Reviewed By: traves8853
Review Date: 12/23/15 7:35 am
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'Starlight Robbery' written by Matt Fitton is the second in a trilogy of stories about the persuasion machine that began with 'Persuasion' and ended with 'Daleks Among Us'. The experienced hands of director Ken Bentley and Howard Carter handling the soundtrack help to create a clear presentation of Fitton's script. Once again, the casting is impeccable and the performances assured.
The war with the Rutans continues unabated, but the strident Sonatarans are struggling, so much so that they are forced to investigate other avenues to exert dominance over the opponents. Meanwhile Garundel, the Urodelian swindler, is planning a massive auction of weaponry, including the Persuasion Machine, the brain of its creator Kurt Schalk and the body as an optional extra. The Doctor, Will and Klein decide to infiltrate the auction with a view to obtaining the remains of Schalk and his machine.
The thing that impresses me about this story isn't just that it's entertaining straight from the word go, but also, the structure. Fitton sets up a scenario that gathers some of the biggest cutthroats in the 'Doctor Who' universe in one place packed with arms, grudges and rivalries, which inevitably leads to mayhem and gun battles, but thanks to the direction, writing and light touch in the sound department never descends into the chaotic cacophony of other productions. There are double-crosses and double-double-crosses as the advantage swings back and forth, yet it is all so easy to follow. I also really liked the idea of the Venusian gambit; I thought that was a natty little idea.
Like most shopping expeditions, things start off quite light-hearted but turn violent later. There is a sad fate for one of the characters which is bitter and touching, but I can't really see what it adds to the story or characters as not all the characters are aware of what happened and that character just seems to get forgotten as things move on. Unless, there is some sort of follow through to a latter story I am unaware of? Despite the change in tone, this all feels quite melodramatic and a gripping pacey romp that is way above average.