Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Mystery diseases, black cats and the return of Mad Tom

From The Doctor Who Cuttings Archive
Revision as of 20:00, 17 March 2024 by John Lavalie (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigationJump to search

2010-11 SFX p132.jpg

[edit]
  • Publication: SFX
  • Date: Nov. 2010
  • Author: Saxon Bullock
  • Page: 132
  • Language: English

THE RELICS OF TIME


The Mad Old Uncle of the Doctor Who universe is back and after last year's BBC series Hornet's Nest, we're getting another five-part dose of full-on eccentricity starring Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor. Demon Quest once again feels like it's been deliberately tailored to suit its one-of-a-kind leading man, as we follow the Doctor and his middle-aged housekeeper Mrs Wibbsey (Susan Jameson) on a quest through time to track down a missing component of the TARDIS.

Their first stop is ancient Britain, where they get caught up in the dealings of a mysterious wizard, but while Paul Magrs's story certainly gives Baker every opportunity to be entertainingly peculiar, it's too aimless, rambling and whimsical for its own good. Even Baker's most shamelessly eccentric moments on the show weren't quite as self-indulgent as this, and while there are some fun highlights, it's more like listening to a cover version of the Fourth Doctor than the genuine article.

Over at Big Finish, the latest trilogy continues with The Whispering Forest, as the Fifth Doctor, Tegan, Nyssa and Turlough arrive on a jungle planet where a settlement of humans are trapped in superstitious beliefs, while being preyed on by enigmatic figures called "Takers". Again, the tricky prospect of an overcrowded TARDIS actually plays rather well, as the script gives all the leads a fair share of the action, and there are excellent performances across the board, especially from the ever-reliable Peter Davison. An emotive piece of old-school Who storytelling, The Whispering Forest's various twists may not be blisteringly original but they do fit the early-'80s Who vibe extremely well, and it all leads to a doozy of a cliffhanger.

Elsewhere, the new run of Paul McGann adventures continues with Nevermore, as the Eighth Doctor and his new companion arrive in a bizarre prison seemingly dedicated to recreating the works of Edgar Allen Poe. They soon discover that this is all linked to an alien war criminal and an unusual black cat. There are effective twists and enjoyably arch literary in-jokes in this fast-paced and entertaining tale. Once again, this new run of Eighth Doctor stories is shaping up very nicely.

Finally, the Companion Chronicles reaches back into the '60s once again, with another appearance from Second Doctor assistant Zoe Herriot (Wendy Padbury). Echoes Of Grey once again plays with the fact that Zoe's memories of the Doctor were wiped by the Time Lords, as a mysterious girl takes her on a trip into her stolen memories, to discover the secret of a sinister medical research establishment she visited with the Doctor and Jamie. Padbury gives an excellent reading, and while the story is a little too dark for the Troughton era, it's still a gripping tale with a very powerful conclusion.


Out on 7 October part two of Demon Quest, new Eleventh Doctor reading The Jade Pyramid, and The Runaway Train.

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to whovian@cuttingsarchive.org

  • APA 6th ed.: Bullock, Saxon (Nov. 2010). Mystery diseases, black cats and the return of Mad Tom. SFX p. 132.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Bullock, Saxon. "Mystery diseases, black cats and the return of Mad Tom." SFX [add city] Nov. 2010, 132. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Bullock, Saxon. "Mystery diseases, black cats and the return of Mad Tom." SFX, edition, sec., Nov. 2010
  • Turabian: Bullock, Saxon. "Mystery diseases, black cats and the return of Mad Tom." SFX, Nov. 2010, section, 132 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Mystery diseases, black cats and the return of Mad Tom | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Mystery_diseases,_black_cats_and_the_return_of_Mad_Tom | work=SFX | pages=132 | date=Nov. 2010 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=15 April 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Mystery diseases, black cats and the return of Mad Tom | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Mystery_diseases,_black_cats_and_the_return_of_Mad_Tom | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=15 April 2024}}</ref>