Planet of the Dead
June 2005In terms of production, Planet of the Dead is really the oldest story currently available in the DWAD catalog. (All earlier stories in the catalog have been either reproduced or remastered.) The age and relatively primitive production values are obvious, from microphone clicks to some over-the-top characters and acting. The plot is somewhat clichéd: the Doctor and friends set out to rescue a famous time experimenter, whose life essence has been scattered around a war-torn world as four different individuals. But things are, as they say, not exactly as they seem…
One flaw in Planet of the Dead, more of circumstance than substance, is the many references to previous stories and recurring characters. Part one is largely give over to the fate of a former companion whose stories are not available. This necessarily reduces the dramatic impact, leaving this listener puzzled rather than drawn in. Perhaps the re-release of previous story Dark Intruder in late 2005 will fill in some of the missing story.
The acting of the Tardis team is solid. For the first time we meet the Doctor’s newest companion, Dillion. He’s brings a bit of humor to the team, opposite the stuffy Time Lord Landon. The two make a good combination, though in this story they aren’t used to their best potential. I do like the way Landon comes off here…he’s a Time Lord, with all the intelligence and arrogance that implies, but his lack of real-world experience shines through from time to time in this story, particular in one scene as he is being hauled off to apparent execution: his sudden panic and outcry to the Doctor for help was almost pathetic, but one could feel for the “superior” Gallifreyan, whose current incarnation was suddenly very much at risk by a bunch of relative primitives.
Planet of the Dead is a generally unremarkable story that contains a few neat touches. When compared with the early output of other fan audio groups, it stands up very well and, if not impressive on its own, shows definite promise for the future of the DWADs.
Last updated: Saturday, June 11, 2005