The Doctor is surprised when Charley claims never to have
heard of a playwright called William Shakespeare. A time anomaly
leads them to 21st-century Britain, whose Shakespeare-obsessed
ruler has commissioned time experiments in order to witness
the plays' original performances. The Daleks claim to be Shakespearean
scholars who only want to help...
a few years ago, fans might have been forgiven for writing
off Paul McGann as a one-off, the "George Lazenby of Doctor
Whos", as McGann himself once put it. However, this audio
adventure marks his tenth starring role in a Doctor Who
story, including the 1996 TV movie, and he has at least one
more yet to come, in the form of next month's Neverland.
One of his predecessors, Peter Davison, claimed that he didn't
feel like a "proper" Doctor until he had battled the evil
Daleks (in Resurrection of the Daleks). Now that McGann
has performed in a Dalek serial himself, there can surely
no longer be any doubt that he is a "proper" Doctor too.
a number of occasions I have praised the Dalek scripts written
by Nicholas Briggs (who directs this tale) for managing to
hit upon new and interesting ways to depict the metal meanies.
Now writer Justin Richards has similarly risen to the challenge
by having his Daleks quoting Shakespeare! Don't worry, there
is a perfectly reasonable explanation for this, and this is
not the first time that the Daleks have pretended to be friendly
for their own ends - they used similar tactics in Patrick
Troughton's debut story, The Power of the Daleks.
is clear that Richards was also inspired by Troughton's other
Dalek serial, The Evil of the Daleks. The mirror-based
time machine devised by Professor Osric (Ian Brooker) is notably
similar to Edward Waterfield's invention, and the now familiar
booming voice of Evil's Emperor Dalek is heard once
21st-century setting of this story, in which the UK has divorced
itself from a now bankrupt Eurozone, marks the writer out
as something of a Euro-sceptic!
plot is rather complex, dealing as it does with time paradoxes
and potential changes to history, which exhibit themselves
by affecting the memories of only a select number of people
at a progressive rate, as possibilities crystallise into probabilities
and then into actuality. However, plenty of Dalek action will
help to keep you entertained as you struggle to wrap your
head around the less tangible concepts.