Review By Liam O Brien

Peter Davison hasn’t always benefited from the best scripts on Audio. Even the acclaimed SPARE PARTS is beaten hands down by pretty much every other Sixth or Seventh Doctor yarn, and its not the brilliant actors fault- indeed he is one of my favourite Doctors, but dry, uninspired scripts like THE ROOF OF THE WORLD keep rolling in for him. It’s a shame, as it is wasting a versatile performer- and sadly his companions aren’t too great either. After two previous audio’s in their company, Peri and Erimem just don’t work together- rather that Erimem is utterly awful as a companion. Again no blame can be laid at Caroline Morris’ door- she is a good actor who is simply following the script. For me personally, Erimem is too gimmicky, a shoddy version of Leela without the bloodlust that made the latter so entertaining. The fact that much of the story hinges on the Egyptian cast off doesn’t help matters either.

THE ROOF OF THE WORLD did, I admit, start off well. Something about the period setting sucked me in, but sadly all that was lost by part two- in place of adventure we get a psychology lesson in the company of some kind of evil spirit entombed in a pyramid of ice who wants to….yawn. Evil spirit who wants to destroy everything? Seen that in Fenric, The Daemons and Ruby Wax. Its old hat! Why not use someone else, someTHING else? The BF policy of using writers new to WHO (which has worked well on and off) seemingly means some of these guys can use ideas we have seen before ‘with a fresh perspective’. It doesn’t work and no matter how hard we try its undeniable that NEKROMANTEIA and THE ROOF OF THE WORLD are very similar indeed (ancient evil/spirit, hidden away that is beaten too easily) and they are both poor. It’s a shame as there are traces of likeable characters here, but they end up as stereotypical army buffoons or ‘the character a companion becomes chummy with.’ There is also an utterly abysmal few scenes where the characters we care little about, prepare to go on a mission of which they know nothing, making wills and asking Peri to send things to their wives- YUCK! Handled well this could have been affecting- as it is, its mushy and derivative.

On the plus side I cant fault the cast- they all do well with what they have. The sound design is epic and there is a nice number of scenes in this release- around 25 per CD, which breaks things up a bit as opposed to the usual six minute scene blocks of ten. Sadly though, THE ROOF OF THE WORLD builds up to nothing, is one big clich?entred around a dull character. Oh and it all ends with a McGuffin validated by a quick reference in part one. I hope the Fifth Doctor run really picks up soon, with something as good as that Colin Baker is treated to with each script he receives. Could do better BF- you still kick ass though.


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