Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Doctor Who: City of Spires

City of Spires (Doctor Who)The Doctor is reunited with a much older Jamie McCrimmon, who has forgotten all their previous adventures together – which is strange, since he should at least remember the events of The Highlanders – and is fighting against the Highland clearances in the guise of Black Donald. But English soldiers are not the only dangers to the Scots. History is being changed. The sparking iron boots of the mythical Redcap terrorise the land. The Overlord has turned Grangemouth into a City of Spires, and he's sucking the very lifeblood of Scotland from its earth – but to what purpose?

There's plenty here for the Doctor to be outraged about, and Colin Baker's Doctor does outrage very well. The new-old relationship between the Doctor and Jamie is the story's main attraction, of course, and doesn't disappoint, although there's an irony in that if anything Frazer Hines sounds too young for the part. Each episode ends with a good cliffhanger, and if overall this adventure didn't surpass the best the series has to offer, it did entertain, for example with well-judged call-backs to stories like The Moonbase, and one very nice moment when Major Heywood pulls the Doctor up on one of his frequent – and usually ignored – allusions to being a time traveller.

Doctor Who 133: City of Spires, by Simon Bovey, Big Finish, 2xCD.

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