Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Review: Doctor Who: Demon Quest: The Relics of Time (audio book)

Doctor Who: Demon Quest Part One: The Relics of Time by Paul Magrs and narrated by Tom Baker (September 2010, BBC Audiobooks Ltd/AudioGO, ISBN: 1408466678)

Following the success of 2009's five-part Hornets' Nest series, Tom Baker, Susan Jameson and Richard Franklin have been lured back to the studio for the Demon Quest series, again broken into five, one hour, episodes.

At the beginning of The Relics of Time, we find the fourth Doctor resting up in his Sussex retreat, Nest Cottage, with his housekeeper Mrs Wibbsey. He has decided to overhaul the TARDIS and has bits strewn all over the place. Unfortunately Mrs Wibbsey mistakes the spatial geometer for some old porch lights and takes it to the jumble sale where it is bought by a stranger to the village. A stranger, who rather than leave cash, leaves a collection of unusual items including a picture of an ancient mosaic with a very familiar face on it (see above!).

Fortunately the TARDIS can still move in time, so the Doctor and Wibbsey are able to travel back to Ancient Britain to solve the mystery of how the Doctor's head has been so immortalised when he hasn't been there before (or "at least not recently").

And so begins the first time travelling of the series, one that leads to the creation in mythology of the priestess Wibbsentia, and the role of would-be assassin for the Doctor. The pair have to stop a war, find out who a wizard and his monster are, and not least of all begin to track down the missing pieces of the TARDIS.

Tom Baker is "my Doctor" so it's a great pleasure to have him back at the helm in these exclusive audio adventures. The story is told with part narration, part sparky scenes of dialogue, mostly between the Doctor and Mrs Wibbsey. Tom Baker's voice may not be quite as it was in the tv shows, but he seems more mischievous and theatrical than ever.

By necessity, The Relics of Time is setting up the series mystery so the actual individual adventure is wrapped up quite quickly, though with much left to be explained in the following episodes. The schedule for which is:

Part Two: Demon of Paris (out now)
Part Three: Shard of Ice (4 Nov)
Part Four: Starfall (2 Dec)
Part Five: Sepulchre (2 Dec)

I'm looking forward to listening to the rest of the series.

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