Caerdroia
Audio / April 18, 2016

Released November 2004 Lloyd Rose finally gets the chance to write for Paul McGann himself after authoring two Eight Doctor novels, and the resultant ‘Caerdroia’ is superb, finally allowing the Doctor to directly confront the Kro’ka and to discover who gives him his orders while firmly setting events in motion leading into the series finale. The Kro’ka finally becomes the primary antagonist for the first time since his introduction so long ago, and Stephen Perring makes the most of the opportunity. There’s an added dimension to the Kro’ka beyond simply typical malevolance, though, as he is clearly stressed with the need and desire to please his masters. The Doctor, Charley, and C’rizz pick up on this fact quickly and play on his innate fear by criticizing his efficiency and realizing that they cannot be moved between Bortresoye’s zones while the Doctor is asleep. The Doctor threatens to put himself into a trance to effectively stop any progression of the Kro’ka’s plans, realizing that he is now seemingly immune to the Kro’ka’s mental attacks he experienced in ‘The Creed of the Kromon.’ Perring effectively switches from tones of triumph to terror as he subsequently falls into the Doctor’s trap, cornered in…

The Creed of the Kromon
Audio / April 4, 2016

Released January 2004 ‘The Creed of the Kromon’ opens strongly after the effective but strange two-hander that formed the bulk of ‘Scherzo.’ With the TARDIS seemingly destroyed, the Doctor and Charley find themselves trapped in the InterZone- the apparent means of moving between areas in the Divergent universe- and under attack from phantoms. Rather quickly they come upon the Kro’ka, played coolly and smugly by Stephen Perring and set up to be an overarching nemesis going forward, and it’s clear that the Doctor will have to follow his rules to have any hope of surviving and finding a way out of his current environment. Unfortunately, the interesting premise within ‘Scherzo’ that there is no passage of time is exposed as a fallacy since, even though there is no actual word for time, the native characters use different tenses in their speech. This, then, leads to another misfire of sorts since the potential for an entirely new means of storytelling with entirely new plots is put aside for a very familiar tyrannical oppression of a civilization within the Eutermisan Zone. The introduction of the Kromon here works quite well, and the visualization of a hive-based insectoid race obsessed with regulations and…

Seasons of Fear
Audio / March 14, 2016

Released March 2002 After several episodes, the Doctor’s apprehension of Charley’s continued existence following his actions in ‘Storm Warning’ finally returns to the forefront. Taking Charley to 1930 Singapore for New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Doctor meets a man named Sebastian Grayle, a man claiming to have killed the Doctor in the past and helped his masters gain control of Earth in return for immortality. Meshing the classic stylings of Doctor Who with more modern techniques, the Doctor and Charley set off on a frantic quest to discover the truth behind these claims. Like ‘The Keys of Marinus’ and ‘The Chase,’ the events unfold through a series of linked adventures and narratives. Here, the plot quickly moves through a Roman fort, Edward the Confessor’s court, Buckinghamshire, and through time itself. This style of story intrinsically means that there is a higher sense of urgency and pacing, but it also inevitably means that none of the supporting characters in any one locale are as well-developed as in a story with one central setting. As the Doctor himself admits, Grayle proves to be a worthy adversary and is excellently portrayed by Stephen Perring. The Doctor and Charley come across Grayle at various…

The Eye of the Scorpion
Audio / March 8, 2016

Released September 2001 ‘The Eye of the Scorpion’ features the return of Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor alongside Nicola Bryant as Peri, a duo that unfortunately didn’t have much time on screen together but clearly has great chemistry and great potential for untold stories. However, as strong as this story is as a whole, it will best be remembered for the surprise inclusion of a new companion in Erimem ush Inteperem, or Ermimem as she comes to be known. The story centres around the court of Thebes as Erimem’s coronation as the new pharaoh approaches and the Priest of Horus Horemshep attempts to keep her from achieving that right. To realize his goals, he tries to frame Erimem’s loyal guard Antranak for murder while his ally Yanis waits outside the city with a band of mercenaries, ready to forcefully invade Thebes when needed. As an added threat, Horemshep and Yanis are both under the influence of an alien parasite. So, while the plot itself isn’t groundbreaking in any major fashion, it’s the characterization and atmosphere that really elevate the tale. Whereas the classic television series was rather constrained with what it could show due to budget and its usual…