The continuation of events that occurred in the 1996 movie starring Paul McGann, and the true antithesis of what is a correct story arc.
BTR PRODUCTIONS: DARKNESS FALLS (Four Parts) – Sad
Darkness falls is the continuation of events that occurred in the 1996 movie starring Paul McGann. This story has some clever moments, and some good insight. The writer obviously knew the old series rather well. However this audio drama is the true antithesis of what is a correct story arc. It starts out decent, and steadily marches downhill, as all the characters but the doctor quickly become stagnant. The arc reaches it’s anti-climax in the third episode, where absolutely nothing happens. It then has a slight recovery for the exit in the fourth. There are many references to the Doctor Who movie, which is fitting as this writer and actor(s) are even worse at portraying the Master than the movie. There’s no sinister snickering; there’s no multi-tiered stratagem; there’s no relentless ruthlessness. There’s no subtle manipulation. And to top it all off, the Master here is dumb. Really dumb. Dumb and weak-willed. He repeatedly falls for the most obvious fake-outs, and consistently makes one wrong move after another for a plan that he seems to be making up as he goes along, even though he had forever to plan it. His only saving grace is that the Doctor acts equally as dumb, often failing to see the most blatantly obvious things dangling right on the tip of his nose. Finally, the good moments in this story are ruined by some unnecessary violence intended to provide shock value. Other than some insight into the Doctor’s mind, and a good concept of how the Master would survive and escape from the eye of harmony, this first story has every reason to be skipped.
The Doctor is led on a psychological journey as he battles the Master.
The Tardis goes haywire. The “do you hear that” dialog. “Knock-Knock”.
The Doctor seems aggressively oblivious to what’s obviously going on. Like he’s deliberately avoiding the facts. The Doctor violent and cursing…unnecessary. The Tardis talks…to the Master no less.
This picks up the Doctor and his companion (Thomas) after many journeys. It is possibly meant to take place after some of the Paul McGann audio dramas. There are many references to the movie. Though they include things like the “I’m half human” bit that no one liked. Even though possessed, there was no need for the violence like it was. The Master never cursed either in the series. However could this have been a forced beginning of the Valeyard? Thomas’s death scene is confusing and annoying, he just sits there and takes it. Is he in the eye or not? The Doctor regenerates after effectively going insane. The Tardis kills the Doctor.
This episode marks most of the good acting in the story. It is very dramatic. However the Dr. as a homicidal psychopath is not a place the show would ever go and now we know why. Despite the objectionable moments, this is the best episode of the story. It is well written (with just a drop too much of “I’m going to blatantly reference the TV series” as it were, and a dash too much of “much of this has happened before in past TV episodes and is just redone here in a new way”.
The Doctor is aided by an unexpected ally as he is led on a psychological journey caused by his new regeneration.
The funeral of Thomas. (I’m not saying it’s good that he died, I just liked the scene). The trips down memory lane.
Pointless wanderings about the Tardis that go… nowhere. The “heart” of the Tardis is in the console room. It’s been said many times in the series, both old and new.
Lots of metaphysical and philosophical stuff going on here. Interesting to have an episode where the Doctor is effectively alone for all of it. The Master must be off having a coffee break here (he wouldn’t drink tea… he’s evil [haha]) as he’s nowhere to be found.
While the conversations with people from the Doctor’s past are great, I was perplexed by the choice of people that the writer chose to talk to him. That is… when I KNEW who was talking to him, which wasn’t often. Being the two other companions who have died while with the Doctor, I would have expected Victoria and Adric. Instead we got Catherine and a gastropod for some reason…who incidentally I thought was chameleon until the credits. Very confusing. This episode also sees the beginning of the writer taking liberty with some Dr Who lore & canon. A matter which only gets worse in later episodes. A decent episode that held my interest, despite the lack of anything interesting happening.
The newly regenerated ninth doctor is brought to 20th Century Earth to persue the Master. In reality, it is the Master who brought the Doctor there, so he could then bring him somewhere else, to die… silly.
