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Something to declare,
This review is from: Spaceport Fear (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
A new Doctor Who audio story. Second a in a run of three that feature Colin Baker as the Doctor and Bonnie Langford as his companion Mel.
This story, despite being in the middle of a trilogy, stands pretty much entirely on it's own. And casual listeners would be able to get into it quite easily without having heard any other story.
It runs for four parts of thirty minutes each in length [approx] and is spread over two cd's.
The story is set in a spaceport called Tantane. Where two tribes of people - economy and business - have been at war for years. Where terrible stories are told about a creature called the Wailer that wanders the corridors and eats people.
Where people wait for the summer to come.
And where the TARDIS has just arrived. The Doctor and Mel are about to discover the hidden secrets of a place that nobody ever leaves....
It's obvious right from the start that this is a devolved culture story - one where the residents of a place have been there so long they've forgotten and misinterpreted what a lot of things mean. Things that are obvious to the listener. And the Doctor. All the set up of this in part one is very intriguing and a good listen. The cast are excellent, particularly veteran character Ronald Pickup [whose very first acting job was on the Doctor Who tv story 'The Reign of Terror' back in the 1960's]. There are some fun lines of pop culture references that firmly date Mel as a child of the 1980's. And she has a nice relationship with the Doctor, who is very much the calmer version of the audios rather than the abrasive one of his tv era.
There's really good sound design which makes you feel as if you're in a large, quiet and almost deserted building.
Plus an excellent cliffhanger.
The next three parts don't quite live up to the first, though. The big revelations you might expect never quite arrive. A lot the next two episodes are people walking around corridors talking. There are some very good character arcs and all those involved do develop and change over the course of the story, something that the actors really respond to, but it never quite delivers really big shocks or memorable plot developments.
This is a very capable release and production, though. The amount of character drama does mean repeat listens would deliver something new each time. Although each episode does feel just a couple of minutes too long.
Not the best story in the range. But a very good production with a lot of good points. And it is worth a listen.
There's five minutes worth of the music from the story on the final track of disc one.
A trailer for the next in this range on the track after the end of part two on disc two.
And just over fourteen minutes of interviews with cast and crew on the final two tracks of that disc.