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175 'The Twilight Kingdom'

CD audio adventure released March 2004, 4 episodes

Writer: Will Shindler
Director: Gary Russell

Roots: The works of H.P. Lovecraft and the film Re-Animator based loosely on one of his novellas, Blake's 7's 'Rescue' (a sentient cave system that reacts to and feeds on emotions), The Day Of The Triffids (the Reever plants); an examination, in part, of American military foreign policy and Middle Eastern terrorism. Star Trek ('I'm a scientist, not a soldier') Fantastic Journey (the Divergence is made up of a number of different 'zones')

Goofs: Though the life forms in the divergent universe are meant to be non-humanoid, the Ondrokkans make a point of the fact that C'rizz looks different, implying the Doctor doesn't.

Where did the Doctor and C'rizz get the tents they are suddenly carrying? [Light City?]

Dialogue Disasters: '...and that goes for their freaky friend too.'

Dialogue Triumphs: 'Why does he look smaller from outside his head?'

The Doctor's 'time' speech in part three.

'It's an evil mind-controlling cave mushroom?'

Double Entendres: "...we'll need to debrief you."

Continuity: Ondrokkon is a civilised and technologically advanced world, but their affluence has made them quite a few enemies. Terrorist attacks have become common, including one that took place on Baytara island which involved Kestila sickness. The authorities chose to "atomise" the island to avoid the disease spreading. This resulted in Major Koth creating an army to oppose the authorities.

Kestila sickness is ultimately fatal. Early symptoms include fever, vomiting and sores.

This adventure occurs on a piece of Setarus, a distant world to the Ondrokkans. There are at least 40 different alien species in the region of space local to Setarus, but the Ondrokkans haven't seen a Eutermesan before. The zone is adjacent to the zone containing Light City.

Reever plants can react to movement and sting their prey, paralysing it. The toxin can be destroyed with heat.

Grelligs resemble rats and were likely brought to Setarus by Koth.

The hybrid creature is never named, and it is stated that it doesn't come from Setarus. It uses telepathy to lure animals into itself and then ingests them. It is powerful enough to control the TARDIS.

Charley's grandmother used to take her to an artist when she was young to get portraits done.

C'rizz joined the Doctor and Charley to see new places. He's not a very good shot.

The Doctor is over a thousand years old (This agrees with the books, in which the Doctor turned 1000 in Set Piece).

Links: 'The Natural History of Fear', 'Neverland'. The Eye of Orion gets yet another mention [surely that joke's long out-stayed its welcome?]

Location: A section of Setarus, the Divergent Universe. (The Doctor and Charley have now been in the Divergence for a 'few weeks').

Untelevised Adventures: The Doctor ('a tall or a fat one') has been to Iceland.

The Bottom Line: It's rather difficult to keep track of the large cast of people in this adventure. A very uneven story, that starts off as a painfully unsubtle pseudo-allegory of the War on Terror, and then veers into Grand Guignol body horror. The central plot twist is quite clever, but is resolved in a very dull and predictable manner. Michael Keating overacts like mad. A somewhat flat ending to the season.

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