Doctor and Turlough arrive in Brazil, 2080, in time for the
Rio de Janeiro carnival. While they expect to behold all manner
of strange and exotic sights, the presence of werewolves comes
as something of a surprise...
curious synchronicity that so often affects Doctor Who
fiction in its various media strikes again. Last month was
Brigadier month, with the Doctor encountering a 21st-century
Lethbridge-Stewart both on audio and in print. This time the
Fifth Doctor faces a canine conundrum mere weeks before taking
on the vulpine villains of Nick Walters' novel, Superior
the werewolves of Loups-Garoux depart radically from
the archetypes perpetuated by movies and TV. Instead of the
usual tale of a helpless human being transformed into a ferocious
beast, writer Marc Platt gives us werewolves who face problems
of their own, including such mundane concerns as fending off
unwanted suitors and caring for an ailing child. Like the
vampires in the novels Goth Opera and Vampire Science,
Platt's werewolves possess a viable - though secret - subculture,
and the Doctor is quite prepared to help them rather than
destroy them. The only wolf who is regarded as a real threat
is the ageless Pieter Stubbe (richly enunciated by Nicky Henson).
However, Platt does not explain how the Doctor can justify
allowing the other werewolves to live, since they too presumably
feed on human victims.
a distinctly mythological flavour to this story, which defies
rational scientific explanation, and which sits a little oddly
within the Doctor Who universe, even in light of the various
vampire stories that have preceded it. In addition to some
native Indian spirituality, there are copious cunning references
back to other myths and legends including, of course, the
story of Little Red Riding Hood. Even the TARDIS, which is
likened by Turlough to a magical doorway fuelled by the imagination,
seems like the stuff of fairy tales.
only his second Big Finish story, Mark Strickson recaptures
his 1980s portrayal of Turlough extremely well, aided by a
script that does not overlook the character's inherent selfishness.
The cast also includes a couple of veteran guest stars from
the TV series. Eleanor (City of Death, Revelation
of the Daleks) Bron is appropriately noble as noblewoman
Ileana de Santos. Meanwhile Burt (Four to Doomsday)
Kwouk plays the scientist Hayashi, a similar role to the one
he played in Dirk Maggs' radio version of Superman.
big ideas Mr Platt has. All the better to entertain you with.