May 5th, 2012


Links I found interesting for 05-05-2012


The Renaissance Man

At last the new Fourth Doctor adventures have found their feet, with the prolific Justin Richards very much on form, delivering a brilliant weird tale for Toma Baker, Louise Jameson and Ian McNeice as the sinister Harcourt (which was also his character's name in Edge of Darkness back in 1985). The Doctor brings Leela to the famous Moravanian Museum for the sake of her education, but finds instead a peculiar manor house where nothing is as it seems. The setting is one that has been done in many Who stories, but rarely this well, and the particular twists here are inventive; also Baker is on top form as clown, magician and moral leader. If you just want to sample the new Fourth Doctor range, this is where to start.

May Books 3) Bay of the Dead, by Marc Morris

A Torchwood novel where Cardiff is assailed by a zombie invasion and Jack, Gwen, Ianto, Rhys and Policeman Andy have to sort it out. Entertaining enough, with some decently tense horror passages, but no big surprises. By coincidence I was reading this at the same time as another much longer zombie novel, Mira Grant's Deadline; it's not my usual sub-genre.

Survivors in Space

I realised that in the course of my catch-up of current Doctor Who audios, I hadn't finished the recent Serpent Crest series of plays by Paul Magrs, starring Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor; this one also with David Troughton standing in for his late father. I had very much enjoyed the fourth episode in this series, The Hexford Invasion, and had been hoping that the climax would reach the same standards. It didn't, quite; the resolution of why there are two Doctors was pretty much as I had expected, though Tom Baker gets some marvellous carpet-chewing moments, and the resolution of the entire plot of the series does knit up the ravelled strands rather well. But it's vaguely satisfying rather than terribly exciting, and alas we have Richard Franklin returning as Mike Yates to try and carry the narrative. I rather hope that this marks the end of this particular run; it was good to get Tom Baker back in business, but the Big Finish plays he has been doing more recently show more promise.

Full set of Magrs plays:
Hornet's Nest: 1 The Stuff of Nightmares, 2 The Dead Shoes, 3 The Circus of Doom, 4 A Sting in the Tale, 5 Hive of Horror
Demon Quest: 1 The Relics of Time, 2 The Demon of Paris, 3 A Shard of Ice, 4 Starfall, 5 Sepulchre
Serpent Crest: 1 Tsar Wars, 2 The Broken Crown, 3 Aladdin Time, 4 The Hexford Invasion, 5 Survivors in Space