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BBC webcast version here; info about the original interrupted production here; Wikipedia page here.

This doesn't fit under my 'books read 2007' tag or my 'films watched 2007' tag, but I'm going to blog it anyway so that I can remember what I thought of it. The CD was a much-appreciated birthday present from hollyione, and I listened to it on the canal on my mp3 player.

As far as I remember, this is my first experience with a Doctor Who audio CD, though I've seen a couple of web-casts before. It's therefore also my first experience of Paul McGann's Doctor other than the movie, and you know what? I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't hate him in the movie, actually - it was rather things like Eric Roberts' ridiculous Master that grated there. But it wasn't really enough to judge his performance on properly. Here, in the context of an audio drama, he gets a decent, regular Doctor Who script to work with - and he does it very well. He reminded me of a sort of cross between Five and Six, with Five's youthful derring-do and Six's slight smugness. Which doesn't sound entirely complimentary, actually, but I do mean it to be. What I'm trying to say is that he sounded like a proper Doctor, and I think I 'get' the people who are avid fans of his Eight now.

Of course the prime attraction of this particular story for me was the fact that it was written by Douglas Adams. Obviously, anyone who's read Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency will recognise the character of Professor Chronotis, and there are a few other characteristically Adamsish elements, like conversations with over-logical ship's computers and someone being presented with a cup of liquid which is 'almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea' from a vending machine.

On the whole, though, someone looking for more in the vein of Hitch-Hikers or Gently will be disappointed - Adams clearly wasn't trying to produce anything particularly innovative here, but merely to earn a living by writing a fit-for-purpose script. The best character, Chronotis, he quite rightly took and reused elsewhere, and indeed did better things with him in the process. As for the rest, it's a fairly standard Who script, with a kidnapped assistant (sorry, Romana - even though you're a Timelord, your sex apparently still condemns you to be feak and weeble), a megalomaniacal villain, some thuggish minions, a psychic battle and some cute shenanigans from K-9.

That said, it's pretty good Who, and I very much enjoyed curling up with it in my berth in the evenings. I'm certainly open to more audio plays, more of the Eighth Doctor, and more of Adams' Who scripts as a result.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
steer
Sep. 10th, 2007 11:08 am (UTC)
There is a "reconstructed" TV version with Tom Baker reading the "missing scenes" from the TV series. That is, the action goes on where it was filmed and then Tom says "At this point we raced to the professors house where K9 had..." and so on.

The first Dirk Gently seems to be constructed in part from "Shada" and "City of Death".
strange_complex
Sep. 10th, 2007 11:19 am (UTC)
Yes, I gathered as much from the BBC website about it. I guess I would be interested in seeing it - but, given that I've already heard the audio play, probably not quite interested enough to actually spend money on buying the video.

I haven't seen City of Death yet, but it is on my Amazon wishlist.
steer
Sep. 10th, 2007 11:27 am (UTC)
I must admit I downloaded rather than buying.
strange_complex
Sep. 10th, 2007 11:29 am (UTC)
Ah, well that's quite different, then! Now I know it can be done, I shall see if I can track down a source. ;-)
hollyione
Sep. 18th, 2007 06:28 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it! :D It was such a shame about the other weekend - I'm getting a new car soon !!!
strange_complex
Sep. 18th, 2007 08:43 pm (UTC)
Yes, I think that sounds wise! We don't want you having an accident because it has blown up.
hollyione
Sep. 18th, 2007 09:14 pm (UTC)
Well, it's now eleven years old and has done well in excess of 100k miles - it's been a good friend to me, but it's time to send it to the big scrapyard in the sky :)

Am preparing my house for sale to move to sunny Weston - I'll soon be a country girl in Somerset, and I can't wait, H and I spend most of our spare time in lovely Somerset country places and living there will be ace. Hope we can visit you soon though - this time I think we'll take the train ;)
strange_complex
Sep. 18th, 2007 09:32 pm (UTC)
Hehe - will you drink zider and eat apples when you have moved? Have you found anywhere nice to buy yet?

And yes, of course you can come for another visit. I have a friend coming this weekend, and more coming on October 20th, but other than that most times are free.
hollyione
Sep. 20th, 2007 05:55 pm (UTC)
I think Holly is already developing a West Country accent from going to nursery in Weston! (Like Bristol, but broader and slower and with its own grammatical idiosyncracies)

There are some lovely houses, but I need to find out how much mine is worth first.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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