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A fitting homage to the era of the Sixth Doctor
on 23 June 2013
This novella is quite representative of the Sixth Doctor's era. The choice to conduct the narrative through Peri's eyes works very successfully (and is somewhat reminiscent of the various Companion Chronicles audio plays). It allows us to clearly see the strengths and foibles of Colin Baker's interpretation of the Timelord. It also allows Peri to perfectly fulfil the companion role of being the character we associate with. Her disbelief and amazement at a Las Vegas inspired world is in line with how most readers would probably feel in the same situation. Peri is very well characterised by the author (only her irritating screaming habit from the television series is thankfully omitted). Her mixed irritation and faith in the Doctor is captured perfectly. It would be so effortless for Nicola Bryant to do an audio for this. However, the Doctor is perhaps portrayed in a bit more of limited way because he is only seen through the eyes of Peri.
The villain of the piece (it soon becomes obvious who this is) is ideal for a celebration of the Doctor's sixth incarnation. They are well characterised if a little bit too over-emotional and less clinical than they usually appear on screen. The plot is also quite suitable to feature such a villain, even though the aim is perhaps more something the Master would be trying to achieve.
Most of the other characters are bit incidental, but that is because there isn't really the space to further develop them. Wira is given a substantial role however and allows for Peri to have someone to interact with. Wira is a quite a sympathetic character and her love story, although lacking in originality, fits well into this storyline, providing it with an added dimension.
The pace of the action and the narrative is well pitched and the resolution, although a little simple and over-romantic, is quite suitable for the style and length of the novella. It is a good celebration of the Sixth Doctor and even manages to tie in to a couple of the television stories.