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When the author of a Doctor Who novelisation decides to use “chuffing” instead of the more classic, not to mention accurate and pleasing, “wheezing and groaning” to describe the noise of the TARDIS materialising, then you know the writer has his own particular take on the tropes of the show. The chap in question, Christopher H. Bidmead also ends his pleasant tones to the audiobook of Tom Baker’s final story as The Fourth Doctor.
Bidmead’s voice is excellent and very well suited to audiobooks, perfectly toned and paced. However, when it comes to the character’s voices, this is where Chrissy B falls short by some distance. There’s no real differentiation between the text and the dialogue; his “impression” of Tom Baker either sounds like a bored Roger Moore or Marvin from The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. And the less said about his ‘Tegan’ the better. (Though his ‘Adric’ ain’t too shabby.)

But Bidmead is not an actor so it’s easy to forgive his sometimes unemotional response to his own text, which itself is slightly uneven. Much of the action is given over to the opening of the story where The Fourth Doctor finds himself measuring up a real~life Police Box only to find The Master’s TARDIS. There’s much attention to the minutiae of the characters during this segment and, on reflection, it’s over long.

The resulting effect is that the real drama of the story, the planet Logopolis itself and the return of The Master go by relatively quickly and are less detailed (The Watcher could have been expanded upon, for example). In fact, The Fourth Doctor’s regeneration is remarkable shorter than the televised version (though we do get a cracking opening line for The Fifth). With all these faults, Logopolis is still definitely worth a listen though it’s doubtful it’ll be one you’ll come back to.

Thanks to BBC Audio


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