|Running Time||60 mins|
With John Leeson as K9, Lalla Ward as The Mistress
Written by Nigel Fairs
Directed and Produced by Bill Baggs
|Synopsis: K9 and The Mistress must cure a plague afflicting cave dwellers in the past.|
A Review by Stuart Gutteridge 24/6/99
Kicking off a new audio series from BBV, is The Choice which sees the return of John Leeson and Lalla Ward to Doctor Who related spin offs. The plot is simple, The Mistress is living a life of luxury and K-9 is collating data on the universe of Ecto-Space; both are guests of the Emperor Lukor. A proposal of marriage forces them to flee back in time, where a society of cave dwellers are suffering from the plague. All K-9 and The Mistress have to do is cure it, but things are never that simple...
It is this basic plot that makes The Choice such a joy to listen to, it is straightforward storytelling, nothing more, nothing less. It is undemanding and enjoyable because of it. Of course, this isn`t entirely due to Nigel Fairs` script, but also his characterisation.
It is difficult not to imagine Lalla Ward as Romana here, especially when The Mistress mentions that she has successfully oppossed slavery before (as was Romana`s intention at the end of Warriors` Gate). Instead she could be seen as a female Doctor, especially with her stroppiness towards K-9,and her carefree attitude. John Leeson is also on top form as K-9, who hasn`t changed very much at all, still being argumentative, arrogant and irritating; unfortunately the over-used plot device of his power draining now seems somewhat contrived. By comparison, the supporting cast are somewhat shallow, being overshadowed by The Mistress and K-9 most of the time.
The special effects are just that-effective, and the incidental music is subtle and clever. The only thing that seems out of place is the theme tune, which sounds more cartoonish than anything else. However, when compared to The Choice as a whole, it is hard to see why this shouldn`t be a great success for both BBV and the future of Doctor Who related audio drama.