Paradise Towers is one of the few Doctor Who stories that actually works better as a CD or MP3 audiobook than it ever did on screen. Written as a satire against the political regime of the 1980’s, its main problem was that it was far too ambitious to be ably supported by the special effects, costumes and sets of the time. As a CD audiobook, not having to rely on any of these, what we are left with is a dark and intriguing story and a Doctor who is out of his depth.
The Seventh Doctor and his assistant, Mel, find themselves at Paradise Towers; an apparently-luxurious structure occupied by the future’s wealthiest. However, there are gangs of feral children running amok, the Kangs, and the Caretaker of the towers bears more than a passing resemblance to one of Earth’s most infamous dictators. Clearly, something is not right and it’s up to the Doctor to try and restore balance.
Bonnie Langford, who played Mel in the BBC Drama, lends her narrative skills to this CD audiobook. As a narrator, she’s in fine form, perfectly conveying the unsettling atmosphere for the towers and investing everything she’s got in her rendition of the Seventh Doctor. This story shows a darker side of the titular Time Lord, one that will be of great interest to New Whovians and fans of the Classic series, alike.