Kiss of Death (2011)

After a humorous adventure in Heroes of Sontar, its time to have a story that is completely the opposite. Kiss of Death is a Turlough story and we learn a lot more about him. I felt that we learnt more about him in this story than we ever did when he was on TV. We know that he was exiled from his own planet and as this is obviously set before that story, I was intrigued to know exactly how it would slot into the character’s timeline. The story starts off quite low key, with Nyssa and Tegan enjoying themselves apparently on holiday whilst the Doctor is fixing the TARDIS. Turlough leaves the TARDIS and comes across his former girlfriend and before you know what’s what there is an adventure to an icy world where the story focuses on a vault. This is quite similar to Crime of the Century which I have just finished listening to.

Written by Stephen Cole who wrote the previous years adventure ‘The Whispering Forest’. This adventure sees Turlough taken to a vault that he needs to open and the only way that it can be done is by kissing his former girlfriend Deela. It’s quite an interesting way of opening a door but the thing is that the story doesn’t dwell on this but more on the relationship between Turlough and Deela and also whats in the vault. We learn that Turlough’s family is quite wealthy and the contents of the vault are of interest. There was one moment that made me laugh out loud and it was when Tegan and the Doctor were in a dramatic scene and Tegan asks the Doctor if their going to be alright and he replies with “Brave heart Tegan” and Tegan replies with “Oh god”. Very rare that a Doctor Who story makes me laugh. Actually Tegan became a surprise in this story because normally she is known for putting down Turlough and generally not being very nice to him but in this story she is actually quite nice to him and sympathetic to whats happening to him.

All the cast put in solid performances and this combination of characters is easily becoming my favourite. I am surprised at how well they have worked together and the problem of too many companions with the Doctor hasn’t been as big an issue as I feared. I also like how Janet Fielding has got over her hesitation about returning to the Tegan role and embraced it and puts in enthusiastic performances on a regular basis. Mark Strickson gets a story that he can run with, ok there have been jokes especially in this and the previous stories about Turlough’s cowardice but on several occasions its been pulled back to what a misunderstood character he is. Strickson still plays Turlough well despite not being in the acting business any more. Sarah Sutton and Peter Davison put in good performances also but in a way they take a back seat in this story and allow Strickson to lead. The supporting cast are also on fine form with Lucy Adams being the best as Deela. She does a great job in making us believe that someone we have never heard of before actually means something to Turlough. It’s great to have Michael Maloney back as Rennol. In previous adventures he ahs been highly entertaining and continues it in this story.

Kiss of Death is my favourite adventure from the main range this year. After being disappointed with Crime of the Century I am glad to report that this story makes up for that particular story. The Nyssa/Tegan/Turlough stories are proving to be the highlight of the main range. Now lets just hope that Rat Trap is a fitting end to series two.

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