Doctor Who: The Early Adventures: The Doctor’s Tale by Marc Platt (CD review).

November 19, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More

A story of regicide, rebellion and friendship, ‘The Doctor’s Tale’ is one of ‘The New Early Adventures’ that attempt to recreate the stories of the classic doctors in the 1960s. This one is a pure historical which covers a lot of ground taking in many elements including politics, superstitions and moments in history.

DW-TheDoctorsTale-CD

‘The Doctor’s Tale’ introduces quite a few characters, the key one being Isabella of Valois (Alice Haig) who was the child consort of the deposed Richard II. At the time of this story, she is around 9 or 10 and this does not really come across as the part is taken by an older actress. William Russell takes not only his role as Ian Chesterton but also that of the Doctor. Maureen O’ Brien takes the part of Vicki and of companion, Barbara. The ensemble completes the picture.

Our tale begins when the Doctor and his merry crew find themselves in deep mid-winter stopping over at the Bishop’s Palace at Sonning and falling foul of the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Arundel (John Banks), who has lately been party to the regicide of Richard II. This time is a dark one in every sense and writer Marc Platt plays us very well as we are intruded to the story as one told by Geoffrey Chaucer (Gareth Armstrong). Our other narrators are Ian and Vicky and we are soon sucked into this historical tale.

This is a complete historical and goes into quite a lot of detail giving out as much as it can in the audio about the environment, the characters and the political situation. It does take commitment to follow and, at almost two hours, gives us plenty to contemplate and enjoy. This is an ideal choice as the nights darken in at the end of the year and we move into our own frosty mid-winter.

It made me look up the background. Thanks, Wikipedia. It also made me realise, as if I didn’t know already, that this kind of story requires a great commitment from the writer. This has to be returned by the listener. I found it was a dynamic story with occasional sense of slow burn. When the Doctor is capering as the Lord of Misrule, it made me smile as this aspect of the First Doctor is often left out in the memories of rather a dour character. Vicki is as annoying as ever, so I guess that also works. Ian is the hero of the hour. As this is set post the TV ‘Crusade’ story, he is allowed to be the knight, Lord Chesterton of Jaffa, which impresses the locals for sure.

Overall, it was an enjoyable romp with no pesky cybermen or other nonsensical foes. It all comes down to good old human nature and also a dash of cheeky sauce from Chaucer.

Sue Davies

November 2014

(pub: Big Finish. 2 CDs 120 minute story. Price: CD: £14.99 (UK), Download: £10 99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78178-337-5)

cast: William Russell, Maureen O’Brien, Gareth Armstrong, Joseph, Alice Haig and John Banks

check out website: www.bigfinish.com

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Category: Doctor Who, Music/Audio, Scifi

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