THIS STORY TAKES
PLACE BETWEEN THE
TV STORY "THE SEEDS
OF DOOM" AND THE
NOVEL "SYSTEM SHOCK."
'DOCTOR WHO AND THE
PESCATONS' AUDIO CD
RELEASED IN JANUARY
The deadly Pescatons
Refugees from their
own dying planet,
are led by the mighty
Zor – whom the
Soon the creatures
have invaded London,
wreaking death and
destruction upon the
city and all who
stand in their way.
In their efforts to
help save the planet’s
population from this
the Doctor and Sarah
must draw upon all
their reserves of
and the Pescatons
Doctor Who and the Pescatons might mark the Doctor’s first steps into the
world of audio drama, but regrettably (and, to be fair, understandably) it is nothing like the lavish Big Finish productions that we have become used to, or even the relatively recent BBC Jon Pertwee radio serials for that matter.
The main difference is that this is a story aimed purely at children; far more so than the television series itself ever was. Listening to Tom Baker (in character) narrate his adventure, it’s easy to forget that you are listening to a Doctor Who story and not Jackanory. That said, Baker’s legendary voice is a joy to listen to as he recounts his fairly simplistic, but none-theless interesting, escapades on contemporary Earth. Elisabeth Sladen, despite not being featured very heavily in the story, also makes the transfer into the audio medium well, and it is a great shame that we will not be getting any Baker / Sladen audio releases through Big Finish unless Baker has a profound change of heart.
Former script editor Victor Pemberton’s plot for this story, whilst simple, is incredibly ambitious in its scope. Free from the limitations of having to write for a producible television programme, Pemberton gives us a full-scale alien invasion the like of which we had never been seen at the time. I would love to see UNIT’s ‘D-Notice’ cover story for the Pescaton invasion; it would have to be pretty convoluted considering that in this story the word ‘Pescaton’ becomes a household word, synonymous with ‘fear’!
Further, true to the educational roots of the programme, the Doctor’s ‘piccolo’ solution to the Pescaton menace helps to teach the younger listeners a few bite size facts about sharks, though it’s very odd that the fourth Doctor never played a piccolo on television! Hmmm.
Mind you, I don’t ever recall him singing Hello Dolly to distract a marauding alien menace either.
All in all then, Doctor Who and the Pescatons is well worth a listen, if not for the flawed plot then at least for the surprisingly impressive score and sound design, not to mention Baker’s enthusiastic performance. If you have young children who like being read to, this could be
the ideal story to use to introduce them to Doctor Who. Failing that, the recent BBC Audio CD release of this story contains a lengthy interview with Sladen that is worth the purchase price alone. She discusses everything from her vague memories of recording this story, to her working relationship with Baker and even Sarah Jane’s wardrobe!
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.
This two-part story was released by Argo Records on vinyl and cassette between Seasons 13 and 14. We have therefore placed it between the television serials The Seeds of Doom and The Masque of Mandragora (and prior to the novel System Shock, which was released much later).
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