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Destiny of the Doctor 5: Smoke and Mirrors
on 22 November 2014
This is the fifth in the continuing series (of 11) stories featuring each of the eleven Doctors up to the time of the 50th anniversary. This story features a tale told of the time of the Fifth Doctor, as played by Peter Davison, and told by Tegan, as played by Janet Fielding.
These stories operate a bit like the Companion Chronicles done by Big Finish, where one character narrates almost all the parts, and tells the story, with usually one other actor playing another main part. In this case, the character of Harry Houdini is played by Tim Beckmann. Each story has an element popped in somewhere during the run of the story which is contributing to an overall story arc which will (hopefully!) be revealed in all its glory in the eleventh, and final story.
In this story the Fifth Doctor and his companions Tegan, Nyssa and Adric have followed a signal sent by a psionic distress call. The Tardis lands in England in the 1920s and the travellers find themselves at a fairground, where the Doctor is delighted to meet up with an old friend of his, the great escapologist Harry Houdini. Houdini thinks there is something odd going on at the fair and he has called on the Doctor to help him solve the mystery. They have a history together, and Tegan is delighted to meet a real historical figure who she admires, even though the Doctor has failed (yet again!) to get her back to Heathrow in 1981 in time for her to start her new job.
This is a really good early Fifth Doctor story; Tegan is at her best in stepping forward to help out at every opportunity, Nyssa is quietly spoken, and Adric is at the stage of his Tardis career where he is trying to excel for the Doctor, and prove himself. The three companions are well portrayed in this story which is largely focused on their actions, while the Doctor works more in the background. However, all the travellers come together to solve the mystery, and to put to rest the plots of an old foe (no spoilers). In this story, the clue relating to the 11 Doctor story arc comes quite early on, and these clues are all starting to build up to a very intriguing storyline. I look forward to listening to the Sixth Doctor story to see what his tale is, and where the overall story arc leads next.