Over the years, the BBC have produced a number of their own Doctor Who audio adventures.Audio Go
have just released them in a box set, and we’ll be reviewing the stories included in the collection individually.
Next up is The Ghosts of N-Space.
As with Paradise of Death, this adventure was originally broadcast on Radio 4. I remember this going out, and I’m sure that I listened to it at the time, but for the life of me I could not remember any of it as I listened again on this release.
The more cruel part of my may suggest that I have blocked it from my memory, because there was a lot in here that was ‘wrong’.
The balance of the story seems way off. There are comedy foreign accents and sterotypes alongside real life swear words and scenes of torture and murder, for example. There is also the return of the annoying sidekick they gave Sarah Jane in Paradise of Death, but in fairness, he is slightly less annoying here.
It also has a bizarre running gag with one of the characters who talks in a ‘funny’ Elvis Presley voice which sits uncomfortably alongside some real human tragedy in the narrative. And one of the characters behaves in a wildly inconsistent way when it is required by the plot.
Like I say- it’s unbalanced.
There is also the central idea of the plot- N-Space itself. I don’t want to go into it here, as I think to describe it too much would count as a spoiler, but I feel that the concept of N-Space and who the writer here deals with death and more specifically, life after death, flies in the face of one of the central tenants of the Who Universe. That being that there are no such thing as ghosts.
But it is not all complaints!
The cast are great- Sladen is good as always and Nic Courtney as the Brigadier is clearly enjoying himself. There is also the added delight of hearing Harry Towb doing a cod-Italian accent in his Larne brogue.
I’m also happy to report that, in this adventure, Pertwee is on terrific form. He sounds like he’s having the time of his life, and this was made all the more poignant when I read on the liner notes that this was his last performance as the Doctor- I’m glad he went out on a good one.