Doctor Who: Shadow of Death
Written by Simon Guerrier
Published by Audio Go and Big Finish
The second in the monthly Destiny of the Doctor audio series sees the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe crashland inside a base on the surface of a remote planet orbiting a pulsar star. The human crew of the base are investigating the disappearance of the planet’s indigenous race – nicknamed The Quiet Ones – while the pulsar warps time around them.
Narrated beautifully by Frazer Hines, whose imitation of the Second Doctor is even better than David Troughton’s, this tale uses a wonderful array of music and aural effects to evoke the black and white spacefaring exploits of the era. Evie Dawnay gives good support as Sophie, the scientist left in charge of the base when the team leader falls foul of a deathly ageing mystery.
With time pressing on and warping the base, it’s little wonder that it seeps into the story itself to powerful effect in Simon Guerrier’s sometimes lyrical story which, in style and substance, put me in mind of his recent Eleventh Doctor audio, The Empty House. Fans who bemoaned the lack of an obvious arc plot in last month’s release – Hunters of Earth – won’t be disappointed here, as Guerrier delivers a real jaw dropper.
It all adds up to a terrific hour’s entertainment which, like Stephen Baxter’s Wheel of Ice last year, reminds us of the glorious SF heavy years that belonged to the Second Doctor. You really never can have enough bases under siege.