A weary 7th Doctor finds his way to the down-at-heel city of Valhalla, where food and power reductions are the norm and the sub-city electrical grid struggles to keep up with the demand from above.
The beleaguered Mayor Laxton, superbly played by Philip Jackson of Inspector Japp fame (a la Hercule Poirot), finds his position under threat from Valhalla's latest residents...the termites...who have plans of their own for the city.
The Doctor teams up with a maintenance crew as the situation escalates, and despite the plot losing a bit of steam in the second half this is an excellent audio adventure. McCoy is brilliant in this, and the eerie electro soundscape gives the play real depth.
I adore the soundtrack in this. Immediately brings to mind that of Mega City One and all the best elements of 2000AD.
Even though you could probably have still done this adventure at any point in the Seventh Doctor’s timeline, I like how this one is clearly near the end of this incarnation. All the plotting, all the grand Machiavellian schemes, all the lives he’s had to manipulate for the greater good. That would clearly take a toll on anyone after a while.
Love this one... The world-building here is very good. The exhausted, depleted gas world (with the unfortunate title of a paradise in Norse mythology) comes across superbly and the cast are fantastic. Philip Jackson is excellent as the Mayor, desperate to have control over a dying world that no-one really cares about. The idea that the rulers are cockroaches is an excellent satire on politics - but even then I still think they would be better than the current crop of politicians at the moment.
The Seventh Doctor fits in well here. I place this at the end of his tenure - he's done all he needs to do and is exhausted/bored. The rejection of a potential companion is a signal that travelling with him is no longer that engaging (or appealing), indicating a change will come soon enough. Dark and atmospheric.
'Well now I know you're mad. I just wanted to make sure."
I really enjoyed everything in this except the story’s idea of how the Doctor would behave. He felt a little bit “off” to me: as an example, the business with applying for a job just made him come across as odd rather than weary or rundown. It also does this thing I don’t enjoy whereby it invents something for the TARDIS which has never been used before and won’t be used again, despite there being numerous situations where it would be very handy. The supporting cast are magnificent, though.
"There's a horror movie named Alien? That's really offensive. No wonder everybody keeps invading you."
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