Synopsis: Set between two television adventures originally broadcast in the early 1980s, “State of Decay” and “Warriors’ Gate,” The Fourth Doctor Adventures Series 09 revisits a classic era of Doctor Who.
Review: Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures Series 09 Volume 1 reunites Adric with The Fourth Doctor, Romana II, and K9 for the first time in decades. These first two of four stories revolve around themes of change and decay.
There was a systemic problem with classic Doctor Who. Subtext wasn’t an element of the storytelling unless the actors chose to convey it. As a result, characterization suffered. Adric was the poster child for this phenomenon. This series in conjunction with Adric’s reintroduction into The Fifth Doctor stories goes some way to addressing the issue.
“Purgatory 12” by Marc Platt is a slow burn story set on an asteroid prison colony. The setting is character, and character is the setting. Through the people he meets and the environment impacting him, Adric confronts his grief and isolation. It’s actually a really esoteric coming of age story. Along the way, The Doctor and K-9 also get compelling parallel arcs.
“Chase the Night” by Jonathan Morris is an homage to a very specific science fiction film and soon to be cable series. I won’t say which, because that would give the whole story away. Suffice to say that Adric is again front and center, making very particular arguments relative to the moral quandary. Like “Purgatory 12,” the resolution is quite esoteric and cerebral. While The Doctor and K9 had lessons to learn in the previous tale, Romana confronts her own assumptions about morality. In the process, her departure is foreshadowed.
The regular cast is wonderful as ever. Matthew Waterhouse does a marvelous job conveying the maelstrom of emotions Adric is feeling in the earliest stages of his time on board the Tardis. However, I was especially impressed with John Leeson, as he gave some new layers to our favorite little dog.
The supporting cast were equally great. I especially appreciated Jane Asher, Nimmy March, and George Watkins.
If Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures Series 09 Volume 1 is anything to go by, I can’t wait for Volume 2. It’ll be a lovely treat next month.
- You can purchase Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures Series 09 Volume 1 here.
- Audio Production10