Long-time fans of the BBC series will recognise two names from the cover of this CD audiobook. Ian Marter, who wrote the story, also played Harry Sullivan, one of the Fourth Doctor’s most enduring companions. John Leeson, who narrates, also played a companion, but a not-quite-so-human one; Leeson was the voice of K9, the Doctor’s robot dog.
This adventure is part of the Key to Time series; a series of adventures in which the Fourth Doctor was tasked to find and reassemble the Key to Time, by the White Guardian. The Doctor finds himself involved in a plot by a conman to sell a planet to an insane warlord. Assisted by K9 and irritated by his new assistant, Romana, the Doctor must find the Key and prevent the warlord taking his terrible revenge.
As a narrator, Leeson is superb. It’s widely known that he enjoyed a good friendship with Tom Baker and, as a result, his rendition of Baker’s Doctor is full of nuance and subtlety. What’s also interesting is the relationship between the Doctor and Romana. In her later incarnation, Romana was an endearing character; her first incarnation is much snootier and intent on taking the Doctor down a peg or two – which makes for some brilliant banter. Fourth Doctor fans will lap this up, while New Whovians will be introduced to one of the Time Lord’s most iconic selves.