With a suitably intriguing title, ‘The Burning Prince’ is the latest audio adventure for a solo travelling Fifth Doctor written by John Dorney, so expect extreme trickiness.
It’s an odd experience to hear him alone as the Doctor always seems to be tripping over his many companions. His recent audios have been successful precisely because they have been multi-layered with the companions being an integral part of the plots.
When the Doctor lands the TARDIS within another spaceship, he encounters Prince Kylo on a diplomatic mission of ‘lurve’. The Drashani Empire, long at war, is to be reunited by a timely marriage between his two young heirs. But Prince Kylo of House Sorcha has mislaid his Princess Aliona and for the time being must dance alone.
Kylo wants to consummate the union as quickly as possible. He is, in fact, hot for his Princess. But this isn’t all going to plan as someone else has decided to take a more straightforward route to peace.
With raging monsters on the loose and a crash-landed wedding galley, it looks like the nuptials are in danger. There’s noble sacrifice all round and a variety of characters to love, hate and mourn.
‘The Burning Prince’ is the opening episode in a trilogy which spans three Doctors and has plenty going on including multiple jeopardy points and a shocking ending. The Fifth Doctor remains calm under pressure. There is excellent support from Clive Mantle as the Prince’s advisor Tuvold, who also happens to be his bride-to-be’s uncle. Kylo is played well by George Rainsford, the hitherto meek and mild Jimmy from the BBC series ‘Call The Midwife’.
The dialogue is sparky throughout and despite extreme dilemmas and the hitherto noble sacrifice, it works really well as an action piece building up to a shocking conclusion. It’s another one that is worth more than one listen. The Drashani Empire returns in ‘The Acheron Pulse’.
Oh and favourite line, ‘I’m doing the best I can, Tegan’ and she’s not even in it.
(pub: Big Finish. 2 CDs 120 minute story. Price: CD: £14.99 (UK), Download: £12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78178-019-0)
cast: Peter Davison, Caroline Langrishe, George Rainsford, Clive Mantle, Dominic Rowan, Derek Hutchinson, Caroline Keiff, Tim Treloar and Kirsty Besterman
check out website: www.bigfinish.com