5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Visual impact missed in this release,
By A Customer
This review is from: Doctor Who: The Massacre (Audio CD)The BBC, in the days before home video, decided that some of its programs were no longer required in its archives. In a somewhat unsystematic purging, many classics were consigned to the flames, including several Doctor Who stories. Fortunately, some fans of the series had made their own audio recordings, and these (following a thorough re-mastering by the BBC) are being released.
"The Massacre" is one of these releases. This story is a historical, set in Paris in 1572. The entire tone of the story is dark, with doom hanging over the proceedings as the story moves towards the Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day.
The Doctor and his companion, Steven Taylor, are separated in the first episode and Steven becomes the main character in the story. This is fairly unusual as, since, apart from the first few stories, it is the Doctor and not his companions who are firmly placed on centre stage. This situation leads to a twist: another character, the Abbot of Amboise, looks exactly like the Doctor. Steven is believes he is the Doctor in disguise, but the people around Steven regard his as a villain. Who is correct?
This makes "The Massacre" an odd choice to release on CD. The first appearance of the Abbot is a non-vocal one, so unlike the television watchers at the time of its release, we only know this thanks to the linking narration (provided by Peter Purves, who plays Steven). Given the very different approach that William Hartnell takes for the Doctor and the Abbot, the lack of visuals to emphasise this detracts from the story.
For people not used to Doctor Who's early historical stories, this one is perhaps a little grim. However, as a story showing the power of events and their capacity to crush whoever gets in their way, it is excellent. This is a story where the Doctor is not the superhuman that some later stories portray him as.