Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish Audio: Short Trips 5.5: The King of the Dead

DWST0505_thekingofthedead_1417The Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Nyssa arrive in the middle of a theatrical performance where one of the key players has a very different ending in mind…

Ian Atkins’ short story for the Season 20 TARDIS line-up is read by Sarah Sutton who reveals a talent for mimicry and accents that hasn’t been used as much as it could have been perhaps by Big Finish up to now. Her Tegan captures Janet Fielding’s twang, while Davison’s Doctor is very clear, and the other characters demonstrate a wide range.

It’s one of those stories that is unfair to review in too much detail, as the author doles out key pieces of information as the tale progresses – the audience learning the information at the same time as the characters rather than being one step ahead. Suffice it to say that there are links both to the TV series and to Big Finish’s own stories set in the late 20th century, and that it’s a tale about consequences and contemplation of disaster that is very personal for one member of the TARDIS crew. There are moments where you might feel that it’s not being true to the characters, but bear with it – Atkins understands their core better than that.

Verdict: A well-performed tense tale. 8/10

Paul Simpson



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