Tom Braudy is enjoying a sunny summer afternoon of ice-lollies
and Lego when the TARDIS lands in his Nan's living room and
interrupts her in the middle of the snooker. After they've
apologised, the Doctor and his friends discover matters of
far greater concern than the fact that their time machine
is blocking Mrs Braudy's view of a thrilling century break.
The street that Tom happily cycles up and down appears to
have no beginning or end, and every single house is identical.
Is this the future of suburbia, or something more sinister?
Why doesn't Tom look as young as he behaves? And can anybody
remember which house the TARDIS is in...?
Talk about a trip down Memory Lane! Consider the following
events. The Doctor (Paul McGann) gets teased when the TARDIS
appears to materialise on Earth rather than in the alien locale
that he had predicted. However, the landing site proves to
be rather unusual. Though it resembles Earth, it is in fact
a closed system in which the inhabitants are somehow trapped
and forced, unknowingly, into repeated patterns of behaviour.
And observing the specimens from outside their container are
some rather eccentric beings - beings that soon have possession
of a certain blue box... Sounds a lot like a description of
the Third Doctor classic Carnival
of Monsters doesn't it?
I am being unfair. I am aware that my reviews have a habit
of saying "this is like that serial" or "they did this before
in such and such novel". The fact is that many, many Doctor
Who stories have been told over the years, and I have
seen, read or heard a large proportion of them. Therefore
a degree of familiarity and repetition is inevitable. Rather
more disconcerting and perhaps less excusable is the sound
designer David Darlington's reuse of control panel effects
from Big Finish's Gallifrey series, which is a tad
distracting at times.
this is a very enjoyable production. Writer Eddie Robson and
director Gary Russell tell their tale at a leisurely pace,
with plenty of light-hearted moments but just enough intrigue
to keep the listener guessing. (Spacemen? A sinister ice-cream
van? What's going on?) Highlights include an endearingly amiable
performance by Nina Baden-Semper as Mrs Braudy and a snooker-related
catchphrase that is sure to appeal to fans of Mitchell and
Webb. Robson also makes refreshingly different use of C'rizz's
(Conrad Westmaas) schizophrenic mindset.
you like your Who a little on the strange side, Memory
Lane should be right up your street. There's a rather
cool trailer for I, Davros at the end, too.
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