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Whom gods destroy...,
This review is from: Dr Who Emperor of Eternity (Dr Who Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
Latest Doctor Who companion chronicle. These are talking books featuring an actor who played a companion to the Doctor in the tv show returning to the role to read an all new tale for their character. The story is complete on one disc in two episodes of roughly thirty minutes each. And all parts will be read by the main actor save one which is done by another performer.
This one sees Deborah Watling return to the role of Victoria Waterfield, whom she played opposite Patrick Troughton's Doctor back in the sixties. Here, the Tardis makes a forced landing in ancient china. Right on the edge of a massacre. Meeting local people and taking shelter with them they come to the attention of the emperor, who has the Doctor taken to the imperial court. He hopes the timelord can give him the secret of immortality. Can Jamie and Victoria rescue the Doctor before the Emperor gets what he wants?
The other performer in this is Frazer Hines, returning to the role of Jamie. One slight problem is that it sounds like his lines were recorded at a different time because you never get the impression he's actually responding to Victoria's dialogue. However his lines are very good and well written and in character so if you can get past that then they work very well.
Where this story scores though is in the sound design. The beginning really convinces you that you're on the edge of a field containing lots of dead bodies and where the only living things are crows. Subsequent scenes involving rain and horse riders also do the same.
This is what they used to call a pure historical story at the time, in that the Tardis is the only science fictional element, and thus it follows the usual pattern those had of capture and escape and attempted non interference. A few interesting moral questions are raised but not dealt on as much as they perhaps could have been, but the first episode passes nicely thanks to the quality of the production and the reading.
And the second finishes nicely with a good plot development and some strong characterisation that makes for a thoughtful and subtle ending that could stay with you for a while.
Not the best in the range, but a tale that is definitely above average.
The last track on the disc has an entertaining interview with the Deborah Watling and the director, and the first has a trailer for the forthcoming next release in the range.