Energy of the Daleks (Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures) Audio CD – Audiobook, 30 Apr 2012
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While this series of Fourth Doctor plays are wonderful and evoke memories of the late 70s in my mind, they are just too fast, and over far too quickly. I don't know why they've made them so short, but it's in danger of spoiling my enjoyment of the series. On TV in 1977 you had character development over the 4-6 episodes. Yes there were the odd 2 parters, but they were with a very small cast and certainly didn't involve lots of locations and running around.
Take this Dalek tale for example - it is truly wonderful, and as has been said in another review, the Daleks have just the right amount of menace and panic... but just as you get into it, it's over. I find this with the TV version since 2005 too... 45 minutes does "Doctor Who" no justice whatsoever, likewise Tom really needs more than a hour per story.
It's that which has forced me to only give this 4 stars rather than the 5.
This is the fourth in a series of them. All releases so far have pretty much stood on their own, though, so casual listeners would be able to pick this up and get into it quite easily. There is a linking theme to them of the Doctor educating Leela, but that has little bearing on this story.
It runs for two episodes of twenty nine minutes each [approx] and is complete on a single cd.
The story sees the Doctor and Leela arriving in London in the near future. Where they find people protesting against a corporation that claims to have a way to solve a global energy crisis. Those who protest are ruthlessly oppressed. But the Doctor has detected a mysterious and strangely familiar energy reading.
Old enemies of his are nearby. Could the scheme to save the world actually bring about it's doom?
This was the first of these to be recorded, but regular listeners to them may not even notice, as Tom Baker and Louise Jameson do feel settled in their roles right from the off, and the script does give some excellent character moments and strong dialogue. Some of it is pretty funny as well.
It's a very traditional Doctor Who story in style. With scheming Daleks. Humans on the side of authority versus those who aren't, in a style that could have come from a third doctor story. And lots of running around and the Doctor doing frightfully clever things.
Whilst the quality of the acting and the style of the story does carry it along nicely enough, it does drift a little in the middle of part two. And ultimately being traditional is also a slight weakness because it means it doesn't offer anything new, and the script isn't therefore quite up to the standards of the last two in this range.
It's a perfectly decent story for what it is, but it's not the best of this run so far.
There's a trailer for the next release in this range on the track after the end of part two.
And fifteen minutes or so of interviews with cast and crew on the tracks after that.
Otherwise, this is a great Dalek story - the Daleks are out to destroy the human race (no surprise there) and the Doctor and Leela are determined to stop them (no surprise there either!). The Doctor and Leela land in London at the time of a global energy crisis - the company that promises a resolution by taking energy from the Moon is about to start their testing. But the Daleks are watching, and using the opportunity to take their own revenge on the human race. But can their greatest enemy stop them in time!?
Tom Baker and Louise Jameson are, as always, in top form - they really do just sound like they did in the tv series. Great stuff - but can we please have longer stories!?
Publisher’s Summary: “The Doctor and Leela find themselves in the middle of London at the time of a new energy crisis. The GlobeSphere Corporation seems to have all the answers — but several thousand protesters beg to differ.
What is the connection between the National Gallery and a base on the Moon? Has radical thinker Damien Stephens simply sold out, or does he have a more sinister agenda?
The Doctor has detected a mysterious energy reading. Could it be that the most evil creatures in the universe have returned to claim ultimate victory once and for all?”
Tom and Louise have grown in to their old roles better since the start of the series and the interplay between them has improved as well, which is odd as I believe this was the first one they recorded. Jack Benton played by Mark Benton is as an average bloke that gets sucked in to events in the Doctor’s slipstream. The effects and music are all a perfect fit for this audio drama. The directing is also well focused. Now, I am no fan of Nick Briggs’ work usually but I found this one to be very enjoyable even though the plot is rather clunky.
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