Audio Review: Doctor Who: Demon Quest: A Shard of Ice
FOLLOWING in the wake of the fairy tale aspects evident in the most recent TV series of Doctor Who, the ongoing audio adventures of Tom Baker’s fourth incarnation of the Time Lord follow in its stead by taking inspiration from Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen, playing up the children’s storybook nature of the Doctor’s travels to new extremes.
Storyteller to the king Albert Tiermann (Samuel West) narrates his encounter with the Doctor and companion Mike Yates (Richard Franklin), stranded in a remote hotel in the icy wastes of the Murgin Pass. A grisly murder is somehow linked to a book of fairy tales which prophesises the Doctor and Mike’s encounter with a chilling Ice Queen, and a strangely familiar foe is also lurking on the snowy mountainside…
As we reach the half-way point for this latest run of five interlinked Fourth Doctor audios, there is a growing argument for future series to offer stand-alone adventures rather than labouring to tie everything up under a single umbrella.
Writer Paul Magrs seems ever more focused on crafting tales which suit Tom Baker the actor, rather than his version of the Time Lord, and as such it’s growing harder to reconcile this interpretation of the Doctor with the TV hero of 25 years ago.
However, the use of language and strong characterisation which has become such an important part of these audios continues here, with a growing sense of menace developed nicely through the use of music and sound effects.
Another successful instalment in what is shaping up to be a highly successful series of stories, and worth listening to on a cold winter’s night to truly appreciate its chilling atmosphere!