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Audio Drama Review


Doctor Who


Starring: Paul McGann
Big Finish Productions
RRP: £10.99 (CD), £8.99 (download)
ISBN: 978 1 84435 477 1
Available 31 August 2010

A bizarre manifestation in the Control Room forces the TARDIS onto the Plutonian shores of the irradiated world of Nevermore, whose sole inhabitant is the imprisoned war criminal Morella Wendigo. But the Doctor and Tamsin aren’t Morella’s only visitors. Senior Prosecutor Uglosi fears the arrival of an assassin, out for the blood of his prize prisoner - an assassin with claws... There’s no escape from Nevermore, whose raven-like robot jailers serve to demonstrate Uglosi’s macabre obsession with the works of Edgar Allan Poe. It’s an obsession that might yet lead to the premature burial of everyone on the planet’s surface, wreathed in the mist they call the Red Death...

Quoth the reviewer:

Nevermore is an unusual choice of story for Tamsin Drew’s (Niky Wardley) first trip aboard the TARDIS, a tale that is dominated by giant robotic ravens, a mysterious black cat and other terrors inspired by the works of the 19th-century horror writer Edgar Allan Poe. Tamsin shows signs of a ready sense of humour, even during times of extreme crisis (something she has in common with other companions of late, including Donna Noble, Lucie Miller and Amy Pond), but she doesn’t get an awful lot to do, so it’s difficult to get much of an idea about her character at this stage. At least there’s a decent opening TARDIS scene with Tamsin and the Doctor (Paul McGann), before the madness ensues.

In honour of Poe’s nationality, American accents abound in this production of an Alan Barnes script. Among the cast are the American actors Michael J Shannon (as Uglosi) and Eric Loren (as the pilot and Poe), who played Mr Diagoras and the Dalek Sec Hybrid in Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks. We even get American accents from the English cast members Fenella Woolgar (as Wendigo), who played Agatha Christie in The Unicorn and the Wasp, and Emilia Fox (as Berenice). The accents are convincing all round (Woolgar lived in the USA for a time, as the interviews at the end of the CD reveal), though Berenice isn’t a very substantial role for such a star name as Emilia Fox (Silent Witness).

I might have liked this story better if I knew more about the writings of Edgar Allan Poe. As it is, most of what I know of Poe comes from The Simpsons’s first Halloween episode! As a result, I found Nevermore reasonably entertaining, though more than a little strange.


Richard McGinlay

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