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Possibly Cut Down Too Much

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Friday 5 April 2019
Rating:   7

This adaptation of one of the more popular Doctor Who novels introduces the "new" companions of Roz and Chris. Thus, much of the story is the origin story for them. Doctor 7 and Bennie are now a comfortable pair who understand each other very well. The story itself is very much in the 1988-9 spirit of The Doctor as a man on a mission, yet stricken by conscience. Thus, we start at the end of a previous adventure about which we know very little. A dying alien tells Bennie, "don't go there," so our crusading Doctor naturally goes there. Earth is now under an expansionist imperial phase, and has destroyed the homeworld of a species that is forced to revamp their civilization as lone individuals hiding amongst the enemies. There is a mysterious person who throws his consciousness into various robots, stalking The Doctor for unknown reasons. And, a bizarre and scientifically impossible form of radiation is driving people mad, turning them into homocidal maniacs. Apparently, much cutting was done to get the novel down to a 2-hour drama, and this one feels like it. There is much skipping around, and often it feels as if the listener has missed something going from scene to scene. The authorities take The Doctor and Bennie at their word all too easily. Late in the story, there are several long monologues to supply large amounts of missing background, a technique that really slows down the pace of the story.

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