The Sandman is a terrifying figure from the folklore of
the nomadic Galyari species. He preys upon young and old alike,
stealing their skins to add to his coat. When the TARDIS materialises
within a fleet of migrating ships called the Clutch, Evelyn
discovers that the Sandman also goes by another name: the
If you were wondering why the Seventh Doctor referred to himself
as the Sandman in last month's The Rapture, then perhaps
this audio drama holds the answer.
Colin Baker is perfectly cast as the stuff of alien nightmares,
over-acting superbly in his Sandman guise. No other incarnation
is better suited to taking on the role of arch villain than
the Sixth Doctor, whose alarming actions caused viewers (and
Peri) great concern in The Twin Dilemma and Mindwarp.
However, I did find it a little out of character that Baker's
Doctor, who is usually so dismissive of Americanisms, here
uses the word "headed" when he means "heading".
Like the recent Bernice Summerfield audio adventure, The
Dance of the Dead, this tale also happens to deal with
a reptilian species and race memories. The reptiles in this
instance are the Galyari, a fascinating race of nomads who
preserve their accumulated memories in an egg-like structure.
A coincidence of casting has Ian Hogg, who played the rapidly
evolving Josiah Smith in Ghost Light, portraying another
alien who sheds his skin: the reptilian General Voshkar. Once
again, he is splendidly over-the-top. Meanwhile Anneke Wills,
who played the 1960s companion Polly, puts in an emotive performance
as another Galyari, Nrosha, although her heavily modulated
voice means that she is virtually unrecognisable.
Simon A Forward has created an original tale full of intriguing
elements, such as the Clutch convoy and the notion of the
Doctor being the monster. The third episode flags rather badly,
and culminates in a pretty incomprehensible cliffhanger, but
the strength of the central concepts keep hold of the listener's
attention right through to the end.