Subject 2660: Celia Fortunatè. Subject experiencing traumatic,
violent delusions during waking moments. Subject remains pacified
and under control of Whitenoise. Medication has been prescribed...
Subject 0357: Vi Yulquen. Designated Matriarch of the Needle.
Subject is under constant surveillance due to her wish to
experience harm. Editing is required... Subject 3999: the
Doctor. Subject has committed homicide. His propensity for
violence remains unchecked. Analysis suggests synchronisation
with the killer. The Doctor will attempt to kill again. He
must be stopped...
of these days I'm going to embark upon a programme of watching
and listening to all of the Doctor's television and audio
adventures in chronological order. By chronological I mean
the order in which the Time Lord himself experiences the stories,
including the BBC's audio releases of missing TV episodes
and Big Finish's audio plays. This will, of course, prove
ultimately impossible, because new stories are being released
or transmitted on a regular basis - and I certainly won't
be waiting until I've got to the end of the series before,
for instance, watching new episodes of the television show!
Nevertheless, I am sure it will prove an intriguing experience
to keep my viewing and listening as chronological as possible.
I am equally sure that such an exercise would benefit one's
enjoyment of this particular story. Red is hampered
not only by a plot that goes nowhere very fast (which is ironic
given its inclusion of a drug called Slow) but it also has
the misfortune of stepping into territory so recently trodden
by the Eighth Doctor audios. Sinister double meanings given
to everyday phrases (such as "white noise", "red tape" and
Works already did it. A mental parasite hopping
from host to host within an institutionalised society? Been
there, done that in Something
Inside. Heard in chronological order, Red
would come across as more original, and there'd be a far greater
gap between it and the stories that cover the same ground.
the other hand, chronologically speaking, Stewart Sheargold's
tale immediately follows Unregenerate!,
in which the Seventh Doctor's (Sylvester McCoy) mental health
was similarly called into question. At least the characters
themselves acknowledge this coincidence. Once again we are
treated to some OTT "mad" acting by McCoy.
more intriguing is the angle the writer takes regarding the
Doctor's propensity for violence. The Time Lord states that
he has learned to keep his killer instinct in check but it
still simmers beneath the surface, waiting for a chance to
be unleashed. Readers of Paul Cornell and Steve Lyons's New
Adventures novels will know the theory about the unborn
Seventh Doctor deliberately piloting the TARDIS into the beam
at the beginning of Time and the Rani in order to finish
off his aggressive sixth incarnation and emerge as Time's
Champion (Love and War). However, his resentful sixth
persona still lurks, shackled within his subconscious (Timewyrm:
Revelation, Head Games). Despite his rejection
of violence, the Seventh Doctor on television attempts to
exterminate the Daleks (Remembrance of the Daleks)
and very nearly succumbs to the bestial lure of the Cheetah
On the whole, though, Red is over-long and repetitive.
Editing is indeed required.
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