There’s a little note with the review copy of this that asks reviewers not to give away the secrets of this month’s releases (and so far The Two Masters, this and the Short Trip all have twists that you really don’t want to know going in…), but it does make reviewing them a bit difficult without descending into the not very helpful “listen to this, because it’s really good” level.
However, do listen to this, because it’s really good!
John Dorney seems to have had a great deal of fun writing it, and gives all the guest cast some terrific moments. The trouble with Drax – at least as seen in The Armageddon Factor – is that he’s a little bit one-note, but Dorney finds various different sides to the character which means that when the erstwhile Brixtonian is in a scene (particularly when sparring with the Doctor or Romana), you’re likely to have a smile on your face. Whether Drax is trying to put Romana in her place (never a good move), or inveigling the Doctor into going along with a mad scheme, there’s never a dull moment.
Jamie Robertson provides some highly appropriate incidental music, and clever sound design, while director Nick Briggs maintains the high energy that this sort of farce needs, while still giving the actors room to make each of their characters stand out.
Verdict: The sort of story to put on when you want to put a smile on your face, strong performances from Ray Brooks, John Challis, Miranda Raison and co. ensure Drax makes a memorable return. 9/10