Audio Review: The Three Doctors

THE Beeb’s audio readings of long-out-of-print Target novelisations of classic Who stories continues with former companion Katy (Jo Grant) Manning reading Terrance Dicks’ adaptation of the 1973 10th anniversary story The Three Doctors.

This is the first occasion in which the Doctor crosses his own time stream to meet his past incarnations, a necessity brought about by a threat to the entire universe, the mad Time Lord Omega. Once one of the greatest of his race, and responsible for giving them the power of time travel, Omega has spent centuries trapped in an anti-matter universe beyond a black hole, but now he has a chance at freedom, even if it means the destruction of reality itself…

The desperate Time Lords bring the Third Doctor assistance in the form of his first and second incarnations, and together with UNIT colleagues Jo, the Brigadier and Sgt Benton, they must breach the black hole to confront Omega in his own realm…

Budgetary restrictions imposed by the TV series can be ignored here, allowing Dicks free rein to shape his story with almost limited special effects, including the Third Doctor’s final battle with Omega in his alien palace and the reimagined Gell Guards.

Katy reads with fluidity and emotion, admirably capturing the different voices of the Doctor’s three incarnations without resorting to parody, supported by strong musical and sound effects. One of the stand-out highlights of the BBC’s Target range.

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