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This review is from: Seven Keys to Doomsday (Dr Who Stage Plays) (Audio CD)
Second in a range of Doctor Who audio stories that adapt Doctor Who stage plays into audio form.
This one was originally performed on the stage back in 1974. It saw a newly regenerated Doctor, played by actor Trevor Martin, joined by two new companions. Teenagers Jenny and Jimmy. The former was played in the stage show by Wendy Padbury, who played the second doctor's companion Zoe a few years beforehand on tv.
The new Doctor and his new companions visit an alien world in a quest for some strange crystals. Where they find danger. And in the shadows, the Doctor's greatest enemies are waiting...
In this audio version of the play, Trevor Martin reprises the role of the Doctor. And Jenny is played by Charlie Hayes. Wendy Padbury's daughter.
The play runs for roughly eighty five minutes, and is spread across two cd's. The first one runs for just over fifty, and the other for thirty five.
In the stage version, it began with the Doctor appearing on stage whilst regenerating, and Jenny and Jimmy rushing out of the audience to help him. The audio keeps this. Since theatre is naturally a visual medium it does take a moment to suspend your disbelief with this scene, so perhaps it doesn't work quite as well as it could. But then the story does get going. Trevor Martin's Doctor is very good, showing traits of all the first three plus a few individual touches, and he does command the attention. Jenny and Jimmy don't have much depth as characters but they are both well played.
The first half of the play is pretty much Doctor Who by the numbers, though. Once on the alien world it all proceeds in a very linear fashion with encounters of a kind you will be familiar with from other stories. It's predictable, but capable. Although again the great visuals the play tried to produce have to be left to the imagination.
However the second half is absolutely cracking good listening. The Daleks barely figured in the first, but now they come to the fore. With Daleks of several kinds plotting and there are daring attacks and plans and surprises and moments when characters appear done for plus cunning plans from the Doctor and friends. Plus lots of explosions. It's decent excitement and makes for a good listen.
By the time of the somewhat open ended final scene you might just wish you could hear more from this line up.
An interesting piece of Doctor Who history is here brought to life in a very good fashion that does take a while to get going but does become a good listen in the end. It's possibly more for the completists than the casual listeners, but it's pretty good for what it is and worth 4/5.
There's a trailer for the third release in this range at the start of the first cd.
At the end of that cd there is a twenty two minute long [approx] documentary about the original production, which is absorbing listening and well worth hearing.
On disc two there's a four and half minute long interview with Charlie Hayes on the track after the end of the story. This is short but good.
And on the final two tracks are a documentary about the making of the audio version. This is twenty seven minutes long in total and doesn't have as much interesting trivia as the documentary on disc one, but it's still pretty good.