Doctor Who Audio Review: Double Shot Of Baker And Roberts

Doctor Who: (NA SE1): The Fourth Doctor by Gareth Roberts Ltd. Ed. Set

Okay, there isn’t really an umbrella title for this particular release, so I will just describe it and review the pair of stories contained within/  This is a limited edition Doctor Who audio set featuring two episodes that were adapted from original novels written by Gareth Roberts.  John Dorney adapted both novels for the audio play format. Nicholas Briggs directed both stories as well.  Tom Baker stars in both stories alongside Lalla Ward and John Leeson, who reprise their roles as Romana and K9.  Of course, this release is from those well known lovers of stories, Big Finish Productions.

The Romance of Crime is the first story here with a guest cast that includes Miranda Raison, Michael Troughton, James Joyce, and Jane Slavin.  The TARDIS brings the Doctor and his friends to an inhabited asteroid known as the Rock of Judgment.  A dangerous criminal who was thought executed has made a startling return in which not everyone can remain in control of their mind and body.  This is a pretty good romp with solid performances.  Tom Baker sounds great, and none of the chemistry seems to be lacking in the main cast members.  I wish there was something that stood out in this episode for me, but it was a serviceable presentation from Big Finish.

The English Way of Death has a solid enough guest cast which includes Terrence Hardiman, Derek Carlyle, Abigail McKern, and again Jane Slavin.  The Doctor is needing to return some overdue books to t.  a library in 1930’s London, but a distress call from the future and a dangerous green mist means the library needs to wait a little longer to shelve their missing volumes.  This episode was a little better than its companion piece, but still there was not a whole lot that stood out.  It’s always a delight to hear Tom Baker in these audio plays, but I was once again not exactly enthralled by this piece.  I wasn’t repelled either, so I guess Roberts and Dorney accomplished that.

The sound effects were well realized, and the it did sound very much like the era in the television series it was supposed to represent.  I enjoyed the set well enough, but it’s another one not likely to leave a lasting memory on me until I decide to give it another whirl.



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