The tardis phone.
In God’s name and all that is good and grand with the universe, can someone please enlighten me as to why everyone, including the Doctor, is talking in pseudo-old English prose in 1989?!!! The Doctor’s narration. Everyone from here on in is reading the scripts rather than acting. The action in this story has gone on holiday. Why are the birds so fecking loud?
The master can’t leave the Tardis on his own, yet the Doctor fails to suspect that the only person present within 5 miles when he lands as the one who is posessed. 10 1/2 minutes! 10 and a half whole freaking minutes from the time the Doctor steps out of the Tardis to get the story moving again! When they finally set out in search of the Master, the action skips all the cool locations the Doctor wants to visit, and jumps right to the last one. The Doctor is a moron for not realizing the Master is in Chloe. She was the only one in the house! Why has UNIT abandoned one of its primary bases? Why does the Master’s 2nd Tardis look like the doctor’s?
This episode is such drivel it doesn’t even qualify as a filler episode to bridge eps 2 & 4. This is the longest episode of the story and I can sum it up in four sentences. The Master inhabits Chloe, The Doctor & Chloe meet and talk and talk and talk. They travel around off-ear, They talk and talk until the master reveals himself. So I’ve told you all you need to know. Save yourself 21 minutes and skip straight to episode 4.
P.S. Even the writer seems to have gotten tired of the prose, as it abruptly dies out somewhere around the 16th minute.
The Doctor uses the oldest and most obvious tricks in the book to thwart the Master.
Many references to the series. The idea of the Master delivering the Doctor to the Daleks. The background of the Doctor and the Master before they left Gallifrey is expanded upon.
How the Doctor convinces the Master to untie him. Gross inaccuracies in how the Tardis works, as well as Timelord lore. A weak ending. Why and how is the Master talking to the Doctor in his subconscious when he himself is supposed to be unconscious on the floor (or did he run out already)? Why didn’t they just talk in person? Why is the Master talking so ethereally? Is it the Master that’s talking? Was it a long-distance Tardis call? Why does he not sound like he did in the Doctor’s head in episode 1? More Confusion.
There’s some good insight into the mutual past of the Doctor and the Master. Hidden in this dialog is a roundabout hint as to the whole point of this story, which is never actually brought to light adequately. Indeed I had to listen twice to even divulge there might be subtext in there that tries to make the story worthwhile. What about footsteps? Scuffling? Why did they only signify the Master escaping with the Doctor yelling “stop” out of nowhere? Again, someone seems to have forgotten we can only hear, and not see the action. A key concept of audio stories this is. If we didn’t hear it, it didn’t happen. One does NOT need to be a Timelord to land the Tardis. Turlough did it. Tegan did it (sort of), others have done it. Adric and Nyssa used to fly it all the time. The writer’s use of Time-Ram is completely wrong. First, it can only happen while within the vortex. Second, it does not simply mean one Tardis inside the other. Third it is not a state, it is an instantaneous collision that destroys both Tardis’s. The only reason it was a “state” in the Jon Pertwee episode was because of Kronos’s will. Fourth, there were plenty of times when one Tardis was inside the other and someone walks between them without incident. Did the writer really think the Master was the type to consult an instruction manual? Why does Chloe demand that she go with the doctor even though he’s not keen on the idea? How does she then get away with threatening that she’ll leave if this-and-that? He beat the wrong companion with a staff, that’s for sure. The Doctor kills the Master, and thus Chloe’s boyfriend, and she’s not the slightest bit remorseful.
The story brings to light some more of the Doctor’s psyche, and tries to capture the inner darkness and loneliness of our intrepid wanderer. However it does so at the expense of plot, characters and logic. The park chase scene, if one can call it that, is incongruous with the previous scene, stupidly confusing, and completely out of place. With no way out, the writer turns Chloe’s friend into a Star Trek “red shirt”, that of an inconsequential background character who gets killed for the sake of the story. The actors seem to have tired with the script as well, as none of them are acting anymore.
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