Reviewed By: JMChurch25
Review Date: 11/20/18 8:27 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
'King of the Dead' is a small Short Trip that taps into the character of Nyssa and the effects that the events of her journey have had on her. When the TARDIS team of the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, and Tegan land in the middle of an impressive theater experience in 1980's London, they discover a dark presence acting in the curtains and looking for vengeance. While the Doctor does his normal thing of doing his best to save the day, it's Nyssa herself who ends up having the strongest role in having to deal with the darkness of her past as it ends up coming back to haunt her. It's a decent idea and the script by Ian Atkins does have some good moments. The soundscape does its best to build up a decent atmosphere and I will admit to being surprised at where it all ended up considering the title of the story. The Doctor, Tegan, and especially Nyssa all get some good moments and the theatrical atmosphere is very well handled. But at the same time, I found myself getting bored and lost with this story frequently to where it's definitely the most lackluster Short Trip I've ever heard. I normally love Nyssa and any story where Sarah Sutton is a part of the proceedings is usually at least decent (see the Short Trip "The Toy"). But this is definitely not one of her best stories as a whole and it all comes down to one issue: the narration. Her impressions of each character and moment are fine but her speech in this audio is not only ridiculously fast but also very almost uncaring in tone and structure. It feels like she read through and recorded the entire script on a lunch break in the worst way possible and it makes the story go by so fast that you hardly have any time to register anything or take a breath before it's all over. I have never heard a story get so flustered by the way it was delivered and it really makes you mindful in remembering that the way a story is told is just as key as the story itself. If Sutton had just told the story at a slower pace and given things more appropriate weight as opposed to speed reading the entire thing to jam-pack it into a half hour, I think this story might have had more potential. It's an utter shame because on paper, "The King of the Dead" could've been a very enjoyable audio and I liked what it was trying to do. But the way the narrative is mishandled kills any enjoyment out of it for me and the entire audio came and went like an unpleasant breath on the wind.