The body of an old man is found in the River Thames, although
his DNA matches that of an 18-year-old. Sarah heads for West
Yorkshire to discover why teenage boys are being kidnapped
and whether this is connected to a retreat that hosts the
Huang Ti Clinic...
It comes as little surprise to me that this tale of Chinese
philosophy and medicine comes from the pen of Buddhist Barry
Letts (the Doctor Who Producer who co-created Sarah
Jane Smith back in 1973).
has written audio dramas before this, including the Jon Pertwee
Doctor Who radio serials The Paradise of Death
and The Ghosts of N-Space. Thankfully his storytelling
techniques have gained some subtlety since then. Whereas in
those 1990s serials characters simply spoke their thoughts
out loud to nobody in particular in order to explain the action
to the listener, now Letts uses more realistic methods, such
as having his characters relay reconnaissance information
to each other over mobile phones.
is also a more coherent story than the previous month's introductory
tale, Comeback. With the series' concepts now established,
there is no detailed back-story to convey this time around,
and so the narrative is able to get on with telling its primary
I am really warming to the regular back-up cast, particularly
Josh Townsend (Jeremy James). He is the incredulous companion
to Elisabeth Sladen's Sarah, who herself has developed some
Doctor-like qualities of detachment and laid-back calm. Sadie
Miller (Sladen's daughter) betrays no hint of youthful inexperience
in her role as Sarah's "guardian angel" Natalie Redfern, an
old friend from the journalist's television career, although
she hasn't had much to do thus far.
is an entertaining - if sometimes rather grim - little story,
with plenty of energy. Or perhaps I should say "chi".