Doctor Who – The Lost Stories: Power Play


Doctor Who - The Lost Stories: Power Play
Written by Gary Hopkins

Published by Big Finish

This latest audio adaptation from the abandoned 23rd TV season of Doctor Who sees writer Gary Hopkins finally making good on his original pitch (then titled Meltdown) 26 years later.

And what a pitch that must have been. The return of Victoria Waterfield, companion to Patrick Trougton’s Second Doctor, sharing an adventure with the Sixth Doctor and Peri. A strong Green message on the perils of nuclear energy. A trip to pre-prehistoric Earth. And a pair of Lizard-like Galactic Cops.

A quarter of a century later, these concepts are somewhat tired, though Hopkin’s audio adaptation does its best to bring some mystery to the tale.

The story opens strongly with the Tardis being pursued by the galactic police, and brought to Earth in 1980s England. There, the Doctor and Peri meet a group of protestors outside energy magnate Dysart’s power station, the output of which seems too good to be true.

Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant are clearly in the groove here, and are well served by most of the supporting players, especially ?Miles Jupp as Dysart’s duplicitous assistant Dominic.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment is Victoria’s first meeting with the Sixth Doctor, which sees Deborah Watling weighed down by the pressures of continuity (her character never witnessing a regeneration) and failing to recognise Colin Baker’s incarnation. In fact, Watling seems to struggle to find her character among this unfamiliar mileu.

Ultimately this feels something of a museum piece, for completists only. Casual listeners might wish to wait for next month’s Lost Story with the Sontarans.

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