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118. Key 2 Time - Destroyer of Delights

“You will be always looking in the wrong place. I have searched through all of Time and I cannot find it.”

The search for the Key to Time has stalled: the next segment does not appear to exist anywhere in the Universe. Forced into a temporary alliance with one of his greatest enemies, the Doctor suggests a course of action that is a validation of chaos itself.

Thrown at random across Space and Time, the Doctor and Amy arrive in 9th Century Sudan, where the greedy Lord Cassim is hoarding gold from the Legate of the Caliph. But why does Cassim look so familiar? What is the mysterious Djinni that lives out in the desert? And why does it need so much treasure?
Peter Davison (The Doctor), Ciara Janson (Amy), David Troughton (The Black Guardian), Jason Watkins (Legate of the Caliph), Jess Robinson (Nisrin), Bryan Pilkington (Prince Omar), Paul Chahidi (Hason), Will Barton (The Djinni), David Peart (The Vizier)
Written By
Directed By
Lisa Bowerman


70 rating(s) submitted

100% (9/9) of raters say this story requires listening to previous stories.

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Review By Timelord63
Rated 10/10 on 8/18/10 5:33 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Fun, and funny! Very nice material here, with good things for all of its characters at some point or another, and consistently lovely stuff for the main characters throughout.

The story flows nicely across all the episodes with a good sense of pacing and a particularly intriguing opening set-up for the adventure, carrying on from the preceeding story's cliffhanger in a very unexpected (but hugely inspired) direction. The main 9th Century Sudan setting is well-realised both from the script and the production itself, effortlessly making you picture the proceedings as you listen.

Lisa Bowerman does a brilliant job directing her cast, with great performances from everybody. Special mention for David Troughton's brilliant performance as the Black Guardian; I really liked this take on the character and his performance compliments the scripted material perfectly. Although perhaps the lighter take will grate with some fans, for me it gives him a lot more personality and depth than just being an evil, laughing guy with a raven plonked on his head - the TV Black Guardian is acted superbly, but in plot terms is very much one-dimensional 'evil bad guy' whenever he appears. Here, he becomes much more real and rounded and has a bit more thought about what can be done with him as a character central to the story. And handily is a brilliant foil/ sparring partner for the Doctor, far moreso than if he were just trying to kill him all the time.

Not that this is 'just' a comedy story; there are other darker things going on within the plot, with some interesting commentary on slavery and the nature of the two Guardians. It's also a solid, well-plotted tale that stands up perfectly in it's own right as a really excellent audio - not a bad feat for the middle story of a linked trilogy that could have seemed so much filler (in fact, I'd not been expecting much from this after the surprisingly average opener). For all that, it also happens to be very funny indeed!

And to throw even more praise, it also has a lovely music score - one of those I particularly enjoyed from the range. Top stuff!
Review By fadladder
Rated 10/10 on 8/18/10 5:33 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Not everyone's bag due to the comedy styled Guardians, but I dug this one a lot. Thoroughly fun!
Review By Gcookscotland
Rated 9/10 on 6/25/13 6:18 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
The Doctor and Amy arrive in the Arabian desert. Very enjoyable story. The one complaint is that the Amy character and Nisrin sounded very similar and it was hard to workout which one was talking when they were in the same part.
Reviewer Says: Previous stories required!
8 Rated 8/10 on 3/21/11 10:55 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Yep. I can see why this one annoyed some fans.

I liked it.

I liked the reimagining of the Black and White Guardians and it made sense in the context of a story where the Key to Time is decaying and therefore their powers are being affected to. I particularly liked Jason Watkins as the White Guardian as it didn't actually seem that far removed from Cyril Luckham's portrayal in The Ribos Operation - just ramping the campness up a few notches and adding a bit more 'character' (the White Guardian in particular has always seemed a rather bland character, probably due to his limited appearances in the series).

Amy was less appealing in this story as she 'moulded' herself on the slave identity which made her a bit naive and lifeless which is a shame after she had developed past that when with the Doctor in Judgement of Isskar. That said, I can appreciate the writer's theories behind this from his comments on the behind the scenes extras.

I liked the hints towards Ali Baba such as the 'Open Sesame' cave/spaceship and references to forty thieves.

It was interesting that they decided to steer clear of Middle Eastern accents as it was something I was thinking jarred a little during the first couple of episodes but then when they explained their reasoning (again in the behind the scenes extras) it did kind of make sense.

Have to say, though, the trailer for The Chaos Pool was singularly underwhelming.