Second in a range of Doctor Who audio stories that adapt Doctor Who stage plays into audio form.
This one was originally performed on the stage back in 1974. It saw a newly regenerated Doctor, played by actor Trevor Martin, joined by two new companions. Teenagers Jenny and Jimmy. The former was played in the stage show by Wendy Padbury, who played the second doctor's companion Zoe a few years beforehand on tv.
The new Doctor and his new companions visit an alien world in a quest for some strange crystals. Where they find danger. And in the shadows, the Doctor's greatest enemies are waiting...
In this audio version of the play, Trevor Martin reprises the role of the Doctor. And Jenny is played by Charlie Hayes. Wendy Padbury's daughter.
The play runs for roughly eighty five minutes, and is spread across two cd's. The first one runs for just over fifty, and the other for thirty five.
In the stage version, it began with the Doctor appearing on stage whilst regenerating, and Jenny and Jimmy rushing out of the audience to help him. The audio keeps this. Since theatre is naturally a visual medium it does take a moment to suspend your disbelief with this scene, so perhaps it doesn't work quite as well as it could. But then the story does get going. Trevor Martin's Doctor is very good, showing traits of all the first three plus a few individual touches, and he does command the attention. Jenny and Jimmy don't have much depth as characters but they are both well played.
The first half of the play is pretty much Doctor Who by the numbers, though. Once on the alien world it all proceeds in a very linear fashion with encounters of a kind you will be familiar with from other stories. It's predictable, but capable. Although again the great visuals the play tried to produce have to be left to the imagination.
However the second half is absolutely cracking good listening. The Daleks barely figured in the first, but now they come to the fore. With Daleks of several kinds plotting and there are daring attacks and plans and surprises and moments when characters appear done for plus cunning plans from the Doctor and friends. Plus lots of explosions. It's decent excitement and makes for a good listen.
By the time of the somewhat open ended final scene you might just wish you could hear more from this line up.
An interesting piece of Doctor Who history is here brought to life in a very good fashion that does take a while to get going but does become a good listen in the end. It's possibly more for the completists than the casual listeners, but it's pretty good for what it is and worth 4/5.
There's a trailer for the third release in this range at the start of the first cd.
At the end of that cd there is a twenty two minute long [approx] documentary about the original production, which is absorbing listening and well worth hearing.
On disc two there's a four and half minute long interview with Charlie Hayes on the track after the end of the story. This is short but good.
And on the final two tracks are a documentary about the making of the audio version. This is twenty seven minutes long in total and doesn't have as much interesting trivia as the documentary on disc one, but it's still pretty good.
on 30 January 2009
I have just finished listening to 'seven keys of doomsday' and thought it was really very good. Trevor Martin made a good authoritative doctor - in his characterisation he reminded me a bit of the Brigadier and seemed to borrow aspects of Hartnell, Troughton and Pertwee in the role. The story is a classic boys own adventure with doomsday devices, crabmen and megalomaniac supercomputers - I clapped my hands in glee when the Dr outwitted the vast intelligence with that old chestnut the Liar Paradox causing it to blow up. And although Mr Dicks had reservations about the beginning of the play - when the new companions where abducted from the audience and whisked away through time and space with a newly regenerated doctor - I thought it made the play really unique and special. The making of documentary is very informative and it's really nice that Trevor Martin finally gets recognition for his role in Dr Who as the first stage doctor. Well Done.
on 6 April 2011
Trevor Martin is unarguably the best thing about this audio adaptation of the Seventies Doctor Who stage-play; his playfullness and occasional gravitas making him a worthy imitator of the First Doctor. Unintentional companions Jimmy and Jenny are clearly Ian and Barbara by another name and The Doctor's slightly forced bickering with Jimmy reminded me strongly of William Hartnell and William Russell in the TV series' original run.
As stagey and melodramatic as you'd expect, I didn't enjoy this as much as the others in the Stage Plays series, however it was still a decently produced nostalgia-inducing slice of historical Who.
I also particularly enjoyed the interview with Wendy Padbury's daughter Charlie who plays Jenny; entitled 'Growing-up with Doctor Who' it is an interesting and candid featurette and is a worthy addition to the main audio drama.
on 24 March 2009
Some time ago I was helping oput at a convention which had a panel with Trevor Martin. Thinking there would be little interest I stocked up on snacks for the rush in the dealers room and of course there wasn't one. people are interested in the Doctor we never saw and those wily souls at Big Finish have recruited him to remake the play for audio.
It's really great stuff, a better script by Terrance Dicks than the Ultimate Adventure, it has made a great audio.
Trevor Martin is a terrific Doctor with authority, eccentricity and all those doctorish things you might want. If I had to compare him to others, then there's perhaps a small touch of Troughton.
All the cast are good and what a wonderfully cheeky idea to cast Wendy Padbury's daughter in the role of Jenny which Dame Padbury played in the original. Never mind the next generation thing Charly Hays is damn good in the role!
All the high production values you have come to expect from Big Finish are there and also some DVD style extras. We have a look at the original production with reminscences from Terrance Dicks and Trevor Martin and they join the cast for a look at the remaking of the story too. Charly Hays recalls "Growing up with Who"
If I had to give a demerit it would be recreating the opening where the companions jump out of the audience to help a regenerating Doctor. Not so good on audio but it did happen in the play.
I recommend this for everyone.
Please Big Finish utilise Trevor in some Unbound stories.