Turlough finds himself in attendance at St. Neot’s Refuge, a school in the shadow of Diaz World. Where each student learns to stand up for himself and be of greater value to society.
What he thinks is a punishment from the Doctor turns out to be a test when things take a dark turn. People are disappearing and a strange new being is lurking in the grounds.
Will Turlough make it till the end of term?
It feels like an age since we heard Turlough on audio in ‘The Memory Bank’, so ‘Trap for Fools’ has been a long time coming. After nearly a two-year absence, it’s a pure delight to hear Mark Strickson back as Vislor Turlough. Even if it is only for about forty minutes. His narration is excellent and he effortlessly recaptures the character he had originated. His grasp on the other characters is excellent as well and he gives each one a unique tone. And while his rendition of the Fifth Doctor isn’t pitch perfect, he gets the calmness of Davison down to a tee.
Back to School
The school setting and Turlough go hand-in-hand. Writer Stephen Fewell said his inspiration for this story was simply the fact that Turlough wore a school uniform for his entire tenure. Indeed, it is slightly odd that the television series seemed to keep him in it when he was so desperate to get away. The strange, unsettling school is a rich environment for a character to be dropped into and Fewell has really made the most of Turlough’s intelligence and the resources to tell an exciting story. It nicely caps off the character’s story arc as well, set between ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ and ‘Planet of Fire’. It feels only right to send Turlough back to where it all started for him. It feels perfect as one last outing for the character (and his uniform) before he swaps his school tie for some speedos and the Doctor swaps him for Nicola Bryant.
As with many of these ‘Short Trips’, Fewell has kept the focus on the companion and written a tight, simple story. The Doctor is sidelined (literally) while Turlough investigates a fairly straightforward mystery tale. But Fewell has nevertheless found a way to weave in some clever satire at the expense public school system.
The monsters are also quite interesting and have some tremendous voices. Steve Foxon deserves an award for the sound design work in this release. They sounded like something that would have probably worked well on television but have a creepy vibe that makes them uniquely suited to audio.
‘Trap for Fools’ is a brilliant character piece for Turlough towards the end of his tenure. The script from Fewell is pure brilliance and Mark Strickson’s narration is a joy to listen to. Lisa Bowerman is as excellent as a director as we’ve come to expect and she keeps the pace moving along nicely.
Doctor Who: Short Trips Monthly is a series of new short stories read by an original cast member.
Release #41 is a Fifth Doctor and Turlough story
‘…St. Neot’s Refuge was founded in 3016 for the education of young men to the service of empire and state. In the quiet shade of Diaz’ world, each boy can develop that true sense of self-worth which will enable him to stand up for himself, and for a purpose greater than himself and, in doing so, to be of value to society; to be a man…’ School Prospectus
‘Want to change the future, Turlough? Use a school,’ The Doctor
Producer Ian Atkins
Script Editor Ian Atkins
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs
Written By: Stephen Fewell
Directed By: Lisa Bowerman
Mark Strickson (Narrator)