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'Power Play'

CD audio adventure released July 2012. 2 episodes

Writers: Gary Hopkins
Director: Ken Bentley

Roots: David calls Constable Weska 'The Creature from the Black Lagoon' and refers to Blue Peter time capsules. Marion calls the pleyarecs "Godzilla's grandkids". Top Cat (Peri calls Leiss "Officer Dibble") 101 Dalmations (Cruella DeVille)

Goofs: How ineffectual are the station's security guards in episode two? At the height of the Cold War with protesters at their gate and talk of "terrorists" nearby they can't prevent a doddering and confused elderly woman from shooting her way through their ranks to get to the Doctor?

Dialogue Triumphs: "The Doctor's the biggest rambler I know"

"Sean... did you just call me 'dude'?"

"Daleks, Yeti, Cybermen - new face, old face - I'm still the Doctor!"

"I see kindness, compassion, wisdom, great knowledge. I see the Doctor - the Doctor I knew - MY Doctor!"

Dialogue Disasters: "Have a heart, Doctor. Have two"

Double Entendres: Nuclear energy isn't The Invisible Enemy"

"I don't think I can take any more of this"

"Don't drift off! If you drift off, you're gone forever!"

Continuity: The Pleyeren have tails and are reptilian and sibilant. The Doctor knows the Pleyeric Dominion - a form of 'space police' by its insignia of crossed laser truncheons. Their battle cruiser has interplanetary missiles.

Dominic, aka Dominicus, is a hired gun and 'planet-killer', offering his services to the highest bidder on large-scale hits. The Doctor (rightly) considers him "the galaxy's most elusive escapologist". His client is The Terrible Zodin (see: Links), described by the Doctor as "a devastating Deville of dissimulation, the queen of corruption and chicanery"

Victoria doesn't know what a Time Lord is and can't drive. Her age (as revealed in CD extras) is closer to Debbie Watling's 64 than Victoria's expected forty-ish of the mid-Eighties. After she was abducted by the Pleyarac she had a chip implanted into her brain enabling them to send her commands and instructions.

The Doctor finds a live specimen of Ediacara biot, a life form contemporaneous with the Cambrian Period.

Location: Englandia, the mid-Eighties (Peri's mention of Chernobyl doesn't bat anyone's eyelid, suggesting it's as late as 1986)

Links: The Five Doctors and Attack of the Cybermen (The Terrible Zodin) Peri recalls witnessing the Doctor's regeneration (The Caves of Androzani). The Doctor refers Victoria to "Daleks, Cybermen, Yeti" (Evil of the Daleks, Tomb of the Cybermen, The Abominable Snowmen / The Web of Fear) and also mentions Jamie.

Untelevised Adventures: Collector Leiss, the Pleyarec leader, states that the Doctor has changed his appearance before to evade them this could conceivably be a bluff given his covert plan with Dominicus]. The Doctor and Peri discuss The Terrible Zodin, suggesting that both are familiar with her already (although in Peri's case this may be simply by reputation). Victoria has never heard of her, suggesting that the Second Doctor encountered Zodin at a time before or after her travels with him (perhaps, given his mention of Zodin to the Brigadier in The Five Doctors, this took place during 'Season 6B'?)

The Bottom Line: "Perhaps they have different clichés where they come from?"

Ouch. Not good. Power Play is a product of its time, and in one way we shouldn't judge it too harshly, being concerned with Eighties issues and subscribing to an Eighties formula as it does. It even finds some balanced things to say about an energy source which much of the world has got along with quite well over the past fifty years or so. On the other hand, this story will be judged more on how it treats the return of Victoria, and in this case 'perfunctory' is probably the kindest way of putting it. This could have been so much better.

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