Prepare to look at a lot of commonplace phrases in a very different light as a result of Nev Fountain’s typically clever script for this second Vienna story. It’s becoming a hallmark of this series that things are not quite as they seem (and hopefully this will remain simply a hallmark, rather than become a cliché) and you really don’t want to take anything on faith (sorry!) in this tale.
Frazer Hines guest stars, and brings his particular audio experience to bear on the role of Bax Spendlove. It makes a nice change to hear him not playing Jamie or the Second Doctor (there’s just the odd moment where a particular phrase associated with one or other turns up, and you can almost hear the conscious change of emphasis in the way the words are said). There’s plenty of opportunities for Hines and Chase Masterson to play off each other and Ken Bentley ensures that each of their meetings has a different energy.
There are more than a few potshots at organised religion in this, but more at the people who blindly follow a religion than at those who have a deep faith – on a couple of occasions the Bond film Licence to Kill came to mind with its cynical look at the trappings of a cult.
Verdict: With a few more pointers to the overall arc of the set, this is a nicely judged tale. 8/10