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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 479 5
Available 31 October 2010

Millions of years ago, the noble Ice Warriors fled to Deimos, one of the moons of Mars, hoping to sit out the radioactive death throes of their home planet. When the TARDIS lands on Deimos, the Doctor discovers that the Warriors’ ancient catacombs are now a popular destination for space tourists. However, the Martian dynasties are more than just history, and the Warriors are far from extinct. It’s not for nothing that “Deimos” is the ancient word for “dread”...

I was initially worried by the OTT opening scene of Deimos, a flashback sequence in which blustering Ice Warriors argue about their impending fate. Fortunately, this turns out to be a deliberately naff re-enactment (like the Jolly Chronolidays performances in Omega) staged for the benefit of tourists visiting Deimos.

A thematic follow-up to Phobos (which took place on Mars’s other moon), Deimos starts off deliberately small-scale and light-hearted, populated by a handful of comical characters such as the delightful married holidaymakers Harold and Margaret (Nick Wilton and Torchwood: Children of Earth’s Susan Brown) and the proud but woefully misguided historian Professor Boston Schooner (the eminent David Warner). The outstanding guest cast also includes the reliable Nicky Henson, as security chief Gregson Grenville, and Tracy-Ann Oberman, who manages to differentiate her performance here as administrator Temperance Finch from her previous role as the beleaguered boss of a base under siege in Army of Ghosts / Doomsday.

Gradually writer Jonathan Morris ups the dramatic stakes, so that the threat to the characters becomes greater and ultimately develops into something far larger in scope. Towards the end of Part Two, the plot appears to be heading towards a resolution, in common with the typical structure of a two-episode, single-disc Paul McGann release. However, at the last minute Morris pulls a rabbit out of the hat that opens out the narrative for continuation in next month’s The Resurrection of Mars. So, more Ice Warrior action to come - yay!

The CD concludes with 15 minutes of interviews with the cast and crew, in which David Warner discusses his professional delight at working with Big Finish again, and Tracy-Ann Oberman discusses her fangirlish delight at having the chance to work with Warner, an actor she’s admired for years.

It’s well worth getting your hands (or, if you’re an Ice Warrior, your pincers) on this potent sonic device.


Richard McGinlay

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