Doctor Who Audio Review: The Scoop On Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope is a Doctor Who audio adventure from Big Finish Productions. The six-part story is written by Alan Barnes and directed by Nicholas Briggs. Tim Treloar returns to the role of the Third Doctor, who was first played by the late Jon Pertwee. Sadie Miller steps in for her deceased mother, Elisabeth Sladen, as Sarah Jane Smith. Jon Culshaw continues his reasonably convincing Nicholas Courtney, the original actor to have given us Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Gerran Howell, Imogen Church, and Jasmin Hinds are included in the guest cast.

Kaleidoscope is an alien who claims to have come to Earth to warn the Human race away from the brink of extinction. When another UFO is spotted, it appears that Kaleidoscope’s warning may have some merit. It’s a good thing the Doctor is on hand to help out as well.

For once, the alien from which the title is based on isn’t really the problem. The story gets rather complex and turns into a little bit of a spy romp. It is a little long at times. Six-parters are sometimes a little draining on the patience, however this one had some good moments. It is not without some drag, but the performances help out. We meet a journalistic rival of Sarah Jane’s in the shape of Jenny Nettles. There are some rather interesting characters here. Kaleidoscope turns more into an ally along the way against a bigger threat.

Alan Barnes manages to concoct a story that seems pretty fresh while still remaining faithful to the era of the Third Doctor. Treloar has gotten much better at his vocal impression of Jon Pertwee. Miller can at times sound very much like her mother.

The adventure isn’t without fault and does require some patience because it is long, however there is quite a bit to enjoy here. It has the expected humor of the era and just is a solid story overall.

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