Second story in the 'Excelis' trilogy; this is set over a thousand years after the events of the first story 'Excelis Dawns'. Writer David McIntee has the thankless task of providing the middle section to the three part Excelis story arc, after the success of 'Excelis Dawns'. However, he acquits himself well, and actor Anthony Head seems to fit the character of `Grayvorn' like a glove. Colin Baker's Doctor is as assured as you'd expect, while director Ed Salt keeps things simmering along nicely. To top it off, suitably eerie music makes this an atmospheric and intriguing audio adventure.
This is the second in the Excelis trilogy, which follows on from Excelis Dawns, and continues the tale loosely linked through a ‘relic’ and its ties to Excelis, on the planet of Artaris. At the end of Excelis Dawns we, the audience, have heard something which gives us an idea that Grayvorn and the Mother Superior were not as lost as the Fifth Doctor had thought, when they toppled over the edge of the cliff; and the relic?
In this story, the planet of Artaris has moved on one thousand years; civilisation and technology have advanced somewhat, and the relic, found years ago, is now held securely and safely in the local Imperial Museum. When someone tries to break in one night, the Sixth Doctor (looking for the dinosaur exhibition) finds himself caught in the middle of the investigation. And why does the Reeve Maupassant seem so familiar?
This is a great story; Anthony Stewart Head as the Reeve is absolutely chillingly brilliant. I did not realise until I read the notes with the cd (after listening to it) that his lines were recorded separately from the other cast members; you would never know from listening to these stories. The tone for all parts is spot-on; the pitch, the delivery, the emotion and motivation in each part of the conversations is absolutely perfect.
Colin Baker dives into the role of the Sixth Doctor with his usual verve and enthusiasm. Charles Kay as the Curator, Rupert Laight, Toby Walton, Nicky Goldie, James Lailey and Patricia Leventon; all are absolutely perfect in their roles.
Again, the end of this story leaves the audience with a taste that all is perhaps not yet over; indeed, the Seventh Doctor is anticipated to revisit Excelis in the third part of the trilogy, Excelis Decays – can’t wait. There is also a further link to Excelis in the Companion Chronicle featuring Benny Summerfield, The Plague Herds of Excelis, which is set somewhere in this trilogy.