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Audio Book Review


Doctor Who
The Companion Chronicles
The Dying Light


Author: Nick Wallace
Performed by: Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury
Publisher: Big Finish Productions
RRP: £8.99 (CD), £7.99 (download)
ISBN: 978 1 78178 088 6
Release Date: 31 December 2013

The TARDIS materialises on a dying world circling a dying sun, where the Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon and Zoe Heriot are welcomed to Sanctuary – an entire monastery carved out of a mountain. But little here is quite what it seems, with oceans of sand and a host of impossibilities. Quadrigger Stoyn has been waiting here through the centuries, after being stranded on Earth’s moon all those years ago. He thinks it is time for the Doctor to pay for his first terrible mistake...

The Second Doctor really ought to steer clear of monasteries! As in The Abominable Snowmen, it turns out that the man in charge is up to no good, and he knows the Time Lord of old... Before long, the Doctor has been thrown into a cell – not that that’s unusual for this series.

The setting, however, could not be more different from the Tibetan retreat of the first Yeti serial. The TARDIS lands on a planet with silicon seas, miraculously abundant trees, and an even stranger form of life (which I won’t spoil for you).

The villain in question is the stranded Time Lord technician Quadrigger Stoyn (Terry Molloy), making his second appearance in a trilogy of Companion Chronicles that revolve around him. Even more so than in the previous story, The Beginning, I feel quite sorry for Stoyn. For all his talk of revenge and just deserts, all he really wants is a means to get home.

Any Second Doctor story has to tread carefully around the subject of the Time Lords, because in this era of the show the Doctor did not speak openly about his people until the revelations of The War Games. Writer Nick Wallace gets the balance just about right, with Stoyn speaking in vague and mythic terms about the origins he shares with the Doctor – references that Jamie (Frazer Hines) fails to grasp. Wallace effectively sets things up for the events that follow in The War Games...

Other aspects of the plot are less successful. I find it hard to believe that Stoyn has spent so long setting up his trap, seemingly achieving nothing else with his life. I am less than convinced by his reasoning that moving far away from Earth’s solar system is really the best way to track the Doctor. How did Stoyn get to this dying planet? I was surprised and disappointed that the Doctor (once again brought back to life by Hines’s uncanny impersonation) does not express more regret about his role in Stoyn’s unfortunate fate. This is largely his fault.

Maybe things will all become clearer in light of the concluding story, Luna Romana...


Richard McGinlay

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