpected territory. It's also great fun. What more reasons do you need?