THE SIRENS OF TIME
Finally Doctor Who is back - and, unsurprisingly, it is brought back
with a collection of Doctors. In this case the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh
Gary Russell, Nick Briggs and Stephen Cole made a very wise decision when
they decided to give each of the three Doctors a seperate episode each,
before bringing them all together for the final episode. It gave the
perfect opportunity to show the strengths and weaknesses of each era of
Doctor Who. If it weren't for the theme music, I would say that they
captured each era perfectly, but the theme music from the '60s somewhat
limited that effect.
Episode one, starring Sylvester McCoy, firmly places The Sirens Of Time
straight after the events of the Virgin novel Lungbarrow, with the
seventh Doctor interupted by the Sirens, while on his way to Skaro. For
the record I honestly think Sylvester needs to work on his performance.
At times I could quite easily visualize the Doctor on the unnamed planet,
but more often than not, I found it very hard to do so. A common problem
with the Audio Adventures In Time And Space for The Professor and Ace.
At least then he wasn't really playing the Doctor so he had a good excuse,
but this time there is no excuse. I'm hoping that in the future, when the
Doctor is teamed up with Ace once again, his performance will be improved.
Episode two, starring Peter Davison, is perfect. Every character clicks,
of particular note is Davison himself, and Mark Gatiss as the sub captain.
Every single scene was so easy to visualize I felt I could almost be
watching it on TV. The fifth Doctor does get it bad throughout this
story, being shot at, beaten up, and spraining his ankle in episode four.
But Peter Davison recaptures the role perfectly. By far the best
installment in the whole story.
Episode three, starring Colin Baker, is set directly after the Doctor
returned Mel to his future, therefore placing it before the Virgin novel
Time Of Your Life. Colin's performance as the Doctor is perfect, and
it is great to have him back. His ego and arrogance shines through,
but at the same time he displays his natural charm.
The fourth episode is a curious one. As much as it was good to have
McCoy, Davison and Baker together, I'm not sure if it really gelled. To
be true, McCoy and Baker make a good team, with Davison being the most
adult and most in control. But I can't help feeling that a lot of the
scenes needed to go through a little more rehearsal to be polished off.
As a whole though, I think it worked. I liked it a lot, but I am not
too sure about the Gallifrey setting, which flatly contradicts
Lungbarrow. But then again, since the Time Lords were beaten so easily
maybe it was set on a Gallifrey in the future just before the War with the
Enemy, as mentioned in the BBC EDA novels.
A good start to the new series, but it is was nothing compared to what
was to come, and that was...