Antillia the Lost

Posted in Audio by - March 05, 2023
Antillia the Lost

Released March 2023


Discovering that he seems to have lost his own art gallery when attempting to make up to Margaret for their last journey, the Doctor soon finds the TARDIS being dragged across a subspace wave to open Phil Mulryne’s ‘Antillia the Lost.’ Landing on Antillia, a manufactured island in space that has been lost to time, the delight of solving one of history’s greatest mysteries is tempered by a mounting danger looking for a way back.

Missing for over five decades, Antillia is an imposing and impressive structure, docking ports for massive starliners beneath a massive biodome containing a manufactured forest and lake to complement its laboratories and living complexes. Quite a bit of time is spent to exploring this facility and trying to discover just why it disappeared so long ago, and the mysterious figures within that seem hauntingly familiar in some strange sense create an extra level of uncertainty and trepidation as the Doctor, Leela, Margaret, and the expedition force that arrived at the same time traverse the structure. Unfortunately, the plot ultimately devolves into a fairly generic one about a scientist quite literally being overtaken by his research, his attempts to solve galactic teleportation that have broken apart and fused the people aboard this station also uncovering a nefarious other-dimensional entity that wants to break free of this pocket to feed and wreak havoc in normal space. It’s a subtle twist on a formulaic threat the likes of which the Doctor has encountered many times, but the duality of personality that Adrian Ralwins injects into his performance as famed and ruthless scientist Gilman Hari is well done and allows the Doctor to naturally uncover the truth about Hari’s efforts before and since the space station’s disappearance.

Rather than the plot, however, ‘Antillia the Lost’ succeeds most with the characterization of its leads. Nerys Hughes hit the ground running alongside Louise Jameson in the preceding story, and Margaret continues to gain confidence as she must quickly adapt to the ever-changing landscape and dangers around her. The mutual respect and genuine friendship these two strong women display is brilliant and showcases their characters’ respective strengths stemming from their own unique life experiences, and with Leela the more established companion who knows all too well what traveling with the Doctor entails and how to utilize her empathy and bravery to find the humanity in any situation, the future is unquestionably bright for this fledgling group as this twelfth series of The Fourth Doctor Adventures continues. Defying the passage of time, Tom Baker is as energetic and charismatic as ever, and the shrewd cunning and intuition he imbues beneath his Doctor’s sometimes flippant and more cavalier approach are on full display here to again highlight just why this incarnation of the Time Lord is so beloved.

This vast station comes to life vibrantly with a strong sound design and tense atmosphere, the many dangerous threats experienced almost palpable. With strong supporting performances also from Anjli Mohindra, Keziah Joseph, Richard Lumsden, and Andrew Wincott, and aided by steady direction from Nicholas Briggs, ‘Antillia the Lost’ features a lengthy list of very strong components that make it an easy listen. However, no matter how intriguing the exploration of the space station and the beings within is, far too much of the script is devoted to this before the proper plot truly comes into focus. This could have been made into a truly engaging two-parter by streamlining the exploration and taking away some of the unnecessary resistance the Doctor encounters, but as a four-part story it struggles to fully engage and maintain its pace at too many points despite the many positive elements it presents.

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