Sir Keeyoht of la Koura and his loyal squire Adric find themselves on a quest.
They must stop one of the worst Enchanters, The Doctor, from finding the greatest of treasures in the land. They battle giants, inspire future adventurers and come face to face with the most terrifying monster of all: the dreaded dragon!
The main dynamic between the Doctor and Adric was hero worship. The Doctor saw something of himself in Adric and vice versa. But all that changed to a certain degree when the Doctor regenerated. Gone was the confident Fourth Doctor and the quieter Fifth Doctor was left in his place. This is the thrust of ‘The Ingenious Gentleman Adric of Alzarius’ that author, Julian Richards, grasps and explores the impact of that fateful change for Adric.
What has been brilliant for Adric with Big Finish is that all of his stories, particularly the ones from the ‘Short Trips’ range, have been character pieces. No longer is he the irritating kid who got tricked by the baddies until episode four. Stories like these help us to see his travels in a different light. On television, Adric suffered as a companions since Tegan and Nyssa often got more of the spotlight. Adric had nothing to do but stand around, get into trouble or side with unhinged villains determined to turn entire populations into frogs or purify jungle planets. The ‘Short Trips’ range has allowed Adric to step out of that dark corner that fans had relegated him to.
Matthew Waterhouse has also had a bit of an audio renaissance lately. First his work on ‘Dark Shadows’ where he often writes or narrates tales and, more recently, in ‘Doctor Who’. Narration seems to be Waterhouse’s forte; he really can paint a picture through the way he delivers the text. Whether it is a fire-breathing dragon, robotic windmills or the slower paced sequences, he effortlessly brings everything to life.
His impressions of the Fifth Doctor particularly stands out as he captures the breathless energy of Davison. He even matches his voice to the loud booming quality made famous by Tom Baker, though his take on Tegan sounds more cockney than an Australian!
Julian Richards does a terrific job with the fairytale elements of the story. The dragon represents the usual threats the TARDIS crew find. But the giant robotic windmills knock you for six, giving us a possible amount of foreshadowing for the Cybermen’s later appearance. The idea of Adric inspiring someone else to take up the job of protector is a nice one and the script is littered with nice little nods to Adric’s other adventures
What is particularly nice about this release is the music. Whether the Spanish score is very nice to listen to and it is a shame that these ‘Short Trips’ don’t come with a music suite.
‘The Ingenious Gentleman Adric of Alzarius’ is a strong story, though perhaps not as strong as some other Adric stories. But the script from Julian Richards and effortless narration from Matthew Waterhouse all conspire to give us another thoughtful, character-driven piece for Adric.
Blogtor Rating: 8/10
Doctor Who: Short Trips Monthly is a series of new short stories read by an original cast member.
Release #35 is a Fifth Doctor, Adric, Nyssa and Tegan story.
Sir Keeyoht of la Koura, and his loyal squire Adric, are on a quest. A great and noble quest to stop that most vile of Enchanters, the Doctor, from claiming the greatest treasure in the land. Along the way they intend to battle giants (or possibly windmills), inspire adventurers, rescue a princess and ultimately come face to face with that most terrifying of all monsters, the Dragon.
Except Adric knows there are no such thing as Dragons…
Producer Ian Atkins
Script Editor Ian Atkins
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs
Written By: Julian Richards
Directed By: Lisa Bowerman
Matthew Waterhouse (Narrator)