The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria materialise on an Australian
beach in the near future, where they are shot at by gunmen.
The reason for this attack, they soon discover, is because
the Doctor looks uncannily like a man called Salamander, a
cruel individual with plans for world domination...
fifth season of Doctor Who is best known for its monsters.
The Earth was attacked by various invaders, ranging from Ice
Warriors and Yeti to weed creatures, over the course of five
stories, and human explorers were menaced by Cybermen on the
planet Telos in The Tomb of the Cybermen. Making a
nice change from all that is this adventure, a monster-free
tale of action and suspense with shades of the James Bond
Whitaker's script is a little more gritty and adult-orientated
than usual for the time. This is partly due to its more down-to-earth
qualities, such as the use of projectile weapons instead of
ray guns. Milton Johns is splendidly sinister as the security
guard Benik, and when Jamie (Frazer Hines) threatens to kill
him, lest he harm Victoria (Deborah Watling), it seems rather
course, the visual appeal of this story - which is notable
for its expensive use of both a helicopter and a hovercraft
- is lost on this audio recording. Nor do we get to see the
physical transformation of the Doctor when he impersonates
Salamander, although we do get to hear an impressive display
of Patrick Troughton's vocal range in his dual role.
is a bit of aural confusion between the very similar surnames
of Astrid Ferrier (Mary Peach) and Salamander's food taster
Fariah (Carmen Munroe). The recording quality of the sixth
and final episode is unfortunately rather poor, being prone
to distortion of the "S" sounds. On the plus side, however,
the episode does come complete with the original BBC1 trailer
for the next story, The Web of Fear.
is certainly an unusual tale, and an exciting thriller to
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