Monday, 29 November 2010

Doctor Who: Nevermore review

One of the things Who has always done well is play about in other worlds and tropes. The Brain of Morbius was Shelly’s Frankenstein, Weng Chiang the Phantom of the Opera etc.
Who has flirted with Gothic Horror many times before, so it was surprising to realise, while listening to this, that Who had never played in the world of Edgar Allen Poe before.
On the face of it, this is a trip through a number of Poe’s most famous creations. So we get a Black Cat, a Big Gothic House.
And Ravens. The Ravens here are wonderful creations- massive mechanical prison guards in a very peculiar prison.
Again we get the classic Who stuff- the aforementioned big robot creatures, mistaken identity, escapes into danger and the Doctor doing some furious name-dropping.
But beneath all this familiar stuff, there runs a darker theme that seems to be informing this whole series, and it’s something I’ll mention further in later reviews.
In the meantime though, Nevermore is great fun, and probably more so if you’re a Poe fan. It is always a treat to hear his wonderful prose being read aloud (he’s one of those writers that you can only really appreciate when it’s recited, I think), particularly when it’s a voice as distinctive as Paul McGann’s doing so.

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