Monday, 13 January 2014
REVIEW – REPUBLICA
Another ‘almost’ Doctor Who story, written again by Mark Gatiss. This is more along the lines of Gatiss’ usual stories: Hit and Miss.
Okay, so a while ago, I started reviewing a series of “almost” Doctor Who audios from the late 90s. These stories were so close to Doctor Who, that the only thing drawing the line between them was the title and the theme music. Now I don’t know how many of you have actually listened to these titles, but as you all know, I am a die-hard Doctor Who fan and even I accept that these stories are so close to the real thing, we might as well accept that they are. These stories do not have an order, but there is one two-parter that obviously has to be listened to in the right order. We won’t be concentrating on that one though.
Republica can be summed up in just one word: boring! Seriously. It took me three tries and even then, I barely made it through the story. This is on par with some of Gatiss’ weaker stories. The plot is paper thin: The Professor (really the Doctor) and Ace arrive in 1998 England, but not the proper England – a parallel England. Somehow, history has been screwed up and the Commonwealth is still going on. Getting this piece of information out of the Doctor and Ace is the easy part. It’s the rest of the story that falls flat. The whole story is full of cryptic conversations, reminiscent of Ghostlight, but lacking in the entertainment category. Apparently, the ‘Other’, an advisor to the Lord Protector (the reigning monarch), is slowly but surely steering history into oblivion by programming a missile to hit an imaginary comet heading straight for earth. The story starts strong, falls flat and then picks up again in the last ten minutes, which I deem something of a failure.
The Doctor is much more secretive this time, not even clueing listeners in a little bit, which alienated me. The resolution to the story is also very familiar to Day of the Daleks, only the opposite happens since this England is the alternative one.
I will praise the voice cast though. Sylvester and Sophie never drop the ball and the vocal talents of everyone involved are as usual spot-on. The dialogues (those that don’t deal with the plot) are funny, as well as entertaining, but as a whole, it’s not enough to save it – at least not for me anyway. I tried to not include to many spoilers, mainly because I can’t remember them as I found the story so uninteresting that it’s already slipped my mind. As usual, I leave it up to you to decide if like it or not. Tastes differ, but I can honestly say that this one left a bad one in my mouth. Nothing like The Crimson Horror! As always, the cover art was radically redone by deviant artist hisi79.