Peter Davison returns to the helm of the TARDIS alongside the wonderful trio of Adric, Nyssa and Tegan.

You’d expect nothing less than brilliant from the writing talent of Robert Khan and Tom Salinsky. The last time the pair took on the Whoniverse resulted in the hugely enjoyable ‘The Ravelli Conspiracy‘. What Khan and Salinsky bring is a Dennis Spooner-esque sense of humour blended carefully into an exciting adventure. So it’s no surprise that ‘Kingdom of Lies’ is witty, intriguing and quietly beguiling script.

Cast & Characters

The addition of a highly robust cast garnishes an already superb banquet. Charlotte Lucas portrays Duchess Miranda with obvious relish. Scheming and devious, just like her Duke played by the dependable Jonathan Firth. These two make such a wonderful backstabbing duo that really bolsters the humour of this tale. But the fun doesn’t come at the expense of the usual Doctor Who fare of action and quality drama.

But one of the best performances comes from Patsy Kensit in a deliciously nasty Big Finish debut. Her showdown with the Fifth Doctor is a brilliant, classically-inspired standoff between the hero and the villain. The main cast – Peter Davison et al – make up one of the best crews the TARDIS ever had. Their ribbing and caustic friction always makes for some great moments of light relief amidst the backdrop of the action.

High-Tech Historical

What is also great about this story is the fact that despite the advanced technology, this story adds a medieval flavour with all the ingredients of a historical. In particular, the rich and well-drawn characters. Another success to attribute to Khan and Salinsky’s talents. Barnaby Edwards acquits himself well as a director of a fine fine story indeed. Aided as ever by the elementarily brilliant sound design and production.

Overall

‘Kingdom of Lies’ is a superb character-driven drama that delivers on all fronts and makes a wonderful start to Doctor Who’s 2018. The story lives up to its title, full of misdirections, but not snowed under with convoluted plot threads. It all comes together wonderfully.

Blogtor Rating: 10/10

‘Kingdom of Lies’ is available to buy now from the Big Finish website.

Synopsis

On the planet Cicero Prime, the kingdom of Cardenas is divided, with the whole population forced to swear allegiance to either the effete Duke or the fiery, hard-edged Duchess. This is a situation both parties have grown tired of. What use is half a kingdom when, thanks to a carefully engineered murder, you could have it all?

Surely, neither of them would be rash enough to summon the deadly off-world assassin The Scorpion to help with their problem? And surely, this terrifying figure wouldn’t arrive wearing a long cream coat and striped trousers…?

Written By: Robert Khan and Tom Salinsky
Directed By: Barnaby Edwards

Cast

Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), Jonathan Firth (Sebastian, Duke of Cardenas), Charlotte Lucas (Duchess Miranda), Harriet Thorpe (Amelia), Tim Bentinck (Lord Crozion), Richenda Carey (Lady Crozion), Piotr Hatherer (Tomek), Patsy Kensit(Mercenary), Harry Smith (Additional Voices). Other parts played by members of the cast.

Producer David Richardson
Script Editor Guy Adams
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs

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