Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Great Space Elevator

Jonathan Morris wanted to give us something wholly of its time—the short period when Troughton, Hines, and Watling graced the screen in futuristic black-and-white—and that knowledge of period is definitely the strength of this Companion Chronicle. It truly feels like a TV adventure that, but for budget constraints, could and would have been produced. The only difference is that it lets Victoria, who is, after all, telling the story, get a more heroic role, relegating Jamie to a bit of silliness, and allowing her to save the day. The plot is simple and very “base-under-siege” with a strong emphasis on science—in that way it dovetails very nicely (but unknowingly) with The Four Doctors, which I listened to recently.

Deborah Watling does a competent job playing Victoria, the Doctor, and Jamie, but the guest artist, Helen Goldwyn[1], is totally wasted on a boring and not very dramatic part, which forces Watling to carry almost the entire play on her own. It ends up feeling a bit like the linking narration of a lost episode.

[1] Helen Goldwyn is much used by Big Finish, playing everyone from Dr. Evelyn Smythe’s student in Doctor Who and the Pirates! to aliens in Storm Warning to Christine in Phantom of the Opera.

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