Tibet, 1917. Ancient evils are stirring in the Himalayas.
They have always known they will return one day to finish
what they started centuries before. When the TARDIS materialises,
carrying the Doctor, Peri and Erimem, the catalyst that the
dark forces need unwittingly arrives...
dear. Poor Peter Davison doesn't seem to be doing too well
in terms of scripts for his recent Big Finish audio adventures.
I wasn't overly impressed with his previous outing, The
Axis of Insanity, or with Nekromanteia, the last
Fifth Doctor/Peri/Erimem story before that. Neither am I over-enamoured
with this one.
its favour, The Roof of the World shows us a different
side of Tibet to the one we got in the Troughton serial The
Abominable Snowmen, taking us through frozen mountain
passes but also to a cricket match held for the benefit of
explorers, which characteristically attracts the Doctor's
attention. These explorers include a blustering old war veteran,
General Alexander Bruce, whose character arc is well played
by Sylvester Morand.
Adrian Rigelsford also explores Erimem's past, including as
part of the process an effective cameo by her father, Pharaoh
Amenhotep II (William Franklyn, who is soon to be heard as
the voice of the book in the new series of The Hitchhiker's
Guide to the Galaxy). The second episode, in which this
cameo takes place, makes a nice change from the usual practice
of simply picking up with a recap from the previous instalment.
Rigelsford recognises the value of Erimem (Caroline Morris)
as a companion who, being unique to the Big Finish range,
can convincingly be threatened with death. However, similar
threats to Peri (Nicola Bryant) and the Doctor don't work
as well, for the obvious reason that we know they will survive,
and Erimem's "time out" is far too similar to the Doctor's
trip to the other side in Nekromanteia.
forgivably, the nature of the evil forces that are faced by
the time travellers could really have done with more explanation
of their background. Vague comments about "Old Ones" might
stir the memories of fans who have read the right New
and Missing Adventures, but dramatically that just
isn't good enough.
Roof of the World aims high, but falls short of its
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