AUDIO DRAMA
(Doctor Who related)
Audio Adventures in Time and Space
Wirrn: Race Memory

Starring: Sarah Sutton and
Keith Drinkel
BBV
8.50
Available now


A century after the revival of the sleepers on board Space Beacon Nerva and the defeat of the hostile insectoid Wirrn, human survivors continue to reconstitute the genetic stock of all the Earth's animal and plant life. But an unwanted genetic code is about to be activated...

As with the Autons and the Sontarans, stars of previous BBV audio and video ventures, the rights to the Wirrn are owned not by the BBC but by the estate of their creator Robert Holmes. This has allowed writer Paul Ebbs to craft a clever sequel to Holmes' popular 1975 Doctor Who serial, The Ark in Space.

Points of continuity are keenly observed by the entire creative team, with Keith Drinkel's character Parker doing a very good impersonation of the Wirrn-infected Noah from Ark, as Parker similarly succumbs to Wirrn influence. Sarah Sutton, best known as Doctor Who companion Nyssa, here plays another level-headed scientist, a gene technician also called Sarah. The use of this Christian name suggests that another of the Doctor's companions, Sarah Jane Smith, went down in history following her participation in the events of The Ark in Space. Mike Neilson's post-production also provides a pretty accurate approximation of the laser-gun sound effect used back in 1975.

Initially reconstituted as regular-sized Earth wasps, rather than the giant Wirrn variety, the insect threat also pays homage to the "killer bee" genre of horror movies to good effect.

Richard McGinlay