The Bellova Devil (2010)

After an impressive opening story, the second story is a more complex offering. Not surprising considering its written by Alan Barnes, author of Brotherhood of the Daleks (2008) which is undoubtedly the most complicated story ever heard. Barnes’ stories always tend to be ones that have to be listened to more than once. I decided that if I couldn’t understand that story after the third listen then I should probably stop. I decided to approach this story with an open mind. The story starts off with the curiosity of two dead bodies that are connected, what’s more strange is that one person was declared dead six months previously. The death was reported by Doctor Sucker who clearly was wrong in the first place. In fact what has been going on is that he had been given/taken something which when working creates the impression that the body has died but the individual will wake up several hours later. The story moves to club which at first gives the impression that you can fake your death but you have to stump up a sort of pension. However when Jago and Litefoot arrive at the club and see everyone there it turns out that they are just actors.

There is a B-plot and it is that Jago is trying to hide from the Manchester Mangler who is a debt collector. If only they had done a bit more with this part and not so much with clubs and people giving the impression that their dead. The problem is that whilst The Bloodless Soldier was quite simple and easy to follow. This story is quite the opposite. It’s confusing at times and just when I think I figured out what is going on there is something else that confuses me. There are a lot of scenes where there are long plot explanation scenes and the thing is there are way too many of them. I also found the characters to be particularly plain. Even after a second listen I found this story to be all over the place and a poorer story compared to The Bloodless Soldier.

Trevor Baxter and Christopher Benjamin are very good but are given a mixed up script to work with. Benjamin himself seems to having the time of his life pretending to be a German. Baxter himself also seems a bit more light hearted than previously which is surprising considered he has always been a bit ‘stuffy’. I thought that Lisa Bowerman was very good as Mrs Sofia whilst the character might have been stereotypical, Bowerman gave it slightly more credibility than someone else might have given the role. Duncan Wisbey also gave a good performance as the inebriated Doctor Sacker. His character was probably the best and was at times very funny. I also really enjoyed Stephen Thorne as the Club Screatary. His voice was born for radio and should be used more often.

The Bellova Devil is a disappointing story. After the enjoyment I felt after listening to the last story, my enjoyment for this one was far lower. Hopefully the third adventure will be better.

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