BBV's Audio Adventures in Time and Space
The Left Hand of Darkness

Format Compact Disc The CD cover
Running Time 60 mins
Produced by BBV

With Sophie Aldred as Ace,
featuring Sylvester McCoy as The Professor,
and Miles Richardson as Dorsai, John Ainsworth as Computer.
Sound Engineer Alistair Lock, Post Production Nick Briggs,
Music Harvey Summers, Assistant Producer John Ainsworth,
Produced and Directed by Bill Baggs.

Synopsis: Ace finds herself separated from the Professor, marooned, blind and cared for by a mysterious stranger. How did she get there? Who is Dorsai? What secret is he hiding?


A Review by Stuart Gutteridge 10/11/98

This is reminiscent of those episodes of Doctor Who where just the regulars featured (in the first episode of any particular story.) The Left Hand Of Darkness manages to go one better and features just one regular, for the most part.

BBV and writer Mark Duncan seem to be picking up where the Virgin New Adventures left off with the development of Sophie Aldred`s Ace (despite the BBV Ace, supposedly being remotely unlike the TV Ace.) And for fans looking for something new, this idea seems to have been done to death. That said, however, The Left Hand Of Darkness is a tense, psychological drama that sees Ace blind, marooned and Professorless.

The other major player Dorsai, Ace`s caregiver, although little more than a robot, is played to excellence by Miles Richardson, brought to life so vividly that he steals the show. Sophie Aldred gives a competent performance, and the added sound effects make this Audio Adventure a thought provoking sixty minutes listening time.

A Review by Richard Radcliffe 6/8/02

After BBV had given us the Professor and Ace, they decided to focus on Ace for their 4th and 5th Audios. These BBV dramas were advertised with the "in your face" selling point of a nudie Ace on the Cover. Like some FHM insert the 2 Ace Specials promised to reveal her "Innermost hopes and Fears" with the help of Sophie Aldred's figure. The idea is that we get to see more of Ace, in more ways than one.

The audios themselves follow the format of most BBV dramas. 1 disk, about an hour long. A story that would fit very well in to the Doctor Who Universe, but are not actually Doctor Who! The Professor (Sylvester McCoy) is actually in both, but only slightly. These are well and truly Ace's stories - she is away from her friend and guide - and her character is the main player.

The first of this double helping of Sophie Aldred as Ace is Left-Hand of Darkness. It's the better of the 2, and a very effective, simple story. Ace wakes up marooned, blind and cared for by a mysterious Stranger. How did she get there? Who is Dorsai? What secret is he hiding? There then follows an hour of talk and action between Ace and Dorsai.

Sophie Aldred throws herself into the role of Ace with her usual gusto. The more thoughtful and emotional aspects of the script (by Mark Duncan) allow her to go through the full range of her Acting and Vocal Talents. Miles Richardson plays Dorsai, and he is excellent throughout. A very distinctive voice, there was always an element of mystery surrounding his character. You knew he was hiding a secret, but when that secret is revealed, it really comes as a surprise.

The revelation about Dorsai was a real surprise for me, but I expect many people got it. I very rarely do, allowing the story to follow its natural progression, and very occasionally looking to the future and where the story is leading. I thought it was most effectively done all round, and full credit to Mark Duncan and Bill Baggs (the Director and Producer) for keeping it a secret so long.

The interplay between Ace and Dorsai IS this Production. As such it succeeds very well. The mistrust from Ace to Dorsai is very well handled. Dorsai's longing for Companionship is also paramount. I was intrigued throughout. In this case less meant more, because the 2 were so good, the story just didn't need anyone or anything else. Very good drama from BBV. 8/10