Reviewed By: traves8853
Review Date: 10/25/15 10:30 am
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.
"... a tale of curses and tombs; revenge from the grave, scheming gypsies, and highway men of course"
'The Doomwood Curse', was written 'Jaqueline Raynor', who also wrote, 'Doctor Who and the Pirates', and while this isn' a musical it is a melodrama. This audio drama was recorded on 21 and 22 May 2008 at The Moat Studios, and is the first appearance in Doctor Who of the Grel, who previously had only featured in a Bernice Summerfield novel.
This starts with the Doctor and Charley returning a copy of Harrison Ainsworth's romantic novel Rookwood to the Archive of Alexandria IV, which is 300 years past its due date. Once they arrive, they find the Grel (a species driven by a hunger for facts) destroying books. Charley destroys their machine with the copy of Rookwood being almost completely destroyed in the process; leaving the Doctor and Charley searching for a new copy. Their search leads them to England, 1738, where all is not as it seems.
The portrayal of the Grel is silly. As someone who doesn't have a camp sensibility, I thought this just wasn't going to be something I would enjoy. Thankfully, I was wrong. The second half of this story really picked up for me and was rather reminiscent of 'The Mind Robber'. It has a clear unconfused narrative and is an enjoyable piece of fluff. India Fischer gave a wonderful performance and gave a convincing, to my ear at least, West Country accent.
This next paragraph is a bit of a spoiler, so you may want to skip. When it was revealed that the person murdered wasn't Charley, but in fact Susan, I had to wonder how the Doctor could have missed that? There are of course a few possible ways but as this is an audio drama it really has to be made clear what is happening and this didn't. Not that anybody would have been convinced that they had killed Charley off, that simply isn't the point. You just wouldn't expect the Doctor to check the pulse but not the identity.