THE DOCTOR WHO AUDIO ANNUAL
released 7 deCemBer 141 minutes | Cd/download
Publisher BBC audio
For anyone who grew up a Doctor Who fan in the ’60s, ’70s or ’80s, the Christmas annual was a festive delight – colourful pictures in lurid shades, puzzles, quizzes and, of course, short stories.
Now BBC Audio has put together a collection of tales from annuals ranging from 1966 to 1985. There are six stories and two essays in total, all read by actors from the show. For the most part they do a good job and it’s a great way to evoke the eras the stories hail from.
The stories themselves unfortunately fall short. It’s fun listening to earlier tales refer to the character as “Doctor Who”, and his ship as “TARDIS” rather than “the TARDIS”. And the description of the Second Doctor in 1968’s “The Phoenix In The TARDIS” as “more with it, more switched on” raises a smile. But stories such as “Conundrum” (1982), which comes across like the author had just learned of Mobius strips, or “The Penalty” (1983), a description of the Doctor’s nightmares, aren’t that compelling. Pyramid-based tale “The King Of Golden Death” (1968) is the best of the bunch, with an interesting discussion on the relationship of ethics to timescale as Ben and Polly try to convince the Doctor to let them take souvenirs from a pharaoh’s tomb.
Not an essential purchase, but a fun listen for Christmas afternoon when you’re waiting for the special. Rhian Drinkwater