My recent emersion in the Lost Episodes recording has given me a newfound appreciation of both Peter Purvis as an actor and the First Doctor.
So it was a rather nice surprise to put this on the player and discover that this companion chronicle features both. Indeed, it takes place in the immediate aftermath of the tragic climax of The Dalek’s Masterplan- so I was in the fortunate position of being full aware of what they were all talking about.
There are a lot of clever things about this story. I like the nice touches of lightness that are peppered throughout, and lord knows that it needs them at times. I like the way it easily invokes the mid-sixties setting. I like the story itself- it feels like something from the era- maybe not a contemporary Who though- it feels like an episode of The Outer Limits or The Twilight Zone.
As well as the story itself, there is of course the message. And the message being set out in this story is done so with just the right amount of polemic. With subjects such as the ones addressed here, it would be all too easy to be unsubtle and to club the listener over the head, but it is just on the right side of this line. Indeed, the writer even does the ‘villains’ the service of allowing them to give you their side of the argument, and it is a testament to his ability that their argument is not entirely unconvincing, despite the horrendousness of what they are doing!
Best of all though, is Purvis. He exudes an easy charm and is effortless in his reading of the tale, and his ‘Doctor voice’ is very good. Special mention should also go to the second actor in this audio- Tom Allen. His is an interesting character and one who provides this story with its most unexpected surprise…
Available from Big Finish.