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This review is from: Doctor Who: Horror Of Fang Rock (Audio CD)
It's an interesting choice for a narrated audiobook release, isn't it?
Being from 1977, it's the most recent of CLASSIC SERIES stories to be `treated' and published by AUDIOGO as a part of the Original Narrated Soundtrack range but Terrance Dicks' `written at short notice' four-parter, DOCTOR WHO - HORROR OF FANG ROCK is, referring back to season 15, a shinning beacon (see what I did there?) in a mixed bag of valuable gems & worthless `paste'.
And as an added bonus DOCTOR WHO fandom champion, Louise Jameson, is cast adrift to provide a confident and thrilling interspersed narration throughout.
To recap the plotline briefly we rejoin the Doctor and Leela (fresh from their adventure encountering Magnus Greel skulking through Victorian Sewers and theatrically treading `the boards') materialising at an isolated Lighthouse on 20 th century Earth (the Doctor's destination was Brighton) only to find that an alien force has been picking off its inhabitants one-by-one. The alien's `hunger' is sated further as survivors of a shipwreck are consumed.
It's a typical `base-under-siege' DOCTOR WHO story but its beauty lies in its simplicity and reliable storytelling, with crisp & believable characters that have depth and narrative reasoning.
However, this simplicity should not mistaken for naivety or credulity, as HORROR OF FANG ROCK is a work of genius, more so as it hurriedly replaced an abandoned story. Linear (bar that every consolidated corridor is vertically challenged rather than horizontal as per the standard DOCTOR WHO story) storytelling of a high order.
As narrator, Louise Jameson (Leela) guides the listener the through the heavy mist-laden night air that cocoons the isolated lighthouse as the alien feeds unselectively and uncontrollably, in addition to being mildly salaciously.
"Leela has already stripped to her petticoat... and continues to shred her clothes..."
"...delving awkwardly into the trouser pockets..."
"The creature breaks Adelaide's head in one hand, electricity arcs over her body and she falls dead. Leela runs for her life."
In an interview with Louise Jameson, conducted by David Darlington in June 2012, the actress discusses pre-DOCTOR WHO work in the theatre (and the fact that she was one of the options for Purdy in THE NEW AVENGERS) her working relationship with Tom Baker, the series producers, and the option that John Nathan-Tuner gave her to return to the series to bridge the Baker/Davision regeneration handover in 1981/82, and her beloved fans. Wonderful and charming.
As an added bonus, this release contains original scripts from the 1977 in the form of full-colour annotated pdfs.
Overall, the narrated soundtrack of DOCTOR WHO - HORROR OF FANG ROCK has only one problem albeit one that every fan will relish; following it's listening you will have allocate the time to re-watch the DVD version. Aurally, it is redefined as a `forgotten classic'.
To that end, I do hope that further CLASSIC SERIES original soundtracks from this era are re-mastered for a narration format, and, more so, that Colin Baker is tempted to re-visit his tenure.