Doctor Who
The Twilight Kingdom

Starring: Paul McGann
Big Finish Productions
RRP 13.99
ISBN 1 84435 037 1
Available now

The blood of innocents has been spilt, and a terrible sequence of events set in motion. Deep underground, an army of light prepares itself. The Doctor is used to winning, used to reading the face of his enemy and beating the odds. But could he have got it wrong this time? Charley and C'rizz seem to think so...

This audio drama, the last in the current batch of Eighth Doctor adventures, guest-stars Michael Keating, who is best known for his role as Vila in Blake's 7. Here Keating plays another freedom fighter, Major Koth, though in terms of character this decorated war veteran could scarcely have been more different from the cowardly Vila.

Talk of terrorist attacks against an affluent culture - a culture which C'rizz (Conrad Westmaas) accurately surmises was not always as generous towards less prosperous nations as it could have been - brings to mind to the events of September 11th, 2001. There is no definitive moral message to this tale, but rather an examination of the various damaging effects that grief can have on people.

For me, this "season" of adventures has been a fairly hit-and-miss affair: a truly bizarre journey for the Eighth Doctor, Charley (India Fisher) and C'rizz through the Divergent universe, which has sometimes been a little too strange for its own good. Will Schindler's script is reassuringly more traditional. But that is not to say it is predictable. Far from it: the true nature of the titular twilight kingdom managed to surprise even a jaded old fan like me.

The story is a bit slow moving during the first half, but all told it provides a decent conclusion to an uneven season.

Richard McGinlay

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