Reviewed By: Eiphel
Review Date: 10/21/12 3:56 pm
2 out of 3 found this review helpful.
Very little discussion of this one, I have noticed. I guess it was overshadowed by big happenings in the Main Range, and a packed month of releases. It's not so hard to see why - Rosemariners is a fairly unassuming tale. There's nothing stand-out or shocking here. But I still found it charming lighthearted fun. It's a simple tale but it has a good Troughton era feel and it succeeds in painting a great many excellent visuals and giving its characters lovely dialogue.
There was something Holmesian about a lot of the interactions, with characters being paired of and engaging in flowing back-and-forth. Biggs and Colbert's working relationship is deftly suggested to us in just a few early scenes. Later Biggs and the Doctor form the most lovely working relationship. The chemistry between the two is so fantastic I'd love for them to meet again. Meanwhile Zoe and Colbert's cat-and-mouse conversational chess game is redolent of the best I-Know-That-You-Don't-Know spy thrillers, and really utilises Zoe well. I'd say it's not a very Jamie-heavy episode, which is sad for big Jamie fans like myself, but he's charming when he's around.
Add to that, I genuinely think these are some of the highest quality performances going. Sure, it's a light story and nobody's tackling deeply challenging material, but there are a range of characters presented here, and importantly, a range of performances. Multiple roles are being played by the same actors, and they've crafted distinct and equally strong performances for each. Producing such a collection who are universally a pleasure to listen to makes this very much to cast and director's credit.
On that note, and as I saw someone else say on Gallifrey Base, with its slightly expanded cast and the quality of its direction, complemented by beautifully visual scene setting (A spaceship-greenhouse-laboratory-rose garden!) and a modern score that captures the spirit of the Radiophonic Workshop, this really does come off exactly like a narrated episode soundtrack. I was so totally immersed in its period qualities that for the duration I totally forgot it was anything other than a classic episode from the Troughton era.
Donald Tosh, obviously, understood the show and its characters well. It shows in a lyrical, flowing script that carries everything charming about that era of the show. That flow is carried smoothly through by cast and crew alike. Whilst not philosophically and conceptually weighty like Luxor endeavoured to be, The Rosemariners is just a pleasant, easy, uplifting experience to listen to. 7/10.
Now, please, BF, give us a Companion Chronicle where the second Doctor meets Biggs again!