Doctor WhoMusic/Audio

Doctor Who: Pirate Planet by Douglas Adams (CD review).

‘Pirate Planet’ is a surprisingly good adventure with quite a variety of elements that stand out. It has several layers of both characters and plot with some extreme outfits, sadly not visible other than on the CD cover.


There is no escaping that this is written by Douglas Adams, it’s almost a plot try out for the wackiness of ‘Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy’ and Arthur Dent’s haphazard journeys could be the Doctor rambling through time and space. ‘Pirate Planet’ is part of the rather loose ‘Key To Time’ series and the Doctor and Romana are brought to the planet Calufrax in search of one of the segments.

On the planet, they find an age of prosperity where precious stones lie untouched in the streets. There are mysterious roaming monks and someone called the Captain who rules over all from his place inside the mountain. As the Doctor and Romana attempt to uncover the mystery, they are drawn into the heart of the mountain to find out what secrets are lurking there. Their shocking discovery changes everything and worse than that, the Captain has his eyes set on Earth itself.

The audio narration written by John Molyneux does a good job of covering most of the unseen scenarios and whilst not as good as a drama made directly for audio, actor John Leeson brings it to life with enthusiasm. Curiously these audios seem to work pretty well and shine brighter than the one with pictures. Maybe it’s the improved special effects that are only in our brains.

The interview at the end between the producer David Darlington and John Leeson hits a sad note as they talk about the death of Mary Tamm. It’s a nice tribute but a poignant reminder that the recorded voice and flickering shadows are all that remain of a beautiful and talented woman.

Sue Davies

February 2013

(pub: Audio Go/BBC. 2 CD 125 minute story. Price: CD: £ 6.62 (UK), Download: £ 3.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-147130-144-5)
cast: John Leeson, Tom Baker and original cast

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