Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Hollow Ring, 17 May 2010
This review is from: The Hollows of Time (Doctor Who: The Lost Stories) (Audio CD)
Christopher H Bidmead's time as script editor of Doctor Who saw a welcome darker and down to Earth tone creeping back into the Tom Baker era. They also so saw the show based much more on real scientific contexts, you only have to look at the 4/5th Doctor segue of Logopolis/Castrovalva to see this. Also those scripts really did work, they were the right balance of mood, talk, exposition and visuals, if a little light on action in places. However, this script seems to have suffered a lot in it's transition.

Originally penned for the 'lost' Colin Baker season, it sees the return of the Tractators from Frontios, and what would have been the seasonal return of the Master. Even though he works more in an Enigma role here has Professor Stream he has all the right Master attributes, hypnotism, ability to pilot the TARDIS, casual disregard for human life and an unfailing belief in the eventual success of his own mad scheme. There's a semi religious cult, an eccentric vicar, a creepy henchman and an enthusiastic young helper. All the right ingredients you might think. Sadly something is lost in translation.

For a start I should point out that Colin Baker is superb as ever on audio and his enthusiasm for the part almost keeps the thing ticking along. David Garfield also provides the right level of malevolence as Stream. The opening twenty minutes are very atmospheric and the flashback idea to cover the fact that they couldn't use the Master (Anthony Ainley not being alive, as well as rights issues proving a huge stumbling block) works well, and serves to break up the story efficiently. It can't however, solove a lot of the problems.

Peri goes back to being very underdeveloped as a character, particularly dissappointing coming after Leviathan. Also this was obviously a very visual script, and it just hasn't been translated well; there's a lot of the old pit fall of people going 'oh look this is happening', or 'I can see this and this and this,' rather than hinting and leaving to the mind, which Big Finish do so well. The fact that the second part involves a lot of running down (time) corridors and relies on this exposition doesn't help to make it less confusing. Adding to the confusion was the fact that they had to edit a lot of content out. And yes, I have to agree, Susan Sheridan pretending to be a boy just really doesn't work when exposed for that length of time.

What The Hollows of Time represents is a very good concept and idea, just not being realised as well as it could posibly have been. Christopher H Bidmead can write well, but this does not stand, sadly, as his finest hour.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 Jan 2014 15:23:01 GMT
Good review found this disappointing.
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