The TARDIS lands in a luxury space cruiser. The crew and passengers are missing. The agents of Inter-Galaxy Insurance are determined to find out what’s happened. The Doctor and Leela find themselves facing a horde of metal mantis-like aliens and throughout it all, Leela is haunted by terrible nightmares of her past.
This just feels like a classic Who story; maybe a cross between Robots of Death and Nightmare of Eden. It’s a wonderfully simple story that uses elements of Leela’s first outing with the Doctor, The Face of Evil; specifically its very first scene where her father sacrifices himself to save her. Something that is never mentioned again.
The first episode plays with the listener and really makes them doubt everything they believe about the character of Leela and wonder just who is The Evil One? And it’s no surprise that it’s one of the Doctor’s archest enemies behind the plot.
Nicholas Briggs, who penned this excellent adventure has surpassed himself, clearly demonstrating his best writing yet. The closing scene is beautifully written and performed and manages to develop and deepen the character of Leela and her relationship with the Doctor even further.
With only a six-strong cast there are no weak links. The supporting cast are first class, Geoffrey Beevers is great, as is Louise Jameson and Tom Baker is on particularly good form. However it is Nicholas Briggs who deserves the biggest accolade for such an excellent piece of writing. In the interviews included on the release Briggs talks about how he drew on his own experiences with the loss of his father, this synergy clearly comes through and enlivens the beautifully honest closing moments.
Please give this a listen it’s top quality and won’t disappoint, it feels like a true classic Who story.