The TARDIS brings the Doctor, Romana and K9 to the Rock of Judgement; a court, prison and place of execution built into a rocket-powered asteroid. When involved in an investigation by the system’s finest lawman, they find they must seek answers to some disturbing questions.
Review: “The Romance of Crime” is the first of two stories in The Fourth Doctor By Gareth Roberts, Volume 1 (Limited Collector’s Edition) box set. I’ve never read the original novel by Gareth Roberts, preferring the wonderful fun of having the cast reprise their roles. I’ll be honest. It’s extremely difficult to objectively review any of these Fourth Doctor audios, because Tom Baker was my Doctor, but I’ll do my best.
Roberts and adapter John Dorney gave a fairly standard prison break with backstabbing and corruption tale a few Doctor Who twists. Indeed, it’s the Doctor Who elements that kept the story from being a bit boring. They gave Tom Baker, Lalla Ward, John Leeson, and the rest of the cast “City of Death” level one-liners and a scenery chewing, mass murdering villain — the sort of villain on which the franchise thrives. In one scene that typified the tone, K9’s circuits had been heroically overloaded (again), and Romana had to repair him. The prison’s Artist-In-Residence, Stokes, played wonderfully by Michael Troughton, took one look at the poor little guy and promptly labeled him a “Cubist dachshund.”
All in all, “The Romance of Crime” was a noir send up and performance showcase for Baker, Ward, Leeson, and a talented supporting cast. Director Nicholas Briggs really knew how to get this marvelous band fronted by Tom Baker to play at their best.
- You can buy The Fourth Doctor By Gareth Roberts, Volume 1 (Limited Collector’s Edition) here: http://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/the-fourth-doctor-by-gareth-roberts-volume-1-limited-collector-s-edition-1001
Written By: Gareth Roberts, adapted by John Dorney
Directed By: Nicholas Briggs
Tom Baker (The Doctor), Lalla Ward (Romana), John Leeson (K9)
Graham Seed (Pyerpoint), Miranda Raison (Margo/Xais), Phil Mulryne (Shom, Hogan, Ogron 6), Marcus Garvey (Frank Spiggot), Michael Troughton (Stokes), James Joyce (Zy, Ogron 5, Barman), Joshua Silver (Charlie Nisbett), John Dorney (Eddie Nisbett/Ogrons), Jane Slavin (Blakemore, Bailiff, Librarian)
- Acting, Dialogue, Doctor Who Tropes
- overall plot a pit tedious for my tastes
- Sound Production10