Top positive review
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An Era-beating story
on 25 June 2013
Having not greatly enjoyed this first season and skipped to the second, having just finished 2.6 The Dalek Contract, I was pleasantly surprised at how good this story was. The whole first season fits slightly awkwardly into the Doctor Who canon because the levels of humour were really post-Leela, but ignoring that point which one should have become accustomed to after the first three stories, what one is left with is one of the better Fourth Doctor Adventures of the first two seasons.
It succeeds perfectly in the audio medium because it is rich with character voices, has dialogue every bit as good, if not better than the era(s) it is based on, and a great plot. It brings in/"back" the post-"The Deadly Assassin" Master and he is absolutely superb thanks to good writing and a great performance by The Master himself at the time, Geoffrey Beevers. A very comical snooty-major role is played brilliantly by Michael Cochrane almost in John Cleese style.
I was happy to relisten to some segments as they were genuinely funny. Leela too, is well written and performed.
In many respects, the Doctor, Leela and the Master are better than they were at the time, because the writing has a more mature feel about it than the comedic season 15 style we had at the time.
For me a first rate audio, that is simple to listen to, fun, with one or two thought provoking ideas for the sci-fi ethos that I had not previously considered.
It ends on a cliff-hanger, which un-like the later story 2.2 The Sands of Life, is very welcome as I genuinely want this story to continue.
Finally, as intriguing as the story is, I am just happy to listen to the characters. So for me, this is a win-win story and one of the best single-disc releases for a long time. On a relisten I will skip some of the previous and later fourth Doctor Adventures, but this will be one of the key re-listens along with 2.1 The Auntie Matter and 2.4 The Justice of Jalxar.