The Blue Tooth (2007)

The Blue Tooth sees Liz Shaw tell us of an adventure with the Third Doctor that we don’t yet know. This is a story that I was looking forward to because it was Liz Shaw and I thought that her time in the show was far too short. She only ‘travelled’ with the Doctor for one series in 1970. Also she never met either the Daleks or Cybermen so in this story she gets to cross one of them off her list. There is also the matter of the fact that the Doctor never met the Cybermen on TV. This story isn’t the first to have Caroline John in it. She previously appeared in the 2001 adventure Dust Breeding as Madame Salvadori. In that she wasn’t recognisable as Liz Shaw but knowing that she was in the story all I could think of when I heard her speak was that it was the Doctors companion acting not Madam Salvadori.

The story doesn’t insult the listener by pretending that this is Liz Shaw circa 1970 but sometime afterwards. She sounds older and we get to hear of a different side of her than we knew on TV. The story is quite focused on Liz’s friend Jean who has disappeared and this leads for The Doctor and the Brigadier. Its interesting when Liz Shaw states that she didn’t like Jean to begin with when they met at Cambridge in the 1960’s as she found her irritating.

There are some lovely moments in this story such as The Brigadier and the Doctor clashing over the electricity bill that the Brigadier has had which is very high due to the Doctor’s experiments with the TARDIS. The Doctor storms off as he is getting frustrated with the Brigadier’s military mind not understanding what the Doctor is trying to do.

It could be argued that this story is her final adventure before she leaves UNIT and the 1971 series begins with Jo Grant replacing Liz Shaw as the companion. This is given some proof with Liz Shaw stating at the beginning when she first decided to leave UNIT. It was always a matter of time before she left as she was dragged in by the Brigadier in Spearhead From Space.

Caroline John puts in a good performance as Liz Shaw. Even though she is older she still retains some of the elements of Liz Shaw that we have all seen on DVD and VHS. We only got 4 stories of her and so its nice that she gets one more as I thought that the character of Liz Shaw was a strong one because she didn’t scream and was actually on the Doctor’s level in terms of intellegance. Nicholas Briggs makes his second appearance in these stories as the voice of the Cybermen. Briggs again puts in a good performance and makes the Cybermen sound truly menacing.

Nigel Fairs has written a very good story. This is perhaps the strongest one so far and uses the Cybermen much better than Patrick Chapman used the Daleks in Fear of the Daleks. Mark J Thompson directs his best story so far in this series. He keeps the pace going at a nice steady pace and doesn’t rush the ending. He keeps the feeling eerie and uses the most common phobia of dentists and uses that to its full potential.

The Blue Tooth is the best one in the series and hopefully with one more release to listen to I might be saying the second best story of the series. However I feel that there is nothing that can upstage this story as with Caroline John putting in a superb performance and the Cybermen anything better seems unlikely.

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