Synopsis Tibet, 1917. It's a time of great exploration, with intrepid teams of adventurers heading blindly into uncharted territory, determined to beat inexplicable odds and overcome any challenge they encounter.
But some things are not necessarily that easy to defeat.
An ancient evil, perhaps older than time itself, is stirring deep within the heart of the Himalayas. It has always known it will return and finish off what it started so many centuries before. But the time has to be right.
As the TARDIS materialises, with the Doctor determined to take full advantage of an invite to a cricket match, the catalyst that the dark forces need unwittingly arrives.
Written By: Adrian Rigelsford Directed By: Gary Russell
CAST Peter Davison (The Doctor); Caroline Morris (Erimem); Nicola Bryant (Peri); Edward de Souza (Lord Mortimer Davey); William Franklyn (Pharaoh Amenhotep II); Sylvester Morand (General Alexander Bruce); Alan Cox (John Matthews)
Post by iainmclaughlin on Nov 21, 2017 23:46:59 GMT
Like many people I was kind of expecting this to be a Great Intelligence story. I think Gary mentioned at one point that his first choice for Pharaoh Amenhotep was Ray Winstone. I would very much have liked that.
I agree with Ian its The Great Intelligence in all but name, but its a very good addition to Erimen's backstory. Brilliant tonal shift between the 1st and 2nd Eps, The fireplace talk in Ep 3 is one Davison's best confrontational scenes ever, its a slightly rushed ending but overall a solid 8/10 and underrated .
I admit I've never gotten the dislike for this one. It's not the greatest story, but it has a nice pacing and some good character moments. I might be inclined to be kinder to it in the light of Nekromanteia (which was somehow worse the second time around!), but I find this one to be a fine little adventure. It definitely pales in comparison to some of the other Erimem stories, but it has a number of little details that make it work for me. In particular, I like the way it has four distinct acts, attempting to do something a bit different in each episode (as opposed to the usual four-parters, which tend to be one long story cut into sections). I especially like the third episode, placing the characters in a situation where they are essentially stalled, forced to bide their time and prepare; I could honestly see doing more with a story set entirely in the pause between events, with the characters left alone with their doubts and anticipations.
I tend to find I like this one more than I expect to. It has a bad reputation, but I think it tends to be a bit underrated.
(Ha! Been away from the forums for a little bit, and I come back to find out there's an Erimem listen-through at the convenient time when I'm in the midst of a re-listen myself!)
(I forgot I hadn't posted about this one, hopefully better late than never.)
It's fair to say that The Roof of the World doesn't attract many positive review scores and so this was the very last Fifth Doctor MR gap I filled between 50-150. And then only because BF had it on sale, and I'd never listened to it until now. However...
I enjoyed it very much! It's true that I'm generally fond of historicals and pseudo-historicals, but I thought this was a really good, atmospheric story with a richly-drawn setting, excellent supporting characters and Lovecraftian monsters and strong scenes and storylines for the regulars.
The historical opening on the fringes of Empire with (lovely idea!) the Fifth Doctor on the quest for some unique cricket pleased me from the start and the 'Doctor Who' elements burst onto the scene with a gripping cliff-hanger. It's an excellent first episode in the classic style - and then (although I liked it) I was completely thrown by the second! Erimem's strange spirit journey took me by surprise and I was left thinking 'this is also very good - but how on Earth does it fit with the first part of the story?' - but it did fit well in the end.
With the Doctor starting to home in on the monsters' lair, I was getting ready for some ice-and-snow mountaineering - and then the Doctor did the obvious and went by TARDIS instead! Nice idea, I'd been in the 'historicals' mindset and almost forgotten that this Doctor can steer his TARDIS sometimes! Then we finished with what I thought was a very good reveal that Erimem's father had used the fabled 'powers of ancient Egypt' to imprison the enemy millennia before (so that's how episode 2 fits in then ) and one of those confrontation-with-the-villain scenes that Peter Davison plays so well, reminding me of his contest with the high priest in 'The Eye of the Scorpion'. And an exciting climax with an appropriately dramatic-sounding avalanche to finish off a story where the sound design was excellent throughout.
And finally, I thought there was a fine quartet of guest characters and all played extremely well by the impressive guest cast - the posessed aristocrat, the pharaoh - Erimem's father Amenhotep, the dubious (but brave when pushed) publicity-hunting General and his long-suffering journalist/biographer companion.
For me, a very solid 4* and another enjoyable discovery on this Erimem journey.
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