Tom turned up to 10

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews - Paul Kirkley

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Tom Baker’s ob­ses­sion with death (this is a man who had the in­scrip­tion carved on his grave­stone decades ago) and in­sa­tiable ap­petite for tall sto­ries com­bine in this de­mented com­edy – the first in a bi-monthly se­ries – set dur­ing the for­mer Time Lord’s fu­neral in the pe­cu­liar ham­let of Hap­pen­stance.

Baker plays him­self, ac­com­pa­nied by Doc­tor Who grande dame Katy Man­ning as an ex-col­league drawn into the mys­tery of how the teatime telly leg­end met his sticky end. Was he re­ally run over by the TV de­tec­tor van? Or, as some say, did he suf­fer a fa­tal fall while climb­ing naked on the roof of the vil­lage Post Of­fice-cum-Mini Mart?

En­tirely built around the ac­tor’s larger-than-life rep­u­ta­tion, this is Baker with no fil­ter, chan­nelling the spirit of The Goons with a per­for­mance so large you can see it from Gal­lifrey. The pres­ence of the equally fan­ci­ful Paul Ma­grs on script du­ties, mean­while, re­sults in a critical mass of whimsy in­volv­ing crazed hurdy-gurdy play­ers, twerk­ing pen­sion­ers and gran­nies with weaponised bo­soms.

“It was like we’d taken leave of our senses,” says Man­ning’s char­ac­ter at one point. Well quite.

Ma­grs pre­vi­ously wrote the Bak­er­star­ring Hor­nets’ Nest, De­mon Quest and Ser­pent Crest se­ries for BBC Au­dio.

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