The Doctor and Leela get lost in the fog, just in time to foil the plans of an alien invader…
There are certain tales that lend themselves to this “audio description” variant of Doctor Who release, and Horror of Fang Rock is definitely in this category, particularly with a great script from Robert Ayres performed with relish by Louise Jameson. It may not be one of Louise’s favourite stories, as she has admitted on numerous occasions (including our interview with here here), but you wouldn’t know that for a second from the performance, which ramps up the tension in an already-tense tale.
Terrance Dicks’ hastily written replacement for The Witch Lords is a classic base under siege story, and one of the few times where only the TARDIS team live to tell the tale (sorry to anyone who doesn’t know the story!) Interestingly, some of the characters come across more strongly in this medium, notably the secretary (or fancy woman) Adelaide. The script jams description into every moment of silence, just very occasionally going over dialogue, and gives a number of scenes from Leela’s point of view, rather than simply describing what’s going on.
There’s also a good interview by David Darlington with Louise about her time on the show, and her opinion on some aspects of the current incarnation make for interesting listening.
In a funny way this is going back to the old days for long-term fans: for years, all we had was audios of the stories, so to have a companion providing description as well – that would have been an impossible dream…
Verdict: A neat package for a claustrophobic classic tale. 8/10