THIS STORY TAKES
PLACE BETWEEN THE
AUDIO DRAMAS "HIVE
OF HORROR" AND "THE
DEMON OF PARIS."
THE RELICS OF TIME'
AUDIO CD (ISBN 1-408-
46667-4) RELEASED IN
BODE ILL FOR THE
DOCTOR WHEN A
ROBBERY. A CHASE
THROUGH TIME SEEMS
The Relics of Time
I’ve really been looking forward to this Hornets’ Nest sequel. Whilst last year’s mini-series may not have been quite what I was expecting at first, as it progressed I became increasingly enamoured with it. In a market saturated with Doctor Who audio adventures of every conceivable kind, there is nothing else even remotely like the acclaimed Paul Magrs / Tom Baker multi-voice adventures, and I’m pleased to report that the first instalment of their Demon Quest saga really hits the ground running.
With Susan Jameson’s popular Mrs Wibbsey promoted to fully-fledged companion (not to mention, briefly, goddess), The Relics of Time is much faster and more dynamic than last year’s opening episode. The Tom Baker monologues are still happily present, but they’re rationed out across the hour, linking together the story’s dramatised scenes, as opposed to vice-versa. The result is still probably closer to a Companion Chronicle told by the Doctor than it is a more recognisable form of audio drama, but when it’s Paul Magrs’ prose binding it all together, one really can’t complain.
As ever, Baker and Magrs make for the most luscious of combinations. The actor is clearly appreciative of the author’s lyrical language, delighting in every beautifully-crafted sentence that he delivers. Abounding with “corpse-filled copses” and “awash with the unwashed”, this script reads like playful poetry – ideal fuel for the old eccentric. Of course, Baker’s resonant tones are such that he could make almost anything sound imposing – even his delivery of the production’s closing credits is astonishingly forceful. If I were director Kate Thomas, I would be flattered – or scared – at hearing my name delivered with such unbridled passion.
The adventure itself is a rather
whimsical yarn that wouldn’t be
out of place in an Iris Wildthyme
hardback. A discovery at a bring
and buy sale in modern Sussex
leads the Doctor and Wibbsentia
to Roman Britain and a meeting
with a chap who may well be a
wizard, an emperor, or even a demon. The tone is suitably light and spirited, and the banter sparkling, yet Magrs vests his tale with just enough cartoon peril to keep the listener hooked as it rattles towards its elephant-filled finale.
A much more lively and enthralling tale than its opposite number was last year, The Relics
of Time is an adventure that I vigorously recommend. Maybe I’m better disposed towards it than I was Hornets’ Nest as this year I knew what to expect for my money, or perhaps what I’ve got for money is closer to what I thought I ought to. Either way, Demon Quest’s fun-filled first chapter is a real delight, and I look forward to following the Doctor and his cantankerous cottage-keeper to Paris.
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2010
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 episode’s dialogue suggests that, for both Mrs Wibbsey and Mike Yates, these events take place around a year after the preceding Hornets’ Nest series. It is unclear how much time has passed for the Doctor.
The remainder of the Demon Quest adventures follow sequentially.
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.