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3.3 - The Doll of Death

Synopsis
A new adventure with the Third Doctor as told by his companion, Jo Grant.

“Retrocausation! Events before their cause. Time in reverse.”

While investigating a temporal anomaly in Central London, the Doctor and Jo Grant meet Professor Harold Saunders, a man who possesses an unstable alien artefact, and who is seemingly haunted by the ghosts of dolls.

Who is the mysterious Mrs Killebrew? Why is a pack of hounds hunting them in reverse? And can Jo pick up any bargains while backwards shopping on Oxford Street?
Starring
Katy Manning (Jo Grant), Jane Goddard (Mrs Killebrew)
Written By
Directed By
Lisa Bowerman

Ratings

RatingMembers
10
(3)
9
(3)
8
(16)
7
(15)
6
(15)
5
(5)
4
(2)
3
(2)
2
(0)
1
(0)
6.9
61 rating(s) submitted

0% (0/7) of raters say this story requires listening to previous stories.

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Recent Ratings
Rated 5/10 on 6/26/14 9:15 am
Rated 7/10 on 6/3/14 7:50 am
Rated 4/10 on 4/30/14 3:05 am
Rated 8/10 on 4/27/14 6:27 am
Rated 8/10 on 1/22/14 1:22 pm
Rated 7/10 on 12/18/13 2:10 pm
Rated 5/10 on 12/18/13 3:07 am
Rated 7/10 on 10/16/13 11:53 pm
Rated 6/10 on 10/16/13 8:33 am
Rated 4/10 on 7/18/13 3:08 pm

Reviews

(Highest - Lowest)

8
Review By jemgoody
Rated 8/10 on 11/1/12 11:01 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
I really thoroughly enjoyed the story. I thought Katie Manning did a great job
with the voices. I thought she was spot on with Jon Pertwee. If I closed my eyes it seemed as if I was watching a real episode.

The timmey - wimmey aspect was super. It had a little bit of " r u my mummy" to it every time they did the baby doll cry.

I have to give this a solid 8!
7
Review By NewWorldreviews
Rated 7/10 on 5/5/14 11:26 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.
In amongst the earliest Companion Chronicles, The Doll Of Death is a bit of a hidden gem. It's no downright classic, but it's a very good slice of Doctor Who. Years before Steven Moffatt did timey-wimey, Marc Platt was in there first, with multiple Doctors crossing different times and the like. The story fits in really well with the era it's set in, despite the more modem ideas of time travel. It manages to have that consummate family feel that one associates with the Jon Pertwee/Katy Manning era. And it's important to remember that this is the first Companion Chronicle to feature Katy Manning as Jo Grant. These elements come together to make a good, if rather traditional, story.

The main plot is interesting, especially considering that it doesn't feature any desports or monsters. Usually that might be a problem, but this is ok in this story, as they actually face an interesting opponent. HannaH is a facinating character, who can't be accused of being one-dimensional. She's trapped in a forwards travelling timeline (our universe), and is now being hunted down by the authorities who want to take her back to her forwards running universe. It's difficult to say that this story isn't filled with ideas, and it's tight plotting reflects that. Marc Platt manages to keep this story taught and to the point, but this does mean that it doesn't have the room for elegant language. However, considering that this story is narrated by Jo Grant, it makes sense. If it had been someone like Barbara Wright or Romana, you could understand the floral imagery. However, Jo Grant has a much more 'common' viewpoint, therefore it would be wrong to make it more elegant. So, because of the time twisting narrative, it means that the narration sufferes through trying to tell it's story. It's not really a problem, but I do find that the framing device never really makes sense as to why it's there. It certainly has a 'coming of age' feel to it, but doesn't really make to much sense as to why it's this story she recounts. It proberbly would have been better had it been left as just Jo narrating the story, rather than trying to set up a framing sequence that isn't really needed.

One thing that really has suffered from Marc Platt creating a more plot driven story is his characters. They end up becoming more like cliches, rather than the strong characters we usually see from Platt. Certainly the plot aspect of the story is very intresting, but it means that the characters that we have don't really get the attention that Marc Platt usually gives. However, it's undeniable that Katy Manning is a fantastic narrator, who manages to sound perfectly in tune with the material. Jane Goddard provides ample support for her, making HannaH creepy and horrifying. It's that kind of unsettling monster that typifies that era of Who. Lisa Bowerman's direction and David Darlington's music and sound design also fits with the era, and clearly makes the backwards universe very distinct to our own. The music fits nicely within the electronic scores of the era too.

The Doll Of Death is a solid, dependable slice of Doctor Who. It's got dependable character types, a strong plot, some very interesting ideas and a strong performance from the lead. If you want to be entertained for an hour, there no worse way than with The Doll Of Death.
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
7
Review By baticeer
Rated 7/10 on 12/11/13 3:39 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
This is an odd story, because it seems like the main purpose is to present a twisting, timey-wimey plot loop, and it does this well. Even though I find it difficult to wrap my head around the sense of time-travel stories, this wasn't too hard to understand even though it was still quite complex. However, it also felt like there were a lot of other things going on in the plot that could have been explored more thoroughly. In particular, I wanted more detail on the HannaH character and her motivations. But it's definitely an enjoyable listen and Katy Manning's performance is excellent.
Reviewer Says: No previous stories required.
6
Review By TonyJones
Rated 6/10 on 9/13/12 5:44 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
I felt this spent too much effort making the time loop work at the detriment of what was at time some splendid work by Katy, though at least she got her shoes in the end!
6
Review By bryan
Rated 6/10 on 8/18/10 5:33 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Always love listening to Katy Manning, this one wasnt as good as some of the others, again the timey wimey (see how that phrase has been adopted in retrospect)nature of the story, left it feeling a bit hanging in the air, with no real ending