Careworn and in need of distraction following his trial
by the Time Lords, the Doctor visits Bianca's, a very special
and exclusive club. But his rest is shattered by the arrival
of the trans-temporal adventuress, Iris Wildthyme. She claims
to be on a secret mission, a mission which involves getting
so plastered that she can hear voices in her head...
so Iris Wildthyme, the eccentric star of several Doctor
Who short stories and novels penned by Paul Magrs (who
co-writes this adventure with Stephen Cole) adds another of
the Doctor's incarnations to her collection of encounters.
Katy Manning, whose "'Ecky thump" characterisation of Iris
was the best thing about Big Finish's Excelis miniseries
last year, makes a welcome return to the role.
Iris gets blotto, Colin Baker's egotistical Sixth Doctor seems
a little disappointed to learn that she doesn't find his incarnation
as fanciable as the other ones. The dejected Doctor depicted
here echoes, either deliberately or coincidentally, his post-Trial
of a Time Lord state of mind in Steve Lyons' Missing
Adventures novel Time of Your Life.
adventures usually end up mirroring the Doctor's own, whether
by chance, unreliable storytelling or mimicry on the part
of Iris herself, and this one is no exception. She rips off
some of the Time Lord's best lines, including "I'll explain
later," from The Curse of Fatal Death, and the Third
Doctor's comment in The Time Warrior that he is serious
about what he does, but "Not necessarily about the way I do
it." Unfortunately, this lends a degree of predictability
to certain revelations about Bianca (a temptress well played
by Maria McErlane) and her club. Perhaps the ultimate denouement
is supposed to be obvious (Cole and Magrs's script is fairly
self-aware) and obvious it most certainly is.
where do worms fit into all this? Well, Bianca's is a very
unusual club, which makes use of wormholes in the fabric of
space, and there are some very peculiar worms in its bottles
of "house special" tequila.
club setting and Bianca's sinister singing make this another
Sixth Doctor audio adventure - after The Whispers of Terror
and ...ish - to feature a suitably sound-based menace.
like a boozy evening spent in such a club, there isn't really
enough incident in this story to justify its running time
of over two hours. But it's entertaining enough.