THIS STORY TAKES
PLACE BETWEEN THE
TV STORIES "THE FIVE
DOCTORS" AND "THE
MONSTER OF PELADON."
'THE GHOSTS OF N-
SPACE' AUDIO CD
RELEASED IN JUNE 2000.
unsurprised by the
spectres which haunt
his even more ancient
Sicilian castle. But
when the Doctor
comes to investigate
he finds himself faced
with a danger as
great as any he has
Is the answer to be
found in the past, in
the corrupt alchemy
of the black-hearted
sorceror said to
have been walled up
alive for his evil
deeds? Or must the
Doctor – and the
faithful Sarah Jane
Smith – brave the
realm of ghosts and
face the very fiends
20TH JANUARY 1996 - 24TH FEBRUARY 1996
I really enjoyed “The Ghosts of N-Space”. It builds upon the strengths of the previous audio adventure, “The Paradise of Death”, without falling foul of many of the same pitfalls.
The story itself is a huge improvement on “The Paradise of Death”, and what is more it does what Doctor Who does best, giving a scientific (well, technobabble) explanation to some unexplainable mystery - in this case, ghosts. The premise of a Sicilian castle under siege by the hounds of hell, spectres of the dear departed, and the Earthly mafia is certainly one of
the most interesting ideas for a Doctor Who story that I have ever heard, and Barry Letts’
execution of his wonderful idea is even more satisfying, as is the first-class production.
The cast are, for the most part, superb. The Doctor, the Brigadier, and Sarah-Jane are portrayed with all the energy and enthusiasm that they always have been, even when confronted with some atrocious chunks of ‘talking to themselves’ exposition to get over. Furthermore, in his final performance as the Doctor, Jon Pertwee does not sound quite as old as he did in “The Paradise of Death”, quite oddly. The villain of the piece, Max (Stephen Thorne) gives a very versatile performance as he is required to play the character with a wide array of accents across different time zones. Letts even gives the bumbling male assistant, Jeremy Fitzoliver (Richard Pearce) much more to do in this story - getting
tortured, for example, and then conscripted. Much more satisfying.
However, some of the other characters’ voices do grate – the Brigadier’s Uncle Mario, for example – but I suppose that such horrendous stereotypes are to be expected when a story is set in a foreign country but told in English. Sandra Dickinson, however, has no excuse!
Accents aside, the only real complaints that I could make about this production are that (a) there is so much going on that, when listened to over six weeks (as originally intended), the listener could get lost (I certainly did back in 1996) and (b) the term ‘N-Space’ (used in this story to describe, for all intents and purposes, the afterlife) is also the abbreviation of ‘Normal Space’ (as opposed to ‘E-Space’ for 'Exo-Space') which again could (and in my case did) cause confusion.
All told though, “The Ghosts of N-Space” is an interesting slice of audio drama. It is a great shame that the team of Letts, Pertwee, Courtney and Sladen could not have gone on to make more of these audio dramas, but the TV Movie and Pertwee’s death put paid to that. Nevertheless, “The Ghosts of N-Space” is a fitting send-off for Pertwee’s Doctor, wonderfully encapsulating all of the elements that made his era unique and memorable.
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2006
E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
Guidance suggests that this adventure takes place between the television stories Death to the Daleks and The Monster of Peladon. Within this gap, we have placed it after the third Doctor’s involvement in The Five Doctors, which was broadcast earlier.
When is now? This story features a comet which appears like clockwork every 157 years. As it was last sighted in 1818, then this story must be set in 1975.
Please see the UNIT Dating Dossier for further information.
Unless otherwise stated, all images on this site are copyrighted to the BBC and are used solely for promotional purposes.
‘Doctor Who’ is copyright © by the BBC. No copyright infringement is intended.