Read by Maureen O’Brien
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A stranded expedition and a mystery with not too many suspects…
Ian Marter’s last contribution to the Doctor Who range – the book was finished by editor Nigel Robinson after Marter’s premature death – is a terrific piece of Who writing. Faced with two not particularly strong episodes whose primary function in 1965 was to introduce Vicki as the new companion, he creates a world on a far wider canvas than could be achieved on the tiny budget of Doctor Who’s second season.
If you think you know the story from the DVD release, then you’re in for more than a few surprises in Marter’s expanded retelling. There are whole subplots added to the story – as Marter did with his version of The Sontaran Experiment– and the stakes seem to be much higher.
Maureen O’Brien slips back more than 45 years seemingly effortlessly, recreating her own higher register for Vicki, while giving a good semblance of the speech patterns for the other characters. Marter adds a number of characters to the story, and O’Brien ensures that we’re always sure who’s doing and saying what.
Verdict: With clear narration and a well-designed soundscape, this is a thoroughly enjoyable return to the early days of the show. 8/10