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Demon Quest IV: Starfall

Released 2 December 2010

Writer: Paul Magrs
Producer & Director: Kate Thomas

Roots: 'Silver Age' superhero comics — particularly those of Marvel Comics (the down-on-his-luck young narrator recalls Spider-Man's Peter Parker and uses the Stan Lee catchphrase "true believers") - the story's 1970s setting would otherwise place it in comics' 'Bronze Age'. Sunset Boulevard, Rosemary's Baby (cultists in a New York apartment.) The name 'Mimsy' may take its origin from Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky. Alice in Wonderland. Tristram Shandy (a meandering narrator), the guitar music during the meteor scenes in Central Park are reminiscent of the Horsell Common scenes in Jeff Wayne's musical album of The War of the Worlds. Mike compares the Doctor to Superman and mentions Kryptonite.

Fluffs: What are the cultists chanting? "Cro! Magrs! Anagram! Fat! Deity! Ho!"

Goofs: The cover illustration of Mrs Wibbsey (based as it is on Susan Jameson) flatters her age and dress sense a little too well.

In providing a distraction for the Doctor through Miss Starfall, surely the Demon should have foreseen the danger of setting up such a powerful potential ally for the Time Lord?

Dialogue Disasters: "Voodoo schmoodoo"

"Enough of the lip, skinny-dip"

Dialogue Triumphs: "Grit your teeth, Wibbs!"

The Doctor on the Demon: "It's a chimaera, Mike... a potpourri of physiognomy and DNA."

Continuity: The Demon is currently in the form of Miss Mimsy Loyne, faded movie star, whose former rivals was Jessica Flintheart. The original Femme fatale, Mimsy Loyne's filmography includes an abandoned Wagner adaptation planned by Cecil B DeMille — she kept the Valkyrie costume assigned to her, unwittingly providing Miss Starfall with her superhero guise. Exposure to the Sepulchre meteorite (it is assumed by the Doctor to be of similar origin to the Demon) gives Alice the powers of flight, super strength, freezing breath, laser eyesight and the ability to shoot lightning bolts from her hands. The effect is short-lived due to the Demon's presence being removed (and therefore his influence) at the story's conclusion.

In its true form the Demon is described as having horns, purple wings, cloven hooves and a forked tongue. The cultists — ordinary ne'er-do-wells hypnotised by the Demon chant around the spatial geometer to transform it into what the Doctor calls a "primitive telepath debilitator"

Mike says his memory isn't what it used to be. He knows something of gold valuation and silver hallmarks as his sister used to work in antiques.

Mrs Wibbsey seems to have been a real fan of the 'talkies' in her time — she knows of and is rather awestruck by Mimsy Loyne (is this the Demon's influence?)

Location: New York and the City of Manhattan, including Central Park East and the Dakota Building, 12 July 1976.

The Bottom Line: "As you know, I wasn't there..."

Another misfire, with an irritating narrator (Buddy Hudson) and simply too much going on in a mishmash of Sunset Boulevard, a superhero comic and more demonic goings-on. Why are the cultists dressed as the Doctor (perhaps it puts them in the mood)? What relevance does Miss Starfall have with Mimsy Loyne's presence in New York, and why a meteor? Somehow it doesn't hang together, and the choice of narrator — breathless and like Wibbsey in Paris obviously unable to relate each event first-hand, is wrong.

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