This adventure features Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor and Louise Jameson as Leela.
It’s a standalone story, which is welcome because I suffer from extreme fatigue with Big Finish’s predilection for overusing a setting or group of characters.
The basic plot is an homage / parody of Abigail’s Party, but this is very much equivalent to the way the Hinchcliffe stories borrowed from a classic monster movie or gothic trope.
The story has some good details and clever science fiction but it is also, in a way similar to City of Death, a late 70s gentle comedy married to a science fiction drama.
The performances are uniformly good with a welcome lack of scenery chewing and the infamous Big Finish LOUD VOICES.
Tom Baker is having a great time, and it seems Louise Jameson is as well, although Leela is a by the numbers character at the best of times. Nevertheless Jameson gets every little bit of performance she can out of the role.
I’d recommend this one, especially for the following reasons:
1. stand alone story – thank goodness
2. good plot and strong basis for the threat
3. science fiction elements are handled with a light touch
4. very little techno- or any other sort of -babble
5. leads are in fine form.
In a way this is a bit like the Fourth Doctor’s equivalent of Year of the Pig, much more so than the overtly silly and marmite Auntie Matter.
25 words or less: Fourth Doctor and Romana I (Mary Tamm, god rest her) do SPHERE.
Not bad at all, wonderful to see Mary Tamm in action again.
It’s by the numbers but good by the numbers and the underwater setting adds to the entertainment.
K-9 is used appropriately.
This is if you will, a “classical” Fourth Doctor and Leela story. They dispense with K9 almost as an aside, which for me is terrific since I find the character disruptive and irritating in the extreme when you are trying to enjoy a good solid adventure with this pairing.
The story itself is standard fare done very well, which is what Doctor Who on television seems to have entirely abandoned in favour of its current PC / SJW agenda. Sad.
The Fourth Doctor sounds his age in some early scenes but Tom Baker’s mellifluous tones are soon back in control. Leela is on top form.
The only slight detriment in this play is that the lines are delivered with a little separation between them making it sound a little like an old fashioned radio play. A bit of sound mixing and overlapping crossfade etc. could have fixed this very minor quibble and made the presentation a touch less artificial.
In terms of conjuring the scene using only sound and words it does a good job. Some scenes in particular form clear as day in the mind’s eye.
If you like classic ie good Doctor Who and in particular crave more 4th Doctor and Leela teamups – get this one.