Doctor Who: The Lichyrwick Abomination by Joe Vevers; audiobook read by Jacob Dudman (Big Finish, 2021) A curiously meandering short story. While Vevers focusses on moodiness and setting, the core of the premise itself—Malcolm’s guilt—becomes lost in the mist. Dudman’s reading goes some way towards salvaging the production but it’s still a bit of a muddle.
Doctor Who: The Night of the Doctor by Steven Moffat; dir. John Hayes (BBC, 2013) Prior to ‘The Day of the Doctor’, fans were given 6 minutes 49 seconds in which to celebrate Paul McGann and to lament his not being given a full special (or indeed an entire series) or being cast as the War Doctor.
Doctor Who: The Unicorn and the Wasp by Gareth Roberts; dir. Graeme Harper (BBC, 2008) Consciously overplayed comedy serving as a mid-season palate cleanser. David Tennant and Catherine Tate are obviously enjoying themselves. The story, while hokey, has enough of an idea to remain credible, poking gentle fun both at itself and at the murder mystery genre.
Doctor Who: The Name of the Doctor by Steven Moffat; dir. Saul Metzstein (BBC, 2013) This season finale exhibits some very cool ideas, stitched together with plenty of good humour. Matt Smith carries the pathos well, yet there’s a bit too much plot crammed in and the episode is scored to within an inch of its life.
Doctor Who: Legend of the Sea Devils by Ella Road & Chris Chibnall; dir. Haolu Wang (BBC, 2022) At once laborious and rushed, committing neither to swashbuckling adventure nor to Yas and the Doctor (nor indeed to presaging the upcoming finale). The Sea Devils could have done with more of a revamp, as per the Ice Warriors in Series Seven.
Who and Me by Barry Letts [New, Expanded Edition] (Fantom, 2021) The first half of Barry Letts’s unfinished Doctor Who memoir. There’s not much here that Letts didn’t offer up during assorted DVD commentaries, but his conversational style nonetheless makes this slim volume a pleasant read. The ‘new’ material is largely just repetition.
K-9 and Company: A Girl’s Best Friend by Terence Dudley; dir. John Black (BBC, 1981) A bizarrely misjudged attempt at a Doctor Who spin-off. Elisabeth Sladen and Ian Sears do well but the opening credits scream allegiance to Metal Mickey and this synth-schlock carries over into the incidental music, flambéing all menace from the Devil’s End plot.
Doctor Who: Galaxy Four by William Emms; dir. Derek Martinus (BBC, 1965/2021) The animation is more rudimentary than that of the Troughton releases. Vicki (Maureen O’Brien) is done a particular disservice outside of the surviving footage. Nonetheless, the story is watchable and the colour version in particular features splendid landscapes and memorable character designs.
Doctor Who: Nightmare Country by Stephen Gallagher (Big Finish, 2019) An unproduced story from Season 21. Nightmare Country was the third of Gallagher’s Doctor Who scripts (after Warriors’ Gate and Terminus) and had the potential to be the best. Backed by strong performances, this audio version is suggestive of a lost classic.
Doctor Who: Last Man Running by Chris Boucher (BBC, 1998) While Boucher’s characterisation of Leela is superb, the non-regulars need actors to give them substance and the Doctor is diminished through having his inner thoughts revealed. The world-building outstrips the story’s needs, leaving the underlying idea more conceptually effective than narratively satisfying.