Reviewed By: dtom
Review Date: 1/31/17 7:54 pm
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If you like your Doctor Who dark and brooding, then this might just be the one for you. Writer Jonathon Blum, another graduate from BBC 8th Doctor novels, serves up a tale of politicians using fear and loathing to grasp power, very apt in our post-truth landscape, alongside terrorism and assassinations.
It’s the perfect vehicle for Sylvester McCoy’s enigmatic Doctor and Sophie Aldred’s cynical Ace. The supporting cast are largely excellent and despite the complex plotting the whole thing rattles along at a terrific pace. There is a fair amount of violence depicted in the story which might put some off. The use of guns and bombs occur in several scenes but these are indicative of the plot and not just a sensationalist add on.
For the most part the plot hangs together and I well worth a second listen. The incidental music is unobtrusive and the soundscape works well.
McCoy’s is excellent here. The script plays to his strengths and avoids monologues and overt dramatic. He plays the role here as a both melancholic and enigmatic. He gets some cracking lines and doesn’t waste them. Sophie Aldred backs him up with an equally good
performance as Ace. Here she appears older and wiser, and suggests that time has passed for the characters since their final TV airing. In several instances, it is her who takes the more proactive role, with the Doctor acting as an interested observer.
For fan’s of seventies sci fi will also be delighted that Jacqueline Pearce (Blake 7) is involved. Here she plays an opportunist right wing politician. Her political speeches are very reminiscent of Maggie Thatcher’s delivery and its clear Jacqueline is having a great time doing it. A special mention should be made here for Hugh Walters, another actor sadly no longer with us, whose credits include a 1965 appearance in The Chase alongside the 1st Doctor. Here he plays a spin-doctor with marvelous creepiness.
There is very little to complain about in this production. It was good value and full price and at the bargain basement price of £2.99 it is practically a steal