The phrase “The Children of Seth” is one of the old Biblical terms for humanity, and human nature in all its glorious folly is on display in Marc Platt’s adaptation of Christopher Bailey’s unmade Doctor Who script. As director Ken Bentley notes in the CD extras, there are a lot of different strands going on simultaneously, and the first part, particularly, seems to have more unconnected events than the usual Who story…
But who would expect anything different from the man who brought us Kinda and Snakedance? Some of the themes Bailey has explored before feature in this story – two cultures that are opposed, and misunderstandings relating to artefacts from the past – while Platt himself has given us discussions of the human condition both in Spare Parts and his recent The Silver Turk. There are hints of not just the authors’ acknowledged debt to Robert Graves’ I, Claudius and Claudius the God, but also the works of Dickens and Dostoevsky.
It’s not an easy play to listen to: you need to concentrate on this more than on some. While it may be linear in form, it’s anything but that in nature.
Verdict: The least accessible of the recent Lost Stories, but no less enjoyable for that. 7/10
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