Customer Review

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3.0 out of 5 stars Left me slightly nonplussed... didn't hit the roof!, 21 May 2007
This review is from: The Roof of the World (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
"Tibet, 1917.

"It's a time of great exploration, with intrepid teams of adventurers heading blindly into uncharted territory, determined to beat inexplicable odds and overcome any challenge they encounter...

"But some things are not necessarily that easy to defeat...

"An ancient evil, perhaps older than time itself, is stirring deep within the heart of the Himalayas... It has always known it will return and finish off what it started so many centuries before...

"But the time has to be right...

"As the TARDIS materialises, with the Doctor determined to take full advantage of an invite to a cricket match, the catalyst that the dark forces need unwittingly arrives..."

"The Roof of the World", by Adrian Rigelsford, is a play with some interesting ideas and great performances, but a rather lopsided structure and an poorly explored threat / villain that lacks any particular motive or background.

The play starts out seeming like an Erimem vehicle. Peter Davison's Doctor takes companions Peri and Erimem to watch a cricket match, but encounters an alien threat, taking the form of a deadly black cloud that attacks the hotel where the cricket match is to take place. Erimem "dies", and we spend a great deal of time with her disembodied self (Caroline Morris does well with the material) as the alien threat (masquerading as missing explorer Lord Mortimer Davey, played by Edward de Souza) tries to convince her to do its dirty work. Thus pass the first two episodes.

Quite why the alien threat absolutely has to use Erimem rather than anybody else, and exactly what her father (William Franklyn) has to do with it, is never made clear (unless I was just being thick when I listened to the play). And why Rigelsford, after building Erimem up so much over the course of the second episode, should choose to marginalise her so dramatically for the rest of the story is also unclear. "The Roof of the World" has, in effect, two second episodes: the first one dealing with events following Erimem's "death" from Erimem's perspective, and the rest the second dealing with the same period of time from the perspective of the Doctor, Peri and guest hangers-on General Alexander Bruce (Sylvester Morand) and his scribe John Matthews (Alan Cox). This leaves episode four to resolve the alien threat and its mission, and the whole affair isn't handled particularly well. At the end, I was left with the feeling that I really needed to listen to "The Roof of the World" again, to see what I had missed.

Not bad (and better than "The Axis of Insanity"), but probably more of a play for the completists than anything else.
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3.0 out of 5 stars (6 customer reviews)
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