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A New Adventure for the Second Doctor,
This review is from: Doctor Who: Shadow of Death (Destiny of the Doctor 2) (Audio CD)
'Shadow of Death' is the second title in AudioGO and Big Finish's 50th Anniversary series 'Destiny of the Doctor', taking the form of a brand new adventure for the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe, in which the TARDIS lands on an outpost amidst an abandoned city on a world orbiting a Pulsar, which has the extraordinary power to affect time. In much the same way as the previous release, 'Hunters of Earth', evoked the spirit of the show's first episode 'An Unearthly Child', 'Shadow of Death' very much has the feel of a story from the Troughton era, with its 'base under siege' idea and the creeping menace of the titular shadow. Of course, there's more to it than that, but to go into any more detail regarding the plot would serve to spoil things somewhat - suffice to say, it's a story which explores the Doctor's unique relationship with time, and where nothing is quite what it initially seems.
The format for this series is that of an enhanced audiobook, with a main narrator accompanied by an actor in a supporting role. Frazer Hines narrates here, and I couldn't think of a better choice to handle this release - not only does he handle the job of narrator well, he also plays something of a dual role in the acting department, effectively playing not only the part of Jamie McCrimmon (his TV character, and the Second Doctor's longest-serving travelling companion) but that of the Doctor himself. Hines provides an uncanny performance which perfectly captures the spirit of the late Patrick Troughton, and given that this is very much a Doctor-centric story, it very much works to the benefit of the finished product. In fact, at certain points, I managed to forget that I wasn't listening to Troughton himself in those scenes. That, combined with the excellent sound design, really helps to cement the Troughton era feel in one's mind when listening. It's a slightly shorter story than 'Hunters of Earth', running to just under an hour or so, and the story didn't quite grab me as its predecessor had, but it was still an hour well spent, and I'd imagine essential listening for those with a particular fondness for that era of 'Doctor Who'. There's also a scene which ties into the 'series arc', which is rather intriguing, and gives the impression that 'Destiny of the Doctor' could be going somewhere very interesting indeed.