|Episode Length||20 - 26 minutes|
With Andy Haynes, Sarah Chaney, Jon Greenwood
Howard Richardson, Damian Brooks, Georgina Kingshott
Craig Holland, Matt Williams, Philip Wilkins, Daniel Whittle,
Chib Chima-Okereke, and Alex Turner.
Wirrten by Jon Greenwood and Howard Richardson.
Digital Editing, Music and Effects were by
the FloorTen Radiophonic workshop,
with additional sounds from the BBC sound effects library.
|Synopsis: With the promise of good weather, the Doctor, Romana and K9 are taking a late-summer break in the countryside, when their enjoyment is suddenly interrupted by a freak thunderstorm. In search of its causes they travel to London, 2003, at the time of the Queen's Golden Jubilee, where they discover deep within the Underground far more sinister forces at work than just the weather. The Doctor's oldest adversaries are back again with intent to conquer Earth and this time not even he may be able to stop them...|
A Review by Daniel Callahan 26/11/98
Romana: "Hey... nice pyjamas. I like that question mark motif. Very... chic."
If FloorTen deserves a reputation after their pilot production, The Regeneration of the Daleks, it's for cleverness and originality. I'm delighted to say that, despite its flaws, Jubilee builds on that tradition.
Yes, Jubilee is an invasion story, and a Cybermen invasion at that, but that doesn't disqualify originality. Working with Doctor Who requires an understanding of its basic elements before a headlong leap into new territory. What killed the scripts from McCoy's era was precisely that: the foolish use of an otherwise fool-proof format. FloorTen aim to pick up where season 17 left off: succeeding with that charming opening scene and scene 7 in episode four, failing at times with an overabundance of jokes.
Jubilee is peppered with FloorTen's trademark: jokes, gags, and injokes that would have fit in the Douglas Adams era. Another genuine laugh-out-loud moment arrives in episode three, involving a conversation about the chameleon circuit (which, again, I'm not giving away!) This time around, however, the jokes occasionally turn into padding, especially during episode two. The opening scenes of that episode are like the Tom Bombadil sections of The Lord of the Rings: just keep going and you'll get back to the story soon.
But don't think I've written Jubilee off! One flaw doesn't constitute dismissal (if it did, no one would watch Doctor Who). FloorTen deserves a reputation for writing strong cliffhangers that make the listener want to keep listening. And jokes aren't their only specialty: the opening of episode three is one the creepiest of any Who episode, period.
The background music deserves mention, a creation as clever as the script and an improvement on The Regeneration of the Daleks. What hasn't improved are the audio problems: explosive p's and f's abound, as do varying audio levels, often making the accompanying script essential. As for the acting: they're not professionals, FloorTen, but it's obvious they offer their best and actually care about creating a worthwhile production.
Jubilee is the improvement that FloorTen was hoping to produce, but they're not at their apex yet. The plot, while large enough in scale to make acquiring the story worthwhile, resolves itself a little too easily. And a potentially interesting character is killed off rather uselessly in episode four before he's fully developed (reminiscent of the Eric Saward era, an era that could kill FloorTen's style).
Is Jubilee an essential adventure? If your tastes run toward the clever, the original, the "old-fashioned" Who with all of those lovable flaws, you'd be a fool to ignore Jubilee, but we haven't seen the best of FloorTen yet.