The Doctor and Lucie go glam when they make an unexpected
landing in 1974 - which is as close to Lucie's time as the
TARDIS is allowed to get. Slade, Sweet and Suzi Quatro are
top of the pops, and brother-and-sister duo The Tomorrow Twins
will soon be joining their ranks, if star-making Svengali
Arnold Korns has his way. But will their dreams of fame turn
to dust at a service station somewhere on the M62, as Tommy
Tomorrow succumbs to a musical alien influence and the eatery
is besieged by a pack of hungry monsters...?
glam rock connection is nothing new to Doctor Who.
In 1988, The Timelords (alias Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty,
later to become The KLF), famously fused the Who theme,
Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll (Part Two)" and Sweet's "Blockbuster!"
to create the novelty single "Doctorin' the Tardis".
same sense of fun pervades this production, from its title
(an obvious but nonetheless irresistible pun on Horror
of Fang Rock), to the death of a Mike Jagger
soundalike, the incidental music of Tim Sutton, and the specially
remixed end theme. Una Stubbs is delightful as the unshockable
caterer Flo, while Bernard Cribbins (who previously appeared
in the second Cushing
movie) puts in a characteristic turn as the quietly
ruthless Arnold Korns. In deference to Cribbins's presence,
writer Paul Magrs throws in a quick allusion to The Wombles
and, perhaps owing to the casting of Clare Buckfield, a
Tomorrow People reference too.
Despite her comedy credentials (2point4
and the Sixth Doctor Who audio The
One Doctor), Buckfield plays it completely
straight as Trisha Tomorrow, as does former Boyzone star Stephen
Gately as her brother Tommy.
The writer seems a little unclear as to how long the Doctor
(Paul McGann) and Lucie (Sheridan Smith) have been travelling
together. Lucie seems to know the Time Lord well enough to
be aware that "he always takes over" and she says that she
has "got used to weird lately", yet later on she feels the
need to ask the Doctor whether his travels are always so fraught
with danger. What is undeniable, though, is that the two are
gradually getting closer to each other.
The villains of the piece are rather similar to the Wire in
the David Tennant episode The
Idiot's Lantern - even down to the way in which
the Doctor defeats them - but apart from that, Horror of
Glam Rock is immensely enjoyable. It is quite possibly
the best of the Eighth Doctor BBC 7 productions.
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