Big Finish Productions
Point of Entry
|Written by||Barbara Clegg and Marc Platt|
|Starring Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant|
|Synopsis: The 16th Century. Playwright Kit Marlowe is attempting to write Doctor Faustus when a darkness descends on his life, in the cadaverous form of a Spaniard called Velez. The monstrosity is in search of a stone blade that was brought from South America. After a near-disastrous collision with an asteroid in space, the TARDIS makes an emergency landing in Elizabethan England. These two events are connected. The Omnim are ready, and the point of entry approaches...|
The Time for Sacrifice Begins Again by Jacob Licklider 5/9/22
Barbara Clegg is an underrated writer for Doctor Who. Only having one script going to air while submitting at least two others rejected for one reason or another. Both of these scripts have been adapted as a part of the Lost Stories range, and both have been considered classics, but for what reason? Well today I am looking at her third script for Doctor Who, Point of Entry, which was originally a contender for Season 23, but rejected, mainly because of budget and a lack of interest in historical stories for that season. The original storyline survived through the ages and was given to Marc Platt to adapt. It seems to be a dream team of writers, as Clegg is originally known for Enlightenment, the high point of Season 20 and Platt is famous for Ghost Light, Spare Parts and Lungbarrow. They are two of my favorite writers for the show, and seeing their styles merge as one is extremely satisfying, as the story has the mysticism from Clegg and the gritty horror of Platt's usual writings. Mix it together with a historical setting, and you have a recipe for perfection.
The story sees the Doctor and Peri arrive in Elizabethean London during the time when playwright Christopher Marlowe is writing his magnum opus, Doctor Faustus. Like many writers, he is suffering from writer's block, unable to find inspiration to finish the play as he is visited by a Spaniard called Velez, who claims to have spoken with the Devil and has supernatural powers. Velez will give power to Marlowe if he assists in finding an obsidian Aztec dagger, which will act as the titular point of entry for the Omnim, a race that takes the form of gods and can create an immense pressure of fear and paranoia in humans. This takes the story's obvious inspiration from Pyramids of Mars one step further; the Omnim are a truly terrifying race, as they cause riots in the streets at a time famous for religious persecution and war. Clegg and Platt have this come to a head in Part Two in a sequence where Peri is impersonating Queen Elizabeth I while Velez becomes the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl and rampages through London. It's one of the weirdest climaxes in any Doctor Who story, and it is one of the best.
The portrayal of Christopher Marlowe and Velez by Matt Addis and Luis Soto, respectively, makes a great Holmesian double act, as Marlowe is a man who searches for knowledge, while Velez is searching for power, which can be considered the opposite of knowledge. The story has the effect of having characters going for opposite goals while they are working together for a reason that can only lead to ruin. Marlowe is the more sympathetic of the two, as he intends absolutely no harm, while Velez wishes to crush his opponents and control the world. Velez also has an Igor-like servant, Iguano played by Sean Conolly, who is great at pulling off a Spanish accent next to Luis Soto, who actually is Spanish. He's a great comedic part, as, like Enlightenment, there are quite a lot of humorous moments.
Nicola Bryant gets to ham it up, as she spends much of Part Two in disguise as Queen Elizabeth and of course gets the chance to actually use her accent. Except it isn't her accent; it is her doing an American doing a British accent, which is extremely interesting to hear as it shows the complexities of acting. There is this slight sense that pervades her accent that it isn't quite natural, and it really shouldn't be, because Peri is from America and not royal in any way. Colin Baker of course is reveling in the story, as he gets a good chance to be in history, which is something he always wished. He actually makes a really good point as to why these on audio are better, as the tone here would never have been done on television.
To summarize, Point of Entry is brilliant, just brilliant. It takes two great writers and puts them together to create this dark and dramatic tale about sacrifice and death. The acting is spot on, and the Omnim as a species are such an extreme race that they completely outclass the Osirans from Pyramids of Mars. Nicola Bryant is the standout of the story, as she gets to have an extreme range in acting this time around. It is the best story from the first season of the Lost Stories, hands down. 100/100