3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Definitely worth a listen...,
This review is from: Doctor Who: Abominable Snowmen (BBC Radio Collection) (Audio CD)
Another strong story from Patrick Troughton's second year as Doctor Who. In my opinion this was his best season, with other great episodes such as Tomb of the Cybermen, The Ice Warriors and the frankly mad Fury from the Deep.
This is just the soundtrack with linking narration to cover scene movements and action sequences. Episode 2 can be found on the Lost in Time DVD and may be useful in helping you visualise the settings. However, I found it works well on its own, though some action scenes can be a bit hard to follow.
This story is a little on the fuzzy side. An ethereal alien intelligence creates an army of robotic mind-controlled Yetis and uses them to take over an isolated Tibetan monastery (as a base for global conquest we assume). The Yeti's make sense in the context of the story, but little is said as how and where were they constructed, or how they arrived on earth. The Intelligence too is rather a vague character, we found out virtually nothing about it except it has the power to infiltrate people's minds. These are, of course, minor points only of interest to the most pedantic fans (like me) and the vagueness does add to the overall sense of mystery.
Once you accept the premise what you get is an effective cat and mouse thriller. There is a strong sense of foreboding created by the isolated setting and the uncertainty of who could be undergoing mind-control. The tension mounts as the monastery is besieged by the Yetis leading in the end to.........well let's not spoil it.
The performances are great. The Doctor suffers all sorts of indignities trying to convince the monks of his good intentions. Victoria and Jamie show the close sibling-like relationship, one minute caring the next squabbling, that made them the best companions of the Troughton era for me. The supporting characters are all interesting and well defined.
Perhaps the story is a little overlong, it does take the Doctor rather a long time realise how to break intelligence's means of communication. You will probably have worked it out much sooner.
If you enjoyed this episode you can repeat the experience by listening to The Web of Fear, a later episode in the same season, which is essentially the same story transposed from a Tibetan Monastery to the London Underground.