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The Time Lords help the Doctor to track the Daleks to the planet Spiridon, where invisible creatures and a party of old allies await him and Jo…
One of Terrance Dicks’ clear and concise novelizations is brought to life through a combination of Mark Gatiss’ impassioned reading – please can we have him reading either The Mind Robber or The Deadly Assassin next, given how great his rendition of Bernard Horsfall is in this – and Simon Power’s all-encompassing soundscape. From the opening scenes of Jo stuck alone in the TARDIS (or Joe, as Miss Grant was described in the Marks & Spencer/Artus abbreviated version of this novel), to the departure of the Thals for Skaro, there are very few occasions when the only sound you hear is Gatiss’ narration.
It’s an exciting tale too; dig beneath the surface, and there are, of course, large resemblances to other works by Terry Nation, but when it’s being performed for you, that sort of consideration falls by the wayside. And it is a performance: Gatiss lisps when appropriate for Pertwee’s Doctor, and gives each of the Thals a distinct vocal sound. Nick Briggs is on hand for the Dalek voices, arguing with himself as appropriate.
Verdict: Three hours pass very quickly as you become drawn in to Jo Grant’s penultimate TV adventure. 8/10