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Doctor Who Stage Plays: Seven Keys To Doomsday by Terrance Dicks

01/01/2009. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy Doctor Who Stage Plays: Seven Keys To Doomsday in the USA - or Buy Doctor Who Stage Plays: Seven Keys To Doomsday in the UK

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CD. pub: Big Finish ISBN: 978-1-84435-374-3. 120 minute CD. Price: 14.99 (UK. Download: 12.99). . stars: Trevor Martin, Charlie Hayes, Joe Thompson, Nicholas Deal, Christine Brennan, Steven Wickham, Paul Thornley and Nicholas Briggs.

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'The Seven Keys To Doomsday is the second play re-created from the original 1980s stage plays. This time the Doctor is played by Trevor Martin who appeared in the original. It starts in a novel way, in the audience. Two teenagers visiting the theatre are disturbed to see a box materialise and a man stagger out. They help him up and end up as his temporary companions much to their disgust. They're shocked to see his face changing in front of them as he becomes a new Doctor. It's all done very matter of factly in this version, none of the DT histrionics. The Doctor is trying to track down several items known as the crystal keys and is of the opinion that the whole may be greater than the sum of its parts. Regrettably, some others are quite interested in these keys.

Most of the action takes place on the desolate planet of Karn where the Doctor encounters some old enemies who are ready to take charge of the crystal keys.

The plot isn't that memorable and I can't imagine what the original scenery must have been like. Perhaps they should have done an open-air performance in the Doctor Who quarry. It was written and recently adapted for audio by Terrance Dicks, a stalwart of the classic show. Trevor Martin doesn't stamp much personality on the Doctor. Not his fault because all the others can telegraph their personality along the way. They are like a comfortable pair of slippers but he doesn't have time to make his mark. It also feels dated far beyond its actual age. Perhaps because it was written in the Pertwee era and a lot of time has swept under the bridge since then.

Therefore, as an exercise its creation is a good thing to be added to the enormous archive of Classic Doctor Who but it really didn't grab me at all. Perhaps I cannot cope with a random Doctor. The extra material with it was more interesting. It covers the historical context and includes thoughts and reminiscences from Terrance Dicks.
Overall, it has to be included to make up the set but the plot was a let down.

Sue Davies

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