Trapped inside the Skishtari egg, the Doctor and Mrs Wibbsey encounter strange versions of familiar people – and things…
Oh dear, we’re back in fantasyland again – although, to be fair, it means that we’ve had one episode of science fiction, one historical and now one fantasy, so the series is reflecting the various different type of stories that Doctor Who encompasses. However whenever we’ve had this sort of story before in these Tom Baker audios, they’ve been an excuse for excesses on the part of the venerable actor, and this time is no exception.
Magrs clearly enjoys writing this sort of story: it’s reminiscent of some of his Iris Wildthyme/Eighth Doctor stories (there’s even a namecheck for Hyspero, the setting for The Scarlet Empress), and there are various story-telling devices at work, including an unreliable narrator and breaking down of the fourth wall. The idea of the Doctor’s scarf coming to life (and the eventual explanation for it) is a neat one, although it’s very hard to shift the thought of Kaa from The Jungle Book or his equivalent, Sir Hiss, in Robin Hood.
The ending is also a little unusual, almost as if the series was originally commissioned to be in two blocks of releases, but it does look as if we’re back to the sci-fi stories next time.
Verdict: Not living up to the promise of the first episode, this feels a little too clever for its own good. 5/10