Trudi Canavan brings the patrician Third Doctor and a suitably experienced Jo to Australia for this short and effective tale, which includes some nicely rendered scenes from the point of view of man’s best friend, as well as a couple of suitably gruesome moments.
The story doesn’t suffer from the usual attempts to portray the Doctor as a fish out of water in a foreign country (something I’ve never quite understood – he’s used to fitting into every sort of society in the universe; different countries on the same backwater planet should be simple); he knows what should and shouldn’t be present, and how he should be behaving.
Jo being Jo manages to get herself into trouble, but there’s a good use of her propensity for bungling into things, and for opening her mouth before thinking – the affection between the pair is clear, and, as with many of these Time Trips, you can hear the actors saying the lines. The guest characters are put to good use to provide an insight into the way the Time Lord and companion come across to those they meet.
As with Nick Harkaway last month, it would be great to see Canavan tackle a full length adventure for her chosen TARDIS team; I have a feeling that she’d give us a very intriguing Rani…
Verdict: A well crafted addition to the Pertwee era. 8/10