Dream Team

Posted in Audio by - April 13, 2024
Dream Team

Released April 2024


When the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan, and Adric decide to investigate an advertisement for ultimate corporate bonding and team-building experiences set within a natural wonder of the universe that is meant to be protected in Lizzie Hopley’s ‘Dream Team,’ they instead find that this marvel has been overrun by one of the most dangerous creatures in the universe and that even within dreams nobody is safe.

Introduced on screen in ‘Last Christmas,’ the Kantrofarri quickly made their mark as one of the most unique and insidiously dangerous threats within the Doctor Who universe, feeding off of brain matter while their prey put within a dream state remain completely unaware. Hopley, however, takes that threat even further, introducing a variant that instills nightmares rather than dreams and suggesting that these dream crabs can be used as part of another race’s nefarious plans. While the reveal of that race is completely superfluous to events here given the little actual direct effect their presence has on the story which could have been filled by literally anyone, the effect on the plot as the Doctor and his friends slowly come to discover the purpose of these nightmares and what is truly occurring on this world that greeted them with a suspected sanitizing spray is nonetheless an incredible positive that adds much more to the many pre-existing strengths of the typical Kantrofarri threat.

Whether through individual or shared nightmares, the experiences presented to the four leads test their resolve and exemplify the best of their character in every possible way. Compassion, empathy, and determination are proudly displayed throughout, and there’s a genuine sense that these four truly do view themselves as a family as they battle in various combinations through each other’s fears. Of course, whether by foreshadowing or boldly through flashback, there is a missed chance to highlight the death of Adric as part of the Doctor’s fears given Adric’s known fate, but the fears presented are all wholly believable and bring out profoundly emotional performances from Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding, and Matthew Waterhouse. With no supporting cast, these four are tasked with carrying every bit of the plot, and the depth of their relationships built upon everything they have been through over the past four decades resonantly shines through at all times as they further define and refine the friendships shown on screen.

‘Dream Team’ is an immensely visual story, and the sound design helps to bring the many different settings and sights to life very well. The lingering concerns of experiencing dreams within dreams are naturally brought up and confronted quite well, and though this does alleviate the concern that the Doctor’s initial solution is all too easy and convenient, the ultimate solution proves to present little extra challenge despite the clever twist. Still, the humour injected into the script does nicely balance the overwhelming sense of dread and fear as it traverses familiar and novel elements of this fascinating menace from the modern iteration of Doctor Who that can so seamlessly integrate with storylines and teams from the classic. This is a story that could have easily been expanded to a full four parts to more completely explore the evil plan behind the crabs and those responsible for it, but ‘Dream Team’ is a strong conclusion to this two-story set that wonderfully showcases its four leads with a range of genuine emotions that further solidify the unique strengths of this particular team.

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