June 2005The Changing is a neat little story, different in that it is more a mystery than a typical Doctor Who sci-fi adventure tale. The Doctor and companion Landon land on a recently colonized world to find both the natives and colonists being attacked by a previously unknown creature. Itís up to the two Time Lords to help the victims of this assault figure out the source of and solution to this new threat.
Landon is an interesting companion in that, as a fellow Time Lord, heís not intimidated by the Doctorís knowledge or the technology at his disposal. This isnít a warm relationship, as that between the Doctor and recent companion Kevin; ironically, because Landon is more of the Doctorís equal than any of his recent companions, it seems the Doctor is that much more careful to keep the upper hand in Landonís presence.
Technically, The Changing continues to show the maturation of the DWADs. The dialogue is much crisper than previous stories, and there is a complete lack of characters talking over each other, as was common in some previous stories. The acting continues to be reasonable, with only a couple of minor gaffes that only register at the ďnitpickerĒ level. Itís interesting to watch (er, listen to) the slow but continuous improvement of the audios over time; I expect this is a theme that will be revisited in future reviews.
The plot of this audio is interesting, not just because of the mystery that it is centered on, but because of the manner in which the mystery is solved. Despite a handful of well-placed red herrings, I suspect most listeners will have a pretty good idea of whatís going on by the close of episode one. However, it takes the Doctor and company until nearly the end of the second and final episode to solve the mystery, and this is only when the solution is handed to them on a proverbial silver platter by K9. But this denouement does not disappoint, because the Doctorís lack of success in a quicker solution to this mystery isnít due to uncharacteristic cluelessness. He and Landon were set down the wrong path of thought by the planetís leaders, and once they started down this path, they were never able to objectively analyze the information that they gathered.
So again, the DWADs provide an audio drama with a universal and timeless theme. The danger of jumping to conclusions, of confusing interpretation with fact, is ever-present. As we go through life we must always be on guard against living inside a box weíve constructed of incorrect assumptions and misinterpreted data.
The Changing is another step forward for the Doctor Who Audio Dramas in production values; it is a neat little mystery, well presented, with an interesting and thought-provoking theme.
Last updated: Thursday, June 2, 2005