Reviewed By: RyanOM1991
Review Date: 11/9/16 9:44 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.
Eerie, funny and poignant.
The Doctor and Leela land in the middle of a Russian weapons project. Saying any more would spoil this little gem, which is played completely straight with grim seriousness throughout.
The plot isn't overly fast-paced but the atmosphere and suspense is heavy and tangible throughout, thanks largely to Stephen Critchlow's performance and the effective sound design. The use of silence and subtle effects form a palpable sense of foreboding.
Stephen Critchlow's performances as the characters are excellent. Although his Leela is a little off (it's hard to imagine anyone but Louise Jameson nailing the role) his Fourth Doctor is exceptional. He doesn't mimic Tom Baker, but he perfectly captures the essence of the character and gets the vocal mannerisms spot on. All the supporting characters are easily differentiated and Mr Critchlow imbues them with a depth of character simply through the conviction of his performance.
The script is sharply written. Although the literal dialogue may not seem to reveal much, John Pritchard encourages the listener to read between the lines. Exchanges are often terse and short, but it's this understatement that makes each character all the more real.
It has to be said that not a lot actually happens, but the vivid descriptions and the mystery of the threat keep the listener on their toes. The nature of the threat itself won't be spoiled here, but it is particularly unsettling and - in the final scene - very poignant. There is definitely a philosophical message running throughout that comes to a climax at the end, but it is done with subtlety and never feels heavy-handed.
If you're expecting a roller coaster ride, Sirens won't do it for you. But if you're looking for an extremely atmospheric character-based story with effectively understated drama, this is a perfect choice.