The Well-Mannered War is a Doctor Who audio play. John Dorney has adapted a novel written by Gareth Roberts. Ken Bentley is in the director’s seat. Tom Baker, Lalla Ward, and John Leeson reunite again as the Doctor, Romana, and K9. The guest cast includes John Banks, Jane Slavin, Russell Bentley, Michael Troughton, and a brief appearance by David Troughton as the Black Guardian
The TARDIS brings the Doctor and his companions to a planet known as Barclow where a war is being fought without a shot being fired. There is a presence that is going to escalate the matter into something a good deal more lethal. K9 goes into politics, which is a rather amusing turn. Romana and the Doctor are separated and working to prevent disaster from opposite sides.
This is a rather strange adventure in some ways even for Doctor Who but is worthy of attention. Tom Baker maintains a stellar performance here. The idea of K9 running for office is pretty amusing, and Leeson seems to enjoy the twist even while playing a robot. Lalla Ward maintains her elegant uppity demeanor as Romana. The whole main cast performs with their usual charming chemistry. It has been a while since I read the original novel, but it feels like the producers were pretty faithful to it. In spite of my enjoyment of this production, it still does not appear to be that special. In spite of how well the fundamental elements come together in this episode, it can still be a little hard to follow.
Its still by no means a waste of time to give this one a listen, and reading the original novel may be a better way to follow the tale.