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The Kingdom of Silver and Keepsake: "I am the Magus!" "You are incorrect - you are raw material",
This review is from: Kingdom of Silver (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
This is the hundred and twelfth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Sylvester McCoy as a companionless Seventh Doctor, and has a welcome part for Terry Molloy in a rare opportunity for him to play someone other than Davros for a change. There are two stories here, the first three episodes are an adventure called `Kingdom of Silver', the fourth episode a one part story called `Keepsake' that acts as a coda to the three parter. Episodes are roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings within the three parter. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes.
The first adventure, the three part `Kingdom of Silver', is an average Cybermen story. The Doctor is on a planet that has not advanced out of the steam age, but seems to have a few examples of very advanced technology. Whilst investigating he meets Temeter, another offworlder, who is also tracking the use of non-indigenous technology. Soon the planet's secret is revealed and The Doctor and his friends are running not only from Cybermen but from those misguided individuals who think cyber-conversion is a good idea. McCoy plays Seven as the darker, brooding figure that we see towards the end of his regeneration, like that seen in `Valhalla' and `The Death Collectors'. It's a great characterisation and he really pulls it off to give us an interesting, thoughtful and thought provoking Doctor.
With a few shout outs for the excellent `Spare Parts' and similarities to Tomb of the Cybermen, this is a so-so adventure that ticks the boxes but does nothing really special. It is the coda that really lifts this release. Many years in the future, Seven finds some remnants of his friends from Kingdom of Silver in a rubbish tip and there are some suprising relvelations as to their fate after the parted company. It's a thoughtful episode, and a remarkably good idea.
However, the release does have the drawback of acting too much as an advert for Cybermen series 2, and trying too hard to link in with it does detract a little. 4 stars in all for this release.