The Selachian Gambit (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) Audio CD – Audiobook, 29 Feb 2012
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Top customer reviews
So it was that, accompanied by a great opportunity to interview Anneke 'Polly' Wills at Exeter's Phonicon '13, I began to revisit the early Pat Troughton era of the programme, a period before I had watched it on telly (in fact, I'd only just been born). And what a glorious period that was: the magnificent Polly and Ben (the deb and the pleb), joined by Jamie in The Highlanders (he would go on to be the Doctor's longest-serving companion) all fitted magnificently into a time we now recall with a hazy 'Austin Powers' glow. As for Pat Troughton himself, he might not have created the role but to have pulled off the risky experiment of the first regeneration and a complete change in personality took rare talent and charisma.
And now we can relive that time again with ersatz nostalgia like this - actually recorded in 2012! Anneke Wills still sounds like Polly (and, having shared a stage with her, I can confirm could practically still play the part on screen, she's aged so well!) and Frazer Hines like Jamie...but here he also takes on the roles of the Doctor and Ben, Pat Troughton and Michael Craze having sadly departed. His Cockney accent for Ben is impressive, while his channelling of Patrick Troughton's tone and mannerisms is nothing short of spooky. The two were great friends in real life (in fact, all four seemed to get on like a house on fire) and I think that must have helped.
The story is great fun and feels like one of its period. Talented writer Steve Lyons introduced the Selachians (talking sharks in spacesuits) in his book The Murder Game, back in the 90s (which also featured Pat's Doctor, Ben and Polly but not Jamie). Here he manages to poke subtle fun at the banking crisis and to use a device SOMEONE had to use at some time: the TARDIS gets clamped!
Audio works so well for this sort of thing. If it had appeared on TV in 1966, the special effects would have been pretty ropy (see those bits of The Tenth Planet or The Underwater Menace that survive) - here it's all in the mind. And who can't imagine a talking shark in a spacesuit?
Ten out of ten! As the late, lamented Michael Craze would surely have said: 'Nice one, Duchess - and you, me ol' haggis!'
As anyone knows, if you leave your vehicle without paying the necessary fee, you’re likely to find it immobilised on your return. The Doctor learns the hard way, and he and his companions head into the GalactiBank to get a loan so he can pay the ten credit fee and they can all head off in the Tardis. Unfortunately, the Doctor’s bad day is about to get much worse, as the Bank is about to be targeted by some very unusual robbers – the Selachians.
This is a great story. Frazer Hines and Anneke Wills share the load in the story, both acting in character as Jamie and Polly, and voicing the other characters. They both do a great job impersonating the Doctor (Frazer Hines does this brilliantly) and their other companion, Ben. Other characters in the story are some of those caught in the bank raid, and their would-be rescuers. The story itself is much more than might be imagined, if you think it’s just going to be a bank holdup. There are layers upon layers in this story, and all the characters have their own motivations. The GalactiBank is a great location for a story like this, and the Doctor, and all three of his companions, get a chance to be fully involved in the story. Great stuff.
Most recent customer reviews
Starring Frazer Hines and Anneke Wills, both actors give extremely credible performances of...Read more
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