The second installement of this Destiny series shifts the focus on the second Doctor which is performed by Frazer Hines and also sees Evie Dawnay co-star. The story sees the Doctor, Zoe and Jamie land in the year 2724 where they are under threat from some mystery evil. The story takes place in a base that is looking into a planet that circles a pulsar. This story is very much as base under siege story and I like them so I had high hopes for this story. What might start off as a base under siege story soon turns into something quite different which I wasn’t expecting. It’s believed that the invisible enemy is just that but it soon turns out that the invisible creatures were just asking for a bit of thought into the behaviour of the scientists. It’s a story that has loose ends that are tied up and the Doctor, Zoe and Jamie leave in the TARDIS.
My favourite scene was when it was clear that Matt Smith’s Doctor had sent him a note. This was the biggest indication of the scale that this story could get to. Even though it was brief it was still a lovely moment. The music and sound design also do a lot to create a very atmospheric base and that particular credit should go to Simon Hunt. The difference between this series and the companion chronicles is quite noticeable despite being made by the same company.
Frazer Hines is always enjoyable in these stories because he can do a perfect Patrick Troughton impression and he doesn’t disappoint. I am always impressed how he manages to make the story feel of its time whereas in the previous story it was down to the story to make it feel like it was from the very early days of Doctor Who. Credit must also go to Evie Dawnay who does well with what I must say started off as a normal role but seemed to gain credibility by the end of it. I cant recall hearing her in a Big Finish play before but hopefully she will return because she gives a very solid performance. The two of them work well in creating this atmosphere.
This story is different from the Companion Chronicle stories that we get about the second Doctor in that those stories have to try and get around the fact that Jamie and Zoe cant recall any past adventures with the Doctor due to the timelords having blocked their memories. In this because the story takes place before ‘The War Games’ they don’t have such a blockade to overcome. The writer can just get into the story and just make sure that people understand it and on that subject I must say that I didn’t get it 100%.
Shadow of Death is an enjoyable story that seems to do a bit more towards the arc of this series than the previous one. It’s worth listening to due to Frazer Hines and because it’s a Simon Guerrier. The series is slowly gathering pace and the excitement is building as well. As a story in its own right I thought it was just as good as Hunters of Earth and as part of the series it was a stronger story than Hunters.