Reviewed By: newt5996
Review Date: 6/6/16 7:18 pm
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The layers present in this audio are very deep as Scott and Wright explore the human condition and the monsters we can make during a period of intense pressure, like a World War. The play shows just how bad humanity can get and how they will get their just desserts as time goes by exploring the secret government organization, the Forge, which is basically Torchwood except more towards the evil side. The plot sees the Doctor and Evelyn arriving in South East London in 1999 where a shady casino is doing deals in blood as people are being murdered on the streets. The owners of the casino it turns out are part of a group of experiments from World War I by said government organization left them as literal blood sucking vampires. Their leader, Amelia, asks the Doctor for help as on the surface they want to become human again and he agrees to give it. There is also a young barmaid who Evelyn connects with after falling on hard times and a Forge operative in coming after the vampires.
The first thing to stand out about the audio is its opening scene which sets the overall tone for the story as it sees the vampires escaping from Nimrod’s experiments which is dripping with intrigue as you wonder what this scenario is about and how it will eventually play into the rest of the story. The plot then cuts to 1999 where everything kicks off to an incredibly dark story with some gruesome imagery coming to your head. This is not a story for the faint of heart as you can imagine all the blood spilling throughout the plot.
Colin Baker is on top form here as the Doctor as he is tricked into helping the vampires reproduce. He is initially wary as being a Time Lord, vampires are his natural enemy, but he does something he should never do and lets his guard down which causes a lot of rage from the Doctor in the way Colin Baker does. His concern for Evelyn in this story as she is in so much danger is heartwarming. She could be killed off at any moment and he does everything to stop it from happening. His care really completes his transformation to a softer character and makes this story great as a season finale. (That season consisting of The Marian Conspiracy, The Spectre of Lanyon Moor, The Apocalypse Element, Bloodtide, and Project: Twilight) He also comforts Evelyn with her sadness at the end of the story which is heartwarming. The best parts of their relationships were outlined in the beginning when they have little blows at each other over the Doctor’s taste in food.
Maggie Stables as Evelyn steals the show as she gets to have a subplot of her own with the barmaid of the casino, Cassie. Cassie is someone who has fallen down on her luck. She is surrounded by a religious family, but accidentally had a child so she is working at the casino so she can support him. Evelyn has a real emotional connection with her and helps her feel good about herself until Part Four where they get captured and (Massive Spoilers Incoming), Cassie gets turned into a vampire and it’s the Doctor’s fault. The end of the story sets up the sequel to this story with the Doctor and Evelyn leaving Cassie in Norway so they can find a cure. The performance by Rosie Cavaliero.
The rest of the supporting cast is great especially considering they are all villains of the piece. The head of the vampires is Amelia played by Holly De Jong, who is stone cold. De Jong plays her very sympathetic until the curtain is pulled up and it is revealed just how evil they are. They want to take over the world which has terrifying implications as just seeing how Cassie reacts to becoming a vampire and she is very strong willed. Amelia is cold and calculating and surrounded by weaklings. Her partner in crime is Reggie Mead played by Rob Dixon who can be summed up as insane. He is someone who was probably broken before he became a vampire which makes for an extremely interesting villain. He breaks a tone of bottles when he goes into a rage over Amelia trusting the Doctor. The other character is Nimrod, the Forge operative played by Stephen Chance. He is much more prominent in the sequel, but here he is just as evil as he wants to destroy the vampires, which are his creations. He obviously has ulterior motives as he is fascinated with the fact the Doctor is an alien. I won’t give too much about the character as he is best heard on your own.