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Behind the masque,
This review is from: "Doctor Who" and the Masque of Mandragora (Classic Novels) (Audio CD)
In an attempt to circumnavigate the Tim Piggot-Smith versus Tom Baker debate I will say that this is a solidly entertaining reading of one of the Fourth Doctor's most exhilerating serials. Recently available on DVD as well, the story sees Tom Baker really hitting his stride as the nomadic wanderer in time and space; Philip Hinchcliffe, the show's producer at the time, makes a rare but welcome foray into the Target books range, and his story maintains the crispness and humour of the original script, whilst adding a touch of literary verve and some suitable embellishments - exactly what the range did best. Whilst not as impressive as those penned by Malcolm Hulke, this still fleshes out some of the characters, and gives greater depth to the picture of Renaissance Italy that works better in the minds' eye than realised visually with the BBC's paltry 1976 Doctor Who budget.
All in all 'Masque' is another welcome addition to a super range of audio books; the decision to use original Target artwork on these audios was also an inspired one, and Mike Little's front cover simply makes a great package even more appealing (despite the rather dodgy rendition of Tom Baker it remains iconic within the range). As a Doctor Who (and particularly a mid-late 70s Doctor Who) fan, it's inevitable I will be generous in my reviews of these audios - please rate me on the quality of the info and not on whether you agree or disagree with the sentiments expressed. Thankyou.