Contrary to reviews you may have read about this production, as a single piece of work it's excellent. I'm not a big Sylvester McCoy fan, but even though the environment may not be traditional Dr Who, he is instantly recognisable as the Doctor, (a somewhat world weary one), and shines in this series of arcing story lines in a way he never did on television I feel.
I can understand why this splits fans of the original straight down the middle - in this scenario there are few Timelords left and they each have God-like powers they're forbidden to use, lest they destroy themselves. At the end of the recording, as the title suggests, the Doctor apparently dies, (another tranche of TV series fans switch off).
Don't let any of that disway you. 'Death Comes to Time' has a real richness to it: beautiful, cinematic sound and quality performances from the likes of Stephen Fry. It's true that the Gallifrey mythology has been surgically replaced root and branch, but that gives this performance a unique character of it's own which works well. Some bits are tacky: the stereotype police characters; John Sessions camp villain; and a rather tinny rendition of the theme tune considering the lushness of all the other audio content, but these really are minor exceptions.
The idea was originally to carry this on into a season, although the unique aspects of this idea may have lost quite a lot if we were going to go from an interesting one-off to a new way of telling 'Who. Stephen Fry's character, The Minister, was to star in a series of adventures with Ace, now a trained novice Timelord. The Doctor never truely dies of course, and at the end of the envisioned sequence he would be resurrected by his friends in a sort of 'Search for Spock' type moment. All in all then I'm glad 'Death Comes to Time' remains a unique divergence - Dr Who in another dimension perhaps.
Such a pity RTD has said nobody over 45 will ever play the Doctor again most likely, 'Death Comes to Time' demonstrates well that Stephen Fry would have been brilliant in the role.
The problem with this audio adventure is that it starts off promisingly. The first couple of parts introduce strange worlds, a plot epic in scale, a melee of characters (including a wonderful turn by Stephen Fry), some excellent cameos (Jacqueline Pearce, Anthony Stewart Head) and some truly Who-ish dialogue from Sylvester McCoy himself. But as for the resolution of the plot points and the 'finale' to the adventure, well it takes anything everyone loved about Who...and destroys it. The entire Time Lord history is rewritten and the Doctor is a completely seperate character to what he is in the series. Even the audio dramas. I can only assume the original story was a tremendous sprawling sci-fi epic and only at the last moment some idiot went, "hey, why don't we make this a dr who story and release it on that merit'. Boy, did they make a mistake. I hereby warn any Who fans that this is not a good buy at all. I cannot imagine a Who fan of any degree enjoying this after they know what happens. It just isn't right. As for the MP3 edition rather than the radio broadcast only: well, the animation looks tacky - lots of still pics, not like Scream of the Shalka or even BBCi's other audio turned animated Real Time. The interviews with the actors are interesting and the little bios on the different characters are worth a bit of reading, but frankly the whole package is tainted by the disapointment of the actual story, the real meat of the buy. I advise to avoid, I'm afraid.
There have been lots of criticisms of "Death Comes to Time" for being inconsistent in a number of details of its plot with Dr Who episodes from the past. However, the plot is superb in style and atmosphere, and in this respect it is absolutely consistent with traditional Dr Who: British sci-fi at its inventive, non-glitzy, un-American best. The plot is superbly complex and sophisticated, with lots of unpredictable twists and turns. The imagery is truly artistic, far better than the other on-line Dr Who's. It is little more than still images synchronised with the music and dialogue, but what it loses in realism (and since when was Dr Who realistic?), it gains in atmosphere. the acting is great... the music is great (bits of Mahler's 2nd in there!). Highly Recommended!