the fighter-carrier Valiant has just crossed Pluto's
orbital path. Its captain is expecting trouble from alien
raiders. She is not expecting the Doctor and Evelyn. 1952:
the Turret-class locomotive Ivy Lee is hurtling through
the night. There should only be two passengers, both of them
carrying documents from the War Office, but now there are
also two unexpected visitors. One is a guard in ill-fitting
trousers, the other an excessively dotty old lady. The Doctor
and Evelyn have arrived and "Time's End" is approaching...
The Nowhere Place, writer/director Nicholas Briggs
has set out to create a spooky story set in a futuristic environment.
I would say that he has largely succeeded in this aim, though
certain aspects of the narrative are a little derivative.
The notion of an incongruous, impossibly old door leading
to nowhere, with a mysterious connection to an antiquated
and almost deserted train populated by a couple of suspicious
English gentlemen, would not seem out of place in a Sapphire
& Steel adventure. The scary voice of a creature from
a place that the Doctor claims to be impossible is rather
reminiscent of the recent television episode The Satan
Pit - though, as this audio drama was recorded in March,
this is probably just a coincidence. Slightly less forgivable
is a plot development that owes a lot to Lance Parkin's Missing
Adventures novel Cold Fusion - but I shouldn't
say any more than that or I might spoil the plot for you.
In addition to writing and directing the story, Briggs also
provides the sound design, post-production and music. The
result is a score that sounds, in places, rather like his
recent Cyberman series.
a strong opening episode, which is full of intrigue and snappy
dialogue, little seems to happen during the second instalment.
However, things get back on track (no train-related pun intended)
during the final two parts. Towards the end of the story there's
a very real sense of "how can the Doctor (and Briggs) possibly
double CD is available with a choice of two covers, though
to my mind the one showing the mysterious door is the more
relevant of the two, since the Doctor (Colin Baker) and Evelyn
(Maggie Stables) only spend about an episode's worth of time
on board the train depicted on the other cover.
cover you end up with, it's worth finding a place somewhere
on your shelf for this entertaining tale.
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