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A Doctor Who twist on a classic idea and some great performances,
This review is from: Last of the Colophon (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) (Audio CD)
After the previous release in this series, ‘The Evil One’, featured Michael Keating of ‘Blake’s 7’ fame, this audio finally sees Gareth Thomas (Blake from ‘Blake’s 7’) appear in Doctor Who alongside Tom Baker. Thomas is obviously given the role of the main villain and he plays it with relish, providing sibilant, gravelly tones that sell the character perfectly.
There really isn’t much of a way to talk about this particular storyline without giving away its central premise. To all intents and purposes this is Doctor Who does ‘The Invisible Man’. Obviously in true Doctor Who style the ‘invisible man’ of this story is the last of an alien race imprisoned upon a planet all alone and desperate to escape. The play doesn’t make it entirely clear why Morax is such a threat that he must never leave the planet but these elements of the story feel somewhat reminiscent of the Cyberman comic strip ‘Black Legacy’.
Having an invisible villain has obvious advantages on audio. It allows for some great cat and mouse stuff with Morax, The Doctor and Leela as the three of them are effectively deprived of different senses at different times. There is a dramatically interesting action scene with Morax relying on his vision and Leela on her hearing as they do battle. It is an effective way to stage an action scene in the audio format. This also involves a lot of dialogue between the three of them and there are some well written debates which Baker and Thomas throw themselves into.
Although they couldn’t be left out, the other roles feel slightly extraneous as the play essentially relies on the interaction between the two regulars and the villain. Much of the second episode in particular centres round the three characters.
In terms of actual plot it is fairly simple, based a lot round a will he or won’t he escape premise. At times it is also a little predictable. But it is the convincing performances and interactions between Baker, Thomas and Jameson that really sell the story